1920-08-02 (158lbs) Johnny Wilson nd-w co 5 (10) Steve Choynski, Bison Stadium, Buffalo, New York, USA

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1920-08-02 (158lbs) Johnny Wilson nd-w co 5 (10) Steve Choynski, Bison Stadium, Buffalo, New York, USA. Referee: Dick Nugent. According to the Buffalo Morning Express this was a billed title fight at 158lbs in which the southpaw champion handed out a bad beating to Choynski after disappointing in his previous contest. The fight had only just started when a ring post collapsed and both men who were against the ropes fell off the platform, an incident that saw time out being called while repairs were put in place. Unperturbed, Wilson had Choynski down twice for counts of ‘nine’ in the second, both knockdowns coming after he had rammed in a left to the head followed by a right to the body. Having survived, Choynski spent the next couple of rounds covering up, but in the fifth Wilson came on to knock his man out with a terrific left uppercut to the body, a blow that had been practised several times earlier. Although Choynski’s corner claimed a foul it was not accepted as no indication of a low blow could be found.

Prior to meeting Battling Thomas (nd-w pts 10 at The Arena, Syracuse, New York on 6 July), with Panama Joe Gans already claiming to be the ‘black’ champion for his contest against George Robinson (w pts 12 at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 8 October 1920) Tex Rickard put up a diamond studded belt to be held by the winner. Furthermore, Rickard stated that whoever won could keep the belt as long as he made two more successful defences at the same venue in one of his promotions. Gans obliged by beating both George Christian (w co 3 on 26 November) and Sailor Darden (w pts 10 on 29 December). Other contests against coloured opposition came against Lew Williams (w co 4 at the Commonwealth SC, Manhattan, NYC on 19 October), Morris Tasco (w co 3 in Detroit, Michigan on 22 October) and Young Jackson (w co 3 Garden Street Arena, Auburn, New York).

On 9 December, at the Mount Royal Arena, Montreal, Canada, an over-the-weight Wilson met Robinson (158), and although taking the ten-round press verdict he was within an ace of losing his title according to certain newspaper reports when suffering two knockdowns and being sent crashing at the start of the fight. Another catchweight contest for Wilson (162) where the opposition was inside 158lbs came against Joe Chip (nd-w pts 10 at the Motor Square Garden, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 17 January 1921), who scaled 158lbs.

Articled to meet Navy Rostan at 158lbs at the old Auditorium, Kenosha, Wisconsin on 10 February 1921, Wilson (160¼) was forced to pay forfeit to the so-called challenger before knocking him out in the second round of a no-decision contest. Rostan, who weighed in at 154½lbs, would no doubt have claimed the title had he won.