Billy Conn: The Pittsburgh Kid
There has never been a fighter like Billy Conn. Handsome as a movie star and tough as a junkyard dog, Conn threw combinations with the beauty and speed of later masters Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali. The kid from the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh began boxing professionally at age 16, as his manager Johnny Ray fed him older, more experienced pros in a "baptism of fire." Conn developed quickly. At age 19 and 20 he defeated most of the world's best middleweights, a division rich with talent. Still growing, by age 21 he won the world light-heavyweight title. After dominating that division, he sought greater challenge in the heavyweight division. He beat three of the best heavyweights, one by knockout and two by easy decision. Only one challenge remained - the great heavyweight champion Joe Louis. Their first fight remains one of boxing's all-time classics, ranked by some as the greatest fight ever. Conn's story transcends boxing. He pursued and eloped with the love of his life, the beautiful Mary Louise Smith, despite her father's vehement and public opposition. Conn and his father-in-law tangled in a chaotic brawl at a lavish christening party at the Smith home. Billy starred in a Hollywood movie, The Pittsburgh Kid, and developed friendships with big stars like Bob Hope, Robert Taylor, and Frank Sinatra. Through all the glamour Billy remained the unpretentious "kid" from gritty Pittsburgh, the city he loved. He became an icon of that city, of the downtrodden Depression-era working class, and of the American Irish. Conn's place in boxing and American folk history has been neglected and forgotten in recent decades. His story of a poor kid with talent and spirit who went for it all is one worth reading.
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Pittsburgh and Sliberty
Moonie And Junior I Can Lick Any Kid In The Neighborhood
No Easy Road
1935 Learning And Growing
1936 Winning All The Way
1937 Hitting The Big Time
1938 Middleweight Or Lightheavyweight?
1939 New York New York Beating The Best
1941 Preparing For Joe Louis And Greenﬁeld Jimmy
The Fight Of The Century
Private Billy Conn
1946 Another Shot At Louis
Retirement Years Pittsburgh Icon
Billy Conns Legacy
The Fight Record Of Billy Conn
Billy Conns Awards And Honors
1940 Challenging The Heavies
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Apostoli attack Babe Risko Baer battered beat beaten Bettina big right Billy Conn Billy landed Billy took Billy's Billy’s body boxer boxing Braddock career champ Conn team Conn's Conn’s Corbett crowd Dempsey diﬀerent Dorazio Dundee Duquesne Gardens early East Liberty eighth fans ﬁfth ﬁght ﬁghters ﬁghting ﬁrst round Forbes Field fought Fritzie Zivic Harry Greb heavyweight title hurt Irish jabs Jack Jackie Jimmy Joe landed Joe Louis John Henry Lewis Johnny Ray June knocked landed a big left hook light-heavyweight lost Madison Square Garden main event Mary Louise Melio middleweight middleweight title Mike Jacobs Motor Square Garden Movan oﬀ opponents outboxed Pastor pounds puncher punches Rankins rd dec referee Regis Welsh rematch ring Risko round Billy round decision round knockout Savold six round skill slug Smith Solly Krieger sparring Teddy Yarosz title bout title shot tough Tunney weighed welterweight York young