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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Boxing History 101: The Sad saga of Barbados Joe Walcott

Boxing History 101: The Sad saga of Barbados Joe Walcott

Publish Date: 05/18/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The Sad Saga of Barbados Joe Walcott

TGT Podcast: The Sad saga of Barbados Joe Walcott – The Grueling Truth The Grueling Truth Radio

Joe Walcott (not “Jersey Joe”) terrorized opponents with every bit of force a name like that suggests; many called him the “Barbados Demon”, and that title wasn’t given without reason.

He was an unstoppable force with extraordinary strength.

Walcott faced numerous notable opponents during his 166-fight career, such as Sam Langford and Philadelphia Jack O’Brien (Hall of Fame Heavyweight/Light Heavyweight). Additionally, world light heavyweight champion George Gardner and colored heavyweight champion Frank Childs shared the ring together.

Walcott only towered 5’1″.

He was a puzzle to all but himself – from his appearance and fighting style right down to how great of an individual he became.

Walcott was an unlikely welterweight at 6 feet 1 inch but boasted incredible muscularity, as evidenced by research conducted by Monte D. Cox (National Police Gazette Oct 27, 1894). According to Monte’s findings, Walcott had an extraordinary 18-inch neck circumference and 41-inch chest expansion (National Police Gazette October 27 1894).

Nate Fleischer said it best, calling Walcott an incarnation of Hercules cut in half.” The so-called Barbados Demon was made from solid stone and seemed terrifying to observers.

Imagine such an individual stepping into the ring against towering heavyweights to fight.

Walcott was known for taking aggressive attacks against opponents by leaping hooks at them from above and springing forward so that he could reach them.

But where the line between fiction and reality, genius and insanity really blurs is in Walcott’s unexpected success in the ring.

Walcott was so eccentric (and difficult to comprehend) that he defied logic; standing just two inches taller than Jacob Matlala with only 65″ reach (three inches shorter than featherweight Eugene Criqui), yet managing to defeat Tommy West, Dan Creedon, Mysterious Billy Smith three times (despite outweighing him by 17 pounds), Joe Grim Young Peter Jackson Rube Ferns Joe Choynski held his own with world beaters like Sam Langford and Joe Gans before holding onto his title for three years. before dropping down to featherweight and earning title defence against Mysterious Billy Smith – yet somehow managed all these achievements against an opponent with whom nobody understood or could match up against him!

Walcott achieved an astounding record, boasting 104 wins to 32 losses, with 15 coming due to an accidental gun injury that severely disfigured his right hand.

His fight style would never be the same again.

Walcott, in his prime, was a demon; an adult trapped inside of a child’s body; full of anger and hate for humanity. His aggression would often come out in violent fights against men who dared step into the ring with him.

Walcott’s violence and greatness knew no bounds – unintimidated by anyone, Walcott even issued a challenge against James Jeffries, the heavyweight champion of the world.

Jeffries declined, and that, my friends, is as strange as it can get.

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