Name: Jimmy Stubbs
Birthplace: Runcorn, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Died: 1997-01-01 (Age:77)
Hometown: Runcorn, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Boxing Record: click
You can count the top class professional fighters who have come out of Runcorn on one hand. Jimmy, who quit the game in 1947, was once rated in the world's top ten at flyweight and bantamweight, but somehow found himself a sidetracked fighter where titles were concerned. Not that he wasn't good enough to fight for the British crown. He beat Dundee's Jim Brady when Brady was British and Empire Bantamweight champion. He also beat Johnny Molloy and Kid Tanner, who fought respectively for British and Empire titles and he also beat that great little Liverpool fighter, Joe Curran, who fought Jackie Paterson for the world title. Three other big names he met included Peter Kane, Tiny Bostock and 'Tiger' Al Phillips �yet he never realised his ambition of a title shot.
Jimmy started his boxing life at the age of ten when he joined the Runcorn ABC. He was rated a miniature Nel Tarleton with his lanky, thin frame and long reach and as a youngster he was runner-up for the Lancs. and Cheshire 5st. and 5st. 4lbs. titles in 1934 before winning the 6st. title in 1935 and the 6st. 71b. title the following year.
Jimmy often used to travel to Liverpool to train at the Kensington club under Les Douglas, but it was an expensive business in those days, with his fare being 2s. 6d. and his gym subscription 2s. a week. Eventually he was told he was frightening a lot of members away with his big punching, and what with the club deciding to increase his subscription to 2s. a night, his training trips were virtually ended and he decided to turn professional aged just 15.
Before he made his official ring debut however, he and a friend, Ronnie Britland, decided to chance their arm in a boxing booth at a Runcorn fairground. Jimmy recalls boxing a black fighter at least two stone heavier than himself, but he got 15s. for staying three rounds, with the promise of 30s if he could come back the next night and last six � which he duly did.
Jimmy had a lot of his early contests at Runcorn Baths, a popular venue in those days, and for his debut in 1936, when he still wasn't quite 16, he managed to stop 29 year old Young Drummer in the first round. Jimmy
gave away almost half a stone in this contest. "For a ten rounder in those days, you got �2 10s. and admission to the show was 2s. ringside I remember my father putting on a show at the Baths Hall when the entire bill, and the referee, cost less than �19 � yet he still lost money."
Jimmy looked so good on his debut that Liverpool Stadium promoter Johnny Best immediately signed a seven year option on his services. Jack (Three Star) Hennessy, a Liverpudlian who had spent quite a few years in America, managed him. Jimmy started training at the old Metropolitan Club, where he recalls a heavy punch bag inscribed with the phrase, `Fighters come and fighters go, but I go on forever.'
As a professional Jimmy invariably trained at the Greenside Gym and he had a brilliant opening run, winning his first 33 contests. He was rapidly becoming the scourge of flyweights and bantamweights alike, and Jimmy himself felt that, "1 was unbeatable." However, he came unstuck against a substitute, Haig Bowers, to whom he was conceding 101b. Jimmy won the first five rounds easily enough, but then in the seventh, he ran on to a real KO punch and was counted out.
Jimmy also dropped a debatable points decision to Jackie Paterson in 1941, a time when the Glaswegian was rated the best flyweight in the world as Peter Kane's World title was in abeyance due to the war. Their contest was on the Whit Sunday show in Liverpool, and the Stadium roof was sporting a hole due to the May blitz and some of the ringside seats were also missing because of bomb damage. The 10 round decision for Paterson was hotly disputed by Stubbs and the crowd, and even though Jimmy immediately challenged Paterson for a return with a massive �5000 sidestake, he never got the rematch.
Jimmy stopped highly rated Tiny Bostock in four rounds, the same Bostock who held a decision over ex-World flyweight champion Small Montana. Jimmy was also stopped in seven by Peter Kane, then lost to him again, this time on points, in a �100-a-side return. Jimmy also recalls that in 1945 he suffered three defeats on disqualification � with Teddy Waltham, later to become Board of Control Secretary, the referee on each occasion.
The first contest was against Tommy McGlinchey, the second against Al Philips, and the third against Cliff Morris. "These were the only disqualifications I ever suffered. I got off with the first two, but the Board fined me �45 the third time. I reckon Philips pinched it off me. I had dropped him about five times on a show at Willenhall, but didn't feel I hit him low when I got disqualified in the seventh. The crowd didn't like it either and created uproar."
Jimmy twice announced his ring retirement because of the "rigours of training", but came back each time, finally quitting after being forced to retire in eight rounds by Stockton's Tommy Burns at the Stadium in October 1947. Altogether Jimmy had about 100 professional contests,
winning the majority. He rates his defeat of Empire champion Brady as a big achievement, along with his close tussle with Paterson, but reckons his two best bouts were his all-action draw and points win over Joe Curran in 1940. "It is remarkable to think that another six years were to elapse before Curran fought and lost to Paterson for the World title. This record has been compiled by Miles Templeton and Richard Ireland of www.boxinghistory.org.uk. Please visit this site if you require further information about this boxer, as there is much more material available.