Monday, April 28, 2014

Educational -- Inspiring -- Clean -- Thrilling -- Historical -- April 28, 2014

On 25-March-1916, heavyweight champion Jess Willard, the Pottawatomie Giant, defended his title against Frank Moran, the Fighting Dentist at Madison Square Garden.  Willard won in 10 lifeless rounds.  This ad is from the 08-April 1916 Moving Picture World

Willard, a cowboy who didn't start boxing until he was 27, was, at the time he won the title from Jack Johnson in 1915, the oldest (33), tallest (6' 6 1/2") and heaviest (235 pounds) heavyweight champ.  There was some suspicion that Johnson might have thrown the fight, but no firm evidence. 

Willard lost the title to Jack Dempsey in 1919.  After a short retirement, Willard returned to the ring and fought well until 1923. 

After Moran left the ring, he became an actor.  He was a member of Preston Sturges' stock company, appearing in most of his movies. 

From the New York Evening World, 27-March-1916.

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