Eddie Nichols (1905-12/25/1955) was an amateur welterweight in the 1920's. He was born in San Antonio, Texas and moved to Chicago in 1923. His first boxing lesson came from the black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who in turn became a good fighter thanks to legendary middleweight boxer Joe Chojnski; they even trained in jail together after being arrested & became pals.
At the time, in the late 19th, early 20th century many states in the United States did not allow fights between mixed races and boxing was illegal in general (part of useless Frawley Law just like Prohibition)! In Chicago, some boxing fans fondly remember him as a good trainer. He was the owner of Nichols Gym where many famous boxers trained including Bob Satterfield, Sonny Liston when he was starting out; also Bob 'Belt Em, Grinder' Baker & others. Baker was rocky marciano's final logical challenger but Rocky & Weill avoided him; IBC President Norris said if Rocky (49-0) does not fight by February he may never again. He was right, he was to fight him in early 1956 between January 4 & February 3 1956 (first quarter of 1956)! Rocky had golden opportunity to earn golden 50-0 record if he had defeated Baker but it would not have been easy for the first 10 rounds, Baker was also body builder with pretty solid chin, he had good record against shorter opponents. At the time Baker had best winning record of all world's heavyweight contenders. After losing to Archie Moore he was never KO'D, OR TKO'D again! Such rare feat speaks for itself. His record was excellent & he was in his prime. 45-5 record, could have been bettter if not for his greedy manager Chris Dundee who was no better than Don King, golden boy promotions & others today. Unlike other fighters BB won 13 straight fights aka Baker's Dozen. Others who had at least 11 straight victories were Summerlin & Italian Cavichi. But they never fought top rated Baker aka BB & were not rated in the top 5. Between April 1955 & February 1956, 'Big' Bob Baker was rated as Roky's #1 logical opponent, that's impressive run in boxin world! On September 9 1957, he defeatead multiple world champion candidate, Canadian champ George Chuvalo, one of very few boxers who were never knocked down! Baker was in his prime between 1954-1955.
Nichols passed away on Christmas morning December 25 1955, in his sleep. Family had hard time accepting his death during Christmas & holidays as they had already planned special party in his honor, it had to be canceled. His funeral took place on Monday January 2 1956.