3. Joe Walcott
(92-25-24, 58 KO)
“The Barbados Demon” was a freak of nature. Not even a full inch over five feet tall, Joe Walcott’s career saw him face and conquer the gamut of Hall of Famers, who ranged from lightweights to as big as Heavyweight.
He knocked out Joe Choynski, a heavyweight who went on to beat the legendary Jack Johnson. Walcott went so far as to call out legends like James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, and “Great White Hope” Jim Jeffries; all of which refused to fight fighters of color and used Walcott’s size as an excuse to avoid him.
Walcott won the welterweight title in 1901, retaining it for almost five years, fighting to a draw in most of his defenses, but knocking out many challengers to his crown.
The historical account of his reign was muddled over time with conflicting accounts, which makes it difficult to present all the challengers accurately. Throughout his career, Walcott would face a myriad of Hall of Fame legends, fighting the likes of Joe Gans, Philadelphia Jack O’ Brien, Sam Langford and Young Peter Jackson to name a few.