History | Jul 13 2018

On This Day: Tough-as-nails Mickey Walker was born

The incredible career of New Jersey's tenacious 'Toy Bulldog' Mickey Walker
mickey walker
mickey walker

SOME people box for glory, others for the money, but Mickey Walker did it simply because he loved to fight. The Elizabeth, New Jersey man enjoyed drinking and living the high-life nearly as much as brawling in the ring. A true character, he competed in 150 bouts during a career spanning over two decades. His crowning glories came when he secured the World welterweight title in 1922 and the World middleweight strap in 1926. He also fought for the World light-heavyweight title and met some of the top heavyweights of his time.

Nicknamed the “Toy Bulldog” on account of his stocky physique and doggedness, Walker would march into his rivals before unloading bombs with his squat, muscled pistons. He mastered the art of bobbing and weaving away from his opponent’s punches, which was vitally important for a fighter with such a come forward style.

Mickey Walker made his professional debut at the age of 17 in his hometown of Elizabeth. Between 1919 and 1921, he fought over a half a century of bouts, predominantly in the New Jersey area. After winning the majority of these contests, Walker received a shot at Jack Britton’s World welterweight crown in November 1922.The pair had previously met over a year before, with Britton claiming a newspaper decision victory. In their second meeting however, Mickey demonstrated unrelenting aggression to topple his ageing foe over 15 rounds in New York’s Madison Square Garden.