1934-09-17 Jimmy McLarnin w pts 15 Barney Ross, MSG Bowl, Queens, NYC New York, USA - WORLD

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1934-09-17 Jimmy McLarnin w pts 15 Barney Ross, MSG Bowl, Queens, NYC New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Arthur Donovan. Scorecards: 10-5, 6-5, 6-8. In a bid to regain his old honours, McLarnin (146¼) came to the ring better prepared than in their first fight and this time round it was he who scored well with the left hand and smashing body blows, while Ross (140¼) seemed slightly below par. The battle was a desperate one with left hooks, left jabs, body blows and solid rights to the head keeping the fans happy and both men suffering plenty of damage, with McLarnin having his left eye close early on. McLarnin was at his best in the first, sixth, seventh and eighth, where his boxing was superb and bewildered Ross, while the latter was always dangerous and came on strong in the closing sessions with two-fisted attacks to head and body to make it a close run thing. The split decision in McLarnin’s favour was a disputed one, but if the low blow that saw a point deducted from the latter in the fifth had not been counted as was Ross’ similar misdemeanour in the 14th all three judges would have voted for the Irishman.

Strangely, McLarnin again remained inactive, while Ross thrice defended his junior welter laurels before relinquishing his lightweight crown in April 1935 in order to take the rematch with the champion. It had always been known that the pair would meet up again in the summer of 1935 in a big-money, open-air fight and with Ross not having defended his lightweight title since September 1934 being suspended in New York until he did so, it came as no surprise that he opted to go for the 147lbs belt instead. As in their first contest, with Ross still ruling the light-welters, McLarnin was asked to come in above 140lbs.