1919-09-19 (158lbs) Mike O’Dowd nd-w pts 10 Soldier Bartfield, The Auditorium, St Paul, Minnesota, USA

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1919-09-19 (158lbs) Mike O'Dowd nd-w pts 10 Soldier Bartfield, The Auditorium, St Paul, Minnesota, USA. Made at 158lbs, the St Paul Pioneer reported that at no time during the contest were O’Dowd’s titular laurels ever at risk from a man outweighed by ten pounds. During the course of the fight it was O’Dowd who landed the harder, cleaner and more frequent punches and when at close quarters it was usually Bartfield who broke ground first. However, it was certainly not one-sided and several times Bartfield managed to rush O’Dowd to the ropes where he slammed away, scoring with blows from both hands, before going back to his boxing. Although Bartfield clearly won the second and eighth sessions, using his famous back-hand punch, which was legal at the time, O’Dowd won most of the others.

Ten days later, on 29 September at the Armory AA, Jersey City, New Jersey, an over-the-weight O’Dowd (164) collected an eight-round press decision over Augie Ratner (154lbs), having risked his title claim, and presumably did the same when facing the 146lbs Steve Latzo (nd-w pts 6 on 18 October at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Before meeting Mike Gibbons, two more fights in November, where his rivals were thought to have made 160lbs, saw O’Dowd score two-round knockout wins over Billy Kramer on 6 November at the Lyceum Theatre, Paterson, New Jersey and Jimmy O'Hagan on 10 November at the Roller Palace Rink, Detroit, Michigan. It is unclear what weight O’Dowd made for the contests against Kramer (scheduled for eight rounds) and O’Hagan (scheduled for ten rounds), but reports seen stated that had either man won inside the distance the title would have changed hands.