1904-05-10 (105lbs) Kid Murphy w pts 15 Benny Franklin, Eutaw AC, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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1904-05-10 (105lbs) Kid Murphy w pts 15 Benny Franklin, Eutaw AC, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Thought to involve Murphy’s claim to the American 105lbs title, Franklin fought like someone who could not have cared less and he was not a patch on the man he was in their previous contest some six weeks earlier. Put down four times in the third round and twice in the 12th, all knockdowns coming from fairly innocuous punches, Franklin’s poor performance handed Murphy an easy victory.

Following the fight challenges to the winner came in from Willie Schumacher, Jimmy Walsh and Willie Gibbs.

Ten days later, on 25 May in Baltimore, Murphy undoubtedly took over Schumacher’s claim to the title when the latter, unable to make the weight for their proposed title fight, forfeited any rights he may have had to the championship. Two days earlier, the Baltimore Sun reported that Murphy was already down to weight, while Schumacher still had to take off a couple of pounds, which ultimately he was unable to do. Although Murphy continued to claim the 105lbs title he failed to defend it for close on three years, either campaigning in short distance affairs or above the weight.

The next time there was any mention of a defence came on 29 March 1906 when the New York Herald reported that a 20-round contest which had been due to take place in private a day earlier in Orangeburg, Rockland County, New York between Murphy and Schumacher had been called off when the promoter absconded with the gate money. Confusingly, the paper went on to say that Murphy was named the winner despite there obviously being no contest.

Named as 105lbs champion in the Trenton Times on 24 September 1906, Murphy was challenged in December by Young Fitzgerald, another title claimant. On reflection there was nothing in Fitzgerald’s record to warrant a claim at the weight, but Murphy was more than happy to meet both him and Johnny Coulon, who had recently come to the fore, in an effort to sort out the national title early in 1907.