Saturday, September 16, 2017

On This Day: Marvin Hart Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Marvin Hart ‘The Fighting Kentuckian’ is perhaps the heavyweight division's most underrated champion, a man who came to boxing late in life (23) and still managed to get to the top of the heavyweight division. Hart was born on September 16, 1876, in Fern Creek, Kentucky. Hart began his boxing career in 1899, aged 23, and during his career fought top men such as Tommy West, Dan Creedon, Kid Carter, Jack Root, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Jack Bonner, George Gardner, Joe Choynski, Gus Ruhlin, Jack Johnson, Tommy Burns, Peter Maher, Jack Twin Sullivan, and Mike Schreck.

Hart's best result was his controversial 20 rounds point's victory over Jack Johnson, on March 28, 1905.

When Jim Jeffries announced his retirement from the ring as undefeated champion, he selected Hart and Jack Root, to fight for the vacant World heavyweight title. The fight took place on July 3, 1905, and Hart won on a 12th round knockout.

In his first defence of his world title on February 23, 1906, Hart faced Tommy Burns, and was out-pointed over 20 rounds, losing his title in the process.

Hart continued to fight until 1910, retiring after being stopped by Carl Morris in 3 rounds, on December 20, 1910, Marvin Hart’s final record reads (28-7-4, 20koes).

After retirement, Hart would spend the rest of his life on his farm in Barnstown Pike. He spent his days raising chickens, farming, and being a referee. He also operated a tavern in Louisville, Kentucky. Suffering from an enlarged liver and high blood pressure, Marvin Hart died on September 17, 1931, at the age of 55 years old. 

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