Tommy Loughran vs. Leo Lomski

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1928-01-06 : Tommy Loughran 174½ lbs beat Leo Lomski 171 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA

From the pen of John A. Bardelli: I'll share with you and the readers the following insights which have been garnered from a myriad of sectors, including my having conducted interviews with a host of fighters, managers, trainers, fans, and the like from the 1920's and 1930's generation of fighters including conversations with and interviews with a fighter who fought Leo Lomski three times, himself. Additionally, I have my own reservoir of historical data collected through the years on Leo Lomski era fighters. I have much reason to garner as much data as I can concerning the life and career of Lomski.

In the first round of the Lomski-Loughran Championship fight, Lomski came out of his corner throwing caution to the wind having told Eddie Eicher, his manager, "Don't worry, Eddie, I'll flatten him." True to his word, Lomski connected with his vaunted right hand and dropped Loughran early in the round.

Mindful of the September 1927 Dempsey-Tunney long count, Lomski turned to beat a hastened retreat to a neutral corner so the referee would not delay his count. Ironically, as he did so, he collided with the referee causing him to delay the start of his count. Lomski and Eicher later contended that Loughran was on the canvas for well over ten seconds. Indeed, pictures were published in the press coverage of the fight revealing the collision which took place between Lomski and the referee while Loughran sits stunned on the seat of his pants, staring blankly at the canvas and, seemingly, unable to rise.

When Loughran arose from the canvas at the count of nine, his legs were rubbery and his balance impaired. Lomski pursued the light heavyweight champion with a vengeance. Before the round was over, Lomski's right hand connected on Loughran's chin a second time dumping him backside for the second time in the round. Loughran arose again at the count of nine, again unsteady but was able to keep out of harm's way until the bell rang to end the round.

Loughran down in the 1st round

As the bell rang ending that first round, incredibly, Lomski walked to his corner hurt perhaps worse than Loughran, who had not landed any significant punch other than a few jabs to keep some distance between himself and the onslaught being thrown at him. Unknown to the screaming fans, some still standing, after watching in awe at the sensational punching display put on by Leo Lomski, and unknown, also, to Tommy Loughran, as he sat recovering in his corner while shaking the cobwebs from his head, was the fact that Leo Lomski had broken his right hand during his two fisted first round onslaught. Lomski related that he felt his hand "crunch" when he dropped Loughran the second time in the round.

For the balance of the fight, Lomski had to fight with only his left hand and used his right hand only a smattering of times from the second through the fifteenth round. Loughran was roughed up on the inside when Lomski was able to get inside. He landed jarring body punches to the champion's rib cage and midsection, broken hand or not. Ring Magazine, in covering the fight, described the terrible body beating Loughran had suffered during the fight. Nevertheless, Lomski's right hand was essentially nullified as a vital weapon and the ringside fans, boxing writers, and Loughran, himself, because they did not know of Lomski's tragic misfortune, thought it was simply a case of Loughran's ring generalship overcoming the westerner's slugging attack, which eventually allowed Loughran to retain his title.

Despite Lomski's left hand body punches, Loughran was able to land enough of a series of his own left jabs and right crosses throughout the fight to convince the judges and the referee that he deserved to retain his title.

After the contest, Loughran said that Lomski was the "toughest man I have ever fought." To Lomski's chagrin, he and Eddie Eicher clamored for a rematch but Loughran refused to again risk his crown against the fists of the Aberdeen Assassin despite a Ring Magazine entreat penned by editor and owner Nat Fleischer that Loughran give Lomski another title shot.

Loughran down again in the 1st round

Though Lomski had been fighting for six years by the time he fought Loughran, his career was, in reality, just getting warmed up. He went on to fight Mike McTigue and won a ten round decision over the former light heavyweight champion. Pete Latzo lost two decisions to Lomski. Lomski and Maxie Rosenbloom fought 6 times, each winning two with two draws thrown in for good measure. However, after Rosenbloom won the light heavyweight title, he would never give Lomski a shot at his crown.

In 1929, Lomski was matched with the "Cinderella Man," James J. Braddock. Braddock nearly dropped Lomski in their encounter, with his own right hand, in the first round. But Lomski withstood the shot and revealed enough through the balance of the contest to catch the eyes of referee Arthur Donovan and the judges who awarded him a unanimous decision. A return match between the two took place a year later in 1930. This time, Braddock did drop Lomski twice, once in the second round and again in the fifth round, but Lomski was nevertheless awarded "the eleven day decision" when it was determined that referee Dave Miller had made a mistake on his scorecard and a favorable Braddock decision was reversed eleven days after the fight had taken place.

Leo Lomski was never again given an opportunity to fight for the light heavyweight championship of the world after the Loughran fight.

In an interview before his death in 1975, Lomski related that he had broken his right hand 31 times in ring fights and he attributed the loss of his right hand as the main reason that he retired from the ring in 1936.


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