Acclaimed author Bob Lonkurst has added yet another bow to his glowing list of books. “BIG FIGHT – BANNED”, is a well depicted story of an unlikely heavyweight couple who were scheduled to fight back in 1911, but as a result of an unaccommodating time period and peer group, never came to fruition.
Heavyweight champion Jack Johnson needs little introduction. The first black heavyweight world champion at the height of racism, he was possibly one of the most unspoken characters on the planet – not to mention, the most feared. A fictional match up against Mohamad Ali would have been branded as ‘The Battle of The Braggadocios’. By the time the fight was scheduled to take place between the Wells and the ‘Galveston Giant’, Johnson was heavyweight champion of the world, a veteran of 70 fights and probably one of the most talked about figures on the planet.
Bombardier Billy Wells on the other hand was a relative novice. Having bought himself out of the army in India, he’d only a handful of times as a professional at the time the fight was looking to happen. In an era where fighting 45 rounds for a title fight was the done thing, the reality is that this fight would have most likely been over in three. However – we love the story of the underdog – think about Rocky Balboa! Wells would go on to become British and Commonwealth champion, unsuccessfully challenging the legendary Frenchman Georges Carpentier. However, his merits in the ring were certainly never forgotten.
This book will take you through the steps taken to create the fight, the arduous preparations and unnecessary cancellation. You will feel a part of this post-Victorian nostalgic cruise, which is perched in the embryonic stages of professional boxing. At a time where controversy was fashionable and justice was rarely given. I’d strongly recommend a read of this carefully crafted offering from Lonkhurst as you step back in time and feel part of the negotiations for the £8,000 purse for the heavyweight championship of the world between the Great White Hope and one of the best ever heavyweights to have walked the planet.
I’d like to finish off with a couple of quotes from the book to give you a flavour of the story and the characters…
“Jack was a great fighter and that fact alone should always be accepted. With immense power, skill and a wonderful jab, he was years ahead of his time.”
“Bombardier Billy Wells was the man who lifted pugilism into the realms of boxing……An absolute gentleman and a credit to boxing.”
Please contact Bob directly on 01707 659756 to purchase a copy. The book costs £16.99 (+£4 p &p)