John Henry Lewis

John Henry Lewis

John Henry Lewis (1914-1974) was a U.S. boxer who was world Light Heavyweight champion.

One interesting fact of his is that Lewis was managed by a gambler and racketeer of the 1930s: Gus Greenlee, a man who became very important to baseball's Negro Leagues as a commissioner and team owner.

Professional career

Lewis began his professional career in 1928, beating "Buster Grant" by a four round decision, in Phoenix. His first 14 fights were in that city, until 1931, when he travelled to Prescott, to fight Sam Terrain on March 11. This proved to be a tragic event, as Terrain died as a consequence of the blows received during Lewis' fourth round knockout win.

Lewis had nine more wins in a row before facing future world Heavyweight champion, "The Cinderella Man", James J. Braddock. He defeated Braddock in a ten round decision, but, after two more wins, on November 16, 1932, he lost for the first time to fellow world Light Heavyweight champion Maxie Rosenbloom, by a decision in ten.

Lewis defeated four more men before winning three and withdrawing one, before getting a chance at avenging his loss to Rosenbloom in 1933, and he won a 10 round decision in their rematch, and again in their third match.

In 1934, Lewis had 12 bouts, going 9-1-2 in that period. He tried to win the "Pacific Coast" Light Heavyweight title, drawing with Young Firpo in ten rounds, and he lost in a rematch with Braddock, by decision.

In 1935, Lewis won nine bouts in a row, including one by decision over world Light Heavyweight champion Bob Olin. Ironically, after he lost two bouts in a row, he was given a chance at the world's Light Heavyweight championship by Olin. On Halloween night of that year, in St. Louis, Lewis became the world's Light Heavyweight champion by outpointing Olin over 15 rounds.

In his next fight, he lost to Rosembloom in a 10 round, non-title bout by decision.

In 1936, Lewis had 20 fights, going 18-1-1 that year, but only two of those were world championship bouts. He retained his belt against Jock McAvoy and Len Harvey, the latter of which was defeated at London. Lewis won both title defenses by decision in 15 rounds.

1937 was another busy year for the world's Light Heavyweight champion, with 20 more fights and a record of 18-2 that year. Standing out that year were his two fights against Al Ettore, of which in the first, fought over ten rounds, Ettore was declared the winner but the Pennsylvania boxing commission changed the official decision to a draw, and in the second, he beat Ettore by a decision in 15, following with his eight round knockout of Olin to defend the title, and his non-title win over Johnny Risko.

In 1938, he fought 12 times, going undefeated, retaining the title against Emilio Martinez by a knockout in round four, and against Al Gainer, by decision in 15.

Lewis tried, in 1939, to become the first Light Heavyweight champion in boxing history to go up in weight and conquer the world's Heavyweight championship. On January 25, he was faced with world Heavyweight champion Joe Louis, who knocked him out in the first round in New York. This would turn out to be Lewis' last fight, even through he didn't know it at the time.

His next fight would have been a rematch with Len Harvey in London, but Lewis did not pass the medical tests before the fight, and the fight was cancelled, so in June of that year, he announced his retirement.

Lewis had a record of 103 wins, 9 losses and 6 draws, with 60 wins by knockout. His 60 knockout wins makes him a member of boxing's exclusive club of winners by knockout 50 or more times.

Lewis is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

External links



Lewis had two brothers who boxed professionally; Christy and Paul. Christy was his older brother by less than a year, and was a clubfighter; often appearing on his brother's undercards. Paul was a Middleweight who was a main event attraction in Northern California during the mid-1940s, primarily in Oakland.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Henry Lewis — (* 1. Mai 1914 in Los Angeles; † 18. Mai 1974) war ein US amerikanischer Boxer. Er war der erste schwarze Weltmeister im Halbschwergewicht. Karriere Sein Urgroßonkel war der legendäre Tom Molineaux der als erster Schwarzer gegen den englischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John H. Lewis — John Henry Lewis (July 21, 1830 January 6, 1929) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.Born near Ithaca, New York, Lewis moved to Illinois in 1836 with his parents, who settled on a farm in Fulton County, near Ellisville.He attended the rural… …   Wikipedia

  • John Wood Lewis — (* 1. Februar 1801 im Spartanburg County, South Carolina; † 11. Juli 1865 in Canton, Cherokee County, Georgia) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Er vertrat den Staat Georgia während des Sezessionskrieges als Senator im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Bower Lewis — Infobox Politician name = John Bower Lewis caption = John Bower Leiws birth date =birth date|1817|3|18|mf=y birth place = Paris, France death date = death date and age|1874|1|24|1817|3|18|mf=y death place = office = 2nd Mayor of Bytown 1st Mayor… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Lewis Stimson — Henry Stimson avant la conférence de Potsdam le 16 août 1945 Henry Lewis Stimson (21 septembre 1867, 20 octobre 1950) était un politicien des États Unis. Il fut gouverneur général des Philippines (1927 à 1929), puis secrétaire d État sous l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Henry (folklore) — John Henry is an American folk hero, who has been the subject of numerous songs, stories, plays, and novels. Like other Big Men such as Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and Iron John, John Henry also served as a mythical representation of a group within… …   Wikipedia

  • John Henry Brown — (October 29, 1820 ndash;May 31, 1895) was an American historian, journalist, author, military leader, and a politician who served as a state legislator and as mayor of both Dallas and Galveston, Texas. Brown was among the first to publish… …   Wikipedia

  • John Henry Dearle — or J. H. Dearle (1860 1932) was a British textile and stained glass designer trained by Pre Raphaelite artist and craftsman William Morris. Dearle designed many of the later wallpapers and textiles released by Morris Co., and contributed… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Lewis Benning — Henry Lewis Benning, (* 2. April 1814 im Columbia County, Georgia; † 10. Juli 1875 in Columbus, Georgia), war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und konföderierter General im Bürgerkrieg. Benning wurde auf der Plantage seine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Henry Newman — Porträt von Kardinal Newman Maler: Sir John Everett Millais John Henry Kardinal Newman CO (* 21. Februar 1801 in London; † 11. August 1890 in Edgbaston) war Pfarrer an der Universit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.