In 1928, James Braddock was a successful amateur boxer who broke his arthritis hand in several places during a fight for a chance for championship. He lost the game but continued his boxing career with an injured hand because he needed the money. As a result, his career floundered and he had eventually lost his boxing license when the boxing authority deemed him an embarrassment to the sport.
Out of work, James found himself in a difficult situation as the Great Depression swept the country of her wealth. Along with million other Americans, he went under, with no money or career to put food on the table of his young family .
Struggled to even buy milk, he waited at the harbor docks for jobs. Not wanting to be out of work, he made sure no one knew about his injury. During the difficult time, the family struggled with little food and had even had their electricity cut during winter.
In 1934, a few years in poverty and under government assistance, Braddock was asked to fill in a spot as a temporary boxer. Out of shape, Braddock was seen as an easy opponent. In what was considered a big upset, Braddock crushed his high rank opponent much to the amazement of boxing fans. With the help of his ex-manager, his license was eventually restored.
A veteran boxer with almost no chance of a career revival, Braddock defied his critics and won games after games and managed to eventually come back from a dead career. He ultimately went on to fight the World Heavyweight Champion during the time – Max Baer. A tall, powerful boxer, Max had actually killed a few of his opponents in the ring.
A small boxer, fans hoped Braddock wouldn’t be killed during the fight. Most believed that his fairy tale revival would end on the night he fought Baer.
It was a difficult fight for Braddock. He took heavy beatings and even broke his ribs during the match. However, he fought until the end of the fight and eventually won the World Boxing Heavyweight Championship, much to the amazement of the whole country.
He earned the nickname “The Cinderella Man” from this amazing comeback. From a poor, forgotten boxer, James Braddock went on to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
James Braddock was human just like you and I, but he went against all odds to achieve success and inspire those who followed him to never give up.
🍺 to a great week ahead!