Tom Owen “The Fighting Oilman,” claimed the world bare-knuckle boxing championship with a victory (in 50 rounds!) over William “Bully” Hooper on November 14, 1796. Owen was a pub owner, oilman, and is widely credited with inventing the dumbbell.
Here’s a classic shot of boxer Billie Miskie training with a medicine ball, circa 1920. Miskie was deep in training to face the great Jack Dempsey for the World’s Heavyweight title in Benton Harbor, Michigan on September, 6th of that year (a fight Miskle lost by Knockout in the 3rd round, the only time he got knocked out in his entire career.) For you trivia buffs, this was the very first heavyweight title match that was ever broadcast on radio. Medicine ball training was always very popular with the oldtime boxers, and for very good reason.
You may know that “The Preem” Primo Carnera was the Heavyweight boxing Champion of the world from 1933-1934 but you probably didn’t know that he was also a performing strongman as well. He achieved a one-hand snatch of 220 pounds and could clean and jerk over 300 ~ pretty good for someone who was 6’6″.
After retiring from weightlifting, the great Paul Anderson took up professional boxing. The above shot was from his April, 1960 debut bout against Italian boxer Atillio Tondo. Anderson was able to floor his opponent three times but didn’t have the wind to go the distance and the fight was stopped in the third round. Anderson’s boxing career only lasted a few more fights, and his with overall record ending up 2 wins (both by KO) and 2 losses.
Heavyweight champ Primo Carnera was a “strong man” as well as a strongman. Here’s “The Preem” doing a ‘Muscle Out’ of a pretty good size kid. I’d say that’s a hundred pounds at least. Strong shoulders obviously come in pretty handy in the ring.