Tiger Jack Fox (1907 – 1954)

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Born John Linwood Fox on April 2, 1907 in Indianapolis, Indiana (some say Minnesota), Fox earned the moniker “Tiger Jack” early in his career and boxed under the name Tiger Jack Fox. He claimed that he got his start in boxing when he was picked up while hitchhiking by heavyweight boxer, Young Stribbling, and receiving an offer to serve as a sparring partner.

Tiger took up residence in Terre Haute, Indiana to train under bantamweight champion Bud Taylor and went on to become the Indiana State Heavyweight Champion in 1932. A hard hitting light heavyweight, Fox compiled an overall official record of 155 wins versus only 22 losses and 12 draws over a 22 year career, but he always maintained that he participated in well over 300 professional contests, many of which were unrecorded.  Primarily a counter-puncher, Fox frequently boxed out of crouch with his hands at his side, chin sticking out, and making faces to entice his opponents to lead so that he could counter with a blow of his own.

On December 6, 1938, Fox was stabbed below the heart with a razor blade by a woman during an argument, and initially told that he would never fight again, but he returned the ring less than two months later to fight for a version of the world light heavyweight title against Melio Bettina on February 3rd of 1939. In no condition for such a challenge of that magnitude, Tiger suffered a 9th round technical knockout in the one and only opportunity he ever received to fight for a world title. Among his more significant victories were two over future heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott, and individual wins over Lou Brouillard, Maxie Rosenbloom, and former middleweight champion Bob Olin.

Fox ended his career fighting in and around the Pacific Northwest, ultimately retiring in Spokane, Washington where he died on April 6, 1954 at the age of 47 after suffering a heart attack outside a local movie theater. In 2003 Ring Magazine’s writers listed him among their 100 greatest pound-for-pound punchers of all-time.