1917-11-14 (158lbs) Mike O'Dowd nd-w rsc 6 (10) Al McCoy, Clermont Rink, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA
1917-11-14 (158lbs) Mike O'Dowd nd-w rsc 6 (10) Al McCoy, Clermont Rink, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA. Referee: Johnny McAvoy. As in the contests between George Chip v Frank Klaus and McCoy v Chip, this was not a billed championship fight, but the title was deemed to have changed hands with no additional weight stipulation in force and McCoy failing to last the distance. Adding to the interest, this was the last major fight that took place in New York under Frawley Law. While McCoy came in above 158lbs, weighing either 162 or 167lbs dependant on which paper report one takes, O’Dowd (157) and was recognised by many as being the champion on the result.
Forcing the fight all the way, O’Dowd hurt McCoy with body blows and short right and left smashes to the head throughout the opening three rounds before dropping the title claimant four times in the fourth. O’Dowd also visited the canvas twice in the same session, but at all times the men got up quickly. Having given McCoy a going over in the fifth, O’Dowd went for his man in the sixth, decking him four times before smashing him down again with a hard left to the body and a right to the jaw. At 1.25 of the round the referee finally intervened to save McCoy from taking further punishment, even though the latter was in the act of rising. Many people saw this fight as being a fix, as McCoy had proven durability while O’Dowd had never previously been seen as a big puncher, and many of the knockdowns appeared to be stage-managed.
This was followed by two six-round no-decision fights at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, against Jack McCarron (nd-w pts 6 on 24 November) and Billy Kramer (nd-w pts 6 on 15 December), where O’Dowd was felt to have risked his newly-won title claim.