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The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 5 - No 4  11 Aug ,  2009


Name: Harry Wills
Career Record:
Alias: Black Panther
US American
Birthplace: New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Born: 1889-05-15
Age at Death: 69
Height: 6′ 2″
Paddy Mullins

Sunday State Journal Lincoln, Nebraska

24 Aug 1924

  • Methods of Negro Boxer Are Totally Opposite From Wild Bull's Ideas—He Weighs 224.

At Harry Wills' camp at Rose Point, a beautiful spot on Peconic Bay, Southampton, L. I., we learned that Wills' training methods are almost totally opposite from Luis Firpo's. Whereas Luis takes his steak and meat daily, Harry's special training dish is cream cheese of his own making. Harry eats little meat and no steaks or beef until the day of a fight.Firpo is taking his training fairly easy just now, working gradually more and more up to the fight, he says. Wills has done thirty-three days of hard work until he has got himself in shape to enter a ring today, so has let up in order not to go stale.

Wills eats only two meals a day. Firpo the  regulation three. Wills jogs eight miles a day thru heavy sand along the beach. Firpo does but five miles of road work and not much running to it. Instead of punching a heavy bag Wills pulls on a rowing machine

Can You Answer This?

And while Firpo is losing weight Wills finds the harder he works the more he gains! Luis has lost eight pounds, Harry has gained fourteen, now weighing 224, one pound more than Firpo says he weighs. In one respect only does Wills training   idea agree with Firpo's. Harry thinks that every man should train himself according to "his own individual requirements. (This is the idea which the Finnish athletes who proved so redoubtable in the Olympics have given to our own Olympic athletes.) Therefore, both Wills and Firpo are their own trainers.

"Of course these big professional trainers know their business and more about training athletes than I do," Wills admitted. "But I figure I've been in the game long enough now to know just what it takes to get me In condition. I don't think they could help me any. While a trainer can tell a man's condition on the outside by looking at him, he don't know how the man feels on the

inside. Some days that  eight miles along the beach doesn't bother me at all and I can box five or six rounds and work all afternoon and never feel It. But other times I know that I'm just wearing out my energy inside, and nobody but me knows it."