1915-09-09 (158lbs) Al McCoy nd-l pts 10 Young Ahearn, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA

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1915-09-09 (158lbs) Al McCoy nd-l pts 10 Young Ahearn, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA. With Ahearn (154) having a valid claim to the middleweight title, his match with McCoy (157½), regardless of it being of the no-decision variety, was given championship billing. The contest effectively proved just how limited McCoy was as Ahearn boxed rings around him in virtually every round. There were no knockdowns, McCoy being far too rugged to be floored at any stage.

When McCoy met Soldier Bartfield (nd-drew 10 at the Clermont Rink, Brooklyn on 23 October), while it is not known what McCoy weighed in at, Bartfield was well inside 158lbs.

Another contest at the same venue, this time against the Zulu Kid (nd-drew 10 on 13 November) saw McCoy scaling 161lbs to his opponent’s 157lbs.

On 25 November, it was reported that McCoy had lost the press decision in a 15-round no-decision fight against Silent Martin at The Auditorium, Waterbury, Connecticut. According to the Waterbury Herald, with both men inside 158lbs McCoy’s title claim was automatically at stake. However, diligent research has picked up that on the same day at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCoy lost a press decision over six rounds to Jack McCarron, and that it was Al Thiel (McCoy) who had met Martin in Waterbury.

On 1 January 1916, at the Broadway SC, Brooklyn, McCoy, weighing 162lbs, lost a ten-round press decision to Ahearn (156lbs), who would have claimed the title had he secured an inside-the-distance win.

Two further contests at the same venue that had an element of risk for an over-the-weight McCoy came against George Chip (nd-l pts 10 on 20 January 1916) and Leo Bens (nd-w pts 10 on 21 March 1916). For Chip (157¾), McCoy made 159¼lbs and for Bens (156) he scaled 163½.

When McCoy met Thiel (nd-drew 10 at the Military AC, Brooklyn on 17 April 1916), although many thought that the title would be on the line it was almost certainly contested above 158lbs.

Following an overweight contest against Ahearn, the ‘real’ McCoy next took on Canada’s Young Al Ross (drew 20 at the Athletic Club Arena, New Haven, Connecticut on 22 May 1916). According to the New Haven Evening Register Ross made 158lbs at the ringside weigh-in, but because a decision was in place to decide the contest the author feels that it was almost certainly made at 160lbs in order to protect McCoy’s title claim.

In his next fight, McCoy suffered a 15-round points defeat at the hands of Hugh Ross at The Casino Hall, Bridgeport, Connecticut on 26 June 1916. On the day, the Bridgeport Evening Post claimed that Ross, who was in good shape and inside 158lbs, could well win the championship. However, it was only when the author found this fight to have been articled at 160lbs that he realised Ross would have needed a kayo win if he wanted any recognition.

When McCoy met Jackie Clark (nd-l pts 10 at the Town Hall, Scranton, Pennsylvania on 28 September 1916), the Scranton Times reported it as a title battle but failed to mention any weights. While it was pretty certain that Clark made 158lbs, one cannot be sure that McCoy did.

Then, on 28 November 1916, at the High School Auditorium, Allentown, Pennsylvania, McCoy, much heavier than his opponent and refusing to weigh in, risked his title claim when allowing an old rival in McCarron to scale 157lbs. Ultimately, there was no danger as McCoy carried off the ten-round press decision.