1916-12-08 (145lbs) Jack Britton nd-w pts 10 Sam Robideau, The Athletic Club, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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1916-12-08 (145lbs) Jack Britton nd-w pts 10 Sam Robideau, The Athletic Club, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Referee: Eddie Davis. Although Robideau was a replacement for Joe Sherman, Britton’s title claim at 145lbs was still on the line. Adopting defensive tactics throughout ten slow rounds, the press came down hard on Britton (144) for not finishing the outclassed Robideau (143) off. In short, Britton took it easy and it was only towards the end when Robideau hurt him with a left swing that he finally opened up.

At the beginning of 1917, Lew Williams was claiming the ‘black’ title despite continuously fighting middleweights in order to earn a living. After beating Kyle Whitney twice in 1914, Eddie Palmer had claimed the title before he was twice outpointed over 20 rounds at the Orleans AC, New Orleans, Louisiana by Gorilla Jones (on 23 January and 15 February 1915). It was then reported early in 1916 that the Jamaica Kid was calling himself the ‘black’ champion after beating Jones, but but as yet I can find no evidence of that fight happening. If that was not enough, the Kid was challenging all-comers at 158lbs. Other men who would claim the ‘black’ title in the next year or so to no great effect included Panama Joe Gans and Battling Thomas, and it would appear that very few coloured boys were getting a fair crack in the division at this time, something that would persist right up until the late 1920s.