One of the greatest moments in boxing history and one name that will forever remain etched in our memory is Battling Siki.
Siki, born Louis Mbarick Fall in Senegal, made his mark in the ring during a time when boxing was dominated by white fighters, and black boxers were often denied a fair shot at the championship title. But Siki defied the odds and became the first African fighter to challenge for the world light heavyweight title.
He arrived in France in 1913 and quickly made a name for himself with his fierce fighting style and charismatic personality. He won numerous bouts in France, building a reputation as a fearless competitor who would take on all comers.
Siki’s big break came in 1922 when he faced Georges Carpentier, the French hero and reigning light heavyweight champion, in a bout that was dubbed the “Fight of the Century.” Despite being a heavy underdog, Siki put on a dazzling performance and knocked out Carpentier in the sixth round to become the new champion.
But Siki’s triumph was short-lived. In a controversial rematch a few months later, Carpentier regained the title in what many observers felt was a rigged decision. Nevertheless, Siki’s legacy as a trailblazer and barrier-breaker lives on.
Battling Siki will always be remembered as a pioneer who paved the way for future generations of black fighters to reach the heights of the sport. He was a true original who lived life on his own terms and made history in the process.
So here’s to Battling Siki, a true legend of the ring and a reminder of the power of determination and perseverance in the face of adversity.”
The WBC and the entire world pay tribute to the legendary Battling Siki on the occasion of his 125th Anniversary as the first African fighter to win a World Title
Louis Fall, embodies the spirit of perseverance and determination, proving that with hard work and talent, anyone can overcome obstacles and leave a lasting impact on the world.
We celebrate Battling Siki for his unwavering passion and for his integrity as a fighter. He was known for his honesty, his humor, and for never giving in to pressure to throw a fight. The WBC will receive a special proclamation from the USA Black Congressional Caucus and the Mayor of NYC, recognizing his place in history. This year, journalist Ashley Morrison will release a documentary celebrating Louis Fall’s life and legacy on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of his triumph.