1932-05-26 Tommy Paul w pts 15 Johnny Pena, Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, USA - NBA

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1932-05-26 Tommy Paul w pts 15 Johnny Pena, Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, USA - NBA. Referee: Elmer McClelland. Having gone to the post 71 times, losing on just seven occasions, Paul (125) was a fast-moving, slashing rather than dynamic puncher who won the majority of his fights over the distance. He was also durable. On this night, with the vacant NBA title at stake, he was far too good for Pena (124½) who was outclassed in all but the ninth round when he gave it everything he had. Starting quickly, Paul caught Pena coming in, tied his man up, blocked punches with gloves and elbows, and knocked him back on his heels throughout. There were no knockdowns, but Pena took solid wallops for every lead and a few more besides, and failed to get a punch on Paul for almost four rounds in what was an unequal contest. It was only the lack of dynamite in Paul’s fists that allowed Pena to make it to the final bell, the referee’s decision being a formality.

On 16 September, at the Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico, Paul (127¾) was outpointed over ten rounds by Baby Arizmendi (124½) in a catchweight contest, and following the result Arizmendi was proclaimed champion by the Californian State Boxing Commission. Strangely, when you bear in mind the Baby was now recognised in California as the world featherweight champion that his next five fights in the State were all made at specific poundages set below the weight class, some billed for the featherweight title, some not, but all carrying a risk factor. In order, he fought Newsboy Brown (w pts 10 at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles on 18 October, which was advertised as a world title fight at 122lbs), Varias Milling (drew 10 at the Olympic Auditorium on 22 November at 124lbs), Archie Bell (w pts 10 at the Legion Stadium, Los Angeles on 2 December at 122lbs, and at the Dreamland Auditorium, San Francisco on 6 January 1933 at 123lbs) and Speedy Dado (w pts 10 at the Olympic Auditorium on 24 January, which was also billed as world title fight at 122lbs).