Sam McVey

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Sam McVey
Sam McVey passport 1919.jpg
Passport photo of McVey from 1919
Statistics
Real nameSamuel E. MacVea
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
Reach75 in (191 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1884-05-17)May 17, 1884
Waelder, Texas
DiedDecember 23, 1921(1921-12-23) (aged 37)
New York City, NY
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights96
Wins65
Wins by KO47
Losses16
Draws12
No contests3

Sam McVey or Sam McVea (May 17, 1884 – December 23, 1921) was a Hall of Fame heavyweight boxer who fought during the early 20th century. McVey ranked alongside Jack Johnson, Joe Jeanette, Sam Langford, and Harry Wills as the top black heavyweights of their generation. All of them, with the exception of Johnson, were denied at shot at the world heavyweight championship due to the color bar, which ironically was maintained by Johnson when he became the first black fighter to win the world heavyweight title. Despite being denied a title shot, McVea enjoyed a famed career that took him across the globe.

In 96 documented fights in at least 10 different countries, McVey only lost 16 bouts.[1] His greatest wins include two victories over both Sam Langford and Harry Wills, which won him the World Colored Heavyweight Championship on two separate occasions, respectively. In his later years he worked as a trainer and sparring partner for both black and white fighters training for important bouts.

Biography[edit]

McVey (left) posing with fellow boxer Al Reich

Fighting out of Oxnard, California, McVey stood 5′10½″ inches tall and fought at a weight of between 205 and 220 lbs. He relied more on brute strength than finesse in the ring.[2] He had his first pro fight in 1902 at the age of 18. In those days, few mixed race fights took place, so McVey frequently fought the other top black boxers of his time, including Sam Langford (15 times), Joe Jeanette (5 times), Harry Wills (5 times), and Jack Johnson (3 times). Overall, McVey's boxing record was 65 wins, 16 losses, and 12 draws.[1]

McVey spent much of his prime years fighting overseas. He left for Paris in 1907 and fought there for four years. McVey left Paris in 1911 for Australia. He fought there for three more years before finally returning to the U.S.

On December 31, 1908 in Paris, Sam McVey competed in a mixed style bout against jujutsu expert Tano Matsuda, knocking him out in ten seconds.[3] In the earlier part of this century, such bouts were occasionally held in Japan pitting western boxers against judo or jujutsu fighters.

On April 17, 1909 in Paris, Sam McVey fought Joe Jeanette in a bout considered one of the greatest and certainly one of the longest of the 20th century. The fight went 50 rounds and lasted three and a half hours. McVey was generally agreed to be winning through most of the fight, particularly the 21st and 22nd round, knocking Jeanette down repeatedly. By the 40th round, however, Jeanette had recovered while McVey was lagging and knocked down repeatedly. Ultimately McVey's eyes had swollen shut and he was forced to quit.[4]

In 1912, McVey was one of the contenders for the World Colored Heavyweight Championship fought at various venues across Australia. Sam Langford his opponent, was a Black Canadian popularly known as the Boston Tar Baby and reputedly one of the greatest fighters of all time, beating champions in the lightweight to heavyweight classes. Before the matches, the boxers gave demonstrations of their skill. Prior to his beating, Sam McVea in the Exhibition Rink Buildings in Perth, Sam Langford stayed at the Nedlands Park Hotel where he:

“gave exhibitions of punching the ball, throwing the medicine bag sparring, etc. His work was a revelation. Langford allowed his sparring partners to hit him just when and where they pleased. After witnessing his exhibition of wonderful foot and head work one could easily understand how the big-little fellow came to lay low the best boxers in the world. Langford is as fast on his feet and as graceful as a ballet-dancer. He carries a punch like unto that of a kick of a mule, and is practically impervious to punishment. Dick Cullen hit him some terrific punches on the chin last Wednesday - punches that would have put the ordinary boxer away for the full count; but the Tar Baby only grinned and shoved out his head for more. He is truly a remarkable fighter.”[5]

McVey contracted pneumonia, and died December 23, 1921 in New York City, penniless while still an active fighter. His burial and grave marker were paid for by Jack Johnson.[6]

McVey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999.[7]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Fight Number Date of Fight Opponent Opponents' Wins Opponents' Losses Opponents' Draws Fight Location Result Decision
109 8/2/1921 Jeff Clark 92 29 15 Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA D NWS
108 7/7/1921 Jeff Clark 92 29 15 Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA W NWS
107 3/21/1921 Jeff Clark 90 28 15 Columbus, Ohio, USA W PTS
106 3/18/1921 Jack Thompson 17 8 5 Moose Temple, Detroit, Michigan, USA N NC
105 9/8/1920 Harry Wills 44 5 2 Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA N NC
104 9/1/1920 Jack Ward 0 3 0 Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, USA W KO
103 8/14/1920 Sam Langford 124 19 29 East Chicago, Indiana, USA L NWS
102 8/5/1920 Pinky Lewis 3 14 6 Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA L PTS
101 12/15/1918 Clem Johnson 2 0 0 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama W KO
100 9/14/1918 Jack Livingstone 3 13 1 Broadway Theater, Colon, Panama D PTS
99 6/16/1918 Harry Wills 33 5 2 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama L PTS
98 2/17/1918 Harry Wills 30 5 2 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama L KO
97 10/14/1917 Battling Jim Johnson 25 14 7 Broadway Theater, Colon, Panama W PTS
96 8/12/1917 Battling Jim Johnson 24 13 7 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama W PTS
95 7/15/1917 Jeff Clark 86 9 11 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama W TKO
94 5/13/1917 Jeff Clark 86 8 11 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama W PTS
93 3/11/1917 Jim Barry 25 23 5 Vista Allegre Bull Ring, Panama City, Panama W TKO
92 1/27/1917 Fitz Breathwaite 1 6 0 Santa Ana Plaza, Panama City, Panama W KO
91 1/27/1917 Jim Briggs 7 5 0 Santa Ana Plaza, Panama City, Panama W KO
90 1/14/1917 Jack Livingstone 3 11 1 Garden Theater, Colon, Panama W KO
89 9/20/1916 Bob Devere 20 4 2 Santiago de Chile, Chile W PTS
88 9/3/1916 Bob Devere 20 4 1 Santiago de Chile, Chile D PTS
87 8/12/1916 Sam Langford 100 11 23 Teatro Roma, Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Argentina D PTS
86 5/2/1916 Sam Langford 99 11 23 East Market St. Rink, Akron, Ohio, USA D NWS
85 4/15/1916 Jack Thompson 3 2 1 Saint Louis, Missouri, USA L NWS
84 4/7/1916 Sam Langford 99 11 23 Arena, Syracuse, New York, USA L NWS
83 2/17/1916 Sam Langford 97 11 23 Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA L NWS
82 11/23/1915 Sam Langford 96 10 23 American A.C., New York, New York, USA D NWS
81 10/15/1915 Jeff Clark 78 3 10 North Side A.C., Kansas City, Missouri, USA W PTS
80 9/30/1915 Sam Langford 95 10 22 Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, USA D PTS
79 9/7/1915 Harry Wills 23 3 2 Atlas A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USA L PTS
78 8/10/1915 Sandy Ferguson 34 17 15 Atlas A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USA W KO
77 6/29/1915 Sam Langford 94 9 22 Atlas A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USA W PTS
76 6/9/1915 Battling Jim Johnson 22 8 5 Gayety Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada W NWS
75 5/19/1915 Harry Wills 23 3 2 St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York, USA W NWS
74 4/27/1915 Joe Jeannette 74 9 7 Atlas A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USA D PTS
73 2/20/1915 Battling Jim Johnson 21 7 5 Havana, Cuba W PTS
72 12/20/1914 Harry Wills 22 2 2 McDonoghville Park, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA W PTS
71 12/10/1914 Battling Jim Johnson 20 7 5 Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York, USA W NWS
70 6/13/1914 Arthur Pelkey 17 7 1 Baker's Pavilion, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia W KO
69 12/27/1913 Colin Bell 32 6 2 Olympia A.C. Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia W KO
68 11/6/1913 Professor Stevenson 0 1 0 Rink Hall, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia W KO
67 4/19/1913 Colin Bell 28 5 1 National Arena, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia W TKO
66 3/24/1913 Sam Langford 79 7 19 Olympic Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia D PTS
65 12/26/1912 Sam Langford 77 7 19 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia L KO
64 10/9/1912 Sam Langford 76 7 19 Exhibition Stadium, Perth, Western Australia, Australia L TKO
63 8/3/1912 Sam Langford 75 7 19 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia L PTS
62 4/8/1912 Sam Langford 72 7 19 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia L PTS
61 3/16/1912 Jim Barry 24 12 4 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia W PTS
60 12/26/1911 Sam Langford 71 6 19 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia W PTS
59 12/11/1911 Jack Lester 15 2 3 Olympic Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia W KO
58 10/28/1911 Bill Lang 24 9 1 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia W KO
57 9/30/1911 Jack Lester 15 1 3 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia W PTS
56 8/3/1911 Alf Langford 6 0 0 Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom W KO
55 7/20/1911 George Rodel 4 0 0 Liverpool Stadium, Pudsey Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom W KO
54 5/25/1911 Andrew Dixon 1 1 0 Cirque-Théâtre, Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France W KO
53 4/1/1911 Sam Langford 65 6 18 Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, France D PTS
52 2/25/1911 Charley Harris debut Apollo-Cirque, Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France W KO
51 1/14/1911 Seaman Fred Parsons 0 1 0 Bâtiment Électoral, Geneva, Switzerland W KO
50 11/19/1910 Battling Jim Johnson 6 0 2 Luna Park Skating Rink, Paris, Paris, France W KO
49 10/22/1910 Corporal Sergeant Sunshine 4 5 0 Hippodrome, Paris, Paris, France W KO
48 8/7/1910 Battling Jim Johnson 3 0 1 Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France D PTS
47 7/22/1910 Peter Rice debut Salle de la Pépinière, Paris, Paris, France W KO
46 6/25/1910 Joe Grim 16 28 5 Hippodrome, Paris, Paris, France W TKO
45 4/16/1910 Jim Stewart 13 1 1 Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, France W TKO
44 4/13/1910 Arthur Bennett 1 2 0 Apollo-Cirque, Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France W KO
43 3/25/1910 Herbert Sinnott 16 16 7 Grand-Théâtre, Saint-Etienne, Loire, France W KO
42 2/26/1910 Al Kubiak 13 2 1 Wonderland, Paris, Paris, France W KO
41 2/11/1910 Arthur Bennett 1 1 0 Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium W KO
40 1/27/1910 Fred Drummond 3 9 3 Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, France W KO
39 12/11/1909 Joe Jeannette 24 5 3 Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, Paris, France D PTS
38 7/4/1909 Fred Drummond 2 7 1 Praça de Touros do Campo Pequeno, Lisbon, Portugal W KO
37 6/26/1909 Jim Barry 14 6 2 Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, France W DQ
36 5/30/1909 Bill Harris debut Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France W KO
35 4/24/1909 Fred Drummond 2 5 1 Nouveau Cirque, Orléans, Loiret, France W KO
34 4/17/1909 Joe Jeannette 16 4 3 Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, France L RTD
33 4/9/1909 'Cyclone' Billy Warren 0 2 0 Tivoli Boxing-Hall, Paris, Paris, France W KO
32 2/20/1909 Joe Jeannette 16 3 3 Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, France W PTS
31 2/5/1909 Herbert Sinnott 15 14 3 Salle des Fêtes, Roubaix, Nord, France W KO
30 1/23/1909 Bill Rickard 1 1 0 Folies Bergère, Paris, Paris, France W KO
29 12/18/1908 Fred Drummond 1 4 0 Théâtre de l'Eldorado, Montpellier, Hérault, France D PTS
28 12/17/1908 Fred Drummond 1 4 0 Théâtre de l'Eldorado, Montpellier, Hérault, France N NC
27 11/14/1908 Herbert Sinnott 15 13 3 Hippodrome, Paris, Paris, France W KO
26 9/19/1908 Harry Shearing 2 5 5 Paris, Paris, France W KO
25 7/11/1908 Charlie Wilson 12 2 1 Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium W KO
24 7/1/1908 Georges Rampazzi 1 1 2 Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France W KO
23 5/23/1908 Jewey Smith 4 1 0 Porte Maillot, Paris, Paris, France W KO
22 4/15/1908 Ben Taylor 23 12 3 Hippodrome, Paris, Paris, France W KO
21 2/16/1908 Harry Shearing 2 4 4 Neuilly Bowling Palace, Paris, Paris, France W TKO
20 12/28/1907 Jack Scales 36 14 2 Salle Wagram, Paris, Paris, France W KO
19 10/24/1907 Marc Gaucher 1 0 0 Paris, Paris, France W KO
18 6/3/1907 Ben Taylor 23 10 3 National Sporting Club, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom W KO
17 4/15/1907 Joe Jeannette 7 3 2 Lyric Hall, New York, New York, USA L NWS
16 2/28/1907 Denver Ed Martin 15 6 0 Sacramento, California, USA W KO
15 11/29/1906 Sailor Matt Turner 1 0 0 Farragut Theater, Vallejo, California, USA W KO
14 2/24/1906 Tornado Smith debut Bakersfield, California, USA W KO
13 1/25/1906 Denver Ed Martin 15 5 0 San Diego, California, USA W KO
12 8/12/1904 Denver Ed Martin 13 4 0 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA L PTS
11 4/22/1904 Jack Johnson 16 3 6 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA L KO
10 10/27/1903 Jack Johnson 14 3 6 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA L PTS
9 9/15/1903 Denver Ed Martin 13 3 0 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA W KO
8 5/5/1903 Kid Carter 36 18 8 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA W KO
7 2/26/1903 Jack Johnson 11 3 6 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA L PTS
6 1/31/1903 Jack Kid Lavalle 3 4 1 Oxnard, California, USA W KO
5 1/6/1903 Jim 'Toothpick' Kelly 3 0 0 Hazard's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA W KO
4 11/1/1902 Fred Russell 15 7 3 Auditorium, Oxnard, California, USA W KO
3 10/9/1902 Jack Fogarty 3 5 0 Oxnard, California, USA W KO
2 6/19/1902 Herb McKell debut Pioneer Hall, Oxnard, California, USA W KO
1 4/12/1902 George Sullivan debut Auditorium, Oxnard, California, USA W KO

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sam McVey – Boxer". BoxRec.com. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  2. ^ "Sam McVea (Samuel E. MacVea) (Samuel E. McVey)". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  3. ^ Hewitt, Mark (2005). Catch wrestling: a wild and wooly look at the early days of pro wrestling in America. Paladin Press.
  4. ^ "Jeanette Beats McVey" (PDF). The New York Times. 18 April 1909.
  5. ^ The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Thursday 3 October 1912 pg 4.
  6. ^ "Sam McVey". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
  7. ^ "Sam McVey". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jack Johnson (Vacated)
World Colored Heavyweight Champion
February 20, 1909 – April 17, 1909
Succeeded by
Larry Gains
Preceded by
Sam Langford
World Colored Heavyweight Champion
December 26, 1911 – April 8, 1912
Succeeded by
Sam Langford