George Godfrey
("Old Chocolate")

BORN   March 30 1853; Prince Edward Island, Canada
DIED October 17 1901; Revere, Massachusetts
HEIGHT 5-10 1/2
WEIGHT 165-176 lbs

Godfrey was never much bigger than a light heavyweight but fought anyone, regardless of their weight; He was quick and clever and especially game; Godfrey won the Colored Heavyweight Championship of the World during his career

During his career, Godfrey defeated such men as Charles Hadley, McHenry Johnson ("Minneapolis Star"), Patsy Cardiff, "Denver" Ed Smith, Joe Lannon, Jack Ashton, C.A.C. Smith and Jack Wannop

1879
       Charles Hadley             New York, NY                      D  6
          -Some sources report 1882
       Tom "Ham" Williams         Boston, Ma                       KO  3
          -Some sources report "W 3"
       Joe Dougherty              Boston, Ma                       KO  1
       Mose Laborn                Boston, Ma                       KO   
          -Godfrey won a Heavyweight Competition by winning
           the previous 3 bouts

1881
Sep    John L. Sullivan           Boston, Ma                      SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but not held;
           Both men were stripped for a "fight-to-the-finish";
           Sullivan then said he would not fight Godfrey;
           Some sources report 1882

1882
Jan 26 Charles Hadley             New York, NY                      D  4
       Jake Kilrain               Boston, Ma                        D  3   
          -Some sources report "EX 3"

          -Godfrey defeated a number of unnamed opponents 

1883
Jan 18 Charles Hadley             New York, NY                      D  6
Jan 18 Harry Allen                Boston, Ma                       EX   
          -Different sources report the previous 2 bouts on the same date
Feb 22 Charles Hadley             Boston, Ma                       TK  6
          -Godfrey claimed the Colored Heavyweight Championship
           of the World; John L. Sullivan was the referee; 
           Some sources report "W 6" on 2/23/83
May 16 Jake Kilrain               Boston, Ma                       ND  3
          -Police intervened;
           Some sources report "D 3";
           Some sources report "L 3"
Nov 21 Young Loring               Boston, Ma                       EX  3

1884
Jan 22 Dan Foley                  Boston, Ma                       EX   
Feb  1 Florrie Barnett            Boston, Ma                       EX  3
          -Some sources report 2/02/84;
          Some sources report "W 3"
May 10 McHenry Johnson            Boston, Ma                        D  6
          -Johnson was called the Minneapolis Star;
           Police intervened; 
           Some sources report 5/10/83;
           Reports vary - "NC 4" - "D 3" - "D 4"
Dec  6 George Taylor              Boston, Ma                        D  4

1883-1885
       Billy Wilson                                                 W   

1885
Jan 12 Jack Loring                in Massachusetts                 ND  3
Mar 10 Jimmy Doherty              Boston, Ma                       KO  1
          -Some sources report 1882
       Harry Williams             Boston, Ma                       KO  3
          -Some sources report 1882
May    Barney Small               Salem, Ma                        KO  2
Nov 16 Jimmy Doherty              Boston, Ma                       LF  3
          -Godfrey knocked Doherty down 3 times;
           The referee ruled that Godfrey struck Doherty
           while he was on his knees and declared Doherty
           the winner by foul
Dec  7 Joe Mullen                 Chelsea, Ma                      KO  3
Dec 22 Isaac "Ike" Talbot         Bangor, Me                        D  6
          -Some sources report "W 6";
           Some sources report "ND 6"

1884-1886
       C.A.C. Smith                                                 D  6

1886
Apr 26 Joe Lannon                 Boston, Ma                        D  6
          -Some sources report "W 6"

1887
May 18 Dan Foley                  Boston, Ma                       EX   
Aug  8 John Fay                   Boston, Ma                       EX   
Sep 19 Joe Lannon                 Boston, Ma                       EX  3
Dec 19 Steve Taylor               Boston, Ma                      SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but not held;
           Taylor had an injured hand
Dec 19 Dan Foley                  Boston, Ma                       EX   

1888
Jan 25 McHenry Johnson            Bloomfield, Co                   LF  4
          -Johnson was called the Minneapolis Star;
           Godfrey knocked Johnson down 3 times; The referee
           first ruled Godfrey loser by an "LF 4" verdict;
           He later reversed the decision and Godfrey got 
           the winner's share of the purse; Godfrey was
           recognized as the "Colored Heavyweight Champion 
           of the World"; Some sources report "Denver, Co"
Feb 27 Bobby Burns                Fitchburg, Ma                     W  4
May 14 -Godfrey challenged John L. Sullivan to a bout; Sullivan refused
Aug 24 Peter Jackson              San Francisco, Ca                LK 19

1887-1889
       Patsy Cardiff              Boston, Ma                      SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known

1889
       Peter Jackson                                               EX   
       Peter Jackson                                               EX   
Feb  4 Joe Lannon                 Boston, Ma                        D 15
          -It had been agreed that the fight would be a "Draw"
           if a knockout was not scored; John L. Sullivan was
           the referee
Mar 28 Jack Wannop                Boston, Ma                       KO  6
Nov  7 Jack Ashton                Boston, Ma                       KO 14

1890
Mar  8 Patsy Cardiff              Providence, RI                   KO 16
Nov 25 "Denver" Ed Smith          Hoboken, NJ                      TK 23

1891
Mar 13 Jake Kilrain               San Francisco, Ca                LK 44

1892
May 16 Joe Lannon                 Coney Island, NY                 KO  4
          -Some sources report "TK 5"
Aug 15 C.A.C. Smith               New York, NY                      W  4
Oct 31 Joe Choynski               Coney Island, NY                 LK 15

1893
Nov  8 Steve O'Donnell            Providence, RI                    D  6
Nov 11 Jim Hall                   Boston, Ma                       ND  3
Dec 15 Joe Butler                                                   D  4

1894 
Jan 19 Ed Binney                  Boston, Ma                       EX  3
May 28 Peter Maher                Boston, Ma                       LK  6

1895
Nov 11 Billy Woods                Baltimore, Md                    WF  9
          -Some sources report 11/10/95;
           Some sources report "WF 8"

1896
Mar  5 Nick Burley                Boston, Ma                        D 15


*** Assistance Was Provided By Christopher Shelton ***

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
 
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