Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jersey Joe Walcott
Arnold Raymond Cream (January 31, 1914 - February 25, 1994), better known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the world's record for the oldest man to win the world's Heavyweight title when he earned it at the age of 37.

Boxing Career
He did not go away from the celebrity scene after boxing. In 1956, he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Max Baer in the boxing drama The Harder They Fall. In 1963, he tried wrestling, losing to Lou Thesz. In 1965, he refereed the controversial world heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Walcott lost the count as Ali circled around a floored Liston and Walcott tried to get him back to a neutral corner. Then Walcott looked outside the ring (presumably to the ringside count keeper) as Ali and Liston went at each other before Walcott instructed them to keep on fighting, then Walcott approached the fighters and abruptly stopped the fight. Walcott would never be appointed as a referee after this bout. It should be said, however, that most of the controversy surrounding this fight had nothing to do with Walcott, as this was the famous fight with the "phantom punch".
Walcott became Sheriff of Camden County in 1972 and then chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission in 1975 until 1984, when he stepped down at the mandatory retiremenet age of 70. Walcott was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota.
His record as the oldest man ever to win the world Heavyweight title was broken in 1994 by then 45 year old George Foreman.

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