1922-08-15 Johnny Dundee w co 9 (15) Danny Frush, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA - NY

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1922-08-15 Johnny Dundee w co 9 (15) Danny Frush, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA - NY. Referee: Patsy Haley. Billed for the NYSAC version of the vacant title, the veteran Dundee was a points-scoring boxer who more often than not went the distance, while Frush deserved his opportunity after being denied a disqualification win over Johnny Kilbane. With both men making a slow start it was not until the fifth round that things livened up as Frush (125¾) began to force matters, hurting Dundee (124½) with a solid right uppercut to the body that sent him hurtling backwards. Stung into action Dundee began to dominate, and in the eighth he dropped the Englishman for ‘nine’ with a right to the body before punching his man around the ring. It was clear to all present that there would not be much more, and after a few exchanges in the ninth Dundee struck a right to the head followed by another uppercut to the body, which culminated in Frush being counted out on the 50-second mark.

Many saw Dundee v Frush as a ploy by the State authority to force Kilbane into a title defence against Dundee, especially when it was reported that they were still angling to match the pair in New York. Even The Ring magazine, who reported it as being an eliminating bout, never recognised Dundee as the champion, an action that was supported by Dundee continuing to advertise himself as the junior lightweight champion and proud owner of a Tex Rickard Belt won in a featherweight elimination tournament.

Following Dundee’s victory, it was announced that Kilbane, now back in training, had agreed to defend the title against him in a 12-round no-decision contest at Boyle’s Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey. However, the match subsequently fell through after the NYSAC threatened to suspend Dundee if the contest went ahead outside of their jurisdiction. Eventually, in early April 1923, Kilbane, still recognised as the champion by most States outside of New York, finally consented to defend the championship at 126lbs in New York against the European champion, Eugene Criqui, and on 17 April applied for a State licence.

Although Kilbane received clearance on 23 April, the NYSAC stated that they still recognised Dundee as the champion and would continue to do so until Kilbane consented to meet him. This decision obviously threw the Kilbane v Criqui title billing into doubt, and Kilbane was then told that he must recognise Dundee’s title claim by accepting or rejecting his challenge. The NYSAC went on to say that if Kilbane accepted the challenge it would be up to the two boxers to agree on a date, either before or after the Kilbane v Criqui bout, and if Dundee insisted on meeting Kilbane prior to Kilbane taking on Criqui the NYSAC would support him. At first, Dundee demanded that Kilbane must meet him before fighting Criqui, but after both Kilbane and Criqui each posted $10,000 and agreed to box him in NYC within 60 days, depending on who won, Dundee backed down. This decision enabled the Kilbane v Criqui contest to take place in New York and be billed as a world title fight, despite the NYSAC continuing to recognise Dundee as the champion. Thus common sense prevailed. Criqui, who was a veteran of over 13 years and 118 fights after starting out as a flyweight, could look forward to emulating his friend and world light heavyweight champion, Georges Carpentier, by taking the title to France.