1927-09-12 Benny Bass w pts 10 Red Chapman, Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - PENNSYLVANIA

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1927-09-12 Benny Bass w pts 10 Red Chapman, Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - PENNSYLVANIA. Referee: Frank McCracken. A remarkable battle of punchers saw Chapman (125½), badly gashed over the left eye in the seventh round, and Bass (126) collide in the middle of the ring in the ninth, both throwing right crosses, both connecting and both going down simultaneously. While Bass stumbled up at ‘two’, Chapman barely made it, soon crumbling again for another count of ‘nine’ before making it to the final bell where the former was awarded a unanimous decision.

It had been a brilliant spectacle, and following the result Bass was recognised as champion by the NBA, despite the Pennsylvanian Boxing Commission not being affiliated with them at the time. He was also seen as the champion in New York and Massachusetts under an agreement made between the three States, whereby each State would recognise the rulings of any or both of the other two.

Nicknamed ‘The Fish’, the compact little fighter with power in either hand was rated the hardest hitter by several good judges, including Jack Dempsey, the former heavyweight champion, and was a great body puncher. He was also very experienced for a 23-year-old youngster, having gone to the post in over a 100 fights before winning the title. Interestingly, in his last 66 contests only two men had beaten him - Andy Martin, who had twice done the trick, and Pete Sarmiento.

Meanwhile, at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC on 24 October, Tony Canzoneri outpointed the former champion, Johnny Dundee, over 15 rounds in an advertised title fight. Although not recognised as being for the NYSAC version of the title as reported in the Ring Record Book down the ages, Dundee was merely defending his version. Regardless of that, on winning Canzoneri became Bass’ leading challenger. Canzoneri had already been in contention for bantam honours, and despite not reaching his 19th birthday with 50 fights under his belt and only three defeats he was ready for the championship. After beating Dundee, Canzoneri strengthened his position when taking ten-round decisions at 126lbs over Ignacio Fernandez and Bud Taylor.

With the Canzoneri fight made for 27 January 1927, and Bass contracted for a warm-up eight-rounder against Wilbur Cohen four days earlier, he was forced to cancel both meetings due to a heavy cold and a badly-cut thumb which had become infected.

Although Bass v Canzoneri was re-scheduled for 10 February, the NYSAC suspended Bass and imposed a forfeit on both fighters to cover weight-making and illness, something that was unheard of. It was at this stage the NYSAC recognised Canzoneri as their champion.