“Young” William Stribling was born on December 26, 1904 in Georgia to vaudeville parents. His mother had big dreams for her son, whom she encouraged to do acrobatic exercises and tricks. Once the family settled down in Macon, Georgia, Stribling received proper boxing training. He turned professional in 1921, and, after adding bulk, he switched from lower to higher weight opponents. In 1926, Stribling faced Paul Berlenbach in a light heavyweight title match. Stribling lost the bout. Thanks to a series of knockouts, Stribling found himself in another title match against Jack Sharkey, which he lost as well.
In 1931, Stribling earned his last shot at a championship title in a bout against Max Schmeling. Due to overtraining, Stribling was again unable to clench the title. Despite his lack of title, Stribling was a formidable boxer with 125 knockouts to his name, and a record of 221 wins out of 285 bouts. Stribling’s career and life were cut short when he died after a traffic accident in 1933. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.