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James J. Braddock


Born in New York's Hell's Kitchen area, just blocks away from that boxing mecca Madison Square Garden, Braddock won the heavyweight title in a huge upset over Max Baer in 1935 at MSG, thus earning the nickname "Cinderella Man."

Arthritis in both hands would then keep Braddock away from the ring for a time. He refused to fight Max Schmeling in 1936, deciding later to instead face Joe Louis for a heftier payday. Braddock floored Louis in the first round, but he eventually succumbed to the stronger Louis in Round 8. Braddock fought just once after losing his title, a split decision victory over Tommy Farr at the Garden, before retiring in 1938.