Sam Langford

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Sam Langford was born on March 4, 1886 in Weymouth Falls, Nova Scotia. He was a world-class boxer who became famously known as “The Boston Tar-Baby”. He fought his first professional bout at age 16 and continued to fight professionally from 1902 to 1923.

 

Sam was a professional boxer who competed across multiple weight classes during his 24-year career. A well-rounded boxer with fierce punching power, Langford often found success against opponents and garnered praise as a fearless competitor. Standing at only 5-foot-7, he often beating much bigger men because of his boxing acumen, resilience and great punching power.

 

He was among a number of great black heavyweights who faced racial barriers and were denied opportunities to fight for a world title because of his race.  This was an era when White champion boxers didn’t want to be seen losing to Black opponents. Though he was crowned heavyweight champion of England, Australia, Canada and Mexico, Langford is considered one of the best fighters never to win a title in the United States.

 

Famed heavyweights Jack Johnson refused to fight Langford a 2nd time for fear he'd lose.  He is quoted stating "I don't want to fight that little smoke.  He's got a chance to win against anyone in the world".

 

Langford fought the last few years of his career with vision problems and ultimately lost his vision completely during a fight later in his career, which ultimately forced his retirement. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, one year before his death.