There is a new book out on the first African-American World Boxing Champion -- Baltimore's own Joe Gans -- entitled "The Longest Fight." The book is authored by former long-time Washington Post sports columnist William Gildea and it talks about a bout Gans had on September 3, 1906. Gans faced Oscar "Battling" Nelson in Goldfield, NV in a bout that lasted 42 rounds. Gans won that bout by disqualification because Nelson repeatedly landed low blows. This would be the last "fight to the finish" and championship bouts would eventually be limited to 15 and then 12 rounds.
This is a link to an interview with Gildea conducted by National Public Radio's Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday.
I want to also give notice to a man who has been tireless in his efforts to keep Joe Gans's name in the front of the local and American consciousness. He is a native of Baltimore named Kevin Grace and I think he has been responsible for a lot of recent and long overdue notice of the first African-American World Champion. This includes a new plaque at Gans's gravesite in Baltimore.
This is a picture of Grace (on the right) along with a man named Clayton Le Bouef at the site of the Gans-Nelson fight. Thanks, Kevin for all your efforts!