Friday, June 25, 2010

Old boxing stories

I ran across an old clipping from the Holton Recorder and this guy named Jim Hoy wrote an article called: Jess Willard was the Pottawatomie Giant. According to the story Willard was the World Boxing Champion from 1913 to 1919. “As a fighter, he was variously nicknamed the “Kansas Giant” or the “Pottawatomie Giant, but whether this latter sobriquet came from the county he lived in or from the Indians with whom he traded horses on the reservation in neighboring Jackson County, I don’t know.”

I remember talking to Maynard Potts, who at the time was in his 90s, about Willard. Maynard had a great memory and could tell some great episodes of Potawatomi life.  He said there used to be a store on the southwest side of the reservation and Willard was just starting out in boxing and the Indian boys from around the reservation would go down there and try him out, but would always lose. This was a funny story.

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