Packey McFarland

Last updated
Packey McFarland
Real namePatrick McFarland
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Born(1888-11-01)November 1, 1888
Chicago, United States
DiedSeptember 22, 1936(1936-09-22) (aged 47)
Boxing record
Wins by KO51
No contests1

Patrick "Packey" McFarland (November 1, 1888 – September 22, 1936) was an American boxer in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Despite an extraordinary winning record, he was unable to secure a match for either world title. The Ring Record Book and Boxing Encyclopedia suggests McFarland was the best fighter to never become a world champion.


Professional career

McFarland circa 1912 Packy McFarland 2163017273 641c84c987 o.jpg
McFarland circa 1912

He was born on November 1, 1888, in Chicago, Illinois.

McFarland became a professional boxer in 1904. In 1905 he beat Jimmy Britt, who had a disputed claim to be the lightweight world champion, although this fight was not for a title. In 1908 he defeated future lightweight champion Freddie Welsh in one bout and drew with him in another. He also defeated old foe Britt in another bout that year. In 1910 he met Welsh again for the British version of the lightweight title. The bout ended in another draw, with Welsh retaining his title. McFarland never fought for another world title bout. On April 26, 1912 he beat Matt Wells at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. [1]

He later defeated future welterweight champion Jack Britton during the later part of his career. losing his first fight and winning 98 there on.

He retired in 1915 after fighting to a draw with Mike Gibbons. He was a boxing instructor at Camp Zachary Taylor in 1918. On January 27, 1933, he was appointed to the Illinois Athletic Commission by Governor Henry Horner. McFarland also managed his sizable investments and was director of two banks.


McFarland died at Joliet, Illinois, of a strepococcus infection which had attacked his heart. [2]

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  1. "Packey M'Farland Whips Matt Wells. English Lightweight Champion Outclassed by Chicago Stock Yards Boxer". New York Times . April 27, 1912. Retrieved 2010-11-07. Packey McFarland of Chicago removed all doubts as to how he compares as a boxer with Matt Wells, the English lightweight champion, at Madison Square Garden ...
  2. "Packy McFarland Dies of Infection". United Press . September 16, 1936. Retrieved 2010-11-02. Patrick 'Packy' McFarland, of the State Boxing Commission and one time uncrowned lightweight boxing champion died today of a streptococcus infection which had attacked his heart. ...