Ike Williams

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Ike Williams
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Reach 68 in (173 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1923-08-02)August 2, 1923
Brunswick, Georgia, U.S.
Died September 5, 1994(1994-09-05) (aged 71)
Boxing record
Total fights 154
Wins 125
Wins by KO 60
Losses 24
Draws 5
No contests 0

Ike Williams (August 2, 1923 – September 5, 1994) was a lightweight world boxing champion. Williams was known for his great right hand, and was named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time as well as Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year for 1948.

Early life

Professional career

During his career, Williams faced and defeated former lightweight champions Sammy Angott, Bob Montgomery, and Beau Jack.

Williams won the NBA world title when he defeated Juan Zurita in April 1945. He held on to the crown until May 1951, when he was stopped by Jimmy Carter.

Williams, for part of his career, was managed by Frank "Blinky" Palermo. According to Williams, he was blackballed by the boxing managers guild when he sought to manage himself. Palermo informed him he could resolve his problems with the guild, and Williams agreed to let Palermo manage him. Williams testified before the Kefauver Commission that Palermo did not arrange for him to throw any fights, but that he robbed him of his purses. Nevertheless, Williams did claim to have taken a dive against Chuck Davey, a much hyped contender for the welterweight crown.

Testifying in front of Congress

In 1961 Ike Williams testified in front of Congress on the matters of antitrust in boxing. In his testimony Ike said that all boxers are asked to take bribes even the best and he was boycotted against. He explained that he could not get a fight because he did not use a manager and it was not until he found a manager from the managers guild that he could get fights. He explained that in two fights he did not receive his money, known as purses. The two fights were Jesse Flores in Yankee Stadium, for the lightweight title on September 23, of 1948 and Beau Jack in Shibe Park, Philadelphia, on July 12 of 1948 and September 23, of 1948. In those fights the money owed was $32,500 and $32,400. He said in these cases he told the boxing association to temporary hold on to the money for tax purposes. Later when he asked for his money, he found out, that they actually gave the money to his manager, who then claimed to have fallen on hard times and spent it. Ike Williams, in both these cases still ended up paying the taxes on the money he never saw.

Then Ike Williams testified that his manager was offered $30,000 for him to throw a championship fight against Freddy Dawson in Philadelphia on December 5 of 1949, in which he declined. Then ten minutes before the fight he hears that the judges were told if he does not win a by a knock out that the fight will go to Dawson. Upon hearing this Ike Williams, has his trainer call in major members of the press and tells them to come back after the fight he has a “story for them.” Ike Williams wins that fight and tells the media afterwards that he heard a rumor that the fight was fixed if he did not win by a knockout. Ike Williams figured that the Judges upon hearing that he called the media got scared and did not fix the fight, Ike was fined $500 for his comments to the media.

Ike also recalled a fight against Kid Gavilan on January 28 of 1949 at Madison Square Garden, in which he was offered $100,000 to throw the fight. Again, Ike Williams did not take the money, an action he regretted because he lost the fight even though all the papers said he won. This implied that just as with Dawson fight, the judges were told to fix it so he would lose.

Then Ike Williams tells a similar story in which he lost his lightweight title in a bout with the boxer Jimmy Carter on May 25 of 1951. In this story again he is offered to throw the fight, this time for $50,000. Again, Ike said he regretted not taking the money as he lost the fight in a similar fashion as before. Ike Williams said he never took the money because too many people were counting on him and that too many of his friends had bet their hard earned money on him.[1]


  1. From Ike Williams, “Testimony,” in U.S. Congress, Senate Judiciary Committee, Professional Boxing: Hearings Before Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly, 86th Cong., 2d sess., pursuant to S. Res. 238, December 5–14, 1960 (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1961), 664–71.

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