George Gardiner (boxer)

Last updated
George Gardner
George Gardner portrait.jpg
Statistics
Real nameGeorge Gardiner
Weight(s) Middleweight
Height5 ft 11+12 in (1.816 m)
Nationality Irish
Born(1877-03-17)March 17, 1877
Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland
DiedJuly 8, 1954(1954-07-08) (aged 77)
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights68
Wins45
Wins by KO31
Losses11
Draws9
No contests1

George Gardner (March 17, 1877 – July 8, 1954) was a famous Irish boxer in America who was the first undisputed World Light Heavyweight Champion. [1] He held claims to both the World Middleweight Title as well as the World Heavyweight Title. He was the second man in history to hold the World's Light Heavyweight title, defeating the first Light Heavyweight Champion, Jack Root, by KO after 12 rounds. [2] [3]

Contents

Legacy

George Gardner's name is often misspelled "George Gardiner", which was an alias although some believe it was the correct spelling. He signed his name "George Gardner", though several newspapers of his era spelled his name "George Gardiner". However, his brother, Jimmy Gardner, signed his name "Jimmy Gardiner" when handing out autographs. George Gardner is unfortunately most remembered as the 26-year-old champion who lost his title to the 41-year-old Bob Fitzsimmons after a questionable 20 round decision on points. The decision made Fitzsimmons a legend, as it made him the first triple title division champion in boxing history. [2]

Background

Gardner was born on March 17, 1877 at County Clare, Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. He was believed to have been the son of an Irish prizefighter and came from poverty. George and his brothers, Billy and Jimmy Gardner, were each recognized as accomplished boxers in their era. [2]

Professional career

Gardner began his career in 1897 when he was 20 years old. He was almost six feet tall and weighed between 150–175 pounds during his career. He won several fights in the New England area, being noted in newspapers as the "Middleweight Champion of New England". [2]

Middleweight champion of the World

Gardner was the top middleweight contender in 1901 and claimed the World's Middleweight Title that year. He defeated Frank Craig, the Colored Middleweight Champion at London, England, and newspapers declared that Gardner "secured the World Middleweight Title". Afterwards, Gardner challenged Tommy Ryan for the title, but Ryan declined although Gardner was the number one contender for the title. [2]

Gardner first claimed the world middleweight title on August 30, 1901 at the Mechanic's Pavilion in San Francisco after knocking out Kid Carter in a fight billed as the "Middleweight Championship of the World". He then defeated Barbados Joe Walcott, the Welterweight Champion of the World, in a 20 round rematch in 1902. On August 18, 1902, Gardiner TKO'd the undefeated Jack Root in 17 rounds at Salt Lake City, Utah in a close fight billed as both the light heavyweight and middleweight championship of the world. Both fighters weighed in at 165 pounds. [2]

On October 31, 1902, Gardner fought 20 rounds with Jack Johnson, the first African American to hold the World's Heavyweight Title. Gardner weighed in at 155 while Johnson at held a 30 pound weight advantage at 185. Johnson won on points by knocking Gardner down twice in the 8th and 14th rounds. [2]

Light heavyweight champion of the World

Gardner was a contender for the newly created World's Light Heavyweight Title in 1903, weighing about 170 pounds. On April 6, 1903, Gardner fought Peter Maher, the Irish Heavyweight Champion, considered to be the most dangerous hitter of his era. Gardner knocked out Maher in round one and then defeated Marvin Hart by TKO after 12 rounds. [2]

On July 4, 1903, at Ontario, Canada, at the International Athletic Club, after 12 rounds of fighting, George Gardner knocked out Jack Root for the Light - Heavyweight Championship of the World. He was the first Irish-American to hold the title and the first undisputed champion to hold the title. Most records state that Root was the first champion of the division, but others, including George Gardner, had claimed the title before. The Root - Gardner fight was the first Light-Heavyweight Title fight caught on film. Newspapers reported that Gardner knocked Root down seven times. [2]

George Gardner defended his title later that year on November 25, 1903 at San Francisco, California, against Bob Fitzsimmons, who had killed two men in the ring and was the former Middleweight and Heavyweight Champion. After a questionable 20 round decision on points, Fitzsimmons knocked the young champion down twice and gained a slight decision. After losing the title, George Gardner challenged Fitzsimmons to a rematch, but was denied a second chance at the title. [2]

Gardner was still a highly regarded contender for the Light Heavyweight Title, and was rated above Fitzsimmons. Nonetheless, Gardner set his sights on the World's Heavyweight Title. It was held by Marvin Hart, whom Gardner had defeated and drawn with before.

Gardner challenged Marvin Hart for the Heavyweight Championship of the World, but again he was denied a title shot. Afterwards, his career faded with losses and draws against Jim Flynn, Al Kaufman, Terry Mustain, and Tony Ross. Gardner retired at age 32 in 1908 with a record of 44 wins, 32 by way of knockout, 12 losses, 7 draws, and 3 no contests. [2]

Gardner continued to box, but considered himself a "washed-up prize fighter". He was reputed to have fought in over 300 battles. Onenewspaper source noted that Gardner "had drawn from their seats in applause more fight fans than any other light-heavyweight".

Later life

Gardner opened a saloon in Chicago, and married Margaret Smith of South Bend, Indiana. He fathered a son in 1905, who also became a professional boxer in the Light Heavyweight division under the name, "Morgan Gardiner". Gardner's brother, Jimmy Gardner, claimed the World's Welterweight Title in 1908, making the Gardner brothers the first Irish American siblings in world history to hold world titles.

George Gardner was pictured in the summer of 1930 on the front of "Self Defense Quarterly".

Gardner was once ranked the #1 fighter in the world and he is considered one of the top fighters of all time, as well as one of the top light-heavyweights of all time.

Gardner died at age 77 on July 10, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. Four ex-champions were pallbearers at his funeral. [2]


Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
68 fights43 wins11 losses
By knockout316
By decision94
By disqualification31
Draws8
No contests4
Newspaper decisions/draws 2

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 Location Notes
68 Draw 43–11–8 (6) Flag of the United States.svg John Willie PTS 10 Sep 5, 1908 Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
67 Loss 43–11–7 (6) Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Tony Ross TKO 7 (12) May 18, 1908 Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, New Castle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
66 Loss 43–10–7 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Terry Mustain KO 8 (20) Jan 29, 1908 Flag of the United States.svg Bay City A.C., San Diego, California, U.S.
65 Draw 43–9–7 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Terry Mustain PTS 20 Oct 12, 1907 Flag of the United States.svg San Diego, California, U.S.
64 Loss 43–9–6 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Fireman Jim Flynn KO 18 (20) Apr 17, 1907 Flag of the United States.svg National Athletic Club, San Diego, California, U.S.
63 Loss 43–8–6 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Al Kaufman TKO 14 (20) Dec 21, 1906 Flag of the United States.svg Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
62 NC43–7–6 (6) Flag of the United States.svg Mike Schreck NC 2 (15) Apr 19, 1906 Flag of the United States.svg Lincoln A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.
61 Win 43–7–6 (5) Flag of the United States.svg Jim Jeffords NWS 6 Jan 24, 1906 Flag of the United States.svg National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
60 Win 43–7–6 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Billy Stift KO 5 (20) Jun 19, 1905 Flag of the United States.svg Grand Opera House, Ogden, Utah, U.S.
59 Loss 42–7–6 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Mike Schreck TKO 20 (20) Apr 17, 1905 Flag of the United States.svg Salt Lake Theater, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
58 Draw 42–6–6 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Fireman Jim Flynn PTS 10 Sep 16, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Denver A.C., Denver, Colorado, U.S.
57 Win 42–6–5 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Jim Jeffords KO 3 (20) Aug 15, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Butte, Montana, U.S.
56 Win 41–6–5 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Denis Ike Hayes PTS 4 Aug 5, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Anaconda, Montana, U.S.
55 Draw 40–6–5 (4) Flag of the United States.svg John Willie PTS 6 Jul 1, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Battery D Armory, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
54 Loss 40–6–4 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Root PTS 6 May 2, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Waverly A.C., Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
53 Draw 40–5–4 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Root PTS 6 Feb 26, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Battery D Armory, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
52 Win 40–5–3 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Carter UD 6 Feb 19, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Milwaukee Boxing Club, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
51 Win 39–5–3 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Fred Cooley PTS 6 Feb 8, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Watita Hall, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
50 Win 38–5–3 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Jim Driscoll PTS 6 Feb 8, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Watita Hall, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
49 Draw 37–5–3 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Marvin Hart PTS 15 Jan 5, 1904 Flag of the United States.svg Criterion A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
48 Loss 37–5–2 (4) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Bob Fitzsimmons PTS 20 Nov 25, 1903 Flag of the United States.svg Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.Lost world light-heavyweight title
47 Win 37–4–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Root TKO 12 (20) Jul 4, 1903 Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg International A.C., Fort Erie, Ontario, CanadaWon world light-heavyweight title
46 Win 36–4–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Marvin Hart RTD 12 (20) May 13, 1903 Flag of the United States.svg Auditorium, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.Billed World & American 170lbs titles
45 Win 35–4–2 (4) Flag of Ireland.svg Peter Maher KO 1 (6) Apr 6, 1903 Flag of the United States.svg Maverick AC, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
44 Win 34–4–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Al Weinig TKO 6 (?) Feb 13, 1903 Flag of the United States.svg Maverick AC, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
43 NC33–4–2 (4) Flag of the United States.svg Bob Armstrong NC 4 (6) Feb 9, 1903 Flag of the United States.svg Washington S.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
42 Win 33–4–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Carter PTS 6 Dec 29, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Lyceum A.C., Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
41 Win 32–4–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Billy Stift UD 6 Dec 11, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Aurora Hall, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
40 Loss 31–4–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Johnson PTS 20 Oct 31, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.
39 Win 31–3–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Root TKO 17 (20) Aug 18, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Saucer Track, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
38 Win 30–3–2 (3) Flag of Barbados.svg Barbados Joe Walcott PTS 20 Apr 25, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.
37 Loss 29–3–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Root DQ 7 (20) Jan 1, 1902 Flag of the United States.svg Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.
36 Win 29–2–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Carter KO 8 (20) Dec 20, 1901 Flag of the United States.svg Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.Advertised as for world middleweight championship
35 Loss 28–2–2 (3) Flag of Barbados.svg Barbados Joe Walcott PTS 20 Sep 27, 1901 Flag of the United States.svg Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.
34 Win 28–1–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Carter TKO 18 (20) Aug 30, 1901 Flag of the United States.svg Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.Advertised as for world middleweight championship
33 Win 27–1–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Moffat TKO 3 (20) Jul 4, 1901 Flag of the United States.svg San Francisco A.C., San Francisco, California, U.S.Billed World & American 158lbs middleweight titles
32 Win 26–1–2 (3) Flag of the United States.svg Tim Hurley TKO 5 (?) Apr 8, 1901 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
31 NC25–1–2 (3) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Jack Scales ND 3 Sep 29, 1900 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Beresford Street Drill Hall, Woolwich, London, England
30 Win 25–1–2 (2) Flag of the United States.svg Frank Craig DQ 4 (20) Sep 10, 1900 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Wonderland, Whitechapel Road, Mile End, London, EnglandCraig was disqualified for throwing Gardiner
29 Win 24–1–2 (2) Flag of the United States.svg Kid Carter DQ 19 (25) May 29, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Seaside A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.Carter was disqualified for butting
28 NC23–1–2 (2) Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg George Byers NC 15 May 14, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Roanoke A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
27 Win 23–1–2 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Charles Goff TKO 7 (?) May 2, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Utica, New York, U.S.
26 Win 22–1–2 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Wild Bill Hanrahan TKO 9 (15) Apr 23, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Casco A.C., Portland, Oregon, U.S.
25 Win 21–1–2 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Dick Baker TKO 4 (?) Apr 19, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Greenwood Park, Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
24 Win 20–1–2 (1) Flag of the United States.svg J Fitzpatrick TKO 9 (?) Apr 17, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Portland, Oregon, U.S.
23 Win 19–1–2 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Jack Burke TKO 4 (15) Mar 14, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Kirtland Club, Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.
22 Win 18–1–2 (1) Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg George Byers DQ 14 (15) Feb 22, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Coliseum, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
21 Win 17–1–2 (1) Flag of Russia.svg Jimmy Handler TKO 3 (25) Feb 12, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Hercules A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
20 Draw 16–1–2 (1) Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg George Byers NWS 15 Feb 2, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Lasters Hall, Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.Pre-arranged draw if went the distance
19 Win 16–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Harry Fisher TKO 12 (?) Jan 9, 1900 Flag of the United States.svg Kirkland A.C., Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.
18 Win 15–1–2 Flag of the United States.svg Jack Moffat RTD 8 (25) Dec 12, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Broadway A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
17 Loss 14–1–2 Flag of Russia.svg Jimmy Handler TKO 18 (25) Oct 16, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Hercules A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
16 Win 14–0–2 Flag of the United States.svg Harry Fisher TKO 17 (20) Aug 5, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Pelican A.C., Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
15 Draw 13–0–2 Flag of the United States.svg Dick Sims PTS 7 (15) Jul 31, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Associate Hall, Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.referee declared the bout a draw because of police interference
14 Win 13–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Young Sharkey TKO 9 (?) Jun 7, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Nutone A.C., Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
13 Win 12–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg John E Butler TKO 7 (15) May 9, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Nutone A.C., Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
12 Win 11–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Andy Moynahan KO 3 (?) Mar 24, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Greenwood Park, Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
11 Draw 10–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Bob Montgomery PTS 10 Jan 20, 1899 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Flag of the United States.svg Charles C. Smith KO 7 (?) Dec 25, 1898 Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg Montreal, Quebec, Canada
9 Win 9–0 Flag of the United States.svg Professor Evans TKO 3 (?) Dec 10, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Hugh HJ Colgren KO 3 (?) Nov 20, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Flag of the United States.svg Hugh McWinters KO 6 (?) May 20, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Flag of the United States.svg Tom O'Brien KO 1 (?) Apr 27, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Flag of the United States.svg Tom Moore KO 4 (?) Apr 10, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Flag of the United States.svg J Young KO 2 (?) Mar 17, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Flag of the United States.svg J Young KO 3 (?) Mar 10, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Matt Leary PTS 4 Mar 7, 1898 Flag of the United States.svg Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Hugh HJ Colgren PTS 4 Nov 5, 1897 Flag of the United States.svg Gymnasium A.C., Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.

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References

  1. "The Lineal Light Heavyweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "George Gardner". BoxRec. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  3. "George Gardner". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jack Root
World Light Heavyweight Champion
July 4, 1903 November 25, 1903
Succeeded by
Bob Fitzsimmons