Category:Junior Lightweight Division

From Barry Hugman's History of World Championship Boxing
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Also known as the super featherweight division, the 130lbs weight class was the earliest of the ‘junior’ divisions to provide a champion, if you disregard the light heavyweights. Prior to the weight class being officially recognised there had already been some so-called title activity at 130lbs in 1914 when Germany’s Fritz Schmidt, followed by Denmark’s Battling Kid Nelson and America’s Benny Berger, all virtually unknown, claimed to be champions.

Then, two years later, Artie O’Leary was said to have claimed the 130lbs title after outpointing Jimmy Kane over 15 rounds on 15 March 1917. According to the October 1951 edition of The Ring magazine the fight took place in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, but the papers in that region certainly did not cover it and that weight was not even recognised at championship level in America at the time. Years later, on 6 December 1970, in the New York Times, O’Leary was quoted as saying the fight took place at the old Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, but that also defeated the researcher. According to BoxRec it would have been Kane’s first contest and O’Leary’s seventh. However, O’Leary did outpoint Kane over 15 rounds at the Pioneer Sporting club, Manhattan on 11 December 1920, but with both men being announced as weighing 133½lbs that would hardly qualify as a championship claim for the winner.

The first meaningful step towards an officially recognised 130lbs division came on 24 January 1920 when the New York-based International Sporting Club recommended that it should be one of 13 weight classes. And after Jimmy Walker’s boxing bill was passed on 24 May 1920 the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) took 130lbs on board as a championship weight on 1 September 1920. The weight class was then recognised by the newly formed National Boxing Association (NBA) on 11 January 1921. Even then there was no great rush to find a champion, and it was only when the promoter, Tex Rickard, put up a belt valued at $2,500 that things got moving


Weight Band

126lbs to 130lbs


Title Bouts

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