News By/Courtesy: TEJAS SHIVALKAR | 06 Jun 2020 10:27am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Braddock was known for his spoiling, counter-punching, strong right hand and his iron chin when he fights under the names of James J. Braddock
  • With a record 11–20–2 (0,364) of his next 33 fights, he was much less successful
  • Braddock's story is told in the 2005 biographical film Cinderella Man. It stars Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger, directed by Ron Howard as his wife Mae

Born on 8th June 1905, the American boxer James Walter Braddock was the world heavyweight champion from 1935 to 1937.

Braddock was known for his spoiling, counter-punching, strong right hand, and his iron chin when he fights under the names of James J. Braddock (presumably following the pattern set by two prior World Boxing Champions, James J. Corbett and James J. Jeffries). He was forced to work at the dock and receive social assistance to feed his family during the Great Depression and had lost many bouts due to chronic hand injuries. He returned and fought Max Baer in 1935 for the title and claimed it. Damon Runyon named him "Cinderella Man" for this unlikely feat. Joe Gould was in charge of Braddock.

Braddock was born on West 48th Street at Hell's Kitchen, New York City. He moved early in his life to North Bergen, New Jersey. His parents, Irish Mother Elizabeth O'Tool and Anglo-Irish Father Joseph Braddock were one of seven children born in immigrant families. He claimed that the early dream of his life was to play football in college at the University of Notre Dame for Knute Rockne, but that did not happen, as he said he was "better brawn than brains."

At the age of 21, Braddock pursued boxing and fought as a light heavyweight. On November 27, 1923, his first fight in a ring took place. Braddock had 44-2–2 (.938) in three years, including 21 knockouts.

Braddock caused a huge disturbance in 1928 when he knocked down well-known Tuffy Griffiths. He won the chance to fight for the title the following year, but in the 15-round decision, he lost Tommy Loughran. In several cases, Braddock was profoundly depressed and his right hand fractured badly.

With a record 11–20–2 (0,364) of his next 33 fights, he was much less successful. Braddock was forced to give up boxing to work as a longshoreman with his family in poverty during the Great Depression. Braddock compensated by his left hand during his lengthy work, because of the frequent injuries on his right hand, and it gradually grew stronger than his right. He always remembered that the government was humiliated by the relief money he had to take, but he was motivated by the Catholic Worker's Movement, a Christian social justice organization created for homeless and hungry in Dorothy Day, and Peter Maurin in 1933. Braddock gave back the profit he had received during his boxing return and made regular contributions to various Catholic workers' homes, including food for homeless guests with his family.

James J. Braddock was interred in Tenafly, N. Jersey, after his death in 1974 at the age of 69 in Mount Carmel Cemetery. In 2001, he was taken to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. James J. Braddock is named in his honor to North Bergen County Park, New Jersey.

Braddock's story is told in the 2005 biographical film Cinderella Man. It stars Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger, directed by Ron Howard as his wife Mae. The film had an estimated 88 million dollars budget and a global gross of 108.5 million dollars. A Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor was awarded to Crowe's performance. The Academy Awards were nominated by Paul Giamatti, Braddock's manager Joe Gould. Rosemarie DeWitt, Braddock's true granddaughter, played the role of Neighbor Sara Wilson. Mostly positive reviews were made of the film.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 06 Jun 2020 11:19am IST


Tags : Success story, James J. Braddock

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