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Henry Armstrong - Research Paper Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Henry Armstrong The boxer Henry Armstrong is a part African American who made a name for himself that is legendary in boxing. His skill places him as the second best boxer of all time, creating a legacy that has spanned the decades since his time…
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Download file to see previous pages At one of the Hollywood Legion Fights, in front of a crowd that represented the Hollywood celebrities of the era, he managed an impressive knock-out, leading acting legends Ruby Keeler and Al Jolson to decide to underwrite his contract, putting him in the care of Eddie Meade. This pushed his rising star higher and he was able to develop a career that made him a legend. By the end of his life, he had racked up an impressive list of accomplishments in boxing, but had also become a minister, sharing the word with a devoted flock. Henry Armstrong was born in Columbus, Mississippi on December 12, 1912 under the name Henry Jackson Jr. When he was five years old, his family moved to Papin Street in the South Side of St Louis where the neighborhood was rough and fighting was the only way to survive. His parents were Henry and America Jackson, providing him a racial heritage of African American, Irish and Native American on his father‘s side with his mother being an Iroquois Native American (Armstrong 16). When he was sixteen years old, Henry graduated from Vashan High School in St Louis, reading an original poem during the ceremony for which he was the valedictorian (Broeg 61: Early 70). His grandmother wanted Henry to become a minister, but the depression had left his family in hard times with his father’s health being compromised by rheumatoid arthritis. Henry was working as a railroad gandy dancer to help his family make ends meet when, as urban legend tells the story, he was struck by a newspaper that flattened against his face. When he pulled the paper off of his face, he read the headline “Cuba’s Kid Chocolate just won 10,000 in a fight!” (Boeg 61). When he ran home, he told his grandmother, a woman who had been a slave and had the privilege of seeing Abraham Lincoln during her lifetime, understood his dream and encouraged him to follow it. In 1932, then Henry Jackson wanted to try out for the Olympics, but his former pro experience excluded him from that privilege. Therefore, he took his trainer Harry Armstrong’s last name, in order to hide his previous experience in professional boxing (Sugar 6). After he lost by decision to Johnny Hines at the 1932 Olympic trials, he went ahead and fully turned professional. Because he was singing cheerfully most of the time he was working out, his first ring name was Melody Jackson, under which he fought in Pennsylvania, but his skill would later put that nickname to rest. As an amateur, he boxed 62 matches and won 58. His first professional bout was on July 27, 1931, but he was knocked out after three rounds. He was nineteen years old when he began his professional career, and while his first fight was a hard lesson, he persevered, working his craft until he was unstoppable. However, he had to pay his dues in club circuit in Los Angeles. During that time, the circuit was corrupt and fights were won, lost or set at a draw according to the desires of the owners. Therefore, Armstrong was forced to face fixed fights and to play along until he could prove himself. When he finally proved himself, actors Ruby Keeler and Al Jolson were backing his contract and he would have a real shot at winning fights through his own skill. It wasn’t until 1936 that his career really took off, despite his record which reflected a fighter who was hard to beat. As a boxer, Armstrong was a powerhouse, approaching his bouts like a strategic leader, his theory of controlling the match based upon his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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