Al Tripoli, from Yonkers, New York, first came into contact with boxing at age 16. However, his mother did not approve of him fighting, and Tripoli took to using the pseudonym Jack Williams to hide his activities. Under that name, he won the 1924 AAU Bantamweight title in Boston, and qualified for the Olympics in Paris. This forced Tripoli to tell his mother about his sport, but he finally left for France. He reached the final against Willie Smith, but lost it due to injuries on both hands. The silver medallists then went on to fight professionally. Although Tripoli was quite successful (60 wins out of 67), he never won any major titles.