"When Boxing Mattered," Chapter Six- The Roaring Twenties - Part II. Blog #0006

The Roaring Twenties Part II

Chapter Six starts right off with the boxer many consider, this writer included, to be the greatest middleweight champion in history, including Stanley Ketchel, Tommy Ryan, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins. Well, maybe Sam Langford would have given him his toughest challenge. This was a guy who fought 37 times in the sole year of 1917. He fought a recorded 298 times and was only stopped on two occasions. He won 261 of those fights, often against the crème de la crème professional middleweights, light heavyweights and even heavyweights. He fought some of the greatest fights of his career, blind in one eye, the result of a thumbing in a match with Hall of Famer Kid Norfolk. He beat another great battler, an Irish American named Mickey Walker. After their fight, when Walker accused him of thumbing him in his eye the two continued their battle outside a nightclub. Harry Greb was a fighter’s worse nightmare. He cut, bruised and battered his way through everybody he ever fought and won 261 fights.

After Greb, Tiger Flowers and Mickey Walker, the chapter moves to the lighter weights, covering such standouts as Benny Leanord the great lightweight champion. Also covered are Leonard’s memorable title defenses against Lew Tendler and Richie Mitchell. Lightweight champions Al Singer and Sammy Mandell finish out the division in the Nineteen Twenties.

The rest of the lighter divisions, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight are well represented with highlights on feather champions Johnny Kilbane and Johnny Dundee, smooth boxing and hard punching bantam Pete Herman and of course flyweight champion Jimmy Wilde.

More excerpts from this book coming soon! Stay tuned.

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