Fistic History: Notes From 1895
The Professional Prizefighters Union completed its 11th year in 1895, with Peter Jackson still reigning supreme in the heavyweight division.
ROLL CALL OF CHAMPIONS AT THE END OF 1895
HEAVYWEIGHTS, Peter Jackson (38-0-1, 32 KO’s): After turning back the challenge from Bob Fitzsimmons (TKO-7), Jackson went on to stop Peter Maher (KO-13) and decision John L. Sullivan (UD-15) to remain the PPU’s only heavyweight champion in its history.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS, Bob Fitzsimmons (37-4, 33 KO’s): After the loss in March to Peter Jackson, Bob successfully defended the light heavy crown against Jason Whitney (KO-1), Charles Veeck (TKO-4), and Joe Butler (KO-11).
MIDDLEWEIGHTS, Jack Dempsey NP (42-7, 24 KO’s): Dempsey seems to be flourishing with Bob Fitzsimmons moving up in class. The three time champ defeated Jack Burke (TKO-5), Young Mitchell (UD-15), and Charles McCoy (MD-15), with the majority decision triggering a rematch in 1896.
WELTERWEIGHTS, Joe Walcott (26-1-1, 17 KO’s): Walcott defeated Tommy Ryan (SD-15) to win the title a second time, and beat Jim Franey (KO-3) and Dick Case (TKO-8) in defenses during the year. Ryan will be cashing in his rematch clause in Walcott’s first defense in the new year, making for an interesting fight in February.
LIGHTWEIGHTS, Bobby Dobbs (32-4, 16 KO’s): Dobbs made three defenses in 1895, scoring decision wins over Texas Jack Burke and Barney Malone before stopping Frank Erne (TKO-8).
FEATHERWEIGHTS, Young Griffo (34-5-2, 9 KO’s): Griffo stopped Tommy Warren (TKO-14) before a draw against Solly Smith in July. That triggered a mandatory rematch against Smith four months later, scoring a stoppage win (TKO-5). Griffo will fight Bobby Dobbs for his lightweight title to start the year in another battle of champions.
BANTAMWEIGHTS, Chappie Moran (25-10-1): Moran is the champ despite never having scored a stoppage win in 36 fights, defeating Jimmy Barry (UD-15) to win the Bantamweight title a second time.
FLYWEIGHTS, Walter Croot (12-4, 1 KO): Croot vanquished Jimmy Gorman (UD-15) in Cincinnati this past October to win the title, his first run as flyweight titleholder.
Fighter Of The Year: Peter Jackson (6th award, 3rd straight award)
Contender Of The Year: Jack McAuliffe (3rd award, 2nd straight)
Prospect Of The Year: Yankee Sullivan (2nd straight award, #32 contender to the heavyweight crown)
Rookie Of The Year: Young Peter Jackson (5-0 welterweight)