Dixon, George

Dixon, George

▪ American athlete
born July 29, 1870, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
died January 6, 1909, New York, New York, U.S.

      Canadian-born American boxer, the first black to win a world boxing championship. He is considered one of the best fighters in the history of the bantamweight and featherweight divisions (present weight limits 118 pounds and 126 pounds, respectively).

      A resident of Boston from 1887, Dixon won the world bantamweight championship by knocking out Nunc Wallace of England in the 18th round on June 27, 1890, in London. Later that year he resigned the title, after one successful defense, and he subsequently fought as a featherweight. He held the championship of that class from July 28, 1891, when he knocked out Abe Willis of Australia in the 5th round in San Francisco, to October 4, 1897, when he lost a 20-round decision to Solly Smith, also in San Francisco. He regained that title on November 11, 1898, when he defeated Dave Sullivan in the 10th round in New York City, and he held it until January 9, 1900, when he was knocked out by Terry McGovern in the 8th round, also in New York City. In 20 years of professional boxing (1886–1906), he fought 158 bouts (some boxing historians say 700, the divergence caused by the difficulty of determining which fights should be considered exhibition bouts in this period before official sanctioning), including 33 championship fights. Dixon was elected to Ring magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame in 1956.

▪ English navigator
born c. 1755
died c. 1800

      English navigator whose exploration of the western coast of North America helped to establish a profitable English fur trade in what is now British Columbia.

      Upon returning from Capt. James Cook's third voyage in search of a northwest passage to the Orient (1776–79), he became a captain in the merchant navy. In 1785 he sailed in the “Queen Charlotte,” in the service of the King George's Sound Company of London, to develop the fur trade in western North America. His discoveries there included Queen Charlotte Islands, part of Queen Charlotte Sound, Port Mulgrave, Norfolk Sound, Dixon Entrance, and Alexander Archipelago. He sold a cargo of furs in China, where he took aboard a cargo of tea with which he returned to England (1788). In 1789 he published A Voyage Round the World; but More Particularly to the North-west Coast of America, which consisted mainly of descriptive letters written by his supercargo, William Beresford. Some doubt exists as to whether he was the same George Dixon as the one who taught navigation at Gosport, Hampshire, and wrote The Navigator's Assistant (1791).

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Universalium. 2010.

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