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Joe Gans

Titles: lightweight champion 1902-1904, 1906-1908

Record: 120-8-10 with 18 no decisions

Born: November 25, 1874 in Baltimore, Maryland (USA)

Years active: 1891-1909

Nickname: The Old Master

Gans was the first African American to capture a world title and won world 
wide recognition for his fluid boxing style. His defense was almost 
flawless and he perfected head movement in the early days of boxing, his 
offense was just as spectacular. Gans also studied his opponents often 
going to their fights to study their styles and flaws, some still claim 
Gans is the best lightweight ever. Gans got his start in boxing by 
participating in battle royals where 6 youths were sent into the ring and 
the last one in the ring after the free for all was the winner. His early 
career his hard to track. Gans began his pro career at 17 and it is 
reported that he only lost 3 of his first 70 bouts and those were shade 
loses to say the least. One of those losses was to the famous Terry McGovern 
was definitley a fixed fight and it caused the state of Illinois to ban 
boxing. Gans did not fight for a world title until his 9th year in the sport 
and had already fought over 100 bouts. The title bout was a strange fight, 
Gans quit in the 12 round of his title bout with Frank Erne when he received 
a bad cut over his eye lid. Some say death threats is what really kept Gans 
on his stool. Any doubts to who was the better fighter was settled when Gans 
knocked out Erne in 1 minute and 40 seconds the next time out and won the 
world title. Over the next six years Gans made 14 title defenses with 
relative ease but making weight began to take it's toll. Gans decided to 
challenge the much bigger Joe Walcott for the welterweight crown in 1904 
and managed to get a draw with his fellow legend. Gans also incredibly 
challenged but lost to Sam Langford who made his name as one the best 
fighters in the heavyweight division! In his 10 defense of the lightweight
title Gans fought toughman Battling Nelson/ On a very hot day after he was 
forced to weigh in minutes before the bout not affording him time to 
replenish himself with fluids. It didn't matter for the first 32 rounds but 
then Gans broke his hand on Nelson's notoriously hard head. The rest of the
fight was all Nelson and Gans took such a pounding to the body he vomited 
over the ropes at one point of the fight. Gans still frustrated his 
challenger with his defensive skills and Nelson was disqualified for hitting 
Gans low repeatedly in the 42nd round. 4 more title defenses followed but 
each was less impressive as weight making difficulties drained him. Finally 
Battling Nelson took the crown from Gans and a rematch saw Gans wining when 
one big punch took him out in the 21st round. Gans fought on until 1909 
before retiring. It was a shame that Gans only lived 1 year of his life not 
fighting. Only 1 year after he retired he died of tuberculosis. When not 
drained from making weight or sick from tuberculosis it is safe to say Gans 
had no peers at his weight in his time or perhaps any other.

Joe Gans

Career record: 120 W, 8 L, 9 D, 18 ND (85 K.O's)


1891

       Dave Armstrong                  Baltimore, Md         KO 12
       Arthur Coates                   Baltimore, Md         KO 22
       Tommy Harden                    Baltimore, Md         KO  7

1892

       George Evans                    Baltimore, Md         KO  3
       Dave Armstrong                  Baltimore, Md         KO  3
       Jack Daly                       Pittsburgh, Pa        KO 11

1893

       Dave Horn                       Baltimore, Md         KO  2
       Bud Brown                       Baltimore, Md         KO 10
       John Ball                       Baltimore, Md         TKO 6

1894                 
 
       Jack McDonald                   Newark, NJ            TKO  7
       Dave Horn                       Baltimore, Md         TKO 11
       Johnny Van Heest                Baltimore, Md         TKO  9

1895

Feb  6 Fred Sweigert                   Baltimore, Md          W 10
Mar  7 Sol English                     Baltimore, Md          W 10
Mar 16 Howard Wilson                   Washington, DC         W 10
Apr  2 Walter Edgerton                 Baltimore, Md         TKO 7
Apr 25 Walter Edgerton                 Baltimore, Md         TKO 6
May  4 Frank Peabody                   Baltimore, Md         KO  3
May 20 Benny Peterson                  Baltimore, Md         KO 17
Jul 15 George Siddons                  Baltimore, Md          D 20
Oct 21 Joe Elliott                     Baltimore, Md         KO  6
Nov 18 Young Griffo                    Baltimore, Md          D 10
Nov 28 George Siddons                  Baltimore, Md         KO  7      

1896

Jan 11 Benny Peterson                  Philadelphia, Pa      KO  3
Jan 17 Joe Eliiott                     Baltimore, Md         KO  7
Jan 28 Howard Wilson                   Baltimore, Md         TKO 8
Feb 22 Jimmy Kennard                   Boston, Ma            KO  5
Jun  8 Jimmy Watson                    Paterson, NJ          KO  9
Jun 29 Tommy Butler                    Brooklyn, NY           W 12 
Aug 20 Jack Williams                   Baltimore, Md         TKO 2
Aug 31 Danny McBride                   Baltimore, Md          D 20
Sep 28 John Ball                       Philadelphia, Pa       W  4
Oct  6 Dal Hawkins                     New York, NY           L 15
Oct 19 Jack Williams                   Baltimore, Md         TKO  2
Nov 12 Jerry Marshall                  Baltimore, Md          W 20
Dec 14 Charles Rochette                San Francisco, Ca     KO 12

1897

Apr  3 Howard Wilson                   New York, NY          KO  9
May 19 Mike Leonard                    San Francisco, Ca      W 20
Aug 30 Isadore Strauss                 Baltimore, Md         KO  5
Sep 21 Young Griffo                    Philadelphia, Pa       D 15
Sep 27 Bobby Dobbs                     Brooklyn, NY           L 20
Nov  6 "Wilmington" Jack Daly          Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Nov 29 Stanton Abbott                  Baltimore, Md         TKO 5

1898

Jan  3 Billy Young                     Baltimore, Md         TKO 2
Jan 17 Frank Garrard                   Cleveland, Oh         TKO 15
Mar 11 Tom Shortell                    Baltimore, Md         KO  6
Apr 11 Young Starlight                 Baltimore, Md         KO  3
May 11 Steve Crosby                    Louisville, Ky         W  6
Jun  3 Joe "Kid" Robinson              Chicago, Il            W  6
Jul  1 Monk Brown                      Baltimore, Md         TKO 6
Aug  8 Billy Ernst                     Brooklyn, NY          TKO 11
Aug 26 Young Smyrna                    Baltimore, Md         TKO 15       
Aug 31 Tom Jackson                     Easton, Pa            KO  3
Sep 26 Herman Miller                   Baltimore, Md         TKO 4
Nov  4 William "Kid" McPartland        New York, NY           W 25
Dec 27 "Wilmington" Jack Daly          New York, NY           W 25

1899

Jan 13 Young Smyrna                    Baltimore, Md         KO  2
Jan 28 Martin Judge                    Toronto, Ont, Can      W 20
Feb  6 Billy Ernst                     Buffalo, NY           W D.Q 10
Apr 14 George "Elbows" McFadden        New York, NY          KOby 23
Jul 24 Jack Dobbs                      Ocean City, NJ        TKO  4
Jul 28 George "Elbows" McFadden        New York, NY           D 25
Sep  1 Eugene Bezenah                  New York, NY          TKO 10
Sep 15 Martin Judge                    Baltimore, Md          W 12
Oct  3 Spider Kelly                    New York, NY           W 25
Oct  7 "Wilmington" Jack Daly          Philadelphia, Pa       ND 6
Oct 11 Martin Judge                    Baltimore, Md          W 20
Oct 31 George "Elbows" McFadden        New York, NY           W 25
Nov 24 Steve Crosby                    Chicago, Il            W  6
Dec 11 Geoge "Kid" Ashe                Cincinnati, Oh         W 15
Dec 22 William "Kid" McPartland        Chicago, Il            D  6

1900

Feb  9 Willliam "Spike" Sullivan       New York, NY          TKO 14
Mar 23 Frank Erne                      New York, NY          TKOby 12
Apr  2 "Chicago" Jack Daly             Philadelphia, Pa      TKO  5
May 25 Dal Hawkins                     New York, NY          KO  2
Jun 26 Barney Furey                    Cincinnati, Oh        KO  9
Jul 10 Young Griffo                    Brooklyn, NY          TKO 8
Jul 12 Whitey Lester                   Baltimore, Md         KO  4
Aug 31 Dal Hawkins                     New York, NY          KO  3
Sep  7 George "Elbows" McFadden        Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Oct  1 George "Elbows" McFadden        Denver, Co             D 10
Oct  6 Joe Youngs                      Denver, Co             W 10
Oct 16 Otto Sieloff                    Denver, Co            KO  9
Oct 19 Spider Kelly                    Denver, Co            KO  8
Nov 16 William "Kid" Parker            Denver, Co            KO  4
Dec 13 Terry McGovern                  Chicago, Il           KOby 2 
                            
1901

Feb 13 "Wilmington" Jack Daly          Baltimore, Md         W D.Q 6
Apr  1 Martin Flaherty                 Baltimore, Md         TKO 4
May 31 Bobby Dobbs                     Baltimore, Md         KO  7
Jul 15 Harry Berger                    Baltimore, Md         ND  6
Jul 15 Jack Donahue                    Baltimore, Md         TKO 2
Jul 15 Kid Thomas                      Baltimore, Md         ND  6
Aug 23 Steve Crosby                    Louisville, Ky        D 20
Sep 20 Steve Crosby                    Baltimore, Md         W D.Q 12
Sep 30 Joe Handler                     Baltimore, Md         KO  1
Oct  4 Dan McConnell                   Baltimore, Md         KO  3
Nov 15 Jack Hanlon                     Baltimore, Md         KO  2
Nov 22 Billy Moore                     Baltimore, Md         KO  3
Dec 13 Bobby Dobbs                     Baltimore, Md         TKO 14
Dec 30 Joe Youngs                      Philadelphia, Pa      TKO 4

1902

Jan  3 Tom Broderick                   Baltimore, Md         KO  6
Jan  6 Eddie Connolly                  Philadelphia, Pa      TKO 5
Feb 17 George "Elbows" McFadden        Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Mar  7 Jack Ryan                       Allentown, Pa         TKO 3
Mar 27 Jack Bennett                    Baltimore, Md         KO  5
May 12 Frank Erne                      Fort Erie, Ont, Can   KO  1
       -Lightweight Championship of the World 
Jun 27 George "Elbows" McFadden        San Francisco, Ca     TKO 3
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Jul 24 Rufus Turner                    Oakland, Ca           KO 15
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Sep 17 Gus Gardner                     Baltimore, Md         KO  5
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Sep 22 Jack Bennett                    Philadelphia, Pa      KO  2
Oct 13 William "Kid" McPartland        Fort Erie, Ont, Can   KO  5
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Oct 14 Dave Holly                      Lancaster, Pa         ND 10
Nov 14 Charley Seiger                  Baltimore, Md         KO 14
Dec 19 Howard Wilson                   Providence, RI        KO  3
Dec 31 Charley Seiger                  Boston, Ma             W 10

1903

Jan  1 Gus Gardner                     New Britain, Ct       W D.Q 11
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Jan 31 Jack Donahue                    Toronto, Ont, Can     ND  6 
Mar 11 Steve Crosby                    Hot Springs, Ar       TKO 11
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Mar 23 Jack Bennett                    Allegheny, Pa         TKO  5
May 13 Tom Tracey                      Portland, Or          TKO  9
May 29 Willie Fitzgerald               San Francisco, Ca     KO 10
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Jul  4 Frank "Buddy" King              Butte, Mt             KO  4
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Oct 18 Joe Grim                        Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Oct 20 Eddie Kennedy                   Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Oct 23 Dave Holly                      Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Nov  2 Jack Blackburn                  Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Dec  7 Dave Holly                      Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Dec  8 Sam Langford                    Boston, Ma             L 15

1904

Jan 12 Willie Fitzgerald               Detroit, Mi            W 10
Jan 19 Clarence Connors                Mount Clemens, Mi     TKO  2
Jan 22 Joe Grim                        Baltimore, Md          W 10
Feb  2 Mike Ward                       Detroit, Mi            W 10
Mar 25 Jack Blackburn                  Baltimore, Md          W 15
Mar 28 Gus Gardner                     Saginaw, Mi            W 10
Apr 21 Sam Bolen                       Baltimore, Md          W 15
May 27 Jewey Cooke                     Baltimore, Md         TKO 8
Jun  3 Kid Griffo (Harry Cohen)        Baltimore, Md         TKO 7
Jun 13 Sammy Smith                     Philadelphia, Pa      TKO 4
Jun 27 Dave Holly                      Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Sep 30 Joe Walcott                     San Francisco, Ca      D 20
Oct 31 Jimmy Britt                     San Francisco, Ca     W D.Q 5

1905

Mar 27 Rufus Turner                    Philadelphia, Pa       ND 6
Sep 15 Mike "Twin" Sullivan            Baltimore, Md          D 15

1906

Jan 19 Mike "Twin" Sullivan            San Francisco, Ca     KO 15
Mar 17 Mike "Twin" Sullvian            Los Angeles, Ca       TKO 10
May 18 Willie Lewis                    New York, NY          ND  6
Jun 15 Harry Lewis                     Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Jun 29 Jack Blackburn                  Philadelphia, Pa      ND  6
Jul 23 Dave Holly                      Seattle, Wa            W 20
Sep  3 Oscar "Battling" Nelson         Goldfield, Nv         W D.Q 42

1907

Jan  1 "Kid Herman" Landfield          Tonopah, Nv           KO  8
Sep  9 Jimmy Britt                     San Francisco, Ca     TKO 6
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Sep 27 George Memsic                   Los Angeles, Ca        W 20
       -Lightweight Championship of the World

1908

Jan  3 Bart Blackburn                  Baltimore, Md         KO  3
Apr  1 Frank "Spike" Robson            Philadelphia, Pa      KO  3
May 14 Rudy Unholz                     San Francisco, Ca     TKO 11
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Jul  4 Oscar "Battling" Nelson         Colma, Ca             KOby 17
       -Lightweight Championship of the World
Sep  9 Oscar "Battling" Nelson         Colma, Ca             KOby 21
       -Lightweight Championship of the World

1909

Mar 12 Jabez White                     New York, NY          ND 10