Jack’s Journal: Cadillac’s Boxing Legend

When you think of the big names in boxing, Ad Wolgast is almost certainly not on the list.

But as Jack O’Malley found out for tonight’s entry in Jack’s Journal, maybe the Northern Michigan fighter should get more attention.

He was born on a Cadillac potato farm in 1888 of German decent. Adoph Wolgast was a strong young man.

At the age of 18 he took up boxing with bouts in Cadillac, Grand Rapids and Lansing. 2 years later he was on the move to Milwaukee. Then the bright lights of California. And a fight with Oscar “Battling” Nelson. Nelson known for his endurance. That fight lasted 40 rounds.

He took the Light Weight Championship and a spot in history as the 19th most amazing fight in all of boxing.

Ad was a Cadillac boy even after staring in a couple Hollywood movies.

The Michigan Wildcat, as he was known, held the title for 3 years. He would return to Cadillac to teach boxing and help raise money for the YMCA and the fairgrounds.

But 165 fights in 15 or so years took their toll and numerous injuries and dementia saw ad being institutionalized. Life then was generally peaceful but late in life there was a moment.

He died in 1955 at the age of 67.