Jack Solomons was Great Britain’s premiere boxing
matchmaker and promoter from the late 1930s to 1960s. He
is credited with reviving prize fighting in the Commonwealth
following World War II.
In 1946, Solomons brought American World Light Heavyweight
champion Gus Lesnevich to London to face England’s
Freddie Mills, opening the door to many more transatlantic
matches. His association with America’s top promoter
Mike Jacobs (an IJSHOF honoree) provided Solomons’ access
to the best U.S. talent. Some of his title bouts headlined
American champions, such as: Sugar Ray Robinson, Jimmy
Carter, Dado Marino, Chartchai Chionoi, Ike Williams, Archie
Moore, Joe Brown, Emile Griffith, Joey Maxim and Sugar
The stylish “Sultan of Sock” had the knack
for creating an air of excitement around his fights. Among
the 26 title matches he promoted during a career spanning
nearly 50 years, the July 1951 Sugar Ray Robinson-Randy
Turpin Middleweight London title fight was his most memorable
production. Britisher Turpin, a 33-1 underdog, pulled off
the upset of the decade, winning the World Middleweight
crown in a 15-round decision.
Solomons originally became involved in boxing in the 1930s as manager and operator
of the Devonshire Club, a boxing venue for young, promising London fighters.
He also worked as a matchmaker for Britain’s leading promoters before
venturing out on his own.
Solomons first major ring promotion was the Bruce Woodcock-Jack London British
heavyweight title fight. In June, 1963, he brought young Cassius Clay (Muhammad
Ali) to England to fight Henry Cooper. Clay’s fifth round TKO victory
over Cooper was his last match before facing Sonny Liston and winning the World
That same year, Solomons opened the private World Sporting Club, staging many
ring promotions through its auspices. He also promoted the very first fight
card in the State of Israel.
As a teenager, Solomons fought briefly under the name of Kid Mears. Only 19,
his girl friend threaten: “It’s the ring or me!” He chose
the ring––the ring on his fiancée’s finger. Fay and
Jack Solomons were married until her death 25 years later.
Jack Solomons’ Annual of the Ring, London, Play Fair Books, was originally
published in 1948; and Jack Solomons’ International Boxing Annual first
appeared in 1953.