Fistic History: Notes From 1890

He's still the man...Peter Jackson was named PPU Fighter Of The Year a 3rd straight time in 1890...

He’s still the man…Peter Jackson was named PPU Fighter Of The Year a 3rd straight time in 1890…

The Professional Prize Fighters Union entered the the decade of the 1890’s, and here’s how the honor roll ended up:


HEAVYWEIGHTS, Peter Jackson (21-0, 19 KO’s): Peter is the last of the originally crowned PPU champs back in 1886 still holding the belt four years later.  Only James J. Corbett and Mike Cleary have gone the full 15 rounds with him.  Corbett earned the right to a rematch this past November, with Jackson dominating on his way to a TKO-13 win.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS, Joe Choynski (12-0, 11 KO’s): Only Jason Sargent took Joe the distance so far.  Defeated Andrew Widdop for the belt in July, and barring an upset, he doesn’t look like he’ll relinquish the title anytime soon.

MIDDLEWIGHTS, Bob Fitzsimmons (20-2, 18 KO’s): The road back to the title had bumps in it, as Young Mitchell scored a TKO-10 win over Bob in July of 1889.  Fitzsimmons beat George LaBlanche for the title, and avenged his title defeat in London in November, stopping the “Nonpareil” Jack Dempsey in the 15th round of their third fight.  Rumor has it Fitzsimmons may move up to light heavyweights should he drop the middleweight strap again.

WELTERWEIGHTS, Charles Kemmic (18-4-6, 7 KO’s): The third time was the charm for Kemmic, defeating three-time champ Paddy Duffy (SD-15) to capture the title up in Michigan in November.

LIGHTWEIGHTS, Bobby Dobbs (15-0, 8 KO’s): Dobbs handed Jack McAuliffe his first defeat back in March, coming back from being knocked down twice in the 3rd to break Jack’s jaw in the 4th for the TKO win.  Wouldn’t be shocked to see these two warriors fighting against each other sometime in 1891.

FEATHERWEIGHTS, Young Griffo (18-4, 6 KO’s): Griffo tried twice to win the belt against George Dixon, losing each time, once in 1888, again in 1889.  His third shot came in his native Australia in November against Dick Hollywood, with Griffo surviving a flash knockdown in the 8th to win the fight by knockout in the 10th.

BANTAMWEIGHTS, Tommy Kelly (15-2-1, 11 KO’s): The “Harlem Spider” won the belt in 1889 with a win in West Virginia over Jose Guiterrez, and hasn’t looked back since.  Ike Weir got a 15-round draw against him later in ’89, with Kelly avenging the stalemate with a KO-10 win in Indiana in November.

FLYWEIGHTS, Erasmus Kiefer* (15-4-3, 6 KO’s): Raul Cantu took Keifer to back-to-back consecutive draws in 1889, but lost in the Contenders Group in 1890 that would have earned him an eventual rematch.  Division in a state of flux with no real talent in it at this time.


Fighter Of The Year: Peter Jackson
Contender Of The Year: Jack McAuliffe (22-1, 18 KO’s)
Prospect Of The Year: George Lavigne (22-5-1, #6 ranked lightweight)
Rookie Of The Year: Joe Walcott (5-0)