Fistic History: Notes From 1894
Ten years of action and thousands of fights later, the Professional Prizefighters Union has completed its first decade.
ROLL CALL OF CHAMPIONS AT THE END OF 1894
HEAVYWEIGHTS, Peter Jackson (35-0-1, 30 KO’s): Peter is still the only heavyweight champ the PPU has known. He had a lighter schedule in 1894, but made headline news as the year ended by announcing after defeating John P. Clow that he’s agreed to fight Light Heavyweight champion Bob Fitzsimmons on the neutral soil of the USA in March for his heavyweight title.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS, Bob Fitzsimmons (34-3, 30 KO’s): Fitzsimmons won the title in September over two-time titleholder Joe Choynski, and now wants to prove he’s the best fighter in the world with a match against Peter Jackson. His light heavyweight title will not be at stake, but will have to abdicate that belt if he wins against Jackson.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS, Jack “The Irish Lad” Burke (35-10, 16 KO’s): Burke defeated Jack Bonner for the belt in New Orleans this past December, will have to make a mandatory defense Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey in March, who lost the belt by KO in 7 to Charley Johnson this past June.
WELTERWEIGHTS, Tommy Ryan (30-2-2, 25 KO’s): Ryan’s now won 15 fights in row, including winning the welterweight title a second time and successful in eight straight defenses.
LIGHTWEIGHTS, Bobby Dobbs (29-4, 15 KO’s): Dobbs spilt decisioned George Lavigne to win the belt a second time in June in Providence, and has made two defenses since.
FEATHERWEIGHTS, Young Griffo (32-5-1, 7 KO’s): Griffo kept the belt throughout 1894, making four defenses, only one win coming by way of knockout.
BANTAMWEIGHTS, Jimmy Barry (13-1, 5 KO’s): Defeated Tommy Kelly for the belt in June, and has made two defenses since. His only loss was to journeyman Walt Lafevbre in Barry’s third fight.
FLYWEIGHTS, Jimmy Anthony (10-1-1, 5 KO’s): Won the belt by knocking out Robinson Ramos in Brisbane, drawing with Erasmus Keifer in September before decisioning him in Germany in a rematch in December.
Fighter Of The Year: Peter Jackson (5th award, 2nd in a row)
Contender Of The Year: Jack McAuliffe (2nd award)
Prospect Of The Year: Yankee Sullivan (#33 heavyweight contender)
Rookie Of The Year: Jack Johnson (4-0 as a heavyweight)