Norman Matthews prize fighting collection

Norman Matthews prize fighting collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Matthews, Norman
Title: Norman Matthews prize fighting collection
Dates: circa 1930-1960
Quantity: 0.2 Linear feet (2 volumes housed with minor collections MS 1307 and MS 1308)
Abstract:The collection consists of a scrapbook containing photographs, ticket stubs, and clippings collected by Norman Matthews of Marysville, Washington from ca. 1930-1960. The materials pertain to prize fighting or cockfighting and include photographs of boxers Max Baer, Sonny Liston, Joe Louis, and John L. Sullivan.
Coll. Number: ms1307(m)

Biographical/Historical Note

John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918), also known as the Boston Strong Boy, was recognized as the first heavyweight champion of gloved boxing from February 7, 1881 to 1892, and is generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring rules. He was the first American sports hero to become a national celebrity and the first American athlete to earn over one million dollars.


John L. Sullivan. Wikipedia.

Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, Louis helped elevate boxing from a nadir in popularity in the post-Jack Dempsey era by establishing a reputation as an honest, hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by gambling interests.[1][2] Louis's championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 27 championship fights, 26 championship fights during his reign; the 27th, against Ezzard Charles, was a challenge to Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. All in all, Joe was victorious in 25 successful title defenses, a record for the heavyweight division. In 2005, Louis was named the greatest heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization,[3] and was ranked number one on The Ring's list of 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.

Louis's cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II.[4] He also was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952.


Joe Louis. Wikipedia.

Maximilian Adelbert "Max" Baer (February 11, 1909 – November 21, 1959) was an American boxer of the 1930s, one-time Heavyweight Champion of the World, actor, entertainer, professional wrestler and referee.

One of the most colorful figures of his day, Baer enjoyed life in the limelight, often at the expense of his training. He was the brother of twice World Champion boxing contender Buddy Baer and father of actor Max Baer, Jr., known to two generations as Jethro Bodine of the Beverly Hillbillies.

He is rated #22 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.


Max Baer (boxer). Wikipedia.

Charles L. "Sonny" Liston (Unknown – December 30, 1970) was a professional boxer and ex-convict known for his toughness, punching power, and intimidating appearance who became world heavyweight champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round. Liston failed to live up to his fearsome reputation in an unsuccessful defense of the title against Muhammad Ali; underworld connections and an early death - along with his unrecorded date of birth - added to the enigma. He is ranked number 15 in Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.


Sonny Liston. Wikipedia.

Index Terms

Baer, Max, 1909-1959
Boxers (Sports)--United States.
Boxing--United States.
Cockfighting--United States.
Liston, Sonny, 1932-1970
Louis, Joe, 1914-1981
Sullivan, John Lawrence, 1858-1918

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Norman Matthews prize fighting collection, MS 1307. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

2Clippings, correspondence