Joe Gans: A Biography of the First African American World Boxing Champion (2008) By Colleen Aycock & Mark Scott
Joe Gans captured the world lightweight title in 1902, becoming the first black American world title holder in any sport. Gans was a master strategist and tactician, and one of the earliest practitioners of "scientific" boxing. As a black champion reigning during the Jim Crow era, he endured physical assaults, a stolen title, bankruptcy, and numerous attempts to destroy his reputation. Four short years after successfully defending his title in the 42-round "Greatest Fight of the Century," Joe Gans was dead of tuberculosis. This biography features original round-by-round ringside telegraph reports of his most famous and controversial fights, a complete fight history, photographs, and early newspaper drawings and cartoons.
The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing's First African American Champion (2012) By William Gildea
Many people came to Goldfield, Nevada, America's last gold-rush town, to seek their fortune. However, on a searing summer day in September 1906, they came not to strike it rich but to watch what would become the longest boxing match of the twentieth century--between Joe Gans, the first African American boxing champion, and "Battling" Nelson, a vicious and dirty brawler. It was a match billed as the battle of the races.
In The Longest Fight, the longtime Washington Post sports correspondent William Gildea tells the story of this epic match, which would stretch to forty-two rounds and last two hours and forty-eight minutes. A new rail line brought spectators from around the country, dozens of reporters came to file blow-by-blow accounts, and an entrepreneurial crew's film of the fight, shown in theaters shortly afterward, endures to this day.