Philadelphia Jack O'Brien

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Philadelphia Jack O'Brien
Jack O'Brien 2163722564 a888db2f15 o.jpg
O'Brien in 1911
Statistics
Real name James Francis Hagen
Rated at Heavyweight
Light Heavyweight
Middleweight
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Nationality  American
Born (1878-01-17)January 17, 1878
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died November 12, 1942(1942-11-12) (aged 64)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 194
Wins 145
Wins by KO 52
Losses 16
Draws 28
No contests 5

Joseph Francis Hagan (better known as Philadelphia Jack O'Brien) (January 17, 1878 – November 12, 1942) was light heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Nat Fleischer, founder and editor of The Ring Magazine, ranked O'Brien as the No. 2 All-Time Light Heavyweight, and famed boxing promoter Charley Rose ranked him as the No. 3 All-Time Light Heavyweight. O'Brien was inducted into the Ring Magazine hall of fame in 1968, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1987, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.[1]

Biography[edit]

O'Brien in fighting pose

Born in Philadelphia, Hagan was the older brother to Young Jack O'Brien and the cousin of heavyweight boxer Jack Rowan.

O'Brien turned pro in the 1890s. He stood 5-10 1/2 and weighed 152-165 pounds. He was agile, quick and limber, a two-handed puncher who landed often but not a particularly hard hitter. His best punches were a left jab and a hard overhand right, and he was a good defensive fighter who blocked punches well and counter-punched accurately.

O’Brien won the world light heavyweight championship with a 13-round TKO over Bob Fitzsimmons in San Francisco, California, but abandoned the title. He challenged world heavyweight champion Tommy Burns on November 28, 1906, in Los Angeles, and got a 20-round draw. The referee was former world champion James J. Jeffries. O’Brien challenged Burns again in Los Angeles on May 8, 1907, and this time Burns won the 20-round decision. He fought the fearsome middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel in a 10-round No Decision on March 26, 1909, in which O’Brien was saved by the bell at the end of the 10th round. He fought heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in a six-round No Decision on May 19, but on June 9 he faced Ketchel again and was beaten in three rounds.

His career record in 194 fights is 145 wins, 16 loses and 28 draws.

Hagan is believed to have managed a gym at 1658 Broadway, New York City, in the late 1920s/early 1930s.[2] World middleweight champion Harry Greb trained in O’Brien’s at gym, and the only existing films of Greb in action are workouts and sparring with O’Brien.

He died on November 12, 1942.[3]

Notable Bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[4]
Loss Canada Sam Langford TKO 5 (10) 1911-08-15 United States Twentieth Century A.C., New York, New York
Loss United States Stanley Ketchel TKO 3 (6) 1909-06-09 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Draw United States Jack Johnson NWS 6 1909-05-19 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Stanley Ketchel NWS 6 1909-03-26 United States National A.C., New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Blackburn NWS 6 1908-06-10 United States National A.C., New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Loss Canada Tommy Burns PTS 20 1907-05-08 United States Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California For World Heavyweight Title
Draw Canada Tommy Burns PTS 20 1907-05-08 United States Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California For World Heavyweight Title
Win United Kingdom Bob Fitzsimmons RTD 13 (20) 1905-12-20 United States Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California Won World Light Heavyweight Title
Win United States Young Peter Jackson PTS 10 1905-04-07 United States 4th Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland
Win United States Young Peter Jackson DQ 2 (15) 1905-03-24 United States 4th Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland
Win United States Dixie Kid NWS 6 1904-11-12 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win Canada Tommy Burns NWS 6 1904-10-07 United States Panorama Building, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Loss United Kingdom Bob Fitzsimmons TKO 6 (6) 1904-07-23 United States Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Draw United States Kid McCoy NWS 6 1904-05-14 United States 2nd Regiment Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Draw Canada Tommy Ryan NWS 6 1904-01-27 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Draw Barbados Barbados Joe Walcott PTS 10 1903-04-20 United States Health & Physical Culture A.C., Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States Joe Choynski NWS 6 1903-03-30 United States Washington S.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win Republic of Ireland Peter Maher NWS 6 1902-10-30 United States Penn Art Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win Republic of Ireland Peter Maher NWS 6 1902-10-03 United States Ariel A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win United States Joe Choynski PTS 6 1902-09-29 United States America A.C., Chicago, Illinois
Win United States Young Peter Jackson NWS 6 1902-04-28 United States Washington S.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win Barbados Barbados Joe Walcott NWS 6 1902-04-11 United States Industrial A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Young Peter Jackson KO 13 (20) 1900-02-14 United States Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California

Exhibitions[edit]

Known Exhibitions fought by O'Brien:

O’Brien was also the chief second to Jack Dempsey at the 1926 Dempsey-Tunney bout in Philadelphia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cyber Boxing Zone http://cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/obrien.htm.
  2. ^ See the Dec. 24, 1931 New York Times)
  3. ^ "Jack O'Brien, Ex-Ring Star, is Dead at 64. Undefeated World Light Heavyweight Champion". Chicago Tribune. November 13, 1942. Retrieved 2010-07-23. Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, the colorful fistic character who admitted he was the best light heavyweight in modern boxing history, died to-day... 
  4. ^ Philadelphia Jack O'Brien's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bob Fitzsimmons
World Light Heavyweight Champion
20 Dec 1905–1905
Abandoned
Succeeded by
Jack Dillon