ELECTED MEMBERS
   
Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
JACK SOLOMONS

Sport: Boxing
Inducted: 2004
Country: Great Britain
Born: December 1900, in London, England.
Died: December 1979.

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 Ramos.

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 Heavyweight crown.

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.

 
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