Biographies & Memoirs

Beau Jack: The Boxing Life of Sidney Walker, Two-Time Lightweight Champion

Beau Jack: The Boxing Life of Sidney Walker, Two-Time Lightweight Champion

Among the great lightweights of the 1940s and 1950s, Boxing Hall of Famer Sidney "Beau Jack" Walker (1921-2000) was virtually orphaned by his parents and eked out a living as a shoeshine boy. He honed his craft fighting battles royale for wealthy white members of the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, eventually receiving financing for his career from club founders. He went on to win two lightweight titles and set numerous records. He was the draw for the highest admission paid for a ringside seat--$100,000--and was named ""Fighter of the Year"" in 1944. Like most black pugilists of his day he struggled against discrimination in the sport. Despite this, he sustained an impressive 18-year professional career--117 fights, 83 wins, 40 by KO. Walker retired from the ring penniless and went back to shining shoes, the money set aside for him by his handlers mysteriously depleted.


Part I. The Early Days

Chapter 1. Roaring Twenties, Racial Tension and Segregation

Chapter 2. Beau’s Early Life

Chapter 3. Battles Royal Bring Opportunity

Chapter 4. Beau Begins Boxing

Chapter 5. A Syndicate Forms

Part II. Media Sensation at “Valley” Arena

Chapter 6. Learning the Ropes

Chapter 7. A Featured Attraction

Part III. Beau Bounces to New York

Chapter 8. Publicity and Training

Chapter 9. Fistic Debut in New York

Chapter 10. Eleven Straight Wins and a Title Fight

Part IV. Claiming the Lightweight Title

Chapter 11. Stolz Stands Between Beau and a Title Bout

Chapter 12. Beau Crowned Lightweight Champion

Chapter 13. Beau’s First Reign

Chapter 14. Montgomery Dethrones Beau

Chapter 15. Beau Regains the Title

Chapter 16. Beau vs. Montgomery III

Part V. Called to Service

Chapter 17. Jack Selects the Army

Chapter 18. The Great “War Bonds Fight”

Chapter 19. 1944 Fighter of the Year

Chapter 20. Beau’s Return as a Welterweight

Part VI. Jack Breaks His Kneecap

Chapter 21. Stopped for the First Time

Chapter 22. Comeback from a Broken Kneecap

Chapter 23. Third Shot at the Lightweight Title

Chapter 24. Beau Seeks Welterweight Title

Chapter 25. Beau’s 27th Appearance Makes Madison Square Garden History

Chapter 26. Tissue Paper Legs

Chapter 27. Reentering the Ring

Part VII. Retirement from the Ring

Chapter 28. Financial Woes

Chapter 29. On His Knees Again

Chapter 30. Beau Jack the Trainer

Chapter 31. Final Days

Chapter 32. An American Hero Passes

Appendix: Boxing Record

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