Frank Craig “The Harlem Coffee Cooler” was born in 1870, in Harlem, gaining the name while participating in minor bouts in Harlem, NY. Craig was quick, clever and hit hard.
He fought as a middleweight and light heavyweight, weighing in at 158 lbs, and 5′ 10 tall. He tangled with a number of larger men; Craig won the Colored Middleweight Championship of the World during his career.
Craig became an overnight music hall star in Britain and one of his sidelines was to use his mouth organ to accompany himself in a display of “buck” dancing (where the dancer’s footwear is used musically by striking the heel, the toe, or both against a floor or each other to create audible percussive rhythms, usually to the downbeat with the heel keeping the rhythm) to pull the crowds in the direction of the boxing booth.
Craig defeated such men as Joe Butler, Billy McCarthy, Fred Woods, Fred Morris, Joe Ellingsworth, Bill Slavin, Tom Thomas, Ted Pritchard, George Chrisp, Charlie Knock, Charles Allum, Fred Drummond and Denis Haugh. Portrait gallery of pugilists of America and their contemporaries (1894) by William Edwards.
Frank “The Harlem Coffee Cooler” Craig fought for the
world middleweight title in 1899, but lost to Tommy Ryan by K.O.
Even though Craig had a Cockney accent and the English ways, he was a Harlemite and that was enough for the English fans to back him.
Craig in London, England at the age of 74.