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
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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.

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