Sam Langford is one of the greatest boxers of all time, so why don't we know who he is?
Sam Langford is one of the greatest boxers of all time, but few people know who he is.
ESPN once called Langford the "greatest fighter almost nobody knows," and Nova Scotian playwright Jacob Sampson wants to change that.
"I was blown away that I hadn't heard of this guy," Sampson recalls, of discovering Langford's story while researching athletes to write a play about. The result of Sampson's research is his play, Chasing Champions: The Sam Langford Story, which puts Langford's life front and centre.
It tells the tale of the boxer's childhood growing up in rural Nova Scotia, and the many obstacles he faced in his personal life and career that prevented him from getting the recognition he deserved. From being excluded from competing in championship titles due to a colour ban to having top boxers refuse to fight him for fear that they would lose, Langford's story is one that we all need to know — but Sampson warns that there are more out there.
"There's a lot of stories out there," Sampson guarantees. "Go look because Nova Scotia is rich with a lot of untold stories."
Chasing Champions: The Sam Langford Story runs until April 30 at the Eastern Front Theatre in Halifax, N.S. For more information, head to the theatre's website.
Note: For listeners wondering what book Sampson was talking about in the interview, he was referring to Sam Langford: Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion by Clay Moyle.
— Produced by Cora Nijhawan