Our American Champs

Damon Runyon

Th’ Mornin’s Mornin’

New York American/February 8, 1917

In his record book for 1917, Tom Andrews, the well known Western fistic authority, who has been issuing these books for the past fifteen years, recognizes the existence of American championship titles, and title holders, as separate and distinct from the world’s championship titles.

Moreover, he recognizes the existence of English and Australian titles, and title holders. In this particular volume he makes no reference to the French champions, probably for the reason that most of them have been killed in the great war, but they were recognized in former books.

In listing his American champs, however, Andrews clings to the scale of weights as recommended by the American Boxing Association, of which he is a leading light, at Cleveland, August 21, 1915, and while it is about the same scale adopted by the boxing commission here, not all Eastern fistic followers will agree that it is the proper scale.

They still cling to the old order of weights, and deny the right of champions or anyone else to lift the scale to suit their own purposes. For instance, Al McCoy, middleweight champion, and Les Darcy are matched to meet at 160 pounds, weighting in at  o’clock in the afternoon, and old-time authorities hereabouts, as well as many of the newer school, deny that these conditions can make it a title match.

He Recognizes Darcy

Yet 160 pounds at 3 o’clock is practically the middleweight scale recommended by the American Boxing Association–a far cry from the pundage of Dempsey and Fitzsimmons, and well removed from that of stanley Ketchel, who could do 158 ringside.

Oddly enough Andrews recognizes Dary as the middleweight champion of the world but does not recognize McCoy as the middle weight champion of America. He merely names Albertus as one of the claimants, the others mentioned being Mike Gibbons, Jimmy Clabby, George Chip, Bob Moha and George Brown.

We take it the record book was prepared for press some time ago, however, and it is not likely that Andrews now concedes Clabby, Moha or Brown more than an outside claim on the title. Clabby, in fact, is said to have retired from the ring.

Darcy’s manager says that when he made the match with McCoy he left the matter of the weight up to Albertus, and that the Brooklyn champ announced that 160 pounds at 3 o’clock suited him fine. More than likely it did, too, as there is a pronounced suspicion that Albertus cannot make 158 ringside.

Inasmuch as the arrangement tallied with Australian conditions, Darcy’s manager says he thought McCoy was merely adhering to the American scale. He was somewhat disconcerted when it was suggested to him that technically Darcy’s title claim might still be in doubt, even though he knocks out awkward Al. It appears that Darcy is wild to get a clear deed to the middleweight championship, and that is largely the reason he grabbed the Brooklynite as his first opponent.

 The World’s Titles

Since Andrews book was prepared for press, a couple of the world’s champions recognized by him have been superseded.

He names Kid Williams as the bantamweight champion, apparently being one of quite a number of authorities who refuse to recognize Kid Ertle’s claim to the crown by virtue of a disqualification of Williams for fouling.

This would put Pete Herman, of New Orleans, into Andrewss book, as Pete won a ternty-round decision over Williams not long ago. Jack Dillon, named b Andrews as the cruiserweight champion of the world, has since been beaten in a decision battle by Battling Levinsky, of Bridgeport, Conn.

The holders of the other world’s championships named by Andrews are the same as stated in this column not long ago in replying to a query—Wilde, flyweight; Kilbane, featherweight; Welsh, lightweight; Britton, welterweight; Willard, heavyweight.

The American Boxing Association scale of weights, at which Andrews assigns the titleholders and which is practically the same scale prevailing in England and Australia, is as follows: Flyweight, 112 pounds; bantamweight, under 118 pounds; welterweight, 145 pounds; middle, 160 pounds; cruiser or light heavyweight, 175 pounds; heavyweight, 175 pounds and over, all weightings six hours before ring time.

Under this scale, Les Darcy is credited with holding the last three titles in Australia. No bantamweight champion of that land is named, but Jimmy Hill is, or was, the featherweight king at 126 pounds; Herb McCoy, the lightweight champ, and Tommy Uren, the welterweight titleholder at 147 pounds.

 Darcy’s Many Honors

According to Andrews’s rating, Darcy would hold four titles—middle, cruiser and heavyweight champion of Australia and middleweight champion of the world.

Kilbane, Britton, Willard, Levinsky, Welsh and Wilde hold two each, the first four being proprietors of the world’s titles and the American titles in their respective divisions, while Welsh and Wilde are holders of the English and the world’s titles.

Young Zulu Kid, who was recently knocked out by Wilde, and Jimmy Pappas are said by Andrews to have the best claims against the American flyweight crown, and he rates Charley White, Johnny Dundee, Benny Leonard and Richie Mitchell as claimants of the American lightweight championship.

 French Wiped Out

Many of the boys who are credited with holding the French championship titles in the last list at hand are known to have been killed Bernard, middleweight champion, went only a short time. Carpentier, the heavyweight, still lives, although in our list the championship in that division is credited to A. Durie, with Carpentier given as the light heavyweight champ.

Charley Ledoux, bantamweight title-holder, is said to be dead. So is De Ponthieu, the featherweight, and Henri Plet, the welter. The fate of Papin, lightweight champion, is unknown.

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