Fistic History: Notes From 1891

Back on top: Bob Fitzsimmons won his third Fighter Of The Year title in 1891.

Back on top: Bob Fitzsimmons won his third Fighter Of The Year title in 1891.

Another year in the books in the PPU, so let’s see who the champions are at the end of 1891, which seemed to be a year dominated by middleweights…


HEAVYWEIGHTS, Peter Jackson (23-0-1, 21 KO’s): Jackson’s still the only heavyweight champ in PPU history, but his reign may be showing signs of ending.  James J. Corbett held Jackson to a 15-round majority draw in their third championship meeting in November, and Corbett may be line for a fourth shot in 1892.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS, Luke Keegan (11-11-3, 8 KO’s): Keegan pulled off one of the great upsets in the early history of PPU by knocking out Joe Choynski in July.

MIDDLEWEIGHTS, Bob Fitzsimmons (23-2, 20 KO’s): Promoters are salivating at a possible Fitzsimmons-Jackson dream fight somewhere down the road.

WELTERWEIGHTS, Paddy Duffy (25-3-1, 9 KO’s): Duffy became the first four-time PPU champion in a single weight class when he regained the belt from Charles Kemmic (SD 15) the exact same way he lost the belt one year prior.

LIGHTWEIGHTS, Jack McAuliffe (25-1, 19 KO’s): A year and eight months after being handed his first loss, McAuliffe is back to being the Lightweight kingpin after stopping George Lavigne (KO 6).

FEATHERWEIGHTS, Young Griffo (21-4, 6 KO’s): In 1891, he won three fights by decision; a split decision win over St. John Tommy Kelly, then a majority verdict over Dal Hawkins, and most recently a unanimous win over former champ Cal McCarthy.

BANTAMWEIGHTS, Nunc Wallace (24-3-1, 9 KO’s): Knocked out Tommy Kelly in just two rounds in Detroit in November to become a two-time champ.

FLYWEIGHTS, Clancy Wallace* (20-5-4, 7 KO’s): Also a two-time champ, defeating Raul Cantu* for the crown out in California.



FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: Bob Fitzsimmons (third time he’s won the award)

CONTENDER OF THE YEAR: Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey (4th time he’s won the award, #1 contender, 1-3 vs. Fitzsimmons)

PROSPECT OF THE YEAR: Fred Morris (#6 contender for the middleweight crown)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Charles McCoy (7-0 in 1891 as a middleweight)