1929-05-28 Mushy Callahan w rtd 3 (10) Fred Mahan, Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA - CALIFORNIA

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1929-05-28 Mushy Callahan w rtd 3 (10) Fred Mahan, Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA - CALIFORNIA. Referee: Jack Kennedy. In what was a tempestuous skirmish, Callahan (139¼) touched down in both the first and second rounds before flooring Mahan (140), a deaf mute, twice in the second to put himself well on the way to retaining his title. The towel was thrown in by Mahan’s corner after their man had been flattened and left senseless by a right-hand uppercut in the third session.

Although the NBA finally recognised the weight division with Callahan as champion at their Convention in November, on 31 December the NYSAC abolished the junior weight classes on the grounds that they were riddled with ‘unsatisfactory’ title bouts. A few days later, on 4 January 1930, Edward Foster, the Chairman of the NBA Championship Committee, recommended that the NBA should do likewise, but despite giving lukewarm support to the weight class the Association took no action to abandon it for close on two years.

Early in 1930 it was also reported that an American, Jeff Dickson, who was promoting in Europe but not licensed by the BBBoC, was to match Jack Kid Berg against Callahan for the title at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London on 18 February 1930. Although announced as a title bout, the weight class was not recognised in Britain at the time and failed to gain much support, despite Berg, who had been campaigning in America since May 1928, having wins over Bruce Flowers, Herman Perlick, Spug Myers, Tony Canzoneri and Callahan under his belt.

Before the ‘rebel’ promotion took place, Boxing News reported that the NBA had stripped Callahan on 4 February for not having defended the title against someone of their choice earlier. However, that edict was quickly rescinded and despite a strong protest by Lord Lonsdale, sitting at ringside, the fight got underway, supported by the NBA, in front of less than 2,000 fans.