View Full Version : Depression-era boxing?

Andrew Dugan
10-09-2005, 10:35 PM
I posted this in the NaNoWriMo forums, and so far nothing's happened. So now I come to you fine people, asking for help. >=)

My novel is probably going to be set during the Great Depression. I know that a big thing back then was boxing. I know a little about it, like names of some of them, but not nearly enough to write an entire story.

So what I need is everything you know about boxing during that time.

Here are a few things that would be helpful:

* names of popular boxers then.
* names of the top contenders.
* brief descriptions of some of the boxers' personalities.
* names of some of the managers.
* names of some of the announcers, if any.
* names of the popular arenas.
* how the ring was then compared to now.
* anything else you can think of.

All of this will be greatly appreciated.

10-09-2005, 10:54 PM
I know nothing about the subject, but I do know Cinderella Man was set during the Depression, and it's about boxing. From what I understand the book is really full of details about the era.

Whenever a movie about a certain historical subject comes out, there's always heaps of articles that appear. You might want to use that to search for info.

10-09-2005, 10:57 PM
Also, the greatest resource on the web, Wikipedia, has some stuff too:


10-09-2005, 11:27 PM
Here is the link to the International Boxing Hall of Fame:


I hope it helps!

10-15-2005, 09:52 PM
My grandfather was a collegiate boxing champion in the early thirties, in Boston. It may be worth noting that in those days, colleges had boxing teams and offered boxing scholarships (my granddad went to MIT on a boxing scholarship). Collegiate boxers were famous then the way major college athletes are now--in the papers, etc.

I don't know whether college boxing teams then operated the way college sports teams do now, i.e., whether future professional champions were recruited from collegiate teams; future Olympic champs were (my granddad was picked for Olympic trials) but it is possible that collegiate and Olympic boxing operated in parallel to professional boxing, rather than as a "feeder" for future professionals.

Also, this probably goes without saying, but remember that boxers were overwhelmingly Irish back then. They were Irish kids raised in hard-working poverty, the children of immigrants, or actual immigrants themselves. My granddad worked for money to help support his family from the age of six years old. His mom was a maid/janitor and his dad a ditch-digger. Class and economic issues were a big part of the picture--as they still are in boxing today.