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03 Aug 2019

Harry Greb - the forgotten legend of boxing

Fearless and nearly unstoppable describes the boxing phenomenon that was Harry Greb. “The Pittsburgh Windmill” as he’s known by his fans, fought a record 299 times in 13 years. This is an amazing feat given that most contemporary boxers fight no more than 40-45 times throughout their careers. In addition, he won a record 261 times and lost only 20 matches, with his other fights either draws or no contests.

Furthermore, he became the World Middleweight Champion from 1923 to 1926, and the American Light Heavyweight Champion from 1922 to 1923. He defeated boxing legends such as Al McCoy, Tiger Flowers, Battling Levinsky, Mickey Walker, Kid Norfolk, Jack Dillon, Jimmy Slattery, Maxie Rosenbloom, Tommy Gibbons, Tommy Loughran, and twice against Bill Brennan.

Greb was also the only man in history to give Gene Tunney a brutal beating in their first fight at Madison Square Garden in 1923. If you’re not familiar, many boxing experts regard Gene Tunney as one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all times, with an incredible record of 65 wins, and 1 loss – to Harry Greb. However, Gene Tunney, having a significant weight and height advantage in his favor, would become Greb’s worst nightmare and won four of their legendary five-fight rivalry.

Harry Greb never avoided anyone and always challenged himself to fight the strongest opponents possible; he gave everybody a shot, regardless of their weight division and race, showing a kind of open-mindedness that was beyond his era. For instance, in 1926, he became the first white middleweight champion to give a title shot to an African-American boxer when he fought Tiger Flowers. Despite this, he still won many times against men who outweighed him by 30, 40, and even 50 lbs. A rumor said that the legendary heavyweight champion, Jack Dempsey, was scared to give Greb a title shot, though he did defend his heavyweight crown against several fighters whom Greb, a natural middleweight, had already beaten.

Another obstacle for Harry, besides often fighting opponents bigger and heavier than him, was that he sustained a detached retina in a fight with Kid Norfolk in 1921. After that, he had some eye troubles, but was not blind in that eye, yet. That changed in 1922, in a fight with Bob Roper which left him totally blind in his right eye.

Yet, despite those difficulties, Greb managed to become the middleweight champion of the world. He continued to fight against top contenders, while half-blind, for more than five years. Even the loss of sight in his right eye failed to stop him, spoil his talent, or take him out of the ring, despite the risk of losing another eye. With that one good eye, Greb continued to beat his opponents until the very end of his career, which came to a sad ending. Only 32-years-old at the time, Greb’s early death cut short what is nonetheless one of the most impressive boxing careers in the history of the sport. Your betting career can be also impressive, you just need to sign up at the best betting software and start catching the best odds and higher limits!

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