1930-09-05 Tommy Freeman w pts 15 Young Jack Thompson, League Park, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - WORLD
1930-09-05 Tommy Freeman w pts 15 Young Jack Thompson, League Park, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - WORLD. Referee: Patsy Haley. Proving to be as strong as a bull, the challenger not only surprised Thompson (143¼) but just about everyone out there after receiving the referee’s decision following 15 gruelling rounds. Expected to be weak at the weight, Freeman (145¾) was more than happy to make it a fight of endurance, and apart from being knocked down for a count of ‘six’ in the second when chinned by a left hook he remained strong. Even at the end of the tenth, it was Freeman who went for it in the 11th, belting in body punches for the remainder of the bout. The new champion attributed his strength to his time as a lumberjack.
Out of action until early 1931, having gone down with two bad cases of flu after vacationing, Freeman came back with five non-title wins over Pete August, Eddie Murdock, Duke Tramel, Al Kober and Alfredo Gaona before signing up to meet Thompson in a return bout for the title. These contests were incorrectly shown at a later date in some listings as involving the title.
Earlier, in February, it had been announced that Freeman would make a defence against either Jackie Fields, Jimmy McLarnin, Young Corbett 111 or Thompson. Eventually, it was the latter who got the opportunity, having been out of action even longer than Freeman before coming back in March 1931 with two warm-up fights to prepare him for the task ahead.