1927-05-05 Teddy Baldock w pts 15 Archie Bell, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England - GB

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1927-05-05 Teddy Baldock w pts 15 Archie Bell, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England - GB. Referee: Sam Russell. An extremely fast and hard-fought contest saw Baldock (117¾) come through on points to take the British version of the title after both men had given everything they had. Baldock was quicker around the ring than the American, scoring well with jabs and crosses, while Bell (117¼) looked to concentrate on the inside where his left hooks to the body occasionally caused consternation in the English camp. Having made a good start, with the jab keeping Bell at arm's length, Baldock caught his man with a hook off the jab in the eighth to put the American down momentarily. Nevertheless, Bell was quickly back without any side effects and continued to have some success when working the body. Told to cruise through the last three rounds Baldock was given no respite by the impatient Bell, and ignoring instructions the two men were soon going toe to toe. Although Bell probably had the best of those exchanges it was never going to be enough, Baldock receiving rapturous applause following the referee’s decision.

Despite losing to Baldock, in September 1927 Bell looked to the NYSAC to appoint him as their champion, claiming that Bud Taylor, Tony Canzoneri and Baldock could not make the weight anymore. That was after he had agreed a return with the latter in England, only for the fight to fall through when Baldock’s management wanted to make the match at 120lbs.

Meanwhile, Baldock, who was still only 19 years of age and unable to fight over 15 rounds if he travelled to New York, decided to stay at home. Clearly marking time, following a 15-round points defeat at 120lbs by Willie Smith, who scaled 118lbs, at the Royal Albert Hall on 6 October 1927, the latter claimed the title with little support outside his own country. It had been more than 15 months since Baldock had beaten Bell, and with the coming formation of the British Boxing Board of Control in sight he defended his much-weakened world title claim against Johnny Brown at The Stadium, Clapton, London on 29 August 1928. By then, Brown had been stripped of his British and European titles and the contest carried no real significance. Although Brown was retired inside two rounds, the men who were virtually running boxing in Britain leading up to the formation of the BBBoC recognised Alf Kid Pattenden as the British champion and would not support Baldock’s world title claims until he had won the British title.

A short while later, Smith, also struggling by then at 118lbs, moved into the featherweight division without benefiting from his victory over Baldock, while Bell suffered two ten-round points defeats at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York at the hands of Kid Francis (1 December 1927 and 23 March 1928).

Despite all of this the NYSAC had been strangely inactive in trying to sort out the mess, but after Bushy Graham had served his 12-month suspension he was matched against Izzy Schwartz, the NYSAC flyweight champion, for their version of the title on 23 May 1928.