Category:Junior Featherweight Division

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Also known as the super bantamweight division, this weight class, once considered to be the limit for the American featherweight class which disappeared towards the end of Johnny Kilbane’s championship reign, made a rapid comeback in New York when first Charlie Beecher and then Jack Kid Wolfe claimed the title in 1922 without the support of the NYSAC and the NBA. Beecher, who outpointed England’s Johnny Brown over 12 rounds at the Pioneer SC, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 31 January, in a match made at 122lbs, supposedly put his title claim up for grabs against Australia’s Tibby Watson (w pts 10 at Queensboro Stadium, Queens, NYC on 16 September) and Red Chapman (l pts 10 on 19 December at the Mechanics’ Building, Boston, Massachusetts), but the writer found no evidence of that and his manager was still billing him as the champion in the May 1923 edition of The Ring magazine immediately before he was forced to retire due to blindness in one eye.

Meanwhile, Wolfe outpointed the world bantamweight champion, Joe Lynch, over 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC on 21 September, having claimed that Beecher could not make the weight if he tried. Advertised by the promoter as being a contest for the vacant junior featherweight title it was not given any credence as such by the NYSAC, who despite the Walker Law taking on board the weight class when it came into effect in New York on 1 September 1920 quite simply did not recognise 122lbs as being a championship weight any longer. Wolfe did not hang around to argue and put his newly-won ‘title’ on the line in two 12-round no-decision contests – a press draw against Midget Smith (on 6 October at the McKinney AC, Canton, Ohio) and a press win on points against the local man, Mickey Dillon (at the French Street Arena, Erie, Pennsylvania), on 8 December - before being outpointed over ten rounds at the Coliseum, Toronto, Canada on 26 December by Canada’s Russian-born Benny Gould. Despite the fight receiving title billing it is difficult to ascertain whether it had official support or not, but regardless of that Gould does not appear to fight at the weight again. The Ring Record Book tells us that NYC’s Carl Duane (123½), who outpointed Wolfe (122¾) over 12 rounds at the Queensboro Stadium on 29 August 1923, also claimed the title despite both men coming in above the weight class

From then on no more is heard of the 122lbs title for close on 20 years until a little-known body calling themselves the American Federation of Boxing appointed Lou Barbetta as their 122lbs champion. However, after Barbetta was outpointed in an eight rounder (at the Queensboro Stadium) by Davey Crawford on 22 July 1941, that was the last heard of the AFB

Resurrected by the World Boxing Council in 1976, the 122lbs weight class had been flourishing in Japan since 1964 and giving it world championship status was merely a natural progression. With this in mind, the Japanese champion, Waruinge Nakayama, was nominated to meet Rigoberto Riasco, who had already failed in a featherweight title shot against Alexis Arguello the previous year and whose natural weight was 122lbs

Weight Band

118lbs to 122lbs

Title Contests

2012-01-20 Guillermo Rigondeaux w rsc 6 Rico Ramos, Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBA. Referee: Joe Cortez.

Pages in category ‘Junior Featherweight Division’

The following 332 pages are in this category, out of 332 total.


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