1927-07-16 Sammy Mandell w pts 10 Phil McGraw, University Arena, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD
1927-07-16 Sammy Mandell w pts 10 Phil McGraw, University Arena, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD. Referee: Elmer McClelland. The New York Times stated that prior to Mandell’s successful defence this was the first time a title fight had come to Detroit since the days of Harry Forbes, the former bantamweight champion. Emerging without a scratch from an extremely one-sided contest, Mandell (135) had stunned McGraw (132½) in the first round before popping in long lefts to the challenger’s head round after round. Although McGraw never gave up tearing in, whenever he got close enough to Mandell he was skilfully blocked. McGraw was almost finished off in the seventh, but somehow kept going gamely, constantly being brought up short with jabs and hooks. At the final bell it was hardly a surprise when the referee held up Mandell’s arm.
After taking nearly two months out, Mandell went on the road again, but on 28 September it was reported that the NBA were going to force the issue with him on the grounds that he was making it too difficult to organise a title fight. It was said that he had asked Sid Terris or any other contender to put up a $65,000 guarantee before he would even consider defending the title.
In December the NBA gave Mandell until 16 February to defend against a top man or risk being suspended from fighting in their affiliated States, stating that as he was already barred in New York that would not leave him with many options.
Following that, the two leading challengers, Jimmy McLarnin and Terris, were booked to meet over ten rounds at Madison Square Garden, NYC, New York on 24 February 1928 on the premise that the winner would fight Mandell for the title. Made at 135lbs, after McLarnin (133½) knocked out Terris (133½) at 1.47 of the opening round with a short right cross to the jaw just two days later a championship contest between the young Irish-born fighter and Mandell was signed and sealed by the promoter, Tex Rickard.