History

On This Day: Jersey Joe Walcott becomes the oldest man in history to win the world heavyweight title with a sumptuous one-punch KO

Ezzard Charles vs Jersey Joe Walcott
Jersey Joe Walcott reigns supreme at 37 in his fifth attempt to win the heavyweight championship

JERSEY JOE WALCOTT w ko 7 EZZARD CHARLES
July 18, 1951; Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA
JERSEY JOE WALCOTT had lost four times in bids for the world heavyweight title before he strolled over to Ezzard Charles in the seventh round of their third meeting and uncorked one of the finest left hooks you will ever see. Fifth time lucky: Charles slid down Walcott’s leg like drool before being counted out. Jersey Joe – who had also lost twice to Joe Louis – became the oldest man to win the heavyweight title at 37-and-a-half. It was a record that stood until 45-year-old George Foreman bounced Michael Moorer off the canvas 43 years later.

DID YOU KNOW? Despite Walcott’s win, the British Boxing Board of Control recognised Joe Louis as the world champion on the strength of his win over Lee Savold (who had defeated Bruce Woodcock in White City to win that British version of the title).

WATCH OUT FOR: The finish. It’s just as good as the more famous one-punch KO courtesy of Rocky Marciano that ended Walcott’s reign.

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