Jersey Joe
Walcott
aka
Arnold Cream




JERSEY JOE WALCOTT, Camden's own..... a million words have been written, by those far more talented than I, so on this page I'm going to post some of the best I've found, along with some newspaper articles rarely seen.

For those not familiar with the story of Jersey Joe Walcott, here is the too-quick version. 

He was born Arnold Raymond Cream on January 31, 1914, outside of Camden NJ. Most texts say he was born in Merchantville, but as Merchantville was a very white town then as now, I would not be surprised if he had been born a stones throw away in Pennsauken or Delaware Townships, both of whom in those days used the Merchantville office. The historically black Matchtown neighborhood is situated along the border of the two townships, just outside of the Borough of Merchantville. His father died when he was 14 years old, at which time he went to work at the Campbell Soup factory in Camden. He turned to professional boxing in 1930 as a lightweight. 

Sources state that he compiled a record of 53-18-1 with 33 knockouts, others state his record was 50-17-1. I would be in no way surprised if he fought many more times than the record shows. 

Jersey Joe struggled for years, and had all but quit the fight game, when a Camden "character" named Felix Bocchicchio took an interest in him. He got Walcott better fights, and a shot at the world title. It took Jersey Joe Walcott four attempts before he finally won the belt, at the age of 37. which he held for only a short time before being knocked out by Rocky Marciano. After a 1953 rematch against Marciano, he hung up his gloves.

After retiring, Walcott remained active in boxing as a referee. He took a stab at professional wrestling in the early 1960s. He also had an acting part in the 1956 film The Harder They Fall.

Jersey Joe Walcott later turned to politics, and was elected to the office of Sheriff of Camden County in 1971, serving for three years.  He also served as the chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. 

Jersey Joe Walcott passed away as a result of diabetes on February 25, 1994 in  Camden, NJ. 


Jersey Joe Walcott

Pro Record: 53-18-1 with 33 wins by knockouts

 

1930
Sep 9	Cowboy Wallace		Vineland, NJ		KO 1
Oct 10	Jimmy O'Toole		Camden, NJ		KO 4
Oct 24	Frankie Matthews	Camden, NJ		KO 4

1931
Apr 20	Carl Mays		Atlantic City		KO 2

1932
Inactive

1933
May 5	Bob Norris		Camden, NJ		KO 1
Jul 28	Henry Taylor		Camden, NJ		KO 1
Nov 16	Henry Taylor		Philadelphia		L 6

1934
Inactive

1935
Jan 1	Al Lang			Camden, NJ		KO 1
Feb 2	Lew Alva		Camden, NJ		KO 3
Oct 1	Pat Roland		Camden, NJ		KO 4
Oct 29	Joe King		Camden, NJ		KO 1
Nov 26	Roxie Allen		Camden, NJ		KO 7

1936
Jan 21	Al Ettore		Camden, NJ		KO by 8
Mar 16	Willie Reddish		Philadelphia		W 10
Apr 28	Joe Colucci		Camden, NJ		KO 4
Jun 16	Lou LaPage		Coney Island, NY	KO 6
Jun 22	Phil Johnson		Philadelphia		KO 3
Jul 14	Billy Ketchell		Camden, NJ		D 10
Aug 1	Young Carmen Passarella	Camden, NJ		W 8
Aug 15	Billy Ketchell		Camden, NJ		W 10
Sep 1	Billy Ketchell		Camden, NJ		L 10

1937
May 22	Tiger Jack Fox		New York		KO by 8
Sep 3	Joe Lipps		Atlantic City		KO 2
Sep 25	Elmer Ray		New York		KO 3
Oct 9	George Brothers 	New York		L 8

1938
Jan 10	Freddie Fiducia		Philadelphia		W 8
Jan 20	Jim Whitest		Philadelphia		W 8
Mar 25	Art Sykes		Philadelphia		KO 4
Apr 12	Lorenzo Pack		Camden, NJ		KO 4
May 10	Tiger Jack Fox		Camden, NJ		L 10
Jun 14	Roy Lazer		Fairview*, NJ		L 10
Dec 23	Bob Tow			Camden, NJ		W 8

1939
Aug 14	Al Boros		Newark, NJ		W 8
Nov 18	Curtis Sheppard		New York		W 8

1940
Jan 19	Tiger Red Lewis		Philadelphia		KO 6
Feb 12	Abe Simon		Newark, NJ		KO by 6

1941
Jun 27	Columbus Grant		Memphis, TN		KO 3

1942-43
Inactive

1944
Jun 7	Felix Del Paoli		Batesville**, NJ		W 8
Jun 28	Ellis Singleton		Batesville**, NJ		KO 3

1945
Jan 11	Jackie Saunders		Camden, NJ		KO 2
Jan 25	Johnny "Skippy" Allen	Camden, NJ		L 8
Feb 22	Austin Johnson		Camden, NJ		W 6
Mar 15	Johnny "Skippy" Allen	Camden, NJ		W 8
Aug 2	Joe Baksi		Camden, NJ		W 10
Sep 20	Johnny Denson		Camden, NJ		KO 2
Oct 23	Steve Dudas		Paterson, NJ		KO 5
Nov 12	Lee Q. Murray		Baltimore		WDQ 9
Dec 10	Curtis Sheppard		Baltimore		KO 10

1946
Jan 30	Johnny "Skippy" Allen	Camden, NJ		KO 3
Feb 25	Jimmy Bivins		Cleveland		W 10
Mar 20	Al Blake		Camden, NJ		KO 4
May 24	Lee Oma			New York		W 10
Aug 16	Tommy Gomez		New York		KO 3
Aug 28	Joey Maxim		Camden, NJ 		L 10
Nov 15	Elmer Ray		New York		L 10

1947
Jan 6	Joey Maxim       	Philadelphia		W 10
Apr 3	Elmer Ray		Miami			W 10
Jun 23	Joey Maxim		Los Angeles		W 10
Dec 5	Joe Louis		New York		L 15
	(For World Heavyweight Title)

1948
Mar 10	Austin Johnson		Chicago			Exh 4
Jun 25	Joe Louis		New York		KO by 11
	(For World Heavyweight Title)
Dec 14	Earl Griffin		Camden, NJ		Exh. 4

1949
Feb 4	Baba Adams		Curacao			Exh
Jun 22	Ezzard Charles		Chicago			L 15
	(For Vacant NBA Heavyweight Title)
Aug 14	Olle Tandberg		Stockholm		KO 5

1950
Feb 8	Harold Johnson		Philadelphia		KO 3
Mar 3	Omelio Agramonte	New York		KO 7
Mar 13	Johnny Shkor		Philadelphia		KO 1
May 28	Hein Ten Hoff		Mannheim, Germany	W 10
Nov 24	Rex Layne		New York		L 10

1951
Mar 7	Ezzard Charles		Detroit			L 15
	(For World Heavyweight Title)
Jul 18	Ezzard Charles		Pittsburgh		KO 7
	(Wins World Heavyweight Title)

1952
Jan 10	Jackie Burke		New Bedford, MA		Exh 5
Jan 12	Jackie Burke		Lewiston, ME		Exh 5
Jan 21	Jackie Burke		Holyoke, MA		Exh 5
Jan 23	Jackie Burke		Portland, ME		Exh 4
Jan 24	Jackie Burke		St. Johns, New Brun.	Exh 5
Jan 25	Jackie Burke		Bangor, ME		Exh 5
Jan 26	Jackie Burke		Watery, ME		Exh 5
Jan 29	Jackie Burke		Lewiston, PA		Exh 5
Feb 1	Jackie Burke		Orlando, FL		Exh 5
Jun 5	Ezzard Charles		Philadelphia		W 15
	(Retains World Heavyweight Title)
Sep 23	Rocky Marciano		Philadelphia		KO by 13
	(Loses World Heavyweight Title)

1953
May 15	Rocky Marciano		Chicago			KO by 1
	(For World Heavyweight Title)

1963
Aug 15 Wrestling: pinned in third round by Lou Thesz at Memphis, TN
* The Fairview fight was held in the Fairview section of Camden NJ
** Batesville was the name of a neighborhood in what is now Cherry Hill NJ,
just outside of Haddonfield, along county road 561, commonly known as the
Haddonfield-Berlin Road. For many years amateur and minor professional
fights were staged there.

 


The best article I've ever seen
on Jersey Joe Walcott

from
East Side Boxing

Time Tunnel: Jersey Joe Walcott; The Long, Long Journey

By B.R. Bearden

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And to climb a mountain that first step is always up. It is the willingness to continue to trudge upward despite pain and fatigue, regardless of heartbreaks and failure, which can mark the difference between the contender and the champion. Yet for one Raymond Arnold Cream, better known by his ring name of Jersey Joe Walcott, the climb to the top didn't run straight up, but rather wound round and round the mountain.

Time and again he would come back from self-imposed retirement for another try at those slopes, which only get steeper with age, and time and again he would fall. Unlike Joe Louis, who was born the same year as Walcott and would reign 11 years at the top, Jersey Joe would spend 22 years on the journey.

Walcott's father died when he was 13 years old, effectively leaving him as the male head of the family. He quit school and took whatever jobs he could find to help his mother, an enormous task to demand of a child. Then one day he walked into Battling Mack's gym in Camden, New Jersey. It wasn't long before he was getting in the ring with the fighters who called the gym home. There was something special about the skinny kid and soon he was fighting for money.

His first pro bout came when he was 16 years old and he won his first 6 recorded fights before suffering a loss. During those early fights he decided he needed a catchier name than Arnold Cream. His father had been born in the British West Indies, and his father's favorite fighter was from the same region, a legendary fighter named Joe Walcott. So, in honor of his father's memory, Arnold decided to change his name to Joe Walcott. And to differentiate himself, he tacked on "Jersey".

Over the next several years Jersey Joe won most of his fights, though there were the occasional losses. He married and started a family, but providing for them wasn't easy. The color barrier was still in existence in many cases, leaving a young, gifted black fighter limited opportunities. Time and again he left boxing in search of work to feed his wife and kids. But it was a reality that the last ones hired when times were good were the black men and the first ones let go when times were bad were those same men. In the ring and out, Joe's race hindered his chance to advance. Still, he soldiered on, and it was said of Walcott that he outlasted the color line, an ageless fighter who transcended two eras of the sport.

Walcott's first great opportunity came about when he met the trainer Jack Blackburn. The veteran handler of fighters took a liking to Joe and began teaching him the tricks of the trade, and soon Walcott was racking up victories.

Then came a real break, a chance so sweet that only when looking back would it be apparent just how great the missed opportunity. Blackburn was contacted by a couple of numbers runners from the midwest, Julian Black of Chicago and John Roxborough of Detroit, and offered the job of training an amateur champion they had interest in. Blackburn agreed as long as they'd take Walcott into their stable of fighters.

Jack told Walcott he wanted him to come along to Chicago. It could be a big break for Jersey Joe; for if the other kid didn't pan out, they would be looking for someone else. "We're gonna take a trip to find out if you're the one," Blackburn told the excited fighter.

But fate stepped in, and the next day Joe was rushed to the hospital with typoid. It took most of a year for him to recover. Blackburn traveled to Chicago without him and was introduced to the young fighter the numbers men wanted developed. His name was Joe Louis.

"If I hadn't gotten sick and been able to meet that man in Chicago, who knows, I could have been the champion before Joe Louis," Walcott would later say.

He struggled on for a couple more years, fighting when he could, working at hard, low paying jobs when he couldn't. It seemed the only Walcott to gain fame in the ring would be the original.

Then a ray of light appeared in what was becoming a gloomy career. The rapidly rising Joe Louis was training to fight former champion Max Schmelling and needed sparring partners. Blackburn contacted Joe and offered him the job. Eager to seize the opportunity, Jersey Joe showed up in camp full of fire and ambition; too much of both. The very first round of his very first day as a sparring partner, Walcott dropped Louis with a left hook (or right cross, depending on the source). His stint as sparring partner began and ended in that round and the disheartened young man returned home.

By 1941 Louis was champion, the most popular champion since Jack Dempsey, but Walcott had missed four more opportunities. In the only four outtings he 'd had against Top Ten ranked fighters, Joe had lost each and every one; to Al Ettore in 1936, Tiger Jack Fox in 1937 and 1938, and to Abe Simon in 1940. Often his losses were the result of being on short call for fights, sometimes having only days to train for top fighters. In between he worked in the Camden shipyards or any other job he could find. How many unlisted fights he fought during those years to put food on the table no one will ever know.

From 1941 to 1945 Walcott fought only 3 times. He was living at the poverty level and boxing had failed to pull him out of the dregs. It appeared the sun had set on his career and there would be no more chances for the 31 year old fighter. But with the end of the war there was a dearth of heavyweights to fill out boxing cards. Local gambler and owner of a sports club, Felix Bocchicchio, heard of Walcott's plight and offered to manage him. At first Walcott refused, saying, "Fighting never got me nothin' before, and all I want now is a steady job so my wife and kids can eat regular. I'm over 30 and just plain tired of it all."

But Bocchicchio bought food for the Walcott family, put coal in the bin, and got Joe's boxing license renewed. Jersey Joe went on the comeback trail and in 1945 he had nine bouts, winning eight. More importantly, he beat three Top Ten ranked fighters; Joe Baski, Lee O. Murray, and Curtis Sheppard.

In 1946 he had an important win over Top Ten Jimmy Bivins and it wasn't long before the well-connected manager had Walcott fighting in Madison Square Garden in a main event against Lee Oma, a name fighter. Walcott took a 10 round decision, then lost to Joey Maxim and Elmer Ray in back-to-back bouts. But in January of 1947 he beat Maxim, then in April he beat Elmer
Ray, and in a third bout with Maxim, Joe won again.

From depression to Madison Square Garden, Walcott's star was rising. Joe Louis needed an opponent and promoter Mike Jacobs recalled how Walcott had dropped Louis during the sparring session eleven years before. He trotted out the story, played it up to the press, and it seemed the match might be at least mildly interesting. Of course, Louis would win, but maybe Walcott would give a better showing than the other "bums of the month". Or so the talk went.

So low was Walcott's stock compared to Louis's, however, that at first the match was scheduled only as an exhibition. But the New York State Athletic Commission declared that any fight over 6 rounds featuring the champion must be for the title. Even so, Walcott was a 1-10 underdog.

Yet in the first round, just as in training camp years before, Walcott suckered Louis into a right hand lead and dropped him with his "sneak" left hook. The crowd was on its feet in disbelief. To prove it wasn't just luck, Jersey Joe dropped Louis again in the fourth round. The champion's timing was thrown off by Walcott's confusing use of a shuffle, called the "Walcott Shuffle", which involved shifting his feet around so that first the left, then the right, were the lead, and pivoting his body to match, making it almost impossible to tell from which side the next punch would come.

Ahead on the cards, baffling Louis at will, Walcott then made a serious mistake. Rather than finishing the fight in the same dominant manner, Jersey Joe decided to coast the final rounds. It was the wrong tactic against so popular a champion. When the bell sounded at the end of the 15th round, everyone in the auditorium, including Louis, thought Walcott was the new champion. Joe Louis was so sure he had lost that he started to leave the ring in defeat while the crowd gave Walcott a booming ovation. But Louis' people kept him in the ring as the scores were read. Referee Ruby Goldstein had voted for Walcott, but the two judges, Frank Forbes and Marty Monroe, cast their votes to the Brown Bomber.

The crowd reacted in outrage, something Louis wasn't used to, but all Walcott could do was cry. It seemed his absolute last opportunity had passed him by. However, the nearness of the thing demanded a rematch, and when Walcott's left hook dropped Louis again, it seemed he had the situation well in hand this time around. By the 11th Louis's left eye was swollen almost shut while Walcott was unmarked. Then Walcott let Louis trap him along the ropes. There was a barrage of punches, the short, deadly kind for which Louis was so well known, and Jersey Joe went down. He was counted out with only 4 seconds remaining in the round. Two tries at the title and two failures and it appeared the aging Walcott had used up all his luck.

Then, to the surprise of almost everyone, Joe Louis announced his retirement. There would be an elimination fight between Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott. Again Joe would get a chance to grab the golden ring. In a good fight against a great fighter, he lost a 15 round decision to Charles and announced his retirement. He was now 35 years old. However, Felix Bocchicchio wasn't as ready to give up on old Joe as Joe himself was, and they took a short vacation to talk over his future. Returning, they issued a press release stating that Jersey Joe had changed his mind and wouldn't retire. Instead, he went to Sweden and beat local favorite Ollie Tandberg. Wishing to quit a winner, Walcott again talked of retirement. But once more, Bocchicchio talked him back into the ring.

Joe produced an excellent third round KO of future Hall of Famer Harold Johnson, but as he had also defeated Harold's father, Phil Johnson, 14 years earlier, it made it more apparent just how long Jersey Joe had been at on the road without making it to the top.

Walcott then lost to Top Ten contender Rex Layne, and again to Ezzard Charles over 15 rounds and the stock options on one Jersey Joe Walcott could be had for pennies.

Yet the gods of boxing weren't finished yet with Joe. Ezzard Charles had defended his title against the tough Rex Layne and then against clever Joey Maxim, as well as a KO of Joe Kahut, and the men behind the champ were looking for a "safe" fight for his next outing. And what could be safer than old Joe Walcott, a man he'd already beaten twice? It was a miscalculation that cost Charles his title, for even though Walcott was now 37 years old, he seemed to be getting better with age.

In the seventh round, Joe's "sneak" left hook once again did him service and Ezzard Charles was knocked out, the victim of what Ezz called, "a sucker punch". Walcott had at last attained the title after a journey of almost a quarter century. In the rematch he held Charles to a 15 round decision and his manager announced that they would only defend the title once a year. Unfortunately, the first defense after Ezzard was a hungry young swarmer named Rocky Marciano. Unlike Walcott, the challenger's journey to the title shot had been straight and undeterred, battering down opponents both good and bad with equal disdain. He was undefeated, and even more, he had no concept of defeat. Still, Walcott held him in little regard, laughing at his crude, though effective, style and declaring, "If I can't beat this bum, take my name out of the record books."

Showing none of his age, and every intention of keeping the title, Walcott boxed and moved like a 28 year old fighter, rather than the 38 year old man he was. In the first round he dropped Marciano with the same unexpected left hook that had dropped Louis several times and knocked Ezzard Charles out. But Marciano was stronger than Charles and younger than Louis. He showed no effect from the punch and the two men gave the fans one of the greatest championship fights in the history of the heavyweight division. Jersey Joe was winning on all three score cards until the 13th round, when he stepped back to the ropes to try to sucker Marciano in. Joe shifted to his left and
began to throw a right hand at the incoming Marciano, but Marciano threw leather at the same time. Rocky's punch arrived first, a murderous right hand that exploded off the champion's jaw.

As one sportswriter at ringside said, "You could see his body quiver with the shock. His lips, cheeks, nose and eyes all seemed to shake loose and run together like blobs of wet mud. Then he sank slowly, painfully, pathetically. When he fluttered to the canvas, he had no more life than a rag doll."

Joe lost his title unconscious on the floor. In the rematch he would be knocked out in the first round and retire permanently from boxing. The crown had been his a mere 14 months of a 22 year career.

Few men ever journey so far and so long to hold a thing of value for such a short time, but perhaps in Walcott the journey was the thing. The opportunities missed, the odds seemingly against him at every turn, it was the persistence of Jersey Joe Walcott that made his short championship a destination worthy of the climb.

 

 


Camden Courier-Post * October 29, 1935

Walcott and King Fight for Title Belt Tonight
Clash at Civic Hall In 8 Round Feature
Light Heavyweight Emblem to Be Given Winner of Bout
MICKEY DUCA VS. ENNO

A belt, emblematic of the light heavyweight championship of South Jersey, will be presented the winner of the "Jersey Joe" Walcott-Al King fight here at the Convention Hall tonight.

Walcott and King are scheduled to appear in the. feature eight-rounder at the Civic Center hall and Promoter Lew McFarland will give the victor a belt bought by the Golden Gate Sporting Club, which is sponsoring the show.

Walcott has yet to be put to the test as his last two opponents ty=here were outclassed. The coffee-colored Merchantville light heavy unquestionably is a great puncher and made a chopping block of Pat "Red" Roland a few weeks ago, the bout being stopped in the fourth round to save the latter from being sent home in a basket. During the outdoor season, Walcott stopped Lew Alva, who was booked as a Spaniard, but who later proved to be a Philadelphian, in one round. 

King Has Good Record

King comes here with a good reputation. According to Promoter MacFarland, King, who hails from Hackettstown, has had 10 professional fights and won all 10, nine over the knockout route and a six-round win over Abie Bain, who several years ago gave Maxie Rosenbloom a real battle at Madison Square Garden when Rosenbloom held the light heavy title.

Kings' nine knockouts, according to Frankie Bunt, his representative, include Billie Prince, Dan Serici, Gene Hudson, Ray Bowers, Bucky Bendetto, Frank Zaveda, Jimmy Smith, Jim Myrick and Bobby ; O'Brien. None 'of the fights lasted over three rounds so King should be a fit opponent for Walcott.

McFarland is certain that the fight will be a "sweetheart" with a belt at stake for the winner.

Julius Lighthiser, who resumed his right name after boxing several bouts under the name of Frankie "Kid" Carlin, has been forced to pull out of the eight-round semi-final de« to an attack of arthritis in his neck. Julius Lighthiser was listed to meet Paul Enno of the Philippine Islands, in a return match, the two having fought a great six-rounder in the last show, but Julius, while training caught a punch on his neck which caused a ligament to cross a nerve and arthritis developed.

Duca Replaces Lightheiser

So Promoter McFarland has signed Mickey Duca of Paulsboro, to act as a substitute for Lighthiser against Enno. Lightheiser beat Enno, who is a club fighter. Duca also is a club fighter and the two kids may steal the thunder of the stars.

Two heavyweights, Al "Peaches" Gray of North Camden, and Jack Houvig, three-letter athlete at Salem High School a few years ago, meet in the main preliminary of six rounds. Both are good punchers and anxious to please as they are making a comeback after several yearg absence from the ring.

In the two preliminary bouts, both six-rounders, Joe Bonomo and Joe Reno, both residents of South Camden, trade punches, while Dan Ryrie of Fairview, and Danny McNichol of Merchantville, deadly rivals, open the show.


Camden Courier-Post - April 24, 1936

CINCINNATI, BOXER, MAKES DEBUT HERE
South Camden Youngster Meets Narcisso In Walcott-Barry Show Next Week

Cincinnati is the name of one of Ohio's fairest cities, but it also is the name of a local aspirant to boxing fame.

Freddy is his first name and he is a resident of South Camden. He is slated to make his professional debut here at the Convention Hall next Tuesday night, facing hard-hitting Al Narcisso, another South Camdenite, in the second bout of six rounds.

"Jersey Joe" Walcott, of Maple Shade, and Donald "Red" Barry, of Washington, D. C., will act as the finalists on the card. The bout is over the 10-round route.

Narcisso is on the spot with Cincinnati. Al was touted highly prior to his pro debut against Joe Reno, but the latter went going away. Cincinnati has been training for several months and Narcisso may run into another storm.

Freddy Lewis, Maple Shade cobble thrower who fought several sensational bouts at the Civic Center hall, comes back to battle Jack Kelly, of Kensington, in the eight round semifinal.

Two other six-rounders are also on the card. Joey Mancuso, of Maple Shade, faces Johnny Viereck of National Park. and Joey Ruggles of South Camden, battles Danny Ryrie, of Fairview.


Camden Courier-Post - April 25, 1936

...continued...
Convention Hall - Young Kid Chocolate - Lew McFarland
Al Narcisso - Freddy Cincinatti - Joey Ruggles
Danny Ryrie - Joe Duca

Camden Courier-Post

August 7, 1936

 


Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1936


Camden Courier-Post - January 11, 1938

 

Camden Courier-Post

January 21, 1938

 

Jersey Joe Walcott & Felix Bocchicchio


Camden Courier-Post * June 27, 1944

Jersey Joe Walcott - Ellis Singleton - Bill Deering - Harold Fairman - Wally Cross - Nick Fiorentino
Jimmy Whitest - Jimmy Robinson - Buddy Paul - Felix Paoli - Harry "Red" Schultz - Bob Winters - Joe Mangold

June 23, 1947

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Joey Maxim


December 25, 1947
Jersey Joe Walcott vs. Joe Louis

June 25, 1948

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Joe Louis


June 25, 1948

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Joe Louis


June 25, 1948
Jersey Joe Walcott vs. Joe Louis

June 22, 1949

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Ezzard Charles


August 14, 1949

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Ollie Tandberg


Camden Courier-Post - June 21, 1950
Jersey Joe Walcott Outshone Stalin
Among Germans, Malandra Reports

The much-touted Soviet march on Berlin last May was admittedly an international bust. 

Even the Russians have tacitly acknowledged the heralded youth invasion didn't achieve the impression they had planned. 

But where the Reds failed to make any dent on the emotions of Western Europe, Camden's Jersey Joe Walcott succeeded magnificently. In fact, wherever he went he drew a following that would have made the Pied Piper of Hamelin green with envy.

Greeted as Hero

"Hie's the greatest thing that happened for Camden since Walt Whitman." said Angelo Malandra, Camden's deputy mayor who recently visited Europe with Mayor Brunner.

"In all the towns we visited, Jersey Joe was treated like a hero" said Malandra, who witnessed the Camden heavyweight's fight with the German champion Hein Ten Hoff.

"Newspapermen clustered around him like flies wherever he went" Malandra added. At Mannheim alone there were at least 75 newspapermen covering Walcott's activities.

German newspapers gave little more than three inches of space to the Soviet yoputh march, but Jersey Joe hit the front pages almost every day, Malandra reported.

On one occasion alone, according to Malandra, Walcott entered an Army store in Heidelburg to make some purchases.

"Within 15 minutes, 10,000 people were jamming in the streets outside the store, and it took us almost an hour to cover one block in our automobile.

Carried U.S. Coins

In part, Walcott's popularity could be explained by the fact he was forever handing out nickels, said Malandra. Jersey Joe carted between 300 and 400 of the coins wherever he went.

"But that wouldn't account for the deference paid him by the top brass everywhere he went," said the deputy mayor. "He received tribute from the mayors of every town he visited."

Even in Scotland, autograph hunters were on hand to greet the Camdcn pugilist.

The deputy mayor explained the German adoration of Jersey Joe on grounds they "still love a strong man." 

"I think they'd give anything to get one German who could beat one American." he said.

Jersey Joe Obliges

Commenting on the fight itself, Malandra said that at the beginning of the tenth round the German newspapermen were expressing pleasure and pride because their champion was still standing up.

"I asked Joe to give him one more shot for me," said Malandra. "Joe did hit him the one shot and the world seemed to stand still, but Walcott couldn't seem to knock the German down.

In the first round Walcott broke the German's nose, and blood spattered the deputy mayor's coat.

After the fight, Malandra quoted the bleeding Ten Hoff as remarking "I do not believe man heet so hard".


Camden Courier-Post - July 19, 1950
Walcott Is Sued For $9500 by Ex-Manager
Webster Says Money Is Balance Due On $22,000 Settlement

Joseph Webster, Camden restaurateur today brought suit in Camden county court to collect $9500 he claims is due him for serving as manager of Jersey Joe Walcott, Camden contender for the world's heavyweight boxing championship. 

Named as co-defendants with Walcott, whose legal name is Arnold Cream; are Felix Bocchicchio, the fighter's present manager, and the Camden Athletic Corporation, set up by Walcott and  Bocchicchio in October, 1944, as a joint holding company of their mutual assets.

The suit was filed for Webster by State Senator Bruce A. Wallace.

Walcott and Bocchicchio are on their way to Germany by plane to collect the balance of the purse they claim is due the fighter for a match several months ago, where he defeated Hein Ten Hoff.

Angelo D. Malandra; their attorney said he had been served with papers in the suit but withheld comment pending filing of a formal answer, for which he has 20 days through court procedure.

In the formal complaint, Webster charges Bocchicchio is the "owner of said prize fighter, directed his activities, advanced money for traveling and training expenses by the fighter and handled all the financial affairs of and for said fighter."

Webster also charged that on May 1, 1945 both Bocchicchio and Walcott contracted for Webster's services as manager of the fighter and that he continued in that capacity until July 15, 1948.

"During this time," the complaint charges, "'a dispute arose over the money due him (Webster) as manager and it (the dispute) was resolved on July 15, 1948, when they (Bocchicchio and Walcott) agreed on $22,000 as full payment for his (Webster's) service."

Webster charged $10,000 of that amount was paid to him on the day the agreement was reached and that $2500 of the balance was to be paid the following September 15 and the remaining $9500 on November 1, 1948. He did not receive the $2500, however, until December 15, 1948, Webster claims, and has never received the $9500.

Webster, who lives at the Park View apartments, Collingswood, presently in manager of the Sports Center restaurant, Eighth and Federal Streets. He formerly was manager of Homo's, Third and  Market Streets.


Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Ezzard Charles

1951


Jersey Joe Walcott and Jim Braddock
July 18, 1951

Jersey Joe Walcott & Ezzard Charles
July 18, 1951

Jersey Joe Walcott & Ezzard Charles
July 18, 1951

1951
Topps
Boxing Card

Jersey Joe Walcott
vs.
Ezzard Charles

June 5, 1952


June 5, 1952

Jersey Joe Walcott's
Last Fight
vs.
Rocky Marciano

September 23, 1952


May 15, 1953 - Jersey Joe Walcott's Last Fight

Jersey Joe Walcott's
Last Fight
vs.
Rocky Marciano

May 15, 1953


May 15, 1953 - Jersey Joe's Last Fight

May 15, 1953 - Jersey Joe's Last Fight

May 15, 1953
Jersey Joe's
Last Fight

Far more disgusted than hurt Jersey Joe Walcott in his corner following his stunning knockout at the hands of Rocky Marciano at 2:25 minutes of round one.


Jersey Joe Walcott

Jersey Joe Walcott,
with Felix Bocchicchio (seated)
and Gabe Menendez  


Jersey Joe Walcott

At Left: Louis Fratto, who was a major organized crime figure in the middle west in the 40's,60s, and 60s. At right,  Felix Bocchicchio.  


 

Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny (rear), portrayed by Mary Topolewski and Edward Wicker, look on as Jersey Joe Walcott presents a prize to Sylvia Riley, 8, of National Park, for an egg hunt which climaxed the third annual North Camden Easter parade


Camden Courier-Post - December 16, 1957 

...continued...
Convention Hall - William Stretch - Jersey Joe Walcott - Anthony Skolski
Frank Guetherman aka Tip Gorman  - Joe Webster -
Sgt. Ray Smith
George McKenzie - Anthony Moffa - Frank H. Ryan


Camden Boxers
Kenney's Suburban House
February 27, 1960

This appears to be from a Veteran's Boxing Association Ring No. 6 Banquet.

At far right, seated, is Arnold "Jersey Joe Walcott" Cream, standing behind him wearing glasses is Neil McLaughlin.

On the left side of the table, unknown, Tommy Skymer, Lew Skymer, unknown, and Les Cranmer.


Two ex-fighters

Jersey Joe Walcott
with

Lew Skymer

1960s


Courier-Post - May 12, 1967

Camden Courier-Post - July 5, 1967

 41st Annual Affair

Crippled Children’s Party Tomorrow

The Crippled Children’s Committee of Camden Elks Lodge 293 will sponsor its 41st annual party for crippled children tomorrow.         

S.S. Norcross 3rd, exalted ruler of the lodge, and Edward J. Griffith, president of the Crippled Children’s Committee, said the children will board buses at 10:30 AM at the Elks' home, 807 Cooper Street.

First stop will be Sergeant Ray Smith's home on Lake Renee, where the, children will have their annual picnic lunch. Following lunch they will ride horses from the Persian Acres Dude Ranch operated by County Detective Robert Di Persia.

Erial Fire Company will pick up the children for a ride to the Nike Missile Base in Erial, then onto Clementon Lake Park. Following dinner in the Chick Barn at Silver Lake Inn, the youngsters will return to the Elks' Home.

Among those helping Sgt. Ray celebrate his 72nd birthday at Silver Lake Inn later in the evening will be former Judge Samuel P. Orlando, Congressman John E. Hunt, Jersey Joe Walcott, Mayor Alfred Pierce and state Senator Frederick J. Scholz and recently appointed Prosecutor A. Donald Bigley.


I worked for Jersey Joe at his car wash and BoBet motel he had on the Black Horse Pike in Mount Ephraim. I fully remember Jersey Joe and the laughter he brought to us all while we were there and of course his manager Bocchicchio. What a great time in my life, will never forget the man. I lived on Wayne Ave just off the Black Horse Pike, 1817 to be exact.

Charles (Bucky) Shinn
August 2006


Final Resting Place
at
Sunset Memorial Park
Pennsauken, NJ

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