posted on Oct, 23 2004 @ 11:31 PM
NEW ORLEANS -- Joseph Dorsey Jr., a boxer who won a 1957 fight against Louisiana's law banning interracial bouts, has died. He was 69.
Dorsey died at his New Orleans home on Wednesday, D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home said. His family said he died of cancer.
The law was passed in 1956 and Dorsey challenged it the next year, arguing that it was unconstitutional and deprived him as a black man of the chance
to earn about $10,000 a year in purses. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1958 that the law violated the equal protection clause of the
Constitution's 14th Amendment.
Dorsey, a light-heavyweight, fought for a few years after the court decision, ending his career with 29 wins and six losses, daughter Dorinda Dorsey
said. She said promoters tried to prevent her father from fighting after he challenged the law.
"He was blacklisted," she said.
Dorsey was born in New Orleans. He began boxing at 16 and stopped at 31, she said. Dorsey worked as a longshoreman after his boxing career, retiring
Other survivors include his wife, Evelyn, and four sons, Mervin, Dwight, Steven and Donaven Dorsey.