Benny Leonard

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Benny Leonard
Benny Leonard.jpg
Statistics
Real nameBenjamin Leiner
Nickname(s)Ghetto Wizard
The Great Bennah
Benny the Great
Weight(s) Lightweight champion
Welterweight contender
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Nationality Jewish American
Born(1896-04-07)April 7, 1896
Lower East Side, New York City, New York, United States
DiedApril 18, 1947(1947-04-18) (aged 51)
St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights219
Wins185
Wins by KO70
Losses22
Draws9
No contests3

Benny Leonard (born Benjamin Leiner; April 7, 1896 – April 18, 1947) was a Jewish American professional boxer who held the world lightweight championship for eight years, from 1917 to 1925. Widely considered one of the all-time greats, he was ranked 8th on The Ring magazine's list of the "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years" and placed 7th in ESPN's "50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time". [1] In 2005, the International Boxing Research Organization ranked Leonard as the #1 lightweight, and #8 best pound-for-pound fighter of all time. [2] Statistical website BoxRec rates Leonard as the 2nd best lightweight ever, while The Ring magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #2. Boxing historian Bert Sugar placed him 6th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue. [3] [4] [5] [2]

Contents

Early life

Benjamin Leiner was born and raised as a youth in the Jewish ghetto, located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, near Eighth Street and Second Avenue, where he learned to fight the sons of other immigrants. His religious Jewish parents Minny and Gershon Leiner, who immigrated from Russia, disapproved of his fighting but understood his frequent need to defend himself in the poor neighborhoods in which he grew up. [6] His father struggled to support a wife and eight children by working twelve-hour days in a garment sweatshop at twenty dollars a week. His annual take-home pay rarely eclipsed $1400. [4] [7]

Leiner began his professional career in 1911 at age 15. He took the Americanized name Benny Leonard to prevent his parents from discovering he had taken up professional boxing to earn extra money for them and himself. [4]

Professional career

Leonard was known for his speed, lightning reflexes, excellent boxing technique, and ability to think fast on his feet. Equally important, he taught himself to be a powerful hitter, who scored 70 Knock Outs from his 89 wins. He was defeated only six times in his career and was held to a draw on few occasions. As was common in the era in which he fought, he engaged in many no-decision matches and is believed to have fought in around 96 bouts. He most distinguished himself by decisively winning over 90% of his career matches in his prime between 1921-32, and winning all of his matches decided by judges and based on points. [5] [8]

Lightweight contender

Leonard debuted his boxing career on a Saturday in November 1911, losing in three rounds at the Fondon Athletic Club in New York. The fight was stopped because he was bleeding through the nose. He won 12 of his next 18 bouts which included three no-decisions, establishing a reputation as a good local fighter before meeting Canadian Frankie Fleming in May 1912. Leonard was knocked out for only the second time in his career. He lost a rematch with Fleming 16 months later. Not surprisingly, Fleming got the first shot at Freddie Welsh, failing to unseat the world lightweight champion in a May 1915 fight, which the newspapers awarded to Welsh.

On August 14, 1914, Leonard knocked out talented contender Tommy Houck in the seventh of ten rounds at Elmsford, New York. Apparently Leonard had learned Houck's strategy after a previous loss to him one year earlier on September 27, 1913, in a ten round newspaper decision in Atlantic Garden, New York. [5]

Leonard's next big test came when he took on featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane in Atlantic City in April 1915. In a close bout, Kilbane won six of ten rounds to win the decision. "Leonard might have beaten the champion if he had a little more confidence," the Chicago Tribune wrote, "but even when he was having the best of the going he shut up like a clam and clinched for all he was worth." [5]

Leonard defeated Portuguese boxer Joe Azevedo on November 19, 1915 in Azevedo's hometown of Saratoga Springs, New York, outpointing him in all rounds but the first which was even. Azevedo needed to clinch frequently to avoid Leonard's attack. The New York Times clearly gave the decision to Leonard. [9] [5]

On December 17, 1915, Leonard knocked out Joe Mandot in the seventh round of a ten round bout in Harlem. There was brilliant scientific boxing for the first six rounds, and a few sources reported that Mandot held a slight lead until the knockout. [5] In the end, Leonard scored a decisive victory against a leading contender for the lightweight title. On his second attempt to rise in the seventh, Leonard administered a stinging right to Mandot that put him down for the count. As was his habit, Benny was effective in combinations with both gloves, wearing down Mandot with fast jolts throughout the strategically fought bout, until he could deliver the crossing right in the seventh that put Mandot down for the first time. After his second fall to the canvas, Mandot attempted to drag himself up using the ropes but was unable, and the ten count was completed with him in a seated position. His manager later commented that Mandot was sick before the fight. [10] [11] [12]

In their first meeting on February 28, 1916, Leonard defeated Rocky Kansas in ten rounds in Buffalo, New York. In a complete victory, the Buffalo Courier claimed Kansas "landed only one clean blow" to Leonard's face, and that Leonard's trademark dark, center-parted hair remained smooth, and unmussed throughout the bout. Leonard was said to have "caught punches in the air", blocked Rocky's returns, dealt frequent stunning lefts, and shot his powerful right. He also dodged several of Kansas's punches with rapid and beautifully executed shifts of his torso demonstrating his superior speed and reflexes By the close of the tenth, Kansas was groggy. [13]

First lightweight championship attempt, March, 1916

Welsh (left center) vs Leonard 1917 Jimmy Welsh vs Benny Leonard.jpeg
Welsh (left center) vs Leonard 1917

Leonard then reeled off a string of 15 straight victories, interrupted by two draws, which earned him the chance to meet Freddie Welsh for the lightweight championship on March 3, 1916. Although newspaper reporters at Madison Square Garden believed that Leonard had won, Welsh retained his title in a bout that was officially recorded as a no decision. The two fighters met again four months later in Brooklyn, and this time Welsh won decisively, staggering Leonard and nearly putting him down with a right to the jaw in the sixth.

Leonard met Jimmy Murphy On February 21, 1916, and won decisively in a sixth round knockout in Philadelphia. Leonard outpointed Murphy throughout the six round contest landing more and better blows. In the sixth, Leonard landed his powerful right to Murphy's jaw, and though he rose after a brief count, Leonard again attacked with a rapid series of rights and lefts to the jaw that put Murphy down for the count and rendered him unconscious for several minutes. After the bout, Leonard's fans rushed him and carried him on their shoulders to his dressing room. [14] [15] The accomplished Murphy had recently outpointed reigning lightweight champion Freddie Welsh and had met Ad Wolgast, Johnny Dundee, and Pal Moore. [16] [17]

On March 13, 1916 Leonard defeated Sam Robideau in a six round newspaper decision in Philadelphia. According to the Washington Post, Leonard had Robideau "almost out for the count". In the first three rounds, Robideau tried to take the lead, but Leonard waited him out and let him tire against his defense, still getting a few effective counter punches. In the fourth, he tried Robideau more, forcing him to defend against his rapid attack. In the fifth, several lefts to the jaw of Robideau weakened him, but Leonard allowed him to recover. In the sixth, Robideau tried to take the lead, and even hold at times, but Leonard broke from his holds and after a couple of shots to the jaw, and a powerful right, put Robideau on the canvas for a count of nine. When Robideau arose, he could only manage to clinch Leonard by the waist and wait for the bell. Robideau had an admirable record against many of the best lightweights of his era, including several opponents of Leonard. [18]

Harlem native Frankie Connifrey, the 'Fighting Fireman" lost decisively to Leonard in a sixth round technical knockout on September 14, 1916. Leonard had the edge in the first five rounds using his characteristic ringcraft to outmaneuver and outbox Conifrey who still returned a few punches of his own. In the sixth, a shower of rights and lefts by Leonard had Conifrey "out on his feet". The referee stopped the fight when one of Connifrey's seconds jumped into the ring, and a small riot ensued when around 300 of Conifrey's fans threw chairs and bottles into the ring. [19] [20]

In a twelfth round technical knockout in Kansas City on October 18, 1916, Leonard convincingly defeated Ever Hammer. In the final round, Hammer's manager stopped the fight at the count of three after his boxer was knocked to the mat. Of the eleven full rounds fought by the two competitors, Leonard had eight, Hammer only two, and one was even. Hammer was considered the top contender for the lightweight title in the Midwest. [21] [5]

With his string of victories, Leonard had earned enough by 1916 to move his formerly struggling family from their Lower East Side ghetto to a better neighborhood in Harlem, a goal he had had since beginning his boxing career. [22]

On January 22, 1917, Leonard beat Eddie Wallace in a six round newspaper decision before a substantial crowd of 6,000 in Philadelphia. The Washington Post gave Leonard all six rounds. Leonard worked in machine-like form, crashing stunning punches to the head of Wallace, who had little in the way of an effective defense. Wallace was close to being knocked out by the end of round six. [23]

On February 28, 1917, he fought onetime Bantamweight Champion Jimmy Reagan at the Manhattan Casino in Manhattan, New York, in a ten-round match, that the New York Times labeled a draw. The Des Moines Register considered Reagan having gone ten rounds without being knocked out by the extraordinary Leonard a remarkable accomplishment. According to the Ogden Standard, "Dozens of times Jimmy seemed on the point of going down, but always he kept afoot. The Standard also wrote of Leonard, that "there wasn't a punch that he didn't aim at Reagan, and there wasn't one that was forceful enough to keep the Californian at bay." [24] [25] [26]

Taking world lightweight championship, May, 1917

Freddie Welsh, 1920s FreddieWelshHeadshot1920s.jpg
Freddie Welsh, 1920s

Winning 17 of 19 bouts after his second loss to Freddie Welsh, the 21-year-old Leonard fought lightweight champion Welsh for the third time in the Manhattan Casino on May 28, 1917. The challenger floored the champion three times in the ninth round before referee Billy McPartland stopped the fight with Welsh hanging unconscious on the ropes, making Leonard the World Lightweight Champion. Reflecting the sentiments of the perfect Jewish son, Leonard confided to the press, "My mother deserves all the credit. She always made me live right...tonight he (Welsh) showed more skill than I ever saw before...he is a game fellow. I didn't know it was the ninth round when I went after him at the finish, but I knew the time was getting short...He is a brainy fighter but I know then that his brain wasn't in control. I've always been afraid of hitting a man who was helpless like that so I didn't hit him on the chin again, I hit him on the head, hoping he would go down." Rather than a harsh blow, Leonard used a lighter one, hoping not to excessively injure his opponent. Leonard displayed sportsmanship, humility, consideration for others, and the ability to articulate the qualities that endeared him to the Jewish community of New York, and made him a great draw and a role model to many of his fans. After the bout, Leonard said he intended to enroll in the Army for WWI, where he served as a valued boxing instructor for the troops. [27] [5]

On June 4, 1917, Leonard defeated Joe Welsh in a six round newspaper decision in Philadelphia. Using precision combination punching, Leonard jabbed and hooked with his left and crossed rights to the jaw of Welsh throughout the bout. He threw lightning jabs in the fifth, though their speed did not give him time to set for power. Though he tried hard in the sixth to make Welsh his sixth straight knockout victim, Benny lacked the steam and precision to send Welsh down for the count. [28]

Johnny Nelson lost at Leonard's hometown Harlem Sports Club in New York on June 18, 1917 in a third round technical knockout. The bout was considered Leonard's first defense of his title by some reporters, as he would have lost it if he had been knocked out by his opponent. Nelson was a strong boxer, but he was ineffective against the speed, timing and ringcraft of Leonard who was able to land more powerful punches throughout the bout. [5] With great and unusual gifts of athleticism, Benny defeated stronger opponents without retreating by employing a more complex ring strategy executed with superior speed and agility. His ability to rarely retreat, and his long streak of knockouts, pleased his audience who considered him a true champion.

Victory over champion Johnny Kilbane, 1917

Johnny Kilbane Johnny Kilbane LOC.tif
Johnny Kilbane

On July 25, 1917, Leonard defeated Johnny Kilbane, reigning world featherweight champion from 1912-23, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia in a third round technical knockout. Impressively, it was only the second knockout loss in 122 bouts for Kilbain. [4] Biding his time in the first two rounds, Leonard knew he clearly had the edge in the third, and his blows began to land with authority, speed and precision. Twenty seconds into the round, Leonard landed a crossing right to the chin that put Kilbane against the ropes, then two more rights put him on his knees. After his manager threw in the towel, Kilbane was staggering and unable to return to his corner unaided. It was one of Leonard's most decisive wins against one of his most skilled opponents. [29]

He officially defended the title against six different boxers over the next eight years. [30] [31] Leonard defeated Leo Johnson on September 21, 1917 in one of his first defenses of the World Lightweight Title and won convincingly in a first round technical knockout. [5]

Leoonard defeated Frank Kirke on November 28, 1917 in a stunning first round knockout at Stockyards Stadium in Denver. Kirke was first down from a right to the body, and when he arose, Leonard hammered a right hook to the jaw that put Kirke down for the count, only 1:20 into the first round. Earlier in the first, Leonard shot rights and lefts to Kirke's jaw that caused him to cover and retreat. Leonard's speed and reflexes proved too great for Kirke who could find no adequate defense for Leonard's attack. [32] [33]

On December 12, 1917, Leonard defeated Patsy Cline at the Olympia Athletic Club in Philadelphia in a six round newspaper decision. It was one of the hardest bouts of Leonard's early career, and he had to use his best defenses to guard against the attack of Cline. Leonard was forced to use speed when he had it in the early rounds to defend against Cline, though the pace of the match slowed somewhat in the fourth, fifth, and sixth. Leonard was ineffective with his left as a result of the precise right handed blocks of his opponent. In the final round, Leonard attempted to end the match with his powerful left, but was prevented again by the defense of Cline. Cline suffered most in the last two rounds when Leonard scored frequent blows against which he could not defend. Cline excelled most at short range attacks, a more difficult offense to defend, and scored with them occasionally even in the fifth, when Leonard had taken the lead. Cline prevented Leonard from attacking at long range in most instances in the early rounds by retreating or expert blocking, but in the fifth Leonard scored with a few stiff left jolts, and again dominated in the sixth, where he secured his points margin. [34] [35]

Bout with Willie Jackson, and other WWI benefits, 1918

In a four round newspaper decision at New York's shrine to boxing, Madison Square Garden, on July 16, 1918, he defeated Jewish boxer Willie Jackson. Jackson was born Oscar Tobin on the Lower East side of New York, as was Leonard. In the well publicized Army benefit that raised $20,000 to buy soldiers athletic equipment, Leonard took criticism and boos among the audience for not unleashing his best punching against his highly rated lightweight opponent. In other benefits Leonard had also been reluctant to risk injury to his hands, or bring excessive injury in a match that served the community. Regardless, as was his habit, his boxing showed careful strategy, speed, and exceptional reflexes and interested most among the record crowd in the Garden. Leonard appeared far superior to Jackson in frequency of punches, defenses, and speed. He moved easily against Jackson, but threw lefts and rights at will. [36] [37] [38] [39] Leonard staged a total of four exhibition bouts in 1918 to raise war bonds for America's efforts in WWI. [7]

Champion Ted "Kid" Lewis Ted Kid Lewis.jpg
Champion Ted "Kid" Lewis

On September 23, 1918, Leonard fought a draw with future British World Welterweight Champion (BBOC) Ted Kid Lewis, another Jewish champion, before an exceptionally large crowd of 20,000 for the World Welterweight Title in Newark, New Jersey. Lewis fought cautiously for the first six rounds but opened up in the seventh and the eighth. The prestigious New York Times and New York Tribune considered the fight a draw, though a few newspapers believed Leonard had won. [40] One reporter considered the bout farcical and lacking traditional boxing technique. [41] The Lincoln Star, as did other papers, gave Leonard the edge five rounds to two, but noted that the bout had no knockdowns or much hard punching. [42] [5]

In an early win on January 13, 1919, Leonard defeated Harlem Eddie Kelly in a sixth round newspaper decision in Philadelphia. Leonard was given four of the six rounds, with Kelly taking only the first. Harlem Eddie was given severe punishment by Leonard throughout the match. [43] Kelly fought top lightweight talent, but usually not with a winning record. [44]

Leonard soundly defeated Portland Jewish lightweight Joe Benjamin on the evening of January 31, 1919 in a four round newspaper decision in San Francisco. In the opinion of the San Francisco Chronicle, Leonard could have ended the bout at any time. [45] Showing fear, Benjamin backed away often, with Leonard inserting his left frequently in the first two rounds, but by the third, Leonard was fully in control but refrained from putting Benjamin down. By the fourth, there was so little interaction between the boxers, that many in the crowd disapproved. Benjamin would fight many highly rated lightweights, and in his later career would win against them with frequency. [46]

Leonard defeated Harvey Thorpe in Joplin, Missouri, on the evening of March 26, 1919, in a ten round newspaper decision of the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times. One reporter gave all ten rounds to Leonard and considered his victory an "easy win". [47] Leonard had soundly defeated Thorpe earlier in November of 1916 in a twelve round knockout in St. Louis. Although Thorpe fought several top rated lightweights, including Charley White, Ritchie Mitchell, and Lew Tendler, his record was poor against them, and he never competed for a world championship, though he took the Southwest lightweight title in July of 1917.

Leonard defeated fellow Russian-born, New York Jewish lightweight Johnny Clinton, born Morris Elstein, on September 8, 1919, at the Arena in Syracuse in a ten round newspaper decision. Benny led throughout the fight, using his left jab and right uppercut effectively and often, demonstrating his ability to adjust his punching combinations to the style of any given opponent as an opening occurred. Clinton was in the greatest distress in the sixth, when he appeared to be hanging on the ropes on the verge of a knockout instants before the bell, and was nearly floored again in the tenth, when Leonard attempted to finish the bout. [48] The Pittsburgh Daily Post wrote that Leonard deserved every one of the ten rounds. [49]

In their final meeting on October 15, 1919, Leonard defeated fellow Jewish boxer Phil Bloom decisively in Detroit in a ten round newspaper decision of the Detroit News. Leonard came close to a knockout in three of the rounds. As a fellow Jewish New Yorker who could draw the Jewish crowd, Bloom fought Leonard in seven previous meetings extending back to January, 1914, but with little success. Leonard had previously defeated Bloom five times with one draw and only one loss according to newspaper decisions. Bloom competed against top talent, but would never obtain a title shot in his prolific twelve year career in the ring. After his boxing career ended, he appeared in a number of boxing movies usually shot near Los Angeles. [50] [5]

On November 17, 1919, Leonard defeated Lockport Jimmy Duffy in a second round technical knockout of a fifteen round match at the Convention Hall in Tulsa. The bout was billed as a World Lightweight Title match. In a peculiar spectacle, and decisive one sided victory, Duffy was knocked down three times in each round, with the referee stopping the bout on his last fall to the canvas. Spectators suspected Duffy was intentionally not putting up a fight. [5]

Leonard defeated Mel Coogan On December 10, 1919, in a second round technical knockout at the fourth regiment armory in Jersey City. In a convincing victory, Coogan was knocked to the mat three times in the second round. The first two knockdowns were for counts of eight, with the third resulting in the fight being called. Coogan fought many of the top lightweights of the day, including Lew Tendler, and many of Leonard's opponents, and had an admirable record against them. [51]

Leonard defeated Red Herring on December 19, 1919 in an early sixth round technical knockout in Memphis, Tennessee. Leonard outmaneuvered Herring with speed and footwork, slipping the half dozen punches thrown by his opponent, with most going well wide of their mark. By the fifth, Herring was helpless against the ropes with the crowd roaring for Leonard to finish the match. Leonard fought with a deadly left, and sent terrific blows to the head and body. One minute into the sixth, Leonard backed Herring into a neutral corner and put him on the canvas with three short rights to the jaw, that led the referee to end the bout at 1:10, after Herring attempted to rise after his first count. The Arkansas Democrat gave Leonard five rounds, with the fourth even. [52] Herring remained on his feet through the first five rounds, but took considerable punishment from the lightweight champion. [53] [54]

Johnny Dundee, 1920

Champion Johnny Dundee Johnny Dundee.jpg
Champion Johnny Dundee

In their last match, on February 9, 1920, Leonard defeated one of his most frequent opponents, future World Jr. Lightweight and Featherweight champion Johnny Dundee, in an eight round newspaper decision many reporters considered a title match at the Armory in Jersey City. One reporter felt Leonard had simply outpunched his opponent in every round, though Dundee put up a stiff defense. In six previous matches, Leonard had two wins, two losses, and two draws, at least according to the decisions of the more trustworthy newspapers. [55] In their February bout, Leonard delivered several effective uppercuts to Dundee during the infighting, but Dundee make a valiant attack in the first three rounds. Afterwards, Leonard went on the defensive, and built a margin in blows delivered, winning on points. [56]

Charley White, July, 1920

A young Charley White Charles Anchowitz.jpg
A young Charley White

On July 5, 1920, Leonard defeated Jewish boxer and exceptional Chicago lightweight, Charley White, in a ninth round knockout before an audience of 12,000 at Benton Harbor, Michigan. The fight was a careful battle of boxing strategy, but White always held the potential for stronger punching with his left hook. Leonard may have won largely due to his faster reaction time, and reflexes, against an opponent who was nearly his equal at times. He showed better speed and agility, and used footwork to gain advantages in the angle of his attack. The hard punching White knocked Leonard out of the ring in the fifth round with his left hook, but by the ninth, White was down five times, finally landing on the canvas for the count from a right cross from Leonard. Benny had been looking for an opening since the eighth, and found it after he opened White up with his left jab, and dealt the final right cross in the ninth. Though he had continued to train, Leonard may have performed better if he had not just taken five months off from prizefighting while living in Hollywood. It was one of White's better showings, as he dominated the infighting, and appeared to have thrown more punches, but he fought against an opponent who simply refused to be beaten. [57] [58]

Leonard defeated Joe Welling on November 27, 1920, before an estimated crowd of 12,000, at Madison Square Garden in a World Lightweight Title match. The bout resulted in a fourteenth round technical knockout for Leonard. Both boxers weighed in within a pound of 135. Welling shone only in the fifth round, and by the tenth seemed able to continue, but had no chance of success against Leonard. In the thirteenth Leonard sent Welling down three times. In the fourteenth, Leonard sent Welling to the canvas for a count of nine, and the referee, stepping between the two boxers, ruled a technical knockout, ending the fight, 1:07 into the round. The lack of compassion in the boxing crowd was noted by one reporter, who wrote that the audience was disappointed by referee Haukup's decision to end the bout in the thirteenth. He believed they would have enjoyed seeing two more rounds of punishment given to Welling by the reigning lightweight champion. By today's rules, the bout would have stopped in the thirteenth, before Welling had been sent to the canvas for the third time. On a lighter note, Charlie Chaplain performed before the opening bell and Leonard received a world lightweight championship belt from Tex Rickard, manager of the Garden and legendary heavyweight Jack Dempsey, at the end of the match. [59] [60]

Pal Moran and Ritchie Mitchell, 1920-1

On September 25, 1920, Leonard defeated Pal Moran in a ten round newspaper decision in East Chicago before a substantial crowd of 10,000. Only occasionally did Moran break through the champion's defenses, and Leonard always had a remedy. Benny could not get started in the early rounds, but in the last four he took the lead. Leonard scored frequently with swift left jabs and powerful right crosses. In the seventh through the tenth, Leonard seemed continuously on the verge of scoring a knockout, but Moran fought gamely on. [61]

On October 4, 1920, Leonard soundly defeated Frankie Britt in Hartford, Connecticut in a five round technical knockout. At the end of the contest, the referee stopped the bout to save Britt from a knockout, as Leonard had been striking him repeatedly. [62]

Before a capacity crowd, Leonard scored an easy victory over KO Willie Loughlin on the evening of November 12, 1920 at the Camden Sporting Club in Camden, New Jersey in a ten round newspaper decision. Leonard began cautiously wary of the skills and two inch longer reach of Loughlin, whom he had met previously. In the last three rounds, Leonard used his punching power, though it was met with frequent, but less effective blows from Loughlin. In the fourth, Leonard's jabs to Loughlin's face were frequent, but Loughlin continued his defense and never retreated. In the fifth, Leonard scored more punches, and began to take a point's margin, but not without receiving a few blows from his opponent. In the ninth, Leonard tried to end the fight with uppercuts, but could not deliver a knockdown blow to Loughlin who remained on his feet even through the exchange of blows in the tenth. Leonard knocked Loughlin across the ring and staggered him at times, but Loughlin's ability to take punishment repeatedly saved him from a knockout. [63] [5] [64] [65]

Leonard defeated Ritchie Mitchell in six of fifteen rounds on January 14, 1921, in a tough world lightweight championship bout in Madison Square Garden. Atypically, Leonard was down in the first round for a count of nine, when his alarmed seconds applied salts. In an incredible first round, Mitchell was down as well for a count of nine from a right to the stomach by Leonard, and down twice more before the bell. With a hook to the stomach, and a right to the jaw, Mitchell went down for a count of nine in the sixth. Mitchell was up, before Leonard with a flurry of punches put him down again. On his third trip to the mat, the referee called the bout. By today's rules, the fight would have ended shortly after the second knockdown. A significant portion of the gate proceeds of $75,000 were given to aid war torn France.

Victories over champion Rocky Kansas, 1921-2

Rocky Kansas Rocky Kansas.jpg
Rocky Kansas

On June 6, 1921, Leonard defeated future lightweight champion Rocky Kansas in a twelve round world lightweight title match, before a roaring crowd of 28,000 at a baseball park in Harrison, New Jersey, winning by newspaper decision. The title would have gone to Kansas if he had scored a knockout before the end of the match. The Sheboygan Press gave Leonard the win, and nine rounds with only two to Kansas. Perhaps feeling fatigued, Leonard was said to have fought conservatively and uncharacteristically punched on the defensive throughout the match. Only in the eighth, ninth, and twelfth, did Leonard go on the aggressive. Showing his versatility, Leonard was judged to have won by a clear margin, scoring points through the attacks of Kansas in as many as nine of the rounds, despite never taking the offensive. Kansas's blows appeared wild against the precise technique of his champion opponent. [66]

On November 22, 1921, Leonard defeated Sailor Friedman in Philadelphia in a ten round newspaper decision of the top three newspapers in the area. In the early rounds, Leonard piled up a sizable margin on points due to the understandable reluctance of Friedman to attack the lightweight champion. The fight was action packed throughout, but Leonard took the lead in most rounds, and gained a sizable advantage by the end of the bout. As both fighters were above the lightweight limit, the contest could not be deemed a title match. [67]

Leonard defeated Tim Droney on December 20, 1921 at the Ice Palace in Philadelphia in an eight round decision of three leading Philadelphia newspapers. In a complete victory, the Philadelphia Inquirer gave Leonard every round but the fourth when Leonard retreated to rest and allow Droney to take the offense. Nonetheless, Droney landed only one solid right to the jaw of Leonard in the round. Oddly, Leonard leapt in the air in a few instances to avoid the blows of Droney, and though the move was effective, it was done primarily to amuse the crowd. Leonard was said to display "wonderful ring work, and amazing speed". Droney fought gamely and remained on his feet throughout the bout, though most reporters believed Leonard could have knocked him out in the final rounds, as he was defenseless by the seventh and eighth. Droney fought some outstanding lightweights, but his record against the better contenders was poor in his later career. [68] [69] Both boxers fought in the lightweight range near 140. [70]

Leonard defeated Rocky Kansas again on February 10, 1922 in a fifteen round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden. Leonard had a more difficult time with the fight than in their previous meeting, as Kansas was the aggressor throughout the match, and Leonard had trouble when fighting at close quarters. The tide turned in the ninth round, when Kansas, fighting against the ropes, let his guard down and Leonard, with characteristic lightning speed shot a smashing left that sent his opponent down for the count of nine. Somehow, Kansas recovered, and after arising managed to defend Leonard's considerable efforts to end the match. Feeling more confident against a weakened opponent, Leonard bored in for the rest of the bout, taking the lead. Winning the eleventh through the fifteenth, Leonard built up a significant enough point's margin to win the match. By the fifteenth, Leonard was trying for a knockout, but to his credit, after the ninth, Kansas remained on his feet though badly battered in the remaining rounds. [71]

On May 19, 1922, Leonard defeated Hungarian born Jewish boxer Soldier Bartfield, originally Jacob Bartfedlt, in a four round points decision at Madison Square Garden. Bartfield had an incredible career, fighting 55 world title claimants in his 220 recorded fights. As was Leonard's strength, he defeated Bartfield with a variety of moves, including blows to the head and body using both lefts and rights, and built a solid points margin. Leonard seriously affected Bartfield with an uppercut to the chin in the fourth round, one of his most telling and lighting fast blows. The match was a charity event for the Sports Alliance, and Jack Dempsey was introduced. In three previous meetings in 1919, Leonard had gained significant margins against Bartfield in matches in the Northeast. [72] [5]

Welter championship attempt, June, 1922

Welterweight Jack Britton Jack Britton LOC Pose.jpg
Welterweight Jack Britton

Moving up a weight class from the world lightweight championship which he already held, Leonard challenged welterweight Champion Jack Britton for his title on June 26, 1922. He lost the fight when he was disqualified for hitting Britton when he was down in the thirteenth round. A few in the audience, including news reporter Ernest Hemingway, likely suspected the possibility of a fix, as there were rumors that a Jewish underworld figure, Arnold Rothstein, had influence over Leonard, and that Leonard had been pressured to lose the fight. In a somewhat anti-semitic twist, Hemingway later penned a short story, Fifty Grand , in 1927, about a corrupt boxing manager who fixes a fight to profit from the outcome with the aid of gangsters and gamblers. The original version of the story mentioned Leonard by name, before being edited out by F. Scott Fitzgerald before publication. [73] [5]

Bouts with lightweight Lew Tendler, 1922-3

On July 27, 1922, Leonard defeated fellow Jewish boxer Lew Tendler in a twelve round newspaper decision in Jersey City in a lightweight world title match, that may have been the most remarkable bout of his career. Before a record audience of 70,000 enthralled fans, Leonard won five rounds, Tendler four, with three even. Tendler may have led in the first five rounds, as Leonard could not adjust to or penetrate his unique Southpaw stance, style, and defense. In the eighth, Tendler crashed a terrific left to his opponent, but Leonard distracted him by mumbling a few words, and then going to a clinch to slow Tendler down. Tendler never delivered the follow up knockout blow, and Leonard, getting time to recover, dominated the next seven rounds. [74] In their last meeting on July 24, 1923, Leonard won a unanimous fifteen round decision at Yankee Stadium before an extraordinary crowd of 58,000. The bout took place in the Bronx in another lightweight world title match. Leonard excelled in the speed and precision of his attack, while still managing to ward off most of his opponents blows, particularly Tendler's strong left. Leonard demonstrated his mastery of ring tactics against an opponent who became sluggish, and was unable to mount the offensive he had shown in their bout the previous July. By one account, Leonard managed to land three blows for every one of Tendler's, demonstrating his speed and mastery of tactics. With the huge crowd, Leonard's take home pay exceeded $130,000, an extraordinary sum for the era. [75] [76] [77]

Bout with light welter champ, Pinky Mitchell, 1923

Leonard defeated Pinky Mitchell on May 29, 1923, in a ten round technical knockout in Chicago. Mitchell was the reigning world light welterweight champion from 1922-26, and Leonard's win signaled another victory against a world champion, though the fight was not a title fight. As Leonard refused to weigh in, neither world lightweight or world junior welterweight titles were at stake. After a slow first five rounds with few blows, Leonard took the lead in the remaining rounds with the exception of the eighth and ninth. In the eight, Mitchell scored with four rights to the chin of Leonard. Though both boxers scored points, Leonard seemed to have the edge from the fifth. In the tenth, Leonard dropped Pinky to the mat, and upon arising, he knocked him to the mat a second time. The referee called an end to the match, resulting in a technical knockout. Immediately afterwards, Pinkie's brother Ritchie believed a foul had been committed, claiming Leonard had hit Pinky when he was down on one knee on the mat, but the referee disagreed. The Buffalo Courier wrote that Leonard was in the motions of hitting Pinky when he was on one knee, but that the referee waved him away before the blow occurred. [78] Regardless, a fight between Richie and Davey Mitchell, the referee, ensued that ended in a near riot among the spectators. The police put down the protests with their billy clubs, though no arrests were made. Despite the protests, the charity event ended with a win by Leonard and no foul called by the referee against Mitchell in the tenth. [79] [5] [80] [81]

Leonard soundly defeated Andy Hart on July 9, 1923 before a record crowd near 30,000, in a resounding newspaper win at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. In the third, Leonard delivered many straight jabs which were unreturned, and his hard rights to Hart's ribs in the fourth, forced his opponent to hold. In the sixth, Leonard stung Hart with blows to the jaw and chest, which appeared to sap Hart's strength, but he persevered. Though Leonard showed speed and aggression throughout the bout, several reporters felt he took it easy on Hart, lacking the characteristic snap to his punches, until the seventh and eighth when he gained a more comfortable points margin and came closest to putting Hart on the canvas. His nine months off making theater performances, may have reduced his strength or speed, but it certainly failed to decrease his boxing technique enough to lose the match. [82] [83] [5]

Leonard defeated Johnny Mendelsohn On September 7, 1923, in an eight round newspaper decision in Philadelphia. In the seventh and eighth, Leonard showed complete dominance of his opponent. Nonetheless, at points in the bout, Mendelsohn delivered a few left hooks and right swings, that landed well on Leonard and showed he was not facing a novice. The Associated Press gave Leonard an impressive seven of the eight rounds, as Mendelsohn connected with strong blows infrequently and failed to hurt his opponent in the vast majority of the bout. The match demonstrated Leonard's versatility in his ability to dominate an opponent without taking the offensive, and proved again the effectiveness of his defense. [84] [85] [86] Though Mendelsohn faced some top lightweight talent throughout his career, his record by 1923 was well on the wane, and he was not one of Leonard's best opponents.

Retirement and comeback

Leonard announced his retirement from boxing on January 15, 1925, as the reigning World Lightweight Champion partly because his mother wanted him to leave boxing due to her failing health. He lost most of his considerable fortune from real estate investments, boxing, and his work as an actor, in the stock market crash of 1929. As a result, between 1931-2, he made an ill-advised comeback, defeating a total of 19 handpicked opponents who were unlikely to end his comeback hopes. In a second round technical knockout in Queens, New York on October 6, 1931 he won against Pal Silvers, an opponent who would have been vastly inferior to Leonard in his prime. The "dive" taken by Silvers in the second made many in the audience question the authenticity of the bout, while many horrified fans witnessed Leonard, the formerly flawless tactician, taking continuous blows to his face before the end of the bout. Although described as pudgy and slow, the balding Leonard won 23 total fights in his comeback, albeit against nondescript opposition. Leonard hoped eventually he would have a big payday with a top rated opponent. [4]

Marty Goldman, May 1932

Boxing as a welterweight on May 16, 1932, Leonard won a knockout only 45 seconds into the second round from Jewish boxer Marty Goldman, another product of New York's lower East Side. The bout was fought at Laurel Gardens in Newark, New Jersey. Leonard's final blow was a short but powerful right to the jaw, which was preceded by a brief flurry of jabs. To many fans, Leonard's footwork and use of rapid combination punching brought back images of the Leonard of old, but in reality Goldman, though a solid club fighter, was far from a world ranked welterweight contender. [87]

Andy Saviola, June 1932

Leonard, boxing as a welterweight, defeated Andy Saviola on June 8, 1932 in an easy ten round points decision at Brooklyn's Coney Island. Leonard sustained cuts to both his eyes, but fought with great technique throughout the bout and had Saviola on the verge of a knockout by the final round. In the sixth, Saviola had no defense nor counter punches for Leonard's punishing lefts and rights to the body. Both boxers remained on their feet throughout the bout. [88] [89]

On June 16, 1932, Leonard defeated Billy Angelo, before a crowd of around 10,000 at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. His best round was the tenth, in which he landed repeated rights and totally dominated his opponent. Leonard was down in his weight, and had likely trained hard for the bout. [90]

Eddie Shapiro, July 1932

On the comeback trail as a 153 pound welterweight, on July 22, 1932, Leonard defeated Eddie Shapiro at Coney Island in an eight round points decision of which the United Press wrote "Benny Leonard completely outboxed Sharpiro, pounding him at will". In reality, the first four rounds were slow and Shapiro was warned three times in the first two rounds by the referee to speed up the pace and land more blows. Before a modest crowd of around 6,000, in a strong rain, Leonard won decisively in the later rounds, disposing of Shapiro handily. In the fourth, Leonard nearly flattened Shapiro, asserting his dominance. Shapiro, however, was far from a lightweight contender and his record after the Leonard fight was quite poor. [91] [5] [92]

Leonard defeated Billy Townsend on July 28, 1932 at Queensboro Stadium in Long Island in a ten round points decision before a sizable crowd of 6000. Leonard attacked Townsend with left hand jabs and strong right hand smashes that staggered Townsend in several rounds and pushed the judges to a unanimous decision. Townsend, however, staggered Leonard in the fourth. Benny's knees dropped, but he clutched Townsend around the waist, whispered into his ear, and clutched long enough to recover. Leonard completed the bout well ahead on points, despite a closer tenth round. One reporter gave Leonard all but the fourth and tenth rounds, but Leonard took more punishment than he would have in his earlier days from his competent, but not championship quality opponent. [93]

On August 11, 1932, Leonard defeated Paulie Walker in a well publicized ten round bout at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn. Walker was nearly knocked out two minutes into the tenth round. [94]

Final bout, loss to Jimmy McLarnin

Leonard found his payday on October 7, 1932, but it ended his career when he was knocked out after 6 rounds by future champion, Irish-Canadian boxer Jimmy McLarnin. Madison Garden was packed near capacity with 19,000 excited fans to see the fight. Only two minutes into the first round, Leonard connected with a right to McLarnin's chin, and his knees brushed the canvas for an instant. The huge crowd was in a frenzy. Clinching, and retreating, the younger and fitter McLarnin managed to recover from the blow, and by the end of the round had taken charge. McLarnin dropped Leonard in the second, and only his great defensive skills allowed him to stay in the contest through the next four rounds while he received continual punishment. In the sixth, Leonard was dazed by a series of punches from the exceptionally skilled McLarnin, and the referee mercifully halted the fight to save Leonard from further punishment. It was a humiliating defeat for many of Leonard's supporters, particularly his Jewish fans, but a loss to one of the greatest boxers of the century, a future triple weight class champion. [4] After the loss, the New York World Telegram wrote, "The real Leonard already is immortal, the artist of the ring canvas who glided up and back, the genius of punch slipping, the counter-puncher of lightning reflex snap, the lion-hearted campaigner, and the devoted believer of all that's good in boxing". [95]

The $15,000 Leonard received from the bout helped to ease his financial burden, and he married his secretary, Jacqueline Stern the following year. He was later married to Emogene Carlson. [4]

Life outside boxing

Leonard holding back Harry Houdini, mock punched by heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey Jack Dempsey, Harry Houdini and Benny Leonard2.jpg
Leonard holding back Harry Houdini, mock punched by heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey

Leonard worked as a front man for National Hockey League owner Bill Dwyer of the New York Americans, who had secretly purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates of that league. Leonard was supposed to appear as if he owned the team. The team suffered both at the gate and on the ice, moved to Philadelphia for 1930–31 and then folded.

Prior to the stock market crash of 1929, he invested in a car accessory business in Harlem, bought a block of flats in Jersey City and had a share in a dress-making business. [7]

Film and acting career

Leonard worked as an after dinner speaker and lecturer after leaving boxing in 1925. With his good looks and the crowd his fame could bring, he performed in vaudeville, making several appearances as a dancer and performer shortly after his first boxing retirement. [4] He appeared in the vaudeville musical Battling Butler in 1927. [7]

During his boxing career Leonard starred in the film serial The Evil Eye (1920) and a series of boxing related film shorts titled Flying Fists (1924–1925). He also appeared in The Come-Back (1925), and Hitting Hard (1925). [96]

Leonard lost the vast majority of his fortune in the stock market crash of 1929.

After his failed boxing comeback attempt, from 1933-4 he worked as a boxing instructor for the physical education department at City College of New York, a school with a large Jewish enrollment. [4] [7]

When the United States entered World War II, he enlisted in the Maritime Service and took charge of the physical training of 100,000 men, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander by the time he had completed his three years of service.

Work as a referee

In 1943, Leonard worked as a boxing referee and continued in that endeavor after the war, with the majority of his bouts in New York and Philadelphia. After refereeing the first six bouts of the April 18, 1947, card at the St. Nicholas Arena in New York, Leonard was stricken with a massive heart attack during the first round of the next bout, between Mario Ramon and Bobby Williams. He toppled to the canvas, and died in the ring. The ringside physician, Dr. Vicent Nardiello, attempted to revive him unsuccessfully. He was only 51 years old. Leonard was interred at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, New York. A majority of Jewish boxing historians still consider him the greatest Jewish boxer of the twentieth century for his astounding record of wins during his long reign as lightweight champion. (1896-1947) [97] [4]

Leonard was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1979), the World Boxing Hall of Fame (1980), the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1990), the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1996), and the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame. [98] [99] [100]

Professional boxing record

All information in this section is derived from BoxRec, [5] unless otherwise stated.

Official record

Professional record summary
219 fights89 wins6 losses
By knockout705
By decision170
By disqualification21
Draws1
No contests3
Newspaper decisions/draws 120

All Newspaper decisions are regarded as “no decision” bouts as they have “resulted in neither boxer winning or losing, and would therefore not count as part of their official fight record."

No.Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Age Location Notes
219 Loss 89–6–1 (123) Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Jimmy McLarnin TKO 6 (10) Oct 7, 1932 36 years, 183 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
218 Win 89–5–1 (123) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike Sarko PTS 6 Sep 12, 1932 36 years, 158 days Flag of the United States.svg Starlight Park, Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
217 Win 88–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Abbott TKO 3 (10) Sep 8, 1932 36 years, 154 days Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
216 Win 87–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Phil Rafferty PTS 6 Sep 2, 1932 36 years, 148 days Flag of the United States.svg Long Beach Stadium, Long Beach, New York, U.S.
215 Win 86–5–1 (123) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike Sarko PTS 6 Aug 19, 1932 36 years, 134 days Flag of the United States.svg Long Beach Stadium, Long Beach, New York, U.S.
214 Win 85–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Paulie Walker UD 10 Aug 11, 1932 36 years, 126 days Flag of the United States.svg Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
213 Win 84–5–1 (123) Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Billy Townsend PTS 10 Jul 28, 1932 36 years, 112 days Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
212 Win 83–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Shapiro PTS 8 Jul 22, 1932 36 years, 106 days Flag of the United States.svg Coney Island Stadium, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
211 Win 82–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Trippe KO 2 (10) Jun 20, 1932 36 years, 74 days Flag of the United States.svg Bonacker's Stadium, Rensselaer, New York, U.S.
210 Win 81–5–1 (123) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Billy Angelo PTS 10 Jun 16, 1932 36 years, 70 days Flag of the United States.svg Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
209 Win 80–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Andy Saviola PTS 10 Jun 8, 1932 36 years, 62 days Flag of the United States.svg Coney Island Stadium, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
208 Win 79–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Abbott TKO 6 (10) May 23, 1932 36 years, 46 days Flag of the United States.svg Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
207 Win 78–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Marty Goldman KO 2 (10) May 16, 1932 36 years, 39 days Flag of the United States.svg Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
206 Win 77–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Garafola TKO 4 (10) May 2, 1932 36 years, 25 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
205 Win 76–5–1 (123) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike Sarko PTS 6 Apr 19, 1932 36 years, 12 days Flag of the United States.svg Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
204 Win 75–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Buster Brown PTS 10 Apr 11, 1932 36 years, 4 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
203 Win 74–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Billy McMahon PTS 10 Feb 29, 1932 35 years, 328 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
202 Win 73–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Buster Brown PTS 10 Nov 23, 1931 35 years, 230 days Flag of the United States.svg Carlin's Park, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
201 Draw 72–5–1 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Kasper PTS 10 Nov 6, 1931 35 years, 213 days Flag of the United States.svg Memorial Auditorium, Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
200 Win 72–5 (123) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Vittorio Livan KO 3 (10) Oct 27, 1931 35 years, 203 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
199 Win 71–5 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Pal Moran TKO 2 (10) Oct 6, 1931 35 years, 182 days Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
198 Win 70–5 (123) Flag of the United States.svg Pal Moran NWS 10 Aug 11, 1924 28 years, 126 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympic Arena, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
197 Win 70–5 (122) Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Johnny Mendelsohn NWS 8 Sep 7, 1923 27 years, 153 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
196 Win 70–5 (121) Flag of the United States.svg Lew Tendler UD 15 Jul 24, 1923 27 years, 108 days Flag of the United States.svg Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.Retained NBA and NYSAC lightweight titles
195 Win 69–5 (121) Flag of the United States.svg Alex Hart NWS 8 Jul 9, 1923 27 years, 93 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
194 Win 69–5 (120) Flag of the United States.svg Pinky Mitchell TKO 10 (10) May 29, 1923 27 years, 52 days Flag of the United States.svg Dexter Park Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
193 Win 68–5 (120) Flag of the United States.svg Ever Hammer NWS 10 Aug 5, 1922 26 years, 120 days Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Fitzsimmons' Arena, Michigan City, Michigan, U.S.
192 Win 68–5 (119) Flag of the United States.svg Lew Tendler NWS 12 Jul 27, 1922 26 years, 111 days Flag of the United States.svg Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.NBA and NYSAC lightweight titles
191 Win 68–5 (118) Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Kansas TKO 8 (10) Jul 4, 1922 26 years, 88 days Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Fitzsimmons' Arena, Michigan City, Michigan, U.S.
190 Loss 67–5 (118) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Britton DQ 13 (15) Jun 26, 1922 26 years, 80 days Flag of the United States.svg Velodrome, Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.For NBA and NYSAC welterweight titles
189 Win 67–4 (118) Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Soldier Bartfield PTS 4 Apr 19, 1922 26 years, 12 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
188 Win 66–4 (118) Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Johnny Clinton NWS 10 Mar 20, 1922 25 years, 347 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
187 Win 66–4 (117) Flag of the United States.svg Pal Moran NWS 10 Feb 25, 1922 25 years, 324 days Flag of the United States.svg Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
186 Win 66–4 (116) Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Kansas UD 15 Feb 10, 1922 25 years, 309 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.Retained NBA and NYSAC lightweight titles
185 Win 65–4 (116) Flag of the United States.svg Tim Droney NWS 8 Dec 20, 1921 25 years, 257 days Flag of the United States.svg Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
184 Win 65–4 (115) Flag of the United States.svg Sailor Friedman NWS 8 Nov 22, 1921 25 years, 229 days Flag of the United States.svg Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
183 Win 65–4 (114) Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Kansas NWS 12 Jun 6, 1921 25 years, 60 days Flag of the United States.svg Federal League Baseball Park, Harrison, New Jersey, U.S.NBA and NYSAC lightweight titles
182 Win 65–4 (113) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Welling NWS 8 Feb 24, 1921 24 years, 323 days Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
181 Win 65–4 (112) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Moy TKO 3 (10) Feb 21, 1921 24 years, 320 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
180 Win 64–4 (112) Flag of the United States.svg Richie Mitchell TKO 6 (15) Jan 14, 1921 24 years, 282 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.Retained NBA and NYSAC lightweight titles
179 Win 63–4 (112) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Welling TKO 14 (15) Nov 26, 1920 24 years, 233 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.Retained NYSAC lightweight title
178 Win 62–4 (112) Flag of the United States.svg Harlem Eddie Kelly DQ 5 (12) Nov 17, 1920 24 years, 224 days Flag of the United States.svg Commonwealth Sporting Club, New York City, New York, U.S.
177 Win 61–4 (112) Flag of the United States.svg KO Willie Loughlin NWS 10 Nov 12, 1920 24 years, 219 days Flag of the United States.svg Third Regiment Armory, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
176 Win 61–4 (111) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Tillman PTS 10 Oct 18, 1920 24 years, 194 days Flag of the United States.svg Armory, Akron, Ohio, U.S.
175 Win 60–4 (111) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Johnny Sheppard TKO 3 (10) Oct 8, 1920 24 years, 184 days Flag of the United States.svg 6th Regiment Armory, Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
174 Win 59–4 (111) Flag of Portugal.svg Frankie Britt TKO 5 (10) Oct 4, 1920 24 years, 180 days Flag of the United States.svg Wethersfield Baseball Grounds, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
173 Win 58–4 (111) Flag of the United States.svg Pal Moran NWS 10 Sep 25, 1920 24 years, 171 days Flag of the United States.svg East Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
172 Win 58–4 (110) Flag of the United States.svg KO Willie Loughlin KO 9 (10) Sep 10, 1920 24 years, 156 days Flag of the United States.svg Armory, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
171 Win 57–4 (110) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Charley White KO 9 (10) Jul 5, 1920 24 years, 89 days Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Fitzsimmons Arena, Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S.
170 Win 56–4 (110) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 8 Feb 9, 1920 23 years, 308 days Flag of the United States.svg 4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
169 Win 56–4 (109) Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg Jake Abel NWS 10 Dec 22, 1919 23 years, 259 days Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
168 Win 56–4 (108) Flag of the United States.svg James Red Herring TKO 6 (8) Dec 19, 1919 23 years, 256 days Flag of the United States.svg Southern A.C., Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
167 Win 55–4 (108) Flag of the United States.svg Mel Coogan TKO 2 (8) Dec 10, 1919 23 years, 247 days Flag of the United States.svg 4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
166 Win 54–4 (108) Flag of Hungary (1919).svg Soldier Bartfield NWS 6 Nov 27, 1919 23 years, 234 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
165 Win 54–4 (107) Flag of the United States.svg Lockport Jimmy Duffy TKO 2 (15) Nov 17, 1919 23 years, 224 days Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.Retained world lightweight title
164 Win 53–4 (107) Flag of Hungary (1919).svg Soldier Bartfield NWS 8 Nov 10, 1919 23 years, 217 days Flag of the United States.svg 4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
163 Win 53–4 (106) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Oct 15, 1919 23 years, 191 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena Gardens, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
162 Win 53–4 (105) Flag of the United States.svg Charley Metrie TKO 7 (10) Oct 1, 1919 23 years, 177 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena Gardens, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
161 Win 52–4 (105) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 8 Sep 17, 1919 23 years, 163 days Flag of the United States.svg 1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
160 Win 52–4 (104) Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg Johnny Clinton NWS 10 Sep 8, 1919 23 years, 154 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Syracuse, New York, U.S.
159 Win 52–4 (103) Flag of Hungary (1919).svg Soldier Bartfield NWS 6 Sep 4, 1919 23 years, 150 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
158 Win 52–4 (102) Flag of Ireland.svg Patsy Cline NWS 6 Aug 11, 1919 23 years, 126 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
157 Win 52–4 (101) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Malone TKO 3 (6) Jul 23, 1919 23 years, 107 days Flag of the United States.svg Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
156 Win 51–4 (101) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 6 Jun 16, 1919 23 years, 70 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
155 Win 51–4 (100) Flag of Australia (converted).svg Charley Pitts NWS 10 Jun 9, 1919 23 years, 63 days Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg Theatre francais, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
154 Win 51–4 (99) Flag of the United States.svg Young George Erne KO 6 (8) May 21, 1919 23 years, 44 days Flag of the United States.svg Grand Theater, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
153 Win 50–4 (99) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Ritchie TKO 8 (8) Apr 28, 1919 23 years, 21 days Flag of the United States.svg 1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
152 Win 49–4 (99) Flag of the United States.svg Harvey Thorpe NWS 10 Mar 26, 1919 22 years, 353 days Flag of the United States.svg Joplin, Missouri, U.S.
151 Loss 49–4 (98) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Ritchie NWS 4 Feb 21, 1919 22 years, 320 days Flag of the United States.svg Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
150 Win 49–4 (97) Flag of the United States.svg Wildcat Leonard KO 4 (4) Feb 7, 1919 22 years, 306 days Flag of the United States.svg Hoffman A.C., Sacramento, California, U.S.
149 Win 48–4 (97) Flag of the United States.svg Spider Roach NWS 4 Feb 5, 1919 22 years, 304 days Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, Oakland, California, U.S.
148 Win 48–4 (96) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Benjamin NWS 4 Jan 31, 1919 22 years, 299 days Flag of the United States.svg Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
147 Win 48–4 (95) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 8 Jan 20, 1919 22 years, 288 days Flag of the United States.svg 1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
146 Win 48–4 (94) Flag of the United States.svg Harlem Eddie Kelly NWS 6 Jan 13, 1919 22 years, 281 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
145 Win 48–4 (93) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Paul Doyle NWS 6 Jan 1, 1919 22 years, 269 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
144 Draw 48–4 (92) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Ted Kid Lewis NWS 8 Sep 23, 1918 22 years, 169 days Flag of the United States.svg Weidenmeyer's Park, Newark, New Jersey, U.S. World welterweight title
143 Win 48–4 (91) Flag of Denmark.svg Harry Pierce NWS 6 Sep 16, 1918 22 years, 162 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
142 Win 48–4 (90) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Willie Gradwell TKO 5 (8) Jul 22, 1918 22 years, 106 days Flag of the United States.svg 4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
141 Win 47–4 (90) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Jackson NWS 6 Jul 16, 1918 22 years, 100 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
140 Win 47–4 (89) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Brazzo TKO 8 (8) Jul 4, 1918 22 years, 88 days Flag of the United States.svg Wildwood Beach Baseball Park, Wildwood, New Jersey, U.S.
139 Win 46–4 (89) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Britton NWS 6 Jun 25, 1918 22 years, 79 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
138 Win 46–4 (88) Flag of the United States.svg Barney Adair NWS 4 Jun 6, 1918 22 years, 60 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
137 Win 46–4 (87) Flag of the United States.svg Mike Golindo PTS 4 May 25, 1918 22 years, 48 days Flag of the United States.svg City Stadium, San Diego, California, U.S.
136 Win 45–4 (87) Flag of the United States.svg Louis ReesMcCarthy NWS 4 May 20, 1918 22 years, 43 days Flag of the United States.svg Shrine Temple, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
135 Win 45–4 (86) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny McCarthy NWS 4 May 10, 1918 22 years, 33 days Flag of the United States.svg Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California, U.S.
134 Win 45–4 (85) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Brazzo TKO 4 (6) Apr 13, 1918 22 years, 6 days Flag of the United States.svg National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
133 Win 44–4 (85) Flag of the United States.svg Young Joe Borrell NWS 6 Apr 8, 1918 22 years, 1 day Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
132 Win 44–4 (84) Flag of the United States.svg Freddie Kelly NWS 6 Dec 19, 1917 21 years, 256 days Flag of the United States.svg National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
131 Win 44–4 (83) Flag of the United States.svg Chick Brown TKO 5 (10) Dec 17, 1917 21 years, 254 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
130 Win 43–4 (83) Flag of Ireland.svg Patsy Cline NWS 6 Dec 12, 1917 21 years, 249 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
129 Win 43–4 (82) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Gene Delmont KO 8 (10) Dec 5, 1917 21 years, 242 days Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
128 Win 42–4 (82) Flag of the United States.svg Battling Sailor Frank Kirk KO 1 (10) Nov 28, 1917 21 years, 235 days Flag of the United States.svg Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, U.S.
127 Win 41–4 (82) Flag of the United States.svg Toughy Ramser KO 7 (10) Oct 24, 1917 21 years, 199 days Flag of the United States.svg Cleveland A.C., Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
126 Win 40–4 (82) Flag of the United States.svg Young George Erne NWS 6 Oct 23, 1917 21 years, 199 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
125 Win 40–4 (81) Flag of the United States.svg Young Eddie Wagond NWS 6 Oct 22, 1917 21 years, 198 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
124 Win 40–4 (80) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Britton NWS 10 Oct 19, 1917 21 years, 195 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
123 Win 40–4 (79) Flag of the United States.svg Vic Moran KO 2 (10) Oct 5, 1917 21 years, 181 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
122 Win 39–4 (79) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Dorsey KO 2 (10) Sep 27, 1917 21 years, 173 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
121 Win 38–4 (79) Flag of the United States.svg Leo Johnson TKO 1 (10) Sep 21, 1917 21 years, 167 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.Retained world lightweight title
120 Win 37–4 (79) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom KO 2 (10) Sep 14, 1917 21 years, 160 days Flag of the United States.svg Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
119 Win 36–4 (79) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Paul NWS 6 Sep 12, 1917 21 years, 158 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
118 Win 36–4 (78) Flag of the United States.svg Young Rector TKO 5 (10) Sep 3, 1917 21 years, 149 days Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Island Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
117 Win 35–4 (78) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Kilbane TKO 3 (6) Jul 25, 1917 21 years, 109 days Flag of the United States.svg Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
116 Win 34–4 (78) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Nelson TKO 3 (10) Jun 18, 1917 21 years, 72 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
115 Win 33–4 (78) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Welsh NWS 6 Jun 4, 1917 21 years, 58 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
114 Win 33–4 (77) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Freddie Welsh TKO 9 (10) May 28, 1917 21 years, 51 days Flag of the United States.svg Manhattan Casino, New York City, New York, U.S.Won world lightweight title
113 Win 32–4 (77) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Shannon TKO 6 (10) May 10, 1917 21 years, 33 days Flag of the United States.svg Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
112 Win 31–4 (77) Flag of the United States.svg Charley Thomas TKO 6 (6) May 7, 1917 21 years, 30 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
111 Win 30–4 (77) Flag of the United States.svg Richie Mitchell TKO 7 (10) Apr 19, 1917 21 years, 12 days Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
110 Win 29–4 (77) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Packy Hommey KO 9 (10) Mar 22, 1917 20 years, 349 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
109 Win 28–4 (77) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Tillman NWS 6 Mar 12, 1917 20 years, 339 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
108 Win 28–4 (76) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Reagan NWS 10 Feb 28, 1917 20 years, 327 days Flag of the United States.svg Manhattan Casino, New York City, New York, U.S.
107 Win 28–4 (75) Flag of the United States.svg Frankie Callahan NWS 10 Feb 1, 1917 20 years, 300 days Flag of the United States.svg Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
106 Win 28–4 (74) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Jan 30, 1917 20 years, 298 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway S.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
105 Win 28–4 (73) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Wallace NWS 6 Jan 22, 1917 20 years, 290 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
104 Win 28–4 (72) Flag of the United States.svg Chick Simler NWS 10 Nov 28, 1916 20 years, 235 days Flag of the United States.svg Empire A.C., Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
103 Win 28–4 (71) Flag of the United States.svg Harvey Thorpe KO 12 (12) Nov 21, 1916 20 years, 228 days Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
102 Loss 27–4 (71) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 6 Nov 15, 1916 20 years, 222 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
101 Win 27–4 (70) Flag of the United States.svg Stanley Yoakum NWS 10 Nov 10, 1916 20 years, 217 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
100 Win 27–4 (69) Flag of the United States.svg Ever Hammer TKO 12 (15) Oct 18, 1916 20 years, 194 days Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
99 Win 26–4 (69) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Nelson NWS 6 Oct 9, 1916 20 years, 185 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
98 Win 26–4 (68) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Tillman NWS 6 Sep 25, 1916 20 years, 171 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
97 Win 26–4 (67) Flag of the United States.svg Frankie Conifrey TKO 7 (10) Sep 14, 1916 20 years, 160 days Flag of the United States.svg Empire A.C., Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
96 Win 25–4 (67) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie McAndrews KO 5 (6) Sep 9, 1916 20 years, 155 days Flag of the United States.svg National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
95 Win 24–4 (67) Flag of Portugal.svg Joe Azevedo NWS 10 Aug 18, 1916 20 years, 133 days Flag of the United States.svg Convention Hall, Saratoga Springs, New York, U.S.
94 Loss 24–4 (66) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Freddie Welsh NWS 10 Jul 28, 1916 20 years, 112 days Flag of the United States.svg Washington Park A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
93 Win 24–4 (65) Flag of the United States.svg Vic Moran NWS 10 Jun 23, 1916 20 years, 77 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
92 Draw 24–4 (64) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 10 Jun 12, 1916 20 years, 66 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
91 Win 24–4 (63) Flag of the United States.svg Charley Thomas NWS 6 May 1, 1916 20 years, 24 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
90 Win 24–4 (62) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Apr 20, 1916 20 years, 13 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
89 Win 24–4 (61) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Freddie Welsh NWS 10 Mar 31, 1916 19 years, 359 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. World lightweight title
88 Win 24–4 (60) Flag of Ireland.svg Shamus O'Brien TKO 7 (10) Mar 17, 1916 19 years, 345 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
87 Win 23–4 (60) Flag of the United States.svg Sam Robideau NWS 6 Mar 13, 1916 19 years, 341 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
86 Draw 23–4 (59) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 10 Mar 8, 1916 19 years, 336 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
85 Win 23–4 (58) Flag of the United States.svg Rocky Kansas NWS 10 Feb 28, 1916 19 years, 327 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
84 Win 23–4 (57) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy Murphy KO 6 (6) Feb 21, 1916 19 years, 320 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
83 Win 22–4 (57) Flag of Ireland.svg Shamus O'Brien NWS 10 Feb 11, 1916 19 years, 310 days Flag of the United States.svg Arena, Syracuse, New York, U.S.
82 Win 22–4 (56) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom TKO 8 (12) Feb 8, 1916 19 years, 307 days Flag of the United States.svg Hippodrome, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
81 Win 21–4 (56) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Welsh KO 5 (6) Jan 1, 1916 19 years, 269 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
80 Win 20–4 (56) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Mandot KO 7 (10) Dec 17, 1915 19 years, 254 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
79 Win 19–4 (56) Flag of Portugal.svg Joe Azevedo NWS 10 Nov 19, 1915 19 years, 226 days Flag of the United States.svg Harlem S.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
78 Win 19–4 (55) Flag of the United States.svg Banty Sharpe NWS 10 Nov 13, 1915 19 years, 220 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
77 Win 19–4 (54) Flag of the United States.svg Gene Moriarty KO 3 (10) Nov 8, 1915 19 years, 215 days Flag of the United States.svg Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
76 Win 18–4 (54) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Drummie NWS 10 Oct 19, 1915 19 years, 195 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
75 Win 18–4 (53) Flag of Latvia.svg Al Thomas NWS 10 Oct 1, 1915 19 years, 177 days Flag of the United States.svg American A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
74 Win 18–4 (52) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Drummie NWS 10 Aug 13, 1915 19 years, 128 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym A.A., Far Rockaway, Queens City, New York City, New York, U.S.
73 Win 18–4 (51) Flag of the United States.svg Al Schumacher TKO 7 (10) Jun 19, 1915 19 years, 73 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
72 Win 17–4 (51) Flag of the United States.svg Frankie Callahan NWS 10 May 18, 1915 19 years, 41 days Flag of the United States.svg 135th Street A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
71 Loss 17–4 (50) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Kilbane NWS 10 Apr 29, 1915 19 years, 22 days Flag of the United States.svg Federal A.C., Atlantic Gardens, New York City, New York, U.S.
70 Win 17–4 (49) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Goldberg NWS 10 Mar 24, 1915 18 years, 351 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
69 Win 17–4 (48) Flag of the United States.svg Westside Jimmy Duffy NWS 10 Mar 20, 1915 18 years, 347 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
68 Loss 17–4 (47) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Johnny Dundee NWS 10 Mar 2, 1915 18 years, 329 days Flag of the United States.svg 135th Street A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
67 Win 17–4 (46) Flag of the United States.svg Patsy Cline NWS 10 Feb 18, 1915 18 years, 317 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
66 Win 17–4 (45) Flag of the United States.svg Tommy Langdon NWS 6 Feb 15, 1915 18 years, 314 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
65 Win 17–4 (44) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Drummie NWS 10 Jan 16, 1915 18 years, 284 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
64 Win 17–4 (43) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Sheppard DQ 5 (10) Jan 11, 1915 18 years, 279 days Flag of the United States.svg Long Acre A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
63 Win 16–4 (43) Flag of the United States.svg Frankie Conifrey NWS 10 Dec 12, 1914 18 years, 249 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
62 Win 16–4 (42) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Nov 26, 1914 18 years, 233 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
61 Win 16–4 (41) Flag of the United States.svg Harry Condon NWS 10 Nov 7, 1914 18 years, 214 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
60 Win 16–4 (40) Flag of the United States.svg Young Driscoll NWS 10 Oct 31, 1914 18 years, 207 days Flag of the United States.svg Irving A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
59 Draw 16–4 (39) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Oct 3, 1914 18 years, 179 days Flag of the United States.svg Irving A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
58 Win 16–4 (38) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Thomas NWS 10 Sep 16, 1914 18 years, 162 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
57 Win 16–4 (37) Flag of the German Empire.svg Philadelphia Pal Moore NWS 10 Sep 7, 1914 18 years, 153 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
56 Win 16–4 (36) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Wallace NWS 10 Aug 25, 1914 18 years, 140 days Flag of the United States.svg Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
55 Draw 16–4 (35) Flag of the United States.svg Bobby Reynolds NWS 10 Aug 22, 1914 18 years, 137 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
54 Win 16–4 (34) Flag of the United States.svg Tommy Houck KO 7 (10) Aug 14, 1914 18 years, 129 days Flag of the United States.svg Alexandria A.C., Elmsford, New York, U.S.
53 Win 15–4 (34) Flag of the United States.svg Billy Kramer NWS 10 Jul 18, 1914 18 years, 102 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
52 Win 15–4 (33) Flag of the United States.svg Teddy Hubbs NWS 10 Jun 20, 1914 18 years, 74 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
51 Win 15–4 (32) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Schaefer NWS 10 May 30, 1914 18 years, 53 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
50 Loss 15–4 (31) Flag of the United States.svg Young Abe Brown NWS 10 Apr 3, 1914 17 years, 361 days Flag of the United States.svg Empire A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
49 Win 15–4 (30) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Patsy Kline NWS 10 Mar 3, 1914 17 years, 330 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
48 Win 15–4 (29) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Joe Stacey NWS 10 Jan 24, 1914 17 years, 292 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
47 Loss 15–4 (28) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Phil Bloom NWS 10 Jan 20, 1914 17 years, 288 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
46 Loss 15–4 (27) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Black NWS 10 Jan 6, 1914 17 years, 274 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
45 Win 15–4 (26) Flag of the United States.svg Charley Barry NWS 10 Jan 3, 1914 17 years, 271 days Flag of the United States.svg Irving A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
44 Win 15–4 (25) Flag of the United States.svg Special Delivery Hirsch NWS 10 Dec 30, 1913 17 years, 267 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
43 Win 15–4 (24) Flag of the United States.svg Danny Ridge NWS 10 Dec 20, 1913 17 years, 257 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
42 Loss 15–4 (23) Flag of the United States.svg Harry Tracey NWS 10 Dec 8, 1913 17 years, 245 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympic A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
41 Win 15–4 (22) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Sheppard NWS 10 Nov 15, 1913 17 years, 222 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
40 Draw 15–4 (21) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Jones NWS 10 Oct 23, 1913 17 years, 199 days Flag of the United States.svg Postman A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
39 Win 15–4 (20) Flag of the United States.svg Young Fitzsimmons NWS 10 Oct 4, 1913 17 years, 180 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
38 Loss 15–4 (19) Flag of the United States.svg Tommy Houck NWS 10 Sep 27, 1913 17 years, 173 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
37 Win 15–4 (18) Flag of the United States.svg Harry Ah Chung TKO 6 (10) Sep 2, 1913 17 years, 148 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
36 Loss 14–4 (18) Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg Frankie Fleming NWS 10 Aug 16, 1913 17 years, 131 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
35 Win 14–4 (17) Flag of the United States.svg Walter Hennessey TKO 3 (10) Aug 2, 1913 17 years, 117 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
34 Win 13–4 (17) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Walter Brooks NWS 10 Jul 12, 1913 17 years, 96 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
33 Win 13–4 (16) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Carroll KO 1 (10) Jun 20, 1913 17 years, 74 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
32 Win 12–4 (16) Flag of the United States.svg Dave Cronin NWS 10 May 29, 1913 17 years, 52 days Flag of the United States.svg New Polo A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
31 Loss 12–4 (15) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Powers NWS 6 May 22, 1913 17 years, 45 days Flag of the United States.svg Elks' Hall, Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
30 Loss 12–4 (14) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Powers NWS 10 May 3, 1913 17 years, 26 days Flag of the United States.svg Atlantic Garden A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
29 Draw 12–4 (13) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Lustig NWS 10 Jan 14, 1913 16 years, 282 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
28 Loss 12–4 (12) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy McVeigh NWS 6 Dec 12, 1912 16 years, 249 days Flag of the United States.svg Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
27 Win 12–4 (11) Flag of the United States.svg Special Delivery Hirsch NWS 10 Nov 2, 1912 16 years, 209 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
26 Loss 12–4 (10) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Herman NWS 10 Sep 28, 1912 16 years, 174 days Flag of the United States.svg Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
25 Win 12–4 (9) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Ghetto KO 6 (6) Sep 13, 1912 16 years, 159 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.The date is uncertain
24 Win 11–4 (9) Flag of the United States.svg Hank McGowan NWS 6 Aug 30, 1912 16 years, 145 days Flag of the United States.svg Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
23 Loss 11–4 (8) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Ghetto NWS 6 Jul 31, 1912 16 years, 115 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
22 Win 11–4 (7) Flag of the United States.svg Young Price KO 5 (6) Jul 19, 1912 16 years, 103 days Flag of the United States.svg New York City, New York, U.S.The date is uncertain
21 Loss 10–4 (7) Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg Frankie Fleming KO 4 (6) May 3, 1912 16 years, 26 days Flag of the United States.svg New Polo A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
20 Draw 10–3 (7) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Goodman NWS 6 Apr 26, 1912 16 years, 19 days Flag of the United States.svg Elks' Hall, Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
19 Win 10–3 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Packey Brennan TKO 3 (6) Apr 13, 1912 16 years, 6 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
18 Win 9–3 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Young Gross NWS 4 Apr 8, 1912 16 years, 1 day Flag of the United States.svg Newark, New Jersery, U.S.
17 ND 9–3 (5) Flag of the United States.svg Battling Travis ND 6 Mar 26, 1912 15 years, 354 days Flag of the United States.svg New York City, New York, U.S.The date is uncertain
16 Loss 9–3 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Shugrue TKO 4 (10) Mar 5, 1912 15 years, 333 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
15 Win 9–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Young Goldie TKO 2 (6) Feb 24, 1912 15 years, 323 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
14 Win 8–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Billy Meyers TKO 1 (6) Feb 12, 1912 15 years, 312 days Flag of the United States.svg Carlyle A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
13 Win 7–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Joe Kane KO 5 (6) Feb 3, 1912 15 years, 302 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
12 Loss 6–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Bobby Dunn KO ? (6) Jan 22, 1912 15 years, 290 days Flag of the United States.svg Malvern A.C., Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
11 Win 6–1 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Willie Singer KO 1 (6) Jan 9, 1912 15 years, 277 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
10 Win 5–1 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Lewis Gibbs KO 2 (6) Jan 8, 1912 15 years, 276 days Flag of the United States.svg Fordon A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
9 Win 4–1 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Paddy Parker KO 4 (6) Dec 30, 1911 15 years, 267 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
8 Win 3–1 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Smiling Kemp KO 1 (6) Dec 25, 1911 15 years, 262 days Flag of the United States.svg Fordon A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
7 Win 2–1 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Sammy Marino NWS 6 Dec 25, 1911 15 years, 262 days Flag of the United States.svg Fordon A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.
6 Win 2–1 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Young Goldie NWS 4 Dec 9, 1911 15 years, 246 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
5 Win 2–1 (2) Flag of the United States.svg Young Frankie Pass KO 3 (6) Nov 25, 1911 15 years, 232 days Flag of the United States.svg Brown's Gym, New York City, New York, U.S.
4 ND 1–1 (2) Flag of the United States.svg Battling Travis ND 6 Nov 11, 1911 15 years, 218 days Flag of the United States.svg New York City, New York, U.S.The date is approximate
3 ND1–1 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Johnny Falters ND 4 Nov 4, 1911 15 years, 211 days Flag of the United States.svg Olympic A.C., New York City, New York, U.S.The date is approximate
2 Win 1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Young Joe Stanley KO 2 (4) Oct 28, 1911 15 years, 204 days Flag of the United States.svg New York City, New York, U.S.The date is approximate
1 Loss 0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Mickey Finnegan TKO 3 (4) Oct 14, 1911 15 years, 190 days Flag of the United States.svg Fordon A.C., New York, New York City, New York, U.S.

Unofficial record

Professional record summary
219 fights185 wins22 losses
By knockout705
By decision11316
By disqualification21
Draws9
No contests3

Record with the inclusion of newspaper decisions to the win/loss/draw column.

No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRoundDateAgeLocationNotes
219Loss185–22–9 (3) Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Jimmy McLarnin TKO6 (10)Oct 7, 193236 years, 183 days Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
218Win185–21–9 (3) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike SarkoPTS6Sep 12, 193236 years, 158 days Flag of the United States.svg Starlight Park, Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
217Win184–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy AbbottTKO3 (10)Sep 8, 193236 years, 154 days Flag of the United States.svg Fort Hamilton Arena, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
216Win183–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Phil RaffertyPTS6Sep 2, 193236 years, 148 days Flag of the United States.svg Long Beach Stadium, Long Beach, New York, U.S.
215Win182–21–9 (3) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike SarkoPTS6Aug 19, 193236 years, 134 days Flag of the United States.svg Long Beach Stadium, Long Beach, New York, U.S.
214Win181–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Paulie WalkerUD10Aug 11, 193236 years, 126 days Flag of the United States.svg Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
213Win180–21–9 (3) Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg Billy TownsendPTS10Jul 28, 193236 years, 112 days Flag of the United States.svg Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
212Win179–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Eddie ShapiroPTS8Jul 22, 193236 years, 106 days Flag of the United States.svg Coney Island Stadium, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
211Win178–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Joe TrippeKO2 (10)Jun 20, 193236 years, 74 days Flag of the United States.svg Bonacker's Stadium, Rensselaer, New York, U.S.
210Win177–21–9 (3) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Billy AngeloPTS10Jun 16, 193236 years, 70 days Flag of the United States.svg Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
209Win176–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Andy SaviolaPTS10Jun 8, 193236 years, 62 days Flag of the United States.svg Coney Island Stadium, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
208Win175–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy AbbottTKO6 (10)May 23, 193236 years, 46 days Flag of the United States.svg Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
207Win174–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Marty Goldman KO2 (10)May 16, 193236 years, 39 days Flag of the United States.svg Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
206Win173–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Willie GarafolaTKO4 (10)May 2, 193236 years, 25 days Flag of the United States.svg St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
205Win172–21–9 (3) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Mike SarkoPTS6Apr 19, 193236 years, 12 days Flag of the United States.svg Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
204Win171–21–9 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Buster BrownPTS10Apr 11, 193236 years, 4 days