Jess Willard 

Heavyweight Champion of the World (1915-1919)

by Arly Allen

Foreword by Tracy Callis 

BOOK DETAILS: Jess Willard, the “Pottawatomie Giant,” won the heavyweight title in 1915 with his defeat of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. At 6 feet 6 inches and 240 pounds, Willard was considered unbeatable in his day. He nonetheless lost to Jack Dempsey in 1919 in one of the most brutally one-sided contests in fistic history. Willard later made an initially successful comeback but was defeated by Luis Firpo in 1923 and retired from the ring. He died in 1968, largely forgotten by the boxing public. Featuring photos from the Willard family archives, this first full-length biography provides a detailed portrait of one of America’s boxing greats.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Arly Allen has written  and published a number of articles on Willard and others of his time in the IBRO Journal, as well as in other historical journals. He holds a MA in history. He is currently working on a history of Wrestling in Medieval England and also the history of The Beginning of Boxing in Britain.  The book was written with the assistance of James Willard Mace, a grandson of Jess Willard.


Product Details


Publisher:  McFarland & Company, Inc.

Publication Date: December 31, 2016

Price: $35.00 (Plus postage. Free shipping for Amazon Prime members) 

If you would like to purchase a signed or inscribed copy, contact the author Arly Allen for price and postage options at