1929-07-25 Jackie Fields w disq 2 (15) Joe Dundee, The Fairgrounds, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD

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1929-07-25 Jackie Fields w disq 2 (15) Joe Dundee, The Fairgrounds, Detroit, Michigan, USA - WORLD. Referee: Elmer McClelland. In a battle to unify the title, with both men starting slowly the first round was generally a feeling-out session with Fields (145), the NBA champion, just about having the better of it. However, the second was different altogether as the pair set about each other from the gong, and following a volley of blows to the head Dundee (147) was decked for ‘nine’. On his feet, again Dundee was sent crashing, this time for ‘seven’, from punches to head and body. Then, after getting up, for whatever reason he smashed in a hard right below the belt for which he was immediately disqualified when Fields went down in agony. The finish was timed at 1.55.

Having been inactive for two months, Fields came back to beat Vince Dundee, Gorilla Jones (twice) and Fred Mahan in non-title contests, but by the end of the year the calls for him to defend against Jimmy McLarnin were getting stronger, especially when Jack Dempsey ranked the latter as the leading challenger in The Ring magazine ratings.

Early in 1930, it was reported that promoters in San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago were bidding to stage a title match between Fields and Tommy Freeman, who had just come off a win over Young Jack Thompson (w pts 10 on 10 January at the Olympia Stadium, Detroit).

Meanwhile, in an overweight match, Fields was defeated by Young Corbett 111 (l pts 10 on 22 February at the Recreation Ground, San Francisco, California), who, despite elevating himself into the number-one spot, fractured his left hand, which would put him out of action for a couple of months.

Although he had failed to make an early defence, with Fields remaining active his next contest saw him beat Freeman (w rsc 5 on 8 April at the Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio) at 150lbs, thus temporarily putting the latter out of the title race. Pressure was now being brought from the leading boxing authorities for Fields to defend his crown, but ongoing talks for a fight against McLarnin continued to break down over the terms. Then came an announcement from Detroit that the Olympia promoters had Fields under contract to defend the title and would go to court if necessary to prevent a proposed fight between Fields and McLarnin taking place in New York on 11 September. The threat of legal action obviously worked for the Detroit promoters, and faced with a choice Fields decided to hook up with Thompson at the Olympia rather than risk a meeting with McLarnin.