George Godfrey Photo

George Godfrey

Born: Jan 25, 1897

Death: Aug 13, 1947

Birthplace: Mobile

Nationality: United States

George Godfrey

Date of Birth : Jan 25, 1897
Date of Death : Aug 13, 1947
Birth Place : Mobile

George Godfrey "The Leiperville Shadow" was the ring name of Feab S. Williams, a heavyweight boxer from the state of Alabama who fought from 1919-1937. He named himself after George "Old Chocolate" Godfrey, a Black Canadian boxer from the bare knuckle boxing days who had been a top name during the John L. Sullivan era. Old Chocolate had been the fourth fighter to reign as World Colored Heavyweight Champion while the second George Godfrey was the 20th fighter to hold the colored heavyweight title. The colored heavyweight title was recognized due to the color bar in pro boxing in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when white champions drew the color line and would not defend the title against a black man. In the heavyweight division, the color bar was adamantly defended by Old Chocolate Godfrey's contemporary, "The Boston Strong Boy", John L. Sullivan. Ironically, it remained in force even after colored heavyweight title holder Jack Johnson won the world's heavyweight title in 1908. Johnson never fought black opponents either, allegedly because such top promoters as Tex Rickard believed that a fight between two black boxers would not draw at the gate.

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