Benny Lynch

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Benny Lynch
Benny Lynch.JPG
Real name Benny Lynch
Weight(s) Flyweight
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Reach 65 in (165 cm)
Nationality Scottish
Born (1913-08-02)2 August 1913
Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland
Died 6 August 1946(1946-08-06) (aged 33)
Govan, Scotland
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 119
Wins 88
Wins by KO 34
Losses 14
Draws 17

Benny Lynch (2 April 1913 – 6 August 1946 in Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland) was a Scottish professional boxer who fought in the flyweight division. He is considered by some to be one of the finest boxers below the lightweight division in his era and has been described as the greatest fighter Scotland ever produced. The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer rated Lynch as the No. 5 flyweight of all-time while his publication placed him 63rd in its 2002 list of the "Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years".[1][2] Like Fleischer, both Statistical boxing website BoxRec and the International Boxing Research Organization also rank Lynch as the 5th greatest flyweight ever.[3][4] He was elected to the Ring Magazine hall of fame in 1986 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998.[1]

Life and career[edit]

He was born in a tenement flat at 17 Florence Street[5][6] in the Gorbals area of Glasgow and learned his fighting skills in the carnival booths that were popular in the West of Scotland during the Great Depression. Other than this, not much is known about his early life.

European flyweight champion[edit]

Lynch won the Scottish flyweight boxing title on 16 May 1934 with a 15-round decision over Jim Campbell in Glasgow. He then went on to win the British, European and world flyweight titles from Jackie Brown in an historic bout held in Manchester on 9 September 1935.[7] The fight attracted enormous support from Glaswegians who travelled en masse to watch Lynch floor his opponent eight times before the bout was stopped in the second round.[8]

World flyweight champion[edit]

There was dispute, on at least on one side of the Atlantic, as to who was the best flyweight boxer in the world. Lynch settled the matter when he out-pointed Filipino Small Montana in London in 1936 to established himself as the undisputed world flyweight boxing champion. From 1932–36, he lost just five fights; two of them were points losses to Jimmy Warnock a 'southpaw' from Northern Ireland, on 2 March 1936 in Belfast and again on 2 June 1937 in front of a home crowd in Glasgow. In 1937 he handed legendary English puncher Peter Kane his first loss by devastating knockout.[9]

Later career[edit]

By 1938, Lynch's drinking lifestyle meant that he could no longer make the weight for the flyweight division. He forfeited his world flyweight title against American Jackie Jurich, when he weighed in at 118.5 lb (53.8 kg), half a pound over the bantamweight limit. Despite his weight problems, Lynch stopped Jurich in the 12th round, but technically lost the title.[10]

Death and legacy[edit]

On 26 August 1939 his boxing license was officially withheld due to an inability to meet the standards of the Boxing Board's fitness test. He would continue to battle with alcoholism for the rest of his life despite several attempts to treat the disease. Lynch died in 1946 of malnutrition induced respiratory failure, aged 33. He was buried at St. Kentigern's Cemetery, Glasgow, with some 2000 people attending the funeral.[11]

He was featured on the cover of Scottish rock band Gun's second album, Gallus, in 1992. A documentary about the life of Benny Lynch, directed by John Mackenzie and narrated by Robert Carlyle, was made in 2003. The second track on the Scottish folk musician Norrie MacIver's début solo album is a biographical song about Lynch.[citation needed]

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[12]
Loss Romania Aurel Toma KO 3 (10) 1938-10-03 United Kingdom National Sporting Club, Kensington, London
Win United States Jackie Jurich KO 12 (15) 1938-06-29 Scotland St Mirren Football Ground, Paisley
Draw United Kingdom Peter Kane PTS 12 1938-03-24 England Anfield Stadium, Liverpool Retained World Flyweight Title.
Win United Kingdom Peter Kane KO 13 (15) 1937-10-13 Scotland Shawfield Park, Glasgow Retained World Flyweight Title.
Loss United Kingdom Jimmy Warnock PTS 15 1937-06-02 Scotland Celtic Park Stadium, Glasgow
Win Philippines Small Montana PTS 15 1937-09-08 United Kingdom Empire Pool, Wembley, London Won World Flyweight Title.
Loss United Kingdom Jimmy Warnock PTS 12 1936-03-11 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast
Win United Kingdom Jackie Brown RTD 2 (15) 1935-09-09 United Kingdom Kings Hall, Manchester, Lancashire
Draw United Kingdom Jackie Brown PTS 12 1935-03-04 Scotland Kelvin Hall, Glasgow
Win United Kingdom Bert Kirby PTS 12 1933-10-29 United Kingdom Palais de Danse, West Bromwich, West Midlands

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cyber Boxing Encyclopedia – Benny Lynch
  2. ^ The 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years. Retrieved on 11 April 2014.
  3. ^ All-Time Flyweight Rankings. Retrieved on 11 April 2014.
  4. ^ All-Time Flyweight Rankings Retrieved on 29 April 2014
  5. ^ "Boxing legend of Glasgow's Benny Lynch (From Evening Times)". Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  6. ^ {{cite web|url= |title=Glasgow Punter: 21km Run Around the World of Benny Lynch, Glasgow | |date=2013-05-20 |accessdate=2016-02-14}}
  7. ^ Friedrich Unterharnscheidt; Julia Taylor-Unterharnscheidt (14 October 2003). Boxing: medical aspects. Academic Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-12-709130-3. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "SecondsOut Boxing News – Fighter Bios – Benny Lynch – Former world flyweight champion". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "A Sporting Nation – Benny Lynch crowned world champion 1935". BBC. 12 April 1913. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Sorrow and the Pity: Benny Lynch". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Boxing legend of Glasgow's Benny Lynch". Evening Times. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Benny Lynch's Professional Boxing Record. Retrieved on 18 May 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Title last held by
Fidel LaBarba
World Flyweightweight Champion
8 september 1935 – 29 June 1938
Title next held by
Peter Kane
The Ring Flyweight Champion
8 september 1935 – 29 June 1938