The World of Billy Walker

BBC TV (1964)

The World of Billy Walker explores the life and times of the British heavyweight contender.

The World of Billy Walker (1964) is a TV documentary produced and directed by Stephen Hearst for BBC TV. The cinematographers were Dick Bush and Albert Maysles, the latter of whom went on to film and/or direct with his brother David such classic docs as Monterey Pop (1964), Salesman (1968), Gimme Shelter (1970), When We Were Kings (1996), Grey Gardens (2009), and many others. Filmed in gritty black and white, The World of Billy Walker explores the life and times of the former heavyweight contender known as the “Golden Boy” and “Blond Bomber.” Born in London in 1939, Walker turned pro in 1961 after 39 amateur bouts. He fought for the British and European heavyweight titles in 1967, losing to Henry Cooper and Karl Mildenberger, respectively, before retiring in 1969 at the age of 30 with a record of 21-8-2, with 16 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Billy Walker may not have been the best British heavyweight in history; the same cannot be said about the documentary which bears his name.