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Beau Jack

Titles: Lightweight champion 1942-1943
Record: 83-24-5 

Born: May 1, 1921 in Augusta, Georgia (USA)   

Years active: 1940-1955
Nickname: None

Beau Jack began his working life by shining shoes at the famous Augusta
Golf Club. Sadly that is also how he also finished his life, working in a 
Miami hotel shining shoes. Incredibly Jack had grossed 1.5 million dollars 
in his career but it was somehow all squandered away. His ring skills were 
first learned in battle royal's, in which 6 to 10 kids were put into a 
ring (sometimes blindfolded) and punched each other until only one was 
left standing. Beau Jack began to box professionally in 1940 after he was
moved north by famous golfer Bobby Jones to Massachusetts and learned under
the guidance of veteran trainer Syd Bell. His all action style made him a 
instant attraction with the fans, especially in New York City. By the time 
his career was over he had fought champions like Henry Armstrong, Fritzie 
Zivic, Johnny Bratton, Sammy Angott, Lew Jenkins, Juan Zurita and Ike 
Williams. In his fabulous career he topped the bill of the famous Madison 
Square Garden 21 times, a record to this day. He was not successful to 
begin with as he was matched very tough, after his first 6 fights Jack 
sported a rather bad record of 2 wins 3 losses and 1 draw. Jack would get 
much better and as his fighting improved he moved from the Massachusetts
area as his skills carried him to New York City. In late 1942 at the age 
of 21 he won part recognition  of the world lightweight title from New 
York State by knocking out Tippy Larkin with a perfectly placed right
uppercut in the third round. After this fabulous win he would defeat the 
great Fritzie Zivic in Madison Square Garden twice in a row with a 10 and 
12 round decision wins. Both fights offered action but Jack was the obvious 
victor in both bouts. Wanting to both prove himself and earn some money 
Jack took on and defeated highly touted Henry Armstrong in a 10 round
war. This was a ugly fight that saw a lot of infighting. Jack to his credit 
pushed, shoved and wrestled his way to the victory. Still it was less than 
five months after he won the title from Larkin that Beau would loose that 
title when Bob Montgomery defeated him. It was the first of a 4 bout
saga with Bob Montgomery that were all action. In the first bout Jack lost 
a 15 round decision to Montgomery after he had Montgomery seriously hurt 
in the first round. Montgomery regained control over the mid rounds and 
jabbed his way to a victory, over the fading Jack. The end of the fight 
saw a Jack whose eyes were almost swollen shut and his lip terribly 
disfigured. The rematch with Montgomery again went 15 rounds but this time 
Jack was the crisper fighter and his offensive style won the judges favor 
and his crown back. Unlike the first fight Jack did not tire in the later 
rounds. A year later in 1944 Jack would again loose the title to Montgomery 
over 15 rounds. In front of 19,006 people the two men wrestled and mauled 
each other in a pure grudge match. It was the most grueling of the 4 fight 
series for both fighters. Montgomery forced his way past the jabs of Jack 
to tear down the midsection of Jack. Again Jack faded late and Montgomery 
won a very close decision. The final meeting saw Jack win the least 
spectacular of the 4 fights with a 10 round decision win. After the last 
Montgomery fight Jack took a year off from boxing before returning. In 
1946 Jack defeated Sammy Angott with a 7th round TKO to get himself back 
into the championship fray. It would be 2 years before he got a title shot 
however and by this time it looked like he was not the same fighter. The 
fights with Montgomery had taken a lot out of Jack. His days as a 
championship contender ended when he was defeated by Ike Williams in 1948 
for the lightweight title. Williams was too fast and too strong for Jack 
and dominated every round. Still Jack fought on for 7 years winning more
than he lost. But when he stepped up in competition he lost. Good wins 
over Lew Jenkins and a draw with Ike Williams were offset by losses to 
Kid Gavilan, Frankie Fernandez, and Gil Turner. In retirement at the age
of 34 Jack went back to shining shoes and also trained kids at the famous 
Fifth Street Gym in Miami.