Langford’s boxing legacy lives on
Sam Langford’s story ‘Chasing Champions’ coming to the Marc Lescarbot Theatre
Sam Langford was born in Weymouth Falls in 1882 and died in the United States in 1956, but his memory is still very much alive today.
Langford or, as some called him, the Boston Tar Baby, was a professional boxer who fought 642 fights in his 24-year career. By the time of his last fight he was blind. He had to listen to the sound of his opponent’s feet approaching in order to get a swing in.
He lost sight in his left eye in 1917 but continued fighting until his final fight in 1926 that had to be cancelled in the first round because he couldn’t see a thing.
The Weymouth Waterfront Development Committee in partnership with the Université Sainte-Anne and the Ship’s Theatre Company are bringing Langford’s story to the Marc Lescarbot Theatre through the play Chasing Champions.
Jeanne Nesbit, the secretary of the Weymouth Waterfront Development Committee, works at Sissiboo Landing in Weymouth, where they have a life-sized cutout of Langford.
“When relatives come in they say, ‘Oh, that’s cousin Sam, or great uncle Sam.’ They’re very proud of his story and we all are.”
Although some boxers wouldn’t get in the ring with Langford because of his race, or because they knew he would win, he still had a very successful career and continues to be named ‘a great’ long after his death.
“He has a very colourful story to tell and we’re honoured to be able to share his story further through Chasing Champions,” says Nesbit.
Chasing Champions is an award-winning production by Jacob Sampson. The play visits the world of boxing in the 1910-1920s and flashes back to Langford’s early life growing up in Weymouth.
Sam Langford of Weymouth Falls fought 642 fights in his career as a professional boxer.