“The First Black Boxing Champions” in production

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The First Black Boxing Champions: Essays on Fighters of the 1800s to the 1920s has gone into production and will be available this Fall/Winter by McFarland Press. ┬áThe book, edited by Colleen Aycock & Mark Scott, ┬ápresents 15 detailed biographies of some of the first African American and black champions and challengers of the early prize ring. Boxers covered range from Tom Molineaux, a slave who won freedom and fame in the ring in the early 1800s; to Joe Gans, the first African American world champion; to the flamboyant Jack Johnson, deemed such a threat to white society that film of his defeat of former champion and “Great White Hope” Jim Jeffries was banned across much of the country.

The book also features a lengthy piece by writer/photographer Chris Cozzone, who spotlights black fighters from WWI and the early ’20s in southern New Mexico and El Paso, namely Thomas “Speedball” Hayden, who rose to stardom fighting out of Columbus, N.M.

Check out more info on Amazon.

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