There were some great boxers that came out of Buffalo and Western New York. Here's a look back at some highlights from Buffalo's boxing history. According to the Facebook group Buffalo and Western New York African American History Group, Buffalo's African-American boxing scene was poppin'!
The footprints of legendary boxers known locally, and around the world were left in the Broadway Auditorium.
I would encourage you to check out the group's Facebook post about all the historic fights that happened at the Broadway Auditorium.
James Edward Slattery aka Jimmy Slattery
Jimmy Slattery was born on August 25, 1904, in Buffalo. He died on August 30, 1960, in Buffalo. He was 56-years-old.
In August of 1927, Slattery earned the NBA light heavyweight title by beating Maxie Rosenbloom (who would later strip him of another title). He lost the title just a few months later to Tommy Loughran in December of 1927.
On February 10, 1930, Slattery won the New York State Athletic Commission World Light Heavyweight Title. He beat Lou Scozza in the bout at the Broadway Auditorium, according to Wikipedia. He lost the title to Maxie Rosenbloom in a highly-contested fight on June 25, 1930, at Bison Stadium.
Video credit: EscapeWire Solutions via Youtube
James Moran aka Jimmy Goodrich
Jimmy Goodrich was born July 30, 1900, in Scranton, Pennsylvania and died at the age of 82 in Fort Myers, Florida on September 25, 1982.
Although he was born in Scranton, he made his name as a boxer in Buffalo. In 1925, in a win against Stanislaus Loayza, Goodrich became the Lightweight World Champion, according to The Public. In December, he lost the decision to Rocky Kansas, who was also from Buffalo. He was never knocked out during his career. According to Wikipedia, he retired from the sport in the 1930s and opened several business in Western New York. In 2010, Goodrich was posthumously inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
Video credit: GBSHOF1 via Youtube
Jimmy Clark aka James Clark Atkinson
Jimmy Clark, an African-American boxer, was born on February 26, 1914 or 1915, in Norfolk, Virginia. He moved to Jamestown, New York, in 1935. He died at the age of 80 on September 12, 1994, in Jamestown.
According to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, he held the US amateur welterweight champion and the New York State middleweight champion titles. He competed in the 1936 Olympic games. According to Wikipedia, in 1983 Clark was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was inducted posthumously into the Buffalo Boxing Hall of Fame.
Louis Scozzaro aka Lou Scozza
Louis Scozzaro was born on April 15, 1903, in Buffalo. He passed away at the age of 64 on November 30, 1967. According to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, one of Scozza's claims to fame is that he is,
One of only two men in the world to ever knock out James J. "The Cinderella Man" Braddock, Lou Scozza did it in six rounds in San Francisco in 1932. Joe Louis did it in eight rounds in 1937.
He won 80 of the approximately 100 bouts he fought in. In 2012, he was posthumously inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
Video credit: GBSHOF1 via Youtube
George “Cyclone” Williams
Cyclone was an African-American boxer from Elmira, New York, which isn't technically Western New York, but he's an honorable mention. He fought during the 1910s and 1920s. During his time as a fighter, white boxers wouldn't step into the ring with him because of his skin color. According to the Chemung County Historical Society,
He earned the nickname “Cyclone” for his speed and tenacity. A lightweight, The Buffalo Courier called him "a slam-bang fighter, who fights every minute."
He retired after a 20-year career. You can see his picture here.
Marshall Davis Miles
Marshall Davis Miles was born on October 10, 1905, in Demopolis, Alabama, but grew up in Buffalo. He passed on December 4, 1997, at the age of 92, and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Miles was never a boxer, but he was Buffalo's link to one of the world's most historic fighters, Joe Louis. Miles was Louis' manager. He also managed Jamestown Jimmy Clark, a National AAU champion and professional heavyweight Leroy Evans, according to Uncrowned Community Builders.
There is not much information floating around about African-American boxer Leroy Evans. He was a professional boxer from Buffalo. According to BoxRec.com, his career spanned from 1939 to 1948. He won 12 fights, lost 9, and one was a draw.
Frank Erne aka Buffalo Boy
Frank Erne was born on January 8, 1875, in Döttingen, Switzerland. He died in New York on September 17, 1954.
At the age of seven, Erne's family moved to the Buffalo area. According to Wikipedia,
In the early 1890s he worked setting pins in a bowling alley at the Buffalo Athletic Club where he began his training. During his career as a boxer, he worked as a manager of boxing classes, and physical culture schools.
According to the Buffalo News, Erne was "Buffalo’s first boxing world champion." On November 27, 1896, Erne beat Black boxer George Dixon, to win the World Featherweight Title. On July 3, 1899, Erne beat Kid Lavigne, winning the Lightweight World Title. On June 14, 2019, Erne was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.