1914-07-02 (122lbs) Johnny Kilbane nd-w pts 10 KO Mars, Queen City AC, Redland Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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1914-07-02 (122lbs) Johnny Kilbane nd-w pts 10 KO Mars, Queen City AC, Redland Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Made at 122lbs, with both men inside, Kilbane, who was dropped in the second round, fought cautiously before opening up during the last five sessions to win easily in the eyes of the press. The latter stages of the contest saw Mars doing little other than continually clinching in order to avoid being halted.

Two six-round fights in 1915 saw Kilbane take on Patsy Brannigan (nd-l pts 6 at the Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 1 January) and Kid Williams (nd-w pts 6 at the Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 17 March), both fights carrying a certain risk with the opposition inside 122lbs.

When the champion took on Alvie Miller (nd-w pts 12 at the Open Air Arena, Cedar Point, Ohio on 6 September 1915) it was a fight made at 126lbs according to the Sandusky Register, despite being reported in the Ring Record Book as involving the 122lbs title.

Another contest for Kilbane reported in an early Ring Record Book as a world title bout came on 11 October 1915 against Cal Delaney. Despite Kilbane being seen as a comfortable winner over Delaney (nd-w pts 12 at the Lakeside Casino, Akron, Ohio), after perusing the Akron Beacon Journal it was discovered that the fight was made at 128lbs, thus being contested above the weight class.

On 2 December 1915, an over-the-weight Kilbane was considered to have had the better of Brannigan in a ten-round no-decision fight at the Town Hall, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Earlier, on 21 August 1915, the newly formed American Boxing Association, based in Cleveland, had recommended 125lbs as the featherweight limit, and with several other States recognising 125lbs as being the limit for the weight class this was advertised for the championship. Regardless of Kilbane stating that his title was only at risk when the opponent was contracted to make 122lbs, Brannigan, who scaled 124lbs, would have undoubtedly claimed the crown if he had won inside the distance.

A few fights later, the Little Rock Gazette reported that Kilbane had successfully defended his title following receipt of a ten-round press decision over Johnny Creeley on 16 February 1916 at the Vapour City AC, Hot Springs, Arkansas, but with no mention of weights this one has to remain suspect.

Another so-called title contest for Kilbane came against Eddie Wallace (nd-drew 10 at Sohmer Park, Montreal, Canada on 24 May 1916). Reported by the Montreal Gazette that both men were to be inside 122lbs on the night, it actually went ahead at catchweights with Wallace weighing 125lbs to the champion’s 128½.