Harris Martin
(the "Black Pearl"; "George Harris")

BORN April 2 1865; Washington, DC (Some sources report 1867)
DIED April 26 1903; St. Paul, Minnesota
HEIGHT 5-6 (Early sources report 6-0)
WEIGHT 150-170 lbs

Harris, who went by the name George Harris, early in his career, was a tremendous body puncher who was very strong and durable and possessed a solid chin; He fought in rushes and put great pressure on his opponents until he wore them down; When he first began fighting, he was a raw talent but improved his skills with experience and training

After his boxing days, he shined shoes and tended bar in St. Paul, following a stint of living out in Oregon with his brother; He always called Minnesota home, which is why he moved here from Washington D.C. and why he came back after living in Oregon; He loved the people of the Twin Cities and they definitely loved him

In 1888, the "Black Pearl" hired the former Coloured Lightweight Champion, George Phillips to be his full-time trainer; The Pearl died on April 26, 1903 while crossing the street in Saint Paul; He had suffered a heart attack and collapsed near the street curb
 
During his career, he claimed the Colored Middleweight Championship of the World and the Middleweight Championship of the Northwest; He defeated such men as Charles Gleason, Harry Woodson (the "Black Diamond"), Black Frank (Frank Taylor), Dick Moore, Denny Kelliher, Joe Ellingsworth and Paddy Gorman

1886
Mar 19 Jack Burke                    Cincinnati, Oh                    D  4
May  8 Tom Henderson                 Philadelphia, Pa                 KO  5
Jun 11 Bill Boughbly                 Philadelphia, Pa                 KO  3
          -Some sources report "KO 4" vs "Bill Boughtly"
Jul  3 Tom Henderson                 Philadelphia, Pa                 KO  3
Sep  6 Bill Young                                                     KO  9
Sep  7 Jack Murphy                                                    KO  3
Sep 27 Bill Young                                                     KO  9
          -Perhaps, this is the 9/07/86 bout
Nov 14 Cass Brown                    Minneapolis, Mn                   W  8
Dec  2 Jim O'Brien                   St. Paul, Mn                      D  4
Dec  5 Dan Sommers                   Minneapolis, Mn                  TK  7
Dec 21 "Young" Jack McKay            St. Paul, Mn                     KO  4
          -Some sources report "KO 3"
Dec 22 "Black Frank" Taylor          St. Paul, Mn                      L 10

1887
Jan  3 George Gannon                 Minneapolis, Mn                  KO 11
Jan  7 Dan Sommers                   Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  3
Jan 21 "Black Frank" Taylor          Minneapolis, Mn                   W 15
Jan 28 Dan Manning                   Minneapolis, Mn                   D 10
Feb  7 Jim O'Brien                   St. Paul, Mn                     KO  4
Feb  7 Charles Hadley                St. Paul, Mn                     EX  3
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Feb 18 Black Strap                   Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  4
Mar  3 "Black Frank" Taylor          St. Paul, Mn                      D 15
Mar  3 Tom Devine                    St. Paul, Mn                      W  5
          -Different sources report the previous 2 bouts on the same date
Mar 11 Dan Sommers                   Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  4
Mar 18 "Black Frank" Taylor          St. Paul, Mn                      D 10
Mar 21 Al O'Brien                    Philadelphia, Pa                  D  3
Mar 25 Charles Hadley                Minneapolis, Mn                   W  8
Mar 28 Tom Devine                    New York, NY                     KO  4
          -Some sources report "KO 3"
Apr  1 "Black Frank" Taylor          St. Paul, Mn                      D 12
Apr 15 Charles Hadley                St. Paul, Mn                     ND  8
          -Black Pearl lasted and claimed a win;
          Some sources report "W 8"
Apr 22 Desperate Coon                St. Paul, Mn                     TK  3
          -Reports vary - 4/23/87 - 4/25/87
Apr 23 "Black Frank" Taylor          St. Paul, Mn                     EX  3
May  2 "Black Frank" Taylor          Minneapolis, Mn                  KO 38
          -Black Pearl claimed the Colored Middleweight Championship 
          of the World; Some sources report 5/03/87
          Some sources report "KO 40";
          Some sources report "St. Paul, Mn"
May 19 McHenry Johnson               Minneapolis, Mn                   D 10
          -Johnson was called the "Minneapolis Star"
May 19 James Lager                   Minneapolis, Mn                   D 10
          -Different sources report the previous 2 bouts on the same date
Jul 15 Tom Jackson                   Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  5
Aug  5 O.H. Smith                    Minneapolis, Mn                   W  4
Nov  1 Black Diamond (Harry Woodson) Minneapolis, Mn                  TK  5
          -Reports vary - "TK 6" - "D 10"
Nov 11 Black Diamond (Harry Woodson) Minneapolis, Mn                  WF 13
          -Some sources report 11/14/87;
          Some sources report "WF 12"
Dec 10 "Black Frank" Taylor          Ashland, Wi                       D 10
          -Some sources report "D 8"
Dec 30 Ed R. Moehler                 Gary, SD                          W  8

1888
Mar  2 Hunter Briscoe                Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  6
Apr  8 Ed Harris                     St. Paul, Mn                      W  4
May 18 Charles Gleason               Minneapolis, Mn                   W  6
          -Some sources report "D 6"
May 25 John Dwyer                    Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  2
          -Some sources report "KO 1"
Jun  1 John P. Donner                St. Paul, Mn                      W 10
          -Some sources report "Minneapolis, Mn"
Jun 15 Dick Haley                    Minneapolis, Mn                   W  4
Jul 14 J.P. Smith                    Lake City, Mn                    KO  4
Aug  3 McHenry Johnson               Minneapolis, Mn                   D  8
          -Johnson was called the "Minneapolis Star"
Aug  3 James Lager                   Minneapolis, Mn                   D 10
          -Different sources report the previous 2 bouts on the same date;
          Perhaps, these are the 5/19/87 bouts
Aug 10 Charles Hadley                Minneapolis, Mn                   D  8
Oct  5 James Aster                   Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  1
Dec  9 Ed R. Moehler                 Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  8
          -Some sources report 12/10/88

1889-1890
Feb  3 Dick Moore                    Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  7
          -Middleweight Championship of the Northwest
May 23 Dick Moore                    St. Paul, Mn                      W  4
          -Middleweight Championship of the Northwest;
          Some sources report "Minneapolis, Mn"
Jun 27 Frank Lewis                   St. Paul, Mn                      D  8
Sep  9 Jim Hightower                 St. Joseph, Mo                    W  8
Nov 20 Jim Hightower                 Omaha, Ne                        KO  3

1890
Nov  3 Denny Kelliher                Minneapolis, Mn                   W 20
          -Kelliher claimed he was fouled but no foul was declared;
           The "Twin City AC" later said he was not treated fairly
           and was offered a return bout vs "Black Pearl"

1891
Jan 21 Denny Kelliher                St. Paul, Mn                    SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but postponed
Feb 10 Denny Kelliher                St. Paul, Mn                      D 10
May  1 Bob Fitzsimmons               Minneapolis, Mn                  ND  4
          -Some sources report "Chicago, Il";
           Some sources report "L 4";
           Black Pearl lasted and claimed a win
May  7 Frank Lewis                   Minneapolis, Mn                  TK  5
          -Some sources report "W 4"
May 12 Jerry Heggerty                Minneapolis, Mn                   L  5
          -Some sources report "Jimmy Haggerty"
May 16 Mike Sullivan                 Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  1
          -Some sources report "KO 2"
May 29 Tom Murray                    Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  7
          -Some sources report 5/30/91
Jul 21 Joe Ellingsworth              Minneapolis, Mn                  KO  5
Aug 23 George Gannon                 Butte, Mt                        KO  3
          -Some sources report "San Francisco, Ca"
Sep  5 Spike Trainor                 Great Falls, Mt                  ND  4
          -Perhaps, the verdict was "EX 4"
Oct 26 Paddy Gorman                  San Francisco, Ca                KO  4
Nov 30 Ed Binney                     San Francisco, Ca                LK 26
          -Colored Middleweight Championship of the World;
           Some sources report "LK 25"

1892
Feb 29 Charley Turner                San Francisco, Ca                LK 19
          -Turner claimed the Colored Middleweight Championship
          of the World
Apr  7 Ed R. Moehler                 San Francisco, Ca                KO  2
Apr    Hank Griffin                  Los Angeles, Ca                  LK  4
Apr 18 Jim Lawler                    San Francisco, Ca                 D 10
Oct 22 Joe King                      San Francisco, Ca                LK 36
          -Some sources report 10/27/92

1893
Jan 31 Bobby Dobbs                   San Francisco, Ca                LK 18
          -Some sources report "Sacramento, Ca"
Feb  3 Andy Watson                   Philadelphia, Pa                SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known

1894
Mar  3 Jack Ramsey                   Fort Collins, Co                  D 20
          -Some sources report "Fort Collins, Wy"

1897
Jan 16 Andy Watson                   Philadelphia, Pa                  L  4
Feb  6 Charley Holcombe              Philadelphia, Pa                 ND  6 

1899
Sep 13 Jim Sellers                   Sioux City, Ia                    D 10
Sep 18 Con Jacobus                   Sioux City, Ia                   LT  4
Oct 20 Jim Sellers                   Sioux City, Ia                    D  8
Dec 20 "Young" Peter Jackson         Seattle, Wa                      LK  1
          -Some sources report "LK 2"

1900
Dec 15 Thomas                        Salt Lake City, Ut               TK  4


*** The Following Bouts Are Reported But Not Confirmed ***

1886
       Black Diamond (Harry Woodson)                                   W  4

Undated (Possibly 1886-1887)
       Jim Birgham                                                     W 15
          -Perhaps, this man was "Jim Brigham"
       Paddy Norton                                                   KO  3
       Billy Ashton                                                   KO  2
       Hunter Brisco                                                   W  6
       Tom Colgrove                                                   KO  3
       Tom Colgrove                                                    W  6
       Charles Gleason                                                 W  6
       Billy Williams                                                  W  6
       Tom Manning                                                    KO  5
       Jack Smith                                                     KO  3

1887
Feb 27 Will Young                                                      W  2

1892
       Tom Harrington                                                 KO  2


*** Photos And Much Data Were Provided By Jake Wegner ***


Record courtesy of Tracy Callis, Kevin Smith, Jake Wegner, Historians,
International Boxing Research Organization
 
Upcoming Fights Current Champions America Online Newsletter Back to Main Page

 

[Return to Top]