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Jersey Joe Walcott
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Boxer
    (January 31, 1914-February 25, 1994)
    Birth name is Arnold Raymond Cream
    Raised in New Jersey
    World Heavyweight Champion (1951-52)
    Boxing Hall of Fame member (1994)
    Won the heavyweight title at 37
    Career Record 53-18-1
    He lost six heavyweight championship fights, far more than any other fighter (twice to Joe Louis, twice to Ezzard Charles and twice to Rocky Marciano).
    He ruined his early career in the late 1930's when he was hired to spar with then heavyweight contender Louis. He knocked Louis down in the very first round they sparred, and he was fired.
    After defeating Charles for the title (in his third attempt against him) and beating him again in a rematch, his manager claimed that they would only defend the title once a year. They then chose Rocky Marciano for his second (and last) title defense.
    He retired several times, but came out of retirement due to financial problems.
    He was the referee who lost control of Muhammad Ali in his 'phantom punch' long count fight with Sonny Liston.
    He adopted the name of his father's favorite fighter, a middleweight from Jamaica, and added on 'Jersey.'
    He fought professionally for 22 years.
    He was the eldest heavyweight champion prior to George Foreman.
    He actually improved with age, as he developed a shuffling style that confused younger, less experienced opponents.
    He knocked down Louis twice in their first actual fight, but lost in a controversial split decision.
    He was the first of only two men to knocked down Rocky Marciano. He was leading their fight comfortably when Marciano knocked him out in the 13th round.
    After retiring, he acted in 'The Harder They Fall,' a Humphrey Bogart movie based on the life of boxer Primo Carnera. He then quit acting.
    He served for years as the head of the New Jersey Athletic Commission after he retired from boxing.
    He is the patron saint of old fighters who hold onto their dreams.

Credit: Art Gremashlo


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