History | Dec 21 2018

On This Day: Harry Wills died in 1958

The life and times of Harry Wills, the fighter that Jack Dempsey never fought
Harry Wills

BIG Harry Wills was a victim of the time in which he boxed. Like many other black heavyweights in the post-Jack Johnson era before World War II, the “Black Panther” found opportunities hard to come by. It is a crying shame that a fighter of his quality was never able to contest a world title bout due to the colour of his skin.

In the mid-1920s, Wills was considered by many as the premier heavyweight in the sport. Nonetheless, although a fight between him and world heavyweight king Jack Dempsey seemed to make sense, illogical racial politics unfortunately ensured that the meeting never materialised.

Register now to keep reading

We're chuffed that you are enjoying our website. To continue reading and to help us to provide the best coverage and a great online experience please take a few moments to register. You'll be able to read more online content and get the latest news via the Daily Jabs newsletter.

For unlimited access to all our award-winning content including exclusive subscriber-only stories and a digital archive of editions back to January 2012 you will need to subscribe

Got an account? Sign in


Boxing News Shop