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Arnold Raymond Cream (January 31, 1914 – February 25, 1994), best known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1930 to 1953. He held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952, and broke the record for the oldest man to win the title, at the age of 37. That record would eventually be broken in 1994 by 45-year-old George Foreman.

Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Walcott Robert Culp Cain's Hundred 1962.jpg
Walcott (left) with Robert Culp in Cain's Hundred, 1962
Statistics
Real name Arnold Raymond Cream
Nickname(s) Jersey Joe
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Pennsauken, New Jersey, U.S.
Died February 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 71
Wins 51
Wins by KO 32
Losses 18
Draws 2

After retiring from boxing, Walcott did some acting, playing small parts in a few movies and television shows. He also refereed several boxing matches, but after the controversial ending to the second fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, Walcott was not asked to referee again. From 1971 to 1974, Walcott held the elected position of Sheriff of Camden County, New Jersey, the first African-American to do so. From 1975 to 1984, he was the chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Walcott was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey. His father was an immigrant from St. Thomas, Danish West Indies. His mother was from Jordantown, New Jersey. Walcott was only 15 years old when his father died. He quit school and worked in a soup factory to support his mother and 11 younger brothers and sisters. He also began training as a boxer. He took the name of his boxing idol, Joe Walcott, a welterweight champion from Barbados. He added "Jersey" to distinguish himself and show where he was from.

Boxing careerEdit

He debuted as a professional boxer on September 9, 1930, fighting Cowboy Wallace and winning by a knockout in round one. After five straight knockout wins, in 1933, he lost for the first time, beaten on points by Henry Wilson in Philadelphia.

He built a record of 45 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw before challenging for the world title for the first time. Walcott lost early bouts against world-class competition. He lost a pair of fights to Tiger Jack Fox and was knocked out by contender Abe Simon. But that would change in 1945 when Walcott beat top heavyweights such as Joe Baksi, Lee Q. Murray, Curtis Sheppard and Jimmy Bivins. He closed out 1946 with a pair of losses to former light heavyweight champ Joey Maxim and heavyweight contender Elmer Ray, but promptly avenged those defeats in 1947.

On December 5, 1947, he fought Joe Louis, at thirty three years of age breaking the record as the oldest man to fight for the world heavyweight title. Despite dropping Louis in round one, and again in round four, he lost a 15-round split decision. Most ringside observers and boxing writers felt Walcott deserved the win; a debate ensued, and sportswriters carried the topic throughout America. The lone official to vote for Walcott, referee Ruby Goldstein, was cast as a hero. Letters and telegrams poured in to the Goldstein household, praising his judgment. There was talk of an investigation being assembled for rule revisions in judging. Louis went into seclusion for a couple of days, then quieted dissent with the following: "I know Ruby. He calls them as he sees them and that should be good enough for anybody."[1] What controversy remained, was the kind that builds the gate, and Jersey Joe was rightfully granted a rematch on June 25, 1948. Though dropped again, this time in the 3rd, Louis prevailed by a knockout in round 11.

June 22 of 1949, Walcott got another chance to become world heavyweight champion, when he and Ezzard Charles met for the title left vacant by Louis. However, Charles prevailed, winning by decision in 15 rounds. Walcott, disappointed but eager to see his dream of being a champion come true, went on, and in 1950, he won four of his five bouts, including a three-round knockout of future world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson.

On March 7, 1951, he and Charles fought for a second time and again Charles won a 15-round decision to retain his world title. But on July 18, he joined a handful of boxers who claimed the world title in their fifth try, when he knocked out Charles in seven rounds in Pittsburgh, to finally become world heavyweight champion, at the relatively old age of 37.[2] This made him the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight crown (a distinction he would hold until George Foreman won the title at age 45 in 1994).

Walcott retained the title with a 15-round decision victory against arch-enemy Charles. On September 23, 1952, he defended his title for the second time. His opponent was the undefeated Rocky Marciano. In the first round Marciano was knocked down for the first time in his career, with a left hook from Walcott. Walcott was clearly ahead in the scoring and Marciano needed a knockout to win, according to two of the three official scorecards. In the thirteenth round with Marciano pressuring Walcott against the ropes, both threw simultaneous right hands. Marciano landed his punch first on Walcott´s jaw in what is considered one of the hardest punches thrown in boxing history. Walcott collapsed with his arm hanging over the ropes then fell to the canvas where he was counted out. There was a rematch in Chicago, on May 15, 1953, and the second time around, Walcott was again defeated by Marciano by a knockout, this time in the first round.

Life after boxingEdit

Arnold "Jersey Joe Walcott" Cream[3][4]
Sheriff of Camden County, New Jersey
In office
1971[4] – 1974[4]
Preceded by Martin Segal[4]
Succeeded by Joseph W. Coyle[4]
Personal details
Born (1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Merchantville, New Jersey
Died February 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 80)
Camden, New Jersey
Resting place Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery
Pennsauken, New Jersey
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Camden, New Jersey
Occupation Boxer

Walcott did not go away from the celebrity scene after boxing. In 1956, he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer in the boxing drama The Harder They Fall. In 1963, he tried professional wrestling, losing to Lou Thesz. Thesz pinned Walcott in the fifth round, but has stated that Walcott knocked him (Thesz) down and most likely out in that fifth round. As he fell to the floor, he relied on instinct, grabbing Walcott's knees, taking him down with him and stretching him out for the pin.

In 1965, Walcott refereed the controversial world heavyweight championship rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Walcott lost the count as Ali circled around a floored Liston and Walcott tried to get him back to a neutral corner. Then Walcott looked outside the ring (presumably to the ringside count keeper) as Ali and Liston went at each other before Walcott instructed them to keep on fighting, then Walcott approached the fighters and abruptly stopped the fight. Walcott was never again appointed as a referee after this bout.

Political careerEdit

After retiring, Walcott worked for the Camden County corrections department.[5] In 1968, he ran for Sheriff of Camden County, New Jersey but lost in the Democratic primary to Spencer H. Smith, Jr.[3][6] That same year he was named director of community relations for Camden.[5]

In 1971, he ran again for Camden County Sheriff. He defeated Republican William Strang in the general election.[5] He was the first African-American to serve as Sheriff in Camden County.[7]

He served as chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission from 1975 until 1984, when he stepped down at the mandatory retirement age of 70. Walcott was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Partial filmographyEdit

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
71 fights 51 wins 18 losses
By knockout 32 6
By decision 18 12
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
71 Loss 51–18–2   Rocky Marciano KO 1 (15), 2:25 May 15, 1953   Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. For The Ring and world heavyweight titles
70 Loss 51–17–2   Rocky Marciano KO 13 (15), 0:43 Sep 23, 1952   Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Lost The Ring and world heavyweight titles
69 Win 51–16–2   Ezzard Charles UD 15 Jun 5, 1952   Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained The Ring and world heavyweight titles
68 Win 50–16–2   Ezzard Charles KO 7 (15), 0:55 Jul 18, 1951   Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Won NBA, The Ring and world heavyweight titles
67 Loss 49–16–2   Ezzard Charles UD 15 Mar 7, 1951   Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S. For NBA, The Ring and world heavyweight titles
66 Loss 49–15–2   Rex Layne UD 10 Nov 24, 1950   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
65 Win 49–14–2   Hein ten Hoff UD 10 May 28, 1950   Rhein-Neckar-Stadion, Mannheim, West Germany
64 Win 48–14–2   Johnny Shkor KO 1 (10), 1:34 Mar 13, 1950   Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
63 Win 47–14–2   Omelio Agramonte TKO 7 (10), 2:11 Mar 3, 1950   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
62 Win 46–14–2   Harold Johnson KO 3 (10), 1:03 Feb 8, 1950   Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
61 Win 45–14–2   Olle Tandberg TKO 5 (12), 2:30 Aug 14, 1949   Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden
60 Loss 44–14–2   Ezzard Charles UD 15 Jun 22, 1949   Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. For vacant NBA, The Ring, and world heavyweight titles
59 Loss 44–13–2   Joe Louis KO 11 (15) Jun 25, 1948   Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York, U.S. For The Ring and world heavyweight titles
58 Loss 44–12–2   Joe Louis SD 15 Dec 5, 1947   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. For The Ring and world heavyweight titles
57 Win 44–11–2   Joey Maxim SD 10 Jun 23, 1947   Gilmore Field, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
56 Win 43–11–2   Elmer Ray MD 10 Mar 4, 1947   Burdine Stadium, Miami, Florida, U.S.
55 Win 42–11–2   Joey Maxim MD 10 Jan 6, 1947   Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
54 Loss 41–11–2   Elmer Ray SD 10 Nov 15, 1946   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
53 Loss 41–10–2   Joey Maxim PTS 10 Aug 28, 1946   Public Service Ballpark, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
52 Win 41–9–2   Tommy Gómez TKO 3 (10) Aug 16, 1946   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
51 Win 40–9–2   Lee Oma UD 10 May 24, 1946   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
50 Win 39–9–2   Al Blake TKO 4 (10) Mar 20, 1946   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
49 Win 38–9–2   Jimmy Bivins SD 10 Feb 25, 1946   Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
48 Win 37–9–2   Johnny Allen KO 3 (10) Jan 30, 1946   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
47 Win 36–9–2   Curtis Sheppard KO 10 (10) Dec 10, 1945   Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
46 Win 35–9–2   Lee Q. Murray DQ 9 (10) Nov 12, 1945   Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. Murray disqualified for inactivity
45 Win 34–9–2   Steve Dudas TKO 5 (10), 1:50 Oct 23, 1945   Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
44 Win 33–9–2   Johnny Denson KO 2 (10), 1:06 Sep 20, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
43 Win 32–9–2   Joe Baksi PTS 10 Aug 2, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
42 Win 31–9–2   Johnny Allen PTS 8 Mar 15, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
41 Win 30–9–2   Austin Johnson PTS 6 Feb 22, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
40 Loss 29–9–2   Johnny Allen PTS 8 Jan 25, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
39 Win 29–8–2   Jackie Saunders TKO 2 (8) Jan 11, 1945   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
38 Win 28–8–2   Ellis Singleton KO 3 (8) Jun 28, 1944   Batesville AC, Haddonfield, New Jersey, U.S.
37 Win 27–8–2   Felix Del Paoli PTS 8 Jun 7, 1944   Batesville AC, Haddonfield, New Jersey, U.S.
36 Loss 26–8–2   Abe Simon KO 6 (8), 2:32 Feb 12, 1940   Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
35 Win 26–7–2   Tiger Red Lewis TKO 6 (8) Jan 19, 1940   Cambria AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
34 Win 25–7–2   Curtis Sheppard PTS 8 Nov 18, 1939   Rockland Palace, New York City, New York, U.S.
33 Win 24–7–2   Al Boros PTS 8 Aug 14, 1939   Meadowbrook Bowl, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
32 Win 23–7–2   Bob Tow PTS 8 Dec 23, 1938   114th Infantry Regiment Armory, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
31 Loss 22–7–2   Roy Lazer PTS 8 Jun 14, 1938   Fairview Arena, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
30 Loss 22–6–2   Tiger Jack Fox PTS 10 May 10, 1938   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
29 Win 22–5–2   Lorenzo Pack KO 4 (8) Apr 12, 1938   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
28 Win 21–5–2   Art Sykes KO 4 (8) Mar 25, 1938   Cambria AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
27 Win 20–5–2   Jim Whitest PTS 8 Jan 20, 1938   Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
26 Win 19–5–2   Freddie Fiducia PTS 8 Jan 10, 1938   Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
25 Loss 18–5–2   George Brothers PTS 8 Oct 9, 1937   Rockland Palace, New York City, New York, U.S.
24 Win 18–4–2   Elmer Ray KO 3 (6), 0:43 Sep 25, 1937   Rockland Palace, New York City, New York, U.S.
23 Win 17–4–2   Joe Lipps KO 2 (8) Sep 3, 1937   Garden Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
22 Loss 16–4–2   Tiger Jack Fox KO 8 (10), 2:24 May 22, 1937   Rockland Palace, New York City, New York, U.S.
21 Loss 16–3–2   Billy Ketchell PTS 10 Sep 1, 1936   Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey
20 Win 16–2–2   Carmen Passarella PTS 8 Aug 1, 1936   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
19 Draw 15–2–2   Billy Ketchell PTS 10 Jul 14, 1936   Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, U.S.
18 Win 15–2–1   Phil Johnson TKO 3 (6), 1:12 Jun 22, 1936   Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
17 Win 14–2–1   Louis LePage KO 3 (6), 1:06 Jun 16, 1936   Coney Island Velodrome, New York City, New York, U.S.
16 Draw 13–2–1   Billy Ketchell PTS 10 Jun 4, 1936   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
15 Win 13–2   Joe Colucci KO 4 (10) Apr 28, 1936   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
14 Win 12–2   Willie Reddish PTS 8 Mar 16, 1936   Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
13 Loss 11–2   Al Ettore KO 8 (10), 1:18 Jan 21, 1936   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
12 Win 11–1   Roxie Allen KO 8 (8), 1:06 Nov 26, 1935   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Win 10–1   Al King KO 1 (8), 1:29 Oct 29, 1935   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
10 Win 9–1   Pat Roland KO 4 (8) Oct 1, 1935   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
9 Win 8–1   Lew Alva KO 1 (8) Aug 27, 1935   Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, U.S.
8 Win 7–1   Al Lang KO 1 (6) May 21, 1935   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S. Exact date unknown
7 Loss 6–1   Henry Taylor PTS 6 Nov 16, 1933   New Broadway AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6 Win 6–0   Henry Taylor TKO 1 (6), 1:16 Jul 28, 1933   Arena, Pennsauken, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Win 5–0   Bob Norris KO 1 (6) May 5, 1933   Camden, New Jersey, U.S. Exact date unknown
4 Win 4–0   Carl Mays KO 2 (6) Apr 20, 1931   Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
3 Win 3–0   Frank Mitchell TKO 4 (6) Oct 24, 1930   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
2 Win 2–0   Jimmy O'Toole TKO 4 (6) Oct 10, 1930   Convention Hall, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
1 Win 1–0   Eddie Wallace KO 1 (6) Sep 9, 1930   Ice Arena, Vineland, New Jersey, U.S. Professional debut

HonorsEdit

In 2013, Walcott was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Goldstein, Ruby (1959). Third Man In The Ring (pre-ISBN First ed.). New York, NY: Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 159–160. 
  2. ^ Left Hook Stops Charles in 7th, Makes Walcott Oldest Champ, 1951, The Milwaukee Journal
  3. ^ a b "Joe Walcott in Primary for Sheriff". AP. June 28, 1968. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "A List Of Camden County's Past Sheriffs". Office of the Sheriff Camden County, New Jersey. Camden County Sheriff's Office. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Former Champ Wins Election". UPI. November 4, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jersey Joe Walcott In Sheriff's Race". AP. April 28, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "It's Sheriff Jersey Joe". The Age. November 11, 1971. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  8. ^ The Star Ledger. section four. page 4. August 24, 2014

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Ezzard Charles
The Ring heavyweight champion
July 18, 1951 – September 23, 1952
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano
World heavyweight champion
July 18, 1951 – September 23, 1952
Records
Previous:
Jess Willard
Oldest world heavyweight champion
July 18, 1951 – November 5, 1994
Next:
George Foreman