Young Barney Aaron

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Class of 2007
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Young Barney Aaron (born in 1836 in London, England; died June 4, 1907, in Long Island, New York) was a boxer.

He was the son of Hall of Famer Barney Aaron. He emigrated to the United States in 1855, and began boxing in 1856.

He was U.S. lightweight champion.

Boxing career

Like his father before him, Aaron was a hard-hitting bare-knuckled fighter, but he fought in a new era under different rules than his famous father. The elder Aaron battled under "Broughton's Rules"; Young Barney fought under the Pugilistic Society's "London Prize Ring Rules," which had been developed in 1838. Modified in 1853, only three years before young Barney began his professional career, the Rules stated the ring should be 24 square feet, surrounded by two ropes. Any knockdown marked the end of the round, and the downed fighter had 8 seconds to "come to scratch" unaided, or the fight was over -- under Broughton's Rules, a fighter had 30 seconds to return to the center of the ring, and had the help of his handlers. Therefore, bouts were recorded according to the number of rounds and length of time; 3-minute rounds were not developed until the late-19th Century.

On July 9, 1856, on Rikers Island, Aaron fought a mulatto named Robinson beginning at daybreak. The bout lasted for 80 rounds, 2 hours and 20 minutes, and resulted in Aaron being declared the winner.[1]

On September 2, 1857, he defeated American lightweight champion Johnny Moneghan in Providence, RI over 80 rounds. The fight lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes. With the victory he became the first Jewish fighter to win a ring championship in America.

After losing the title the following year to Patrick “Scotty” Brannagan on October 18, 1858, at Point Abino, Canada, on a foul, he entered a seven-year period of inactivity because no fighter would face him.

He returned to the ring in 1866, and lost a 47-round bid to regain the title against Sam Collyer. After an excruciating 2 hours and 5 minutes, both men were taken off on stretchers. However, he defeated Collyer in the rematch on June 13, 1867, in a 68-round battle that lasted one hour and 55 minutes to regain the championship.

He won newspaper headlines in July 1874 for foiling two pickpockets trying to steal from the Rev. Henry Thorpe, whom they jostled as the elderly clergyman was "riding downtown on a Fourth Avenue street car." Aaron applied some of his celebrated "scientific boxing" technique, knocking both thieves down into the street, after first having retrieved the reverend's gold watch, which he returned.[2]

His most famous bout was a 17-round win over Arthur Chambers in 1878 (need a primary source confirming this bout taking place).

In retirement, Young Barney remained in boxing by operating a gym in New York. He also served as a referee and officiated the 1883 John L. Sullivan vs. Herbert Slade bout.