Nobility in boxing

A world champion, for more than a decade he was a household name, writes Dalrymple.

He had fought hundreds of times, which would now be impossible; even so, he had not suffered from dementia pugilistica before he died.

His widow

was a woman of refinement, not just of manner but of sentiment. She spoke of her husband in terms of unqualified respect, love, and admiration.

Born very poor, he

had raised himself up by means of his career in the ring (he started in fairground booths), but he was highly intelligent, gentlemanly, modest, and cultivated, and did much genuinely charitable work.

He exhibited

none of the crudity—real or assumed for publicity purposes—that is now expected of boxers.

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