1878-09-20 (128lbs) Billy McLeod w co 6 (finish) James Wright, Ardwick, Manchester, England

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1878-09-20 (128lbs) Billy McLeod w co 6 (finish) James Wright, Ardwick, Manchester, England. Referee: George Probert. Held in private, it was contested under MoQ Rules at 128lbs and was the first finish fight with gloves at the weight. Having made a slow start when allowing Wright to do as he pleased during the first four rounds, McLeod opened up in the fifth before knocking his rival out with a heavy blow to the jaw in the sixth.

Following his emphatic victory McLeod claimed the English title at the weight. After Wright challenged McLeod to a return at 126lbs, give or take two pounds, the latter announced in the Sporting Life on 25 November that in future he would be boxing at 136lbs.

In later years McLeod joined the Salvation Army, and in 1905 a book on his life written by The Reverend Albert Dearden was published. Unfortunately, it was anti-boxing and gave little detail on McLeod’s boxing career.

Although Jem Carney showed some interest in the 128lbs title in 1881 that is all it was, the weight class only coming to life again in September 1883 when Young Jacob Hyams challenged all England.

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