1923-03-17 Mike McTigue w pts 20 Battling Siki, Scala Opera House, Dublin, Ireland - NY/NBA/GB
1923-03-17 Mike McTigue w pts 20 Battling Siki, Scala Opera House, Dublin, Ireland - NY/NBA/GB. Referee: Jack Smith. Siki, the recipient of a ‘dodgy’ decision, should have lost his title on the scales when refusing to weigh-in with McTigue (159lbs), knowing full well he was over the limit. However, the fight went ahead with McTigue content to keep Siki off him by dint of a solid left lead, and apart from the 11th round when the Irishman was cut over the right eye he was in well in command. By the 16th, with Siki extremely tired, McTigue took full advantage when swarming all over the champion, smashing in blow after blow while trying for the knockout. The last three sessions saw McTigue belting Siki all over the ring, and when the referee’s decision in his favour was announced the roof nearly came off.
Following the fight the IBU stripped Siki of his European belt, despite continuing to recognise him as the world champion until early 1924 and failing to credit McTigue who was seen as the titleholder in America and Britain. The IBU, who made the decision to continue to recognise Siki as the world champion because he had not made 175lbs for McTigue, finally ran out of patience with him after he moved to America having failed to defend their version of the championship. Once that decision had been made on 19 November, the IBU stated that they would not accept an American designated world light heavyweight champion until the leading European representative was given a fair crack at the title.
With Kid Norfolk still generally recognised as the coloured champion, he successfully defended his title laurels against Tiger Flowers (w co 1 at the Coliseum, Springfield, Ohio on 8 May) and the Jamaica Kid (w co 2 at the Commonwealth SC, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 17 July) before going on to meet Siki.
On 25 June, in albeit just an eight-rounder at Shetzline Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McTigue (164½) lost the press decision to Tommy Loughran (161), while a little later, on 31 July 1923, Gene Tunney successfully defended the American title following a 12-round points win over Dan O'Dowd at Queensboro Stadium, Queens, NYC, New York.