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Rare 1915 JESS WILLARD BOXING 101 RANCH FULL PENNANT STUNNING DISPLAY GORGEOUS
Absolutely stunning and gorgeous pennant that is rarely seen or offered for public sale...World heavyweight boxing champion from 1915 to 1919, Jess Willard was born on December 29, 1881, and raised in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, but became a pugilist in Oklahoma, where his first eight professional bouts were staged. Willard gained, and lost, the title in two of the most dramatic and controversial heavyweight fights ever. In April 1915 he knocked out Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion, in a grueling, twenty-six-round contest in Havana, Cuba, winning acclaim from the mainstream public for restoring the title to the white race. In July 1919 Willard relinquished the championship to Jack Dempsey in the "Massacre at Toledo" when, having absorbed probably the most frightful pummeling ever administered in a heavyweight-title fight, he was unable to leave his corner for the fourth round. At six feet, six inches the tallest heavyweight champion, Willard was nicknamed "the Pottawatomie Giant."
Willard derived considerable financial benefit from the title by appearing in circuses and Wild West shows, including the Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch Wild West Show, but defended the crown only once before meeting Dempsey. Willard's failure to enlist during World War I displeased many. He attempted a comeback four years after losing the title but retired when Luis Firpo knocked him out. Well into the 1960s Willard charged that Dempsey's gloves were loaded in their 1919 title fight, but few boxing experts believed it. Jess Willard died on December 15, 1968. Offered here is an extremely rare, illustrated pennant of Jess Willard when he was appearing at the 101 Ranch Wild West Show, circa 1915. STUNNING DISPLAY!!