1927-06-30 Mickey Walker w co 10 (20) Tommy Milligan, Olympia, Kensington, London, England - WORLD

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1927-06-30 Mickey Walker w co 10 (20) Tommy Milligan, Olympia, Kensington, London, England - WORLD. Referee: Eugene Corri. For almost all of the opening five rounds it was anybody’s fight as both men exchanged hard blows and fought at close quarters, but towards the end of the fifth the champion caught Milligan (159¼) with a terrific right hand under the heart that ultimately turned the tide of battle. Walker came out fast for the sixth and repeatedly sent in similar blows and it was no surprise when Milligan (159½) was dropped twice for long counts in the seventh. Still Milligan continued, being dropped twice in the eighth and twice in the ninth, and in the tenth following a barrage of lefts and rights the game Milligan was again sent down. Bravely struggling to his feet, Milligan was finally put out of his misery when a right-hand smash dropped him for the last time and he was counted out.

After fighting above the weight for the remainder of the year, Walker was told by the NYSAC on 26 October that he must sign contracts within 30 days to defend his title against George Courtney, who had placed $2,500 with the Commission as surety, or risk being suspended in New York.

At the same time the NBA were being asked to look into an agreement that Walker had signed prior to his title-winning fight against Tiger Flowers, which called for a return within 90 days if he won. In the event, the NBA enquiry came to nought when Flowers failed to recover from an eye operation and died on 16 November, while Walker failed to agree a championship match with Courtney and was suspended in New York on 30 November.

Meanwhile, the NBA notified Walker on 24 January 1928 that he must sign articles for a title defence within 30 days or risk being stripped. On 18 February it was reported that Walker had signed with a Chicago promoter to defend his title in June against an unnamed opponent, but having been asked to post a forfeit of $5,000 when it did not arrive he was suspended for an indefinite period. Eventually, after fulfilling his contractual obligations in mid-May 1928 when signing for a defence in Chicago against Ace Hudkins, Walker was free to pick up his middleweight career.

Earlier, on 6 July 1927, Jack McVey was recognised by many as the unofficial ‘black’ champion after knocking out Walcott Langford in the tenth and final round of their contest at Taylor's Bowl, Cleveland, Ohio. At the end of the year, only Dave Shade and Courtney were rated ahead of McVey by Tex Rickard and he was the leading coloured fighter at the weight. Since beating Langford he had drawn with Pete Latzo and Shade in contests where the press saw him as a clear winner, and was clearly ready to take on the best.