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Ezzard Charles Should Be In Georgia Sports Hall Of Fame

By Amanda Smith

Legendary boxing great Ezzard Charles is ranked #13 of the 80 best fighters in all weight classes of the past 80 years in Ring Magazine, is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York, and retired with a record 96-25-1.  However, he has yet to be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, despite the fact that he was born in Lawrenceville.

 

Charles was a clever boxer with a hard punch who had the misfortune of following wildly-popular Joe Louis as heavyweight champion.  This caused him to be undervalued at the time.


Born in Lawrenceville, GA. on July 7, 1921, Charles never weighed more than 200 pounds, but many of his early fights were against the world's top middleweight and light heavyweight champions.  In fact, he won the 1939 AAU National middleweight title before turning pro in 1940.


After military service during World War II, Charles defeated Hall of Famer Archie Moore and avenged losses to Lloyd Marshal and Jimmy Bivins to earn a  No.2 ranking at light in 1946.  He fought five light heavyweight champions, beating four of them, but never got a crack at the title

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Charles finally won the vacant NBA heavyweight title by defeating Jersey Joe Walcott in 1949.  He earned worldwide recognition as heavyweight king the next year by decisioning Joe Louis.  After three successful defenses of the undisputed crown, he lost the title in a third battle with Walcott.


After Walcott lost to Rocky Marciano, Charles unsuccessfully challenged Marciano in two unforgettable fights, losing both by decision.


Ezzard Charles died on May 27, 1975 in Chicago, Illinois.

 

You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42

 

 

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