Philadelphia Jack O'Brien
|Philadelphia Jack O'Brien|
O'Brien in 1911
|Real name||James Francis Hagen|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
January 17, 1878|
|Died||November 12, 1942(aged 64)|
|Wins by KO||52|
Joseph Francis Hagan (better known as Philadelphia Jack O'Brien) (January 17, 1878 – November 12, 1942) was light heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
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. 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.
Known Exhibitions fought by O'Brien:
- 1909-8-20 EX4 Dick Gilbert, Denver, Colorado
- 1909-2-11 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 1909-1-04 EX2 Fred Cooley, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
- 1909-1-04 EX2 Jack Reed, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
- 1909-1-04 EX2 Jack Cooper, Washington S.C. Philadelphia, PA
- 1908-9-23 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, PA
- 1908-4-04 EX4 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Philadelphia, PA
- 1902-3-26 EX Jack McCann, Reading, Pennsylvania
- 1902-3-26 EX2 Morris Mahoney, Reading, PA
O’Brien was also the chief second to Jack Dempsey at the 1926 Dempsey-Tunney bout in Philadelphia.
Nat Fleischer, founder and editor of The Ring Magazine, ranked O'Brien as the No. 2 All-Time Light Heavyweight, and Charley Rose ranked him as the No. 3 All-Time Light Heavyweight. O'Brien was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1968, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1987, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.
- See the Dec. 24, 1931 New York Times)
- "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..."
- Cyber Boxing Zone http://cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/obrien.htm.
- Joseph Francis "Philadelphia Jack" Augustine Hagen at Find a Grave
- Professional boxing record for Philadelphia Jack O'Brien from BoxRec
- Cyberboxingzone Article
|World Light Heavyweight Champion
20 Dec 1905–1905