When you understand that Tom Molineaux was a black American slave who won his freedom fighting and then travelled to England to contest the mythical title of champion of the world in the year 1810, you immediately want to know more.
Kudos to author Bill Calogero for unearthing a character from more than 200 years ago. Calogero spent seven years doing the research for the book. Finding details on Molineaux from across two centuries of time could not have been easy.
One of Calogero’s principal sources is Pierce Egan, a British writer who witnessed Molineaux’s fights and detailed them in his Boxiana series in the early 1800’s. The book also delves into Molineaux’s relations to Algernon Molineaux, his plantation owner, Patrick Davis and Bill Richmond, among others.
Along with putting together the known facts on Tom Molineaux in a straightforward clear-cut text, Calogero extends the premise that Molineaux should be recognized as the first known American “Champion” of pugilism based on his exploits in New York City after winning his freedom. Since there are virtually no first hand accounts available, the reader may reserve that judgment. What readers can agree upon is that Molineaux is a piece of pugilistic history that should be remembered. So many of boxing’s champions experienced great tragedy along with their triumphs, and Molineaux’s sad decline is reflected in the histories of countless generations of pugilists that have come along since.
Calogero tackles a difficult subject in that the story touches on aspects of America and indeed world history that go well beyond boxing. The book is an interesting read for fans of boxing and boxing history. However, due to the limited amount of documentation, the reader may be left wanting more.
LINK TO AMAZON:
“TOM MOLINEAUX From Bondage to Baddest Man on the Planet” By Bill Calogero
Published: 2015 J.C. Publications, Sacramento, California / 140 pages
You can also check out more from Bill Calogero at his website: