1938-02-19 Freddie Steele w rtd 7 (15) Carmen Barth, The Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NY/NBA

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1938-02-19 Freddie Steele w rtd 7 (15) Carmen Barth, The Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NY/NBA. Referee: Jim Braddock. Getting away fast, Barth (159¼) won the opening four rounds when forcing Steele (159) to cover up on several occasions from heavy left-handed attacks, and it was not until the sixth that the champion got into his stride. That session saw Barth down three times, with stiff punches from both hands doing the damage. Although fighting back gamely in the seventh it was not long before the former Olympic champion was in trouble again, being eventually dropped for ‘eight’. On rising and taking a battering, Barth was floored by a thudding right to the head, whereupon his corner reacted quickly by throwing the towel in on the 2.19 mark.

In May 1938, after Steele was stripped of his New York title for continuing to refuse Fred Apostoli a crack at it the latter was eventually matched against Young Corbett 111 to decide a new champion.

Having beaten Solly Krieger in a catchweight contest, Steele's next defence of New York's version of the title would be against the hard-hitting Al Hostak. Rated at number three by The Ring magazine, Hostak had drawn eight and lost one of 54 since turning pro in 1932. And his last 14 fights, which had all ended inside the distance, included victories over Tony Fisher, Young Terry, Babe Risko, Allen Matthews and Swede Berglund.

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