By: Ken Hissner
Ever Hear the Name of Uncrowned Champion Eddie Booker?
This writer recently asked my two favorite Historians Henry Hascup and Chuck Hasson. Hasson brought up the name of Eddie “Black Dynamite” Booker in his P4P all-time greats. I never heard of him and then went to www.boxrec.com and was I in for a shock! He beat Archie Moore, Lloyd Marshall (beat Sonny Liston) and Holman Williams to name a few.
Marshall and Williams were two of the most avoided boxers in the history of boxing. Booker fought from 1935 to 1944. He said when a fight with Charley Burley never materialized that Burley was “Just the best there is out there!”
Booker was from San Jose, CA, and was the San Francisco Golden Gloves champion in 1934 at lightweight. He fought as a middleweight as a professional.
Booker turned professional on January 15th 1935 winning his first twenty-one fights until a draw with Jimmy Wakefield, 21-7-6, on August of 1936. Then eight more wins including two fights after the Wakefield fight he defeated Wakefield.
Then, a pair of draws against Jackie Burke 68-13-17, in October of 1937, and Mickey Duris, 41-4-6, in January of 1938. This was followed with another eight wins.
In January of 1939 Booker met up with Holman Williams, 55-7-3, at Madison Square Garden fighting to a draw. Booker was 37-0-4, when he tasted defeat for the first time to future welterweight champion Fritzie Zivic, 79-19-5, at Madison Square Garden, in his next fight. Then, another loss to Cocoa Kid, 104-28-5, at the Arena in New Haven, CT. Seven straight wins would follow the back to back defeats.
Then came future light heavyweight champion Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore, 47-5-3, in February of 1941, at the San Diego Coliseum, in Moore’s hometown.
Three weeks later it would be another draw, this time with Shorty Hogue, 43-2-1, at the same facility. Two months after this he defeated Hogue. It would be a nine fight winning streak when he met Hogue for the third time and lost his State California Middleweight title.
Two fights later and Booker drew with Johnny “Bandit” Romero, 137-43-7, in May of 1942. Two fights later he stopped Hogue in eight to regain his state title. His six straight win streak ended defeating the ever dangerous Lloyd Marshall, 33-6-2, and a rematch with Moore ending in a draw. Then in the first fifteen round fight in the state since 1914, when he lost to Jack Chase, 49-5-4, and his title in January of 1943.
In Booker’s next fight he defeated Harry “Kid” Matthews, 30-2-4, but two fights later lost to Holman Williams, 107-17-6, in November of 1943. Two fights later he defeated Archie Moore, 59-7-5, in their third bout after drawing twice in January of 1944. The next month he defeated Frankie Nelson, 31-8-1. Then his final bout of his career against no other than Holman Williams, 113-17-6, in March at the Civic Auditorium, in San Francisco. It was their third meeting with a draw and a Holman victory. Booker would defeat Holman over ten rounds. He would retire due to an eye trouble.
What a sensational career for Eddie Booker. Twenty years and eleven days later he would pass away at the age of 57. He had a 66-5-8 record with 34 knockouts. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and in 2017 the IBHOF.