Archie Moore

Archie Moore (December 13, 1916 – December 9, 1998) was an American professional boxer who was widely regarded as one of the greatest light heavyweight boxers of all time. He was also known for his longevity in the sport, having fought professionally for over 27 years and winning the world light heavyweight championship at the age of 39. Archie Moore was born in Benoit, Mississippi, but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He had a difficult childhood, as his father died when he was young and he was forced to work odd jobs to help support his family. Moore turned to boxing as a way to escape poverty and found success as an amateur fighter.

George Plimpton, right, after a boxing match with Archie Moore at Stillman’s Gym, New York City, 1959

Moore turned professional in 1935 and fought under the name “Kid Norfolk.” He won his first 16 fights before losing to future heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles in 1940. Moore then changed his name to Archie Moore and continued to fight as a light heavyweight. Moore’s career took off in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as he defeated a number of top light heavyweight contenders and earned a shot at the world title. He finally won the world light heavyweight championship in 1952, defeating Joey Maxim in a 15-round decision.

Muhammad Ali training with Archie Moore

Moore defended the title a record-breaking 10 times before losing it to Bobo Olson in 1955. He continued to fight as a light heavyweight and even moved up to the heavyweight division for a few fights. In 1958, at the age of 42, Moore fought heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson for the title but was knocked out in the fifth round. Moore fought for several more years, finally retiring in 1963 at the age of 46. He had a record of 186 wins, 23 losses, and 10 draws, with 131 wins by knockout. His 131 knockouts remain a record in the sport of boxing.

Archie Moore in ABC cap with boxer George Foreman, 1973.

Moore was known for his intelligence and wit, as well as his dedication to fitness and training. He was also active in politics and civil rights and was a mentor to many young boxers. After retiring from boxing, Moore worked as a trainer and manager and appeared in several films. Moore passed away on December 9, 1998, at the age of 81. He is remembered as one of the greatest boxers of all time and as a pioneer for African American boxers in the sport. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and in 2005, he was named one of the 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time by Ring Magazine.

Archie Moore sticks left into Joe Maxim’s face during a championship fight in Miami.

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