1941-09-11 Chalky Wright w co 11 (15) Joey Archibald, Griffith Stadium, Washington DC, USA - NY/MARYLAND

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1941-09-11 Chalky Wright w co 11 (15) Joey Archibald, Griffith Stadium, Washington DC, USA - NY/MARYLAND. Referee: Harry Volkman. After 13 years of mitt tossing, and having been recognised as the uncrowned champion because of an outstanding record, the 30-year-old Wright (124) finally made his dream come true when kayoing Archibald (124) at 0.54 of the 11th round to take a version of the championship. Prior to the kayo from a cracking right cross, he had continually been the aggressor, having staggered his rival in the first, led all the way on points apart from the sixth, and had put Archibald down twice. It had been a long, hard road for the hard-hitting Wright, who had marked time by giving away bundles of weight and beating top-ranked men from higher divisions.

A few weeks after the fight it was reported that Wright was being suspended by the Connecticut Boxing Commission for failing to defend his title against Bobby Poison Ivy, and that the commissioner was going to ask the NBA not to recognise Wright as the champion. This was strange, bearing in mind that the NBA recognised Richie Lemos as their champion. All of this came about when Eddie Walker, Wright’s manager, signed a contract under duress for Wright to defend against Poison Ivy in Hartford if the latter defeated Archibald. Needless to say, nothing happened.

Early in April, although Wright had remained busy when taking in nine non-title fights - losing to Joey Peralta, Bobby Ruffin and Vern Bybee - since beating Archibald the NYSAC, who were not happy that he had yet to sign for a title defence, informed him that he would be suspended in New York until such time that he acquiesced. When Wright’s manager advised the NYSAC that he had agreed a defence against Sal Bartolo on 22 May in Boston, Massachusetts he was told to bring it forward. However, after doctors advised that Bartolo would be out of the ring for at least six weeks that advice became impractical.

A projected defence against Cleo Shans was mooted, but when negotiations to meet Harry Jeffra got underway Wright was allowed to fight in New York at 128lbs on 7 May 1942. Taking on a leading contender, Lulu Costantino (w pts 8 at the St Nicholas Arena, Manhattan, NYC, New York), Wright handed the youngster his first defeat in 57 outings. Within days of that contest, contracts were signed, sealed and delivered for Wright versus Jeffra to be held in Maryland in June.