Some have called Sam Langford “the greatest fighter pound-for-pound who ever lived.” Born in Weymouth Falls in 1886, Sam Langford was only sixteen when he began his professional boxing career in 1902, the year he won a 15-round decision over Joe Gans, then the lightweight champion of the world. Langford was denied the title, however, because both fighters had weighed over the 133-pound limit. Ironically, despite Langford’s enormous talent and his string of impressive victories during his career the fighter never won a world championship.
During the height of his fame in the late teens and early 20s, Sam Langford’s face was on everywhere from trading cards and match boxes to cigarette packages and magazine covers. He earned over $300,000 in the ring but died broke, blind and lonely in a charity ward of a Cambridge, Massachusetts hospital in 1956.