1915-03-11 Freddie Welsh nd-l pts 10 Willie Ritchie, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1915-03-11 Freddie Welsh nd-l pts 10 Willie Ritchie, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Billy Roche. Made at 135lbs, 3pm weigh-in, with both men making that weight it automatically involved Welsh’s title and thus carried a certain amount of risk, especially as Ritchie (135) systematically outpointed him round after round. Boxing well within himself, Welsh (134½) made sure that Ritchie failed to put him down or influence the referee in terms of a stoppage. Incidentally, the ringside weights showed Welsh to weigh 135¾lbs to Ritchie’s 135½. A few days later, on 17 March, Welsh took on Hal Stewart (nd-w pts 10 at the Majestic Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana). According to earlier editions of The Ring Record Book this was thought to have been a title bout and was certainly billed as such. However, without mentioning any weights, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported prior to the fight that: “Quite a few of the best 135lb men have claimed wins over Welsh in short bouts, but he continues to remain champion and gets the money”. Seven days later, on 24 March at the Athletic Club, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, an over-the-weight Welsh took an eight-round press verdict from Patsy Drouillard (132). Another fight for Welsh where it was doubtful that he bothered to make the championship weight but allowed his rival to do so came against Johnny Lustig (nd-drew 10 on 27 March at Sohmer Park, Montreal, Canada). It had been advertised as a title defence for Welsh, and articled at 135lbs, but the fighters’ weights were not reported in the Montreal Gazette.

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