Throughout the history of boxing, there has been a countless number of melanated men who have reached the highest level of success the sport has to offer.
Going as far back as Jack Johnson to the present day with Floyd Mayweather, America has had this hate-love relationship with any black boxer that presents too much of a challenge in and out of the ring.
Many people aren’t aware of this but the first black boxer to get national attention was Tom Molineaux, an ex-slave that grew up on a plantation in Virginia.
After receiving boxing training from his father be began fighting other slaves to entertain the plantation owners.
By 1809, he became such a good boxer that his freedom was granted to him for $500.00. Molineaux would become famous for challenging England boxing champion Tom Cribb to the first world boxing championship.
The fight took place on December 18th, 1810. The fight would last 39 rounds and go down as one of the longest and bloodiest fights in history.
In the 19th round, when it looked as if Molineaux had a chance to win the fight the crowd stormed the ring, injuring Molineaux in the process.
This interruption gave Tom Crib the opportunity he needed to get his second wind. The Stampede worked, allowing Crib to win the fight in the 39th round. The legacy of Tom Molineaux should be one of courage, strength, and tenacity when placed in an adverse situation.