1925-01-07 Mike McTigue nd-l pts 12 Mickey Walker, 113th Regiment Armory, Newark, NJ, USA - NBA/GB
1925-01-07 Mike McTigue nd-l pts 12 Mickey Walker, 113th Regiment Armory, Newark, NJ, USA - NBA/GB. Referee: Hank Lewis. After hurting both hands early in the fight, McTigue (160), who outweighed the challenger by a whopping 11¼lbs, was content to assume a defensive role in order to hold on to his title. Although Walker (149¾) carried off at least eight of the 12 rounds, despite shaking McTigue up on a number of occasions he ultimately had to be satisfied with the newspaper verdict.
Having been re-instated by the NYSAC on 7 April 1925, and with Gene Tunney preparing for an assault on the heavyweights, McTigue’s first defence in the Empire State would be against Paul Berlenbach. Known as ‘Paralysing Paul’ due to his tremendous punching power, Berlenbach was an open, walk-in fighter who had got his opportunity to challenge for the title after beating the former champion, Battling Siki (w rsc 10 at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 13 March), in what was an eliminating contest. An interesting character who had become deaf-mute when contracting scarlet fever as a youngster, Berlenbach had also been a double AAU champion wrestler before turning to boxing.
For Siki it was almost the end of the road. Just eight fights later, on 15 December, the former champion, who had the habit of walking his pet lion through the streets of New York City, was found shot to death in the gutter.