Joe Beckett is a historical figure mentioned in "Battle of the Century". Beckett is a British boxer and was British Heavyweight boxing champion in 1919 after defeating Bombardier Billy Wells on 27 February 1919. He fought European Heavyweight Champion Georges Carpentier later in 1919 and lost by knockout in one round. Beckett is mentioned in a discussion between Nucky Thompson and an Irish mortician. Carpentier is about to fight World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey and the mortician considers Carpentier defeating Beckett a good sign for his chances; Nucky dismisses Beckett as a bum.
In real life, Beckett died on March 12, 1965 at the age of 72.