Tough McVey was 'game to the core'

Were he a fighter of this era, Sam McVey would be a pay-per-view attraction. During the early 1900s, however, African-American fighters of McVey's caliber were avoided at all costs, even by boxers of their own race.

Originally Published: February 19, 2008
By Graham Houston | Special to ESPN.com

Everyone knows the wonderful contribution made to boxing by black fighters, from the greats to the hard-working contenders. Yet some have become hidden behind the mists of time, names known only to the historians or the hard-core followers of the sport. One such fighter was the old-time heavyweight contender Sam McVey.

McVey, who lived in Oxnard, Calif., was one of a group of black heavyweights, including Sam Langford, Joe Jeanette and Harry Wills, who could not get a title fight in the ...

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