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  • George Dixon

  • The Short Life of Boxing's First Black World Champion, 1870–1908 (Sport, Culture, and Society)
  • By: Jason Winders
  • Narrated by: Josh Brogadir
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins

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George Dixon

By: Jason Winders
Narrated by: Josh Brogadir
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On September 6, 1892, a diminutive Black prizefighter brutally dispatched an overmatched white hope in the New Orleans Carnival of Champions boxing tournament. That victory sparked celebrations across Black communities nationwide but fostered unease among sporting fans and officials, delaying public acceptance of mixed-race fighting for half a century. This turn echoed the nation’s disintegrating relations between whites and Blacks and foreshadowed America’s embrace of racial segregation.

In this work of sporting and social history we have a biography of Canadian-born, Boston-raised boxer George Dixon (1870–1908), the first Black world champion of any sport and the first Black world boxing champion in any division. George Dixon: The Short Life of Boxing’s First Black World Champion, 1870–1908 chronicles the life of the most consequential Black athlete of the nineteenth century. Yet despite his triumphs, Dixon has been lost to history, overshadowed by Black athletes whose activism against white supremacy far exceeded his own.

George Dixon reveals the story of a man trapped between the white world he served and the Black world that worshipped him. Unable to hold on to his wealth, and battered by his vices, a depleted Dixon was abandoned by his white supporters just as the rising tide of Jim Crow limited both his prospects and the freedom of Blacks nationwide.

The book is published by The University of Arkansas Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

"As good a biography of Dixon and portrait of boxing in that era as one is likely to find." (Thomas Hauser, inductee, International Boxing Hall of Fame)

"This book brings to life the true story of a remarkable sporting trailblazer.” (Christopher Klein, author of Strong Boy)

©2021 The University of Arkansas Press (P)2022 Redwood Audiobooks

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  • Steven Gerweck
  • 22-01-23
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Establishes George Dixon's historical significance

Winders examines the brief life of boxing champion "Little Chocolate" George Dixon. The Canadian born prizefighter earned what would be the equivalent of millions of dollars in today's money during his impressive career, but died without a penny to his name. The author impeccably separates facts from embellishments to establish Dixon's path through overt racism to becoming a world champion. In addition to fighting in over a hundred bouts, Dixon is widely credited with the development of shadowboxing. Without a doubt, this book is the definitive work on an under-appreciated boxer, and substantiates why Dixon is an important figure in sports history.

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