1920-01-20 (160lbs) Mike O’Dowd w rsc 3 (12) Stockyards Tommy Murphy, Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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1920-01-20 (160lbs) Mike O'Dowd w rsc 3 (12) Stockyards Tommy Murphy, Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Referee: Hector McInnes. Advertised in the Boston Post and Boston Daily Advertiser as being a battle for the world middleweight championship at 160lbs (ringside), it is clear that the State of Massachusetts recognised that poundage as being the upper limit of the weight class at that point in time. O’Dowd started as he meant to carry on, slamming in heavy rights to head and body, while Murphy hardly threatened him. The second round was much the same, with Murphy taking heavy punishment and looking likely to go at any time. After being accidentally butted, O’Dowd went for Murphy with a vengeance, and in the third the latter was smashed to the floor three times before the referee called it off at 1.05 of the session, just as the towel fluttered into the ring.

O’Dowd next took on Young Fisher (nd-w co 8 at The Arena, Syracuse, New York on 26 January) and Jack McCarron (nd-w rsc 2 at the Olympia AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 1 March) in catchweight contests where the opposition was thought to weigh in less than the championship weight.

When O’Dowd met Murphy for the second time a few weeks later at the Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, on 5 March, the Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette reported that Murphy lost another opportunity to become the middleweight champion when being stopped in nine rounds. Again weights were never mentioned.

Another opponent for O’Dowd, thought to be inside 158lbs, was Tommy Madden who was knocked out inside three rounds at the Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado on 12 March. This contest was a billed 12-round championship battle according to the San Antonio Evening News, despite no weights being reported.