New Jersey native Mickey Walker held both the welterweight and world middleweight championships during his career. One of the greatest fighters ever, ESPN has ranked him #17 on their list of 50 Greatest Boxers of all-time, with boxing historian Bert Sugar placing him at #11 in the top 100. In 1929, Walker attempted to win a championship in a third division, fighting light heavyweight champion Tommy Laughran to a ten-round loss. In the summer of 1931, Walker voluntarily relinquished his world middleweight title and moved up to the heavyweight division. Walker continued to fight until 1935. He was part of the inaugural class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Presented here is Walker's Ring Magazine belt awarded to him in 1931. Though it is missing its sash, the brass metal plates are in outstanding condition with some light scuffing here and there, with a few of the metal connective chains having become disconnected but likely easily repaired. The center plate heralds Walker's career, engraved "The Ring Magazine Merit Award to Mickey Walker 1931." Side plates read "Greatest Fighter in Four Classes Since Fitzsimmons," "Won Titles from Jack Britton and Tiger Flowers," "As Welter Champion Defeated Mike McTigue Light Heavy King," and "Fought 15 Round Draw with Jack Sharkey." Ring belts are seldom made available for public sale, and examples this early are extraordinarily rare. An exceptional early belt from one of the most prestigious resources in boxing, recognizing the achievements of one of the greatest fighters ever.