Jimmy McLarnin

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Jimmy McLarnin
Jimmy McLarnin.jpg
Statistics
Real name James McLarnin
Nickname(s) Baby Faced Assassin
Beltin' Celt
Dublin Dynamiter
Dublin Destroyer
Murderous Mick
The Belfast Spider
The Jew Killer
The Jew Beater
Hebrew Scourge
The Irish Lullaby
Rated at Flyweight to welterweight
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Reach 67 in (170 cm)
Nationality Irish
Born (1907-12-19)19 December 1907
Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland
Died 28 October 2004(2004-10-28) (aged 96)
Richland, Washington, US
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 54
Wins by KO 21
Losses 11
Draws 3

James Archibald "Jimmy" McLarnin (19 December 1907 – 28 October 2004) was an Irish-Canadian professional boxer who became a two-time welterweight world champion and an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.[1] McLarnin has been referred to as the greatest Irish boxer of all time. BoxRec ranks McLarnin as the 11th best pound-for-pound fighter of all-time, the second best Canadian boxer of all time after Sam Langford, and the third greatest welterweight of all time.[2][3]

Background[edit]

There was often confusion over McLarnin's exact place of birth and his date of birth. McLarnin himself was unsure as to the exact location and at various times claimed to be born in Inchicore, Dublin or the Lisburn Road in Belfast. Adding to the confusion he went by nicknames the Dublin Destroyer and Belfast Spider. It was Irish boxing historian Patrick Myler who later unearthed McLarnin's birth certificate which showed that McLarnin was born in Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland in 1907.[4][5]

McLarnin's father, Sam McLarnin, a Methodist from Dublin, was described as 'a typical Dublin Irishman' and travelled throughout Britain and Ireland for work. He later married Mary Ferris from Belfast and they settled in County Down before being drawn into Belfast. When McLarnin was three years of age the whole family emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada via Liverpool. The McLarnin’s started out as a wheat farmers but years later following a particularly harsh winter the family later moved to Vancouver where they opened a second-hand clothes store in Vancouver's east end.[6][7][4][7][5]

McLarnin was prodigious athlete, his main sports were football, baseball and boxing and was considered a model of propriety by Rev. A.E. Roberts at the Methodist mission in Vancouver. He took up boxing at the age of 10 after getting into a fight defending his newspaper-selling pitch. Former professional boxers Charles "Pop" Foster recognised McLarnin's talent at the age of 13. He constructed a makeshift gym for McLarnin to train in, sure that he would one day be the champion of the world. The two of them would remain close, and when Foster died, he left everything he had to McLarnin.[6][7]

Boxing career[edit]

Following a successful start to his career in Vancouver, McLarnin's grew aggrieved at the low pay he was receiving for bouts and decided to move south. We had to go to the United States to make our money. We owe Vancouver nothing said McLarnin.[6]

Foster took McLarnin to San Francisco, where his youthful appearance made it difficult to get a fight until he lied about his age. It is for this reason that McLarnin was known as the "Baby-faced Assassin". Despite his youthful appearance, McLarnin had incredible power with both fists, his right being particularly feared. However, like many similar fighters McLarnin suffered several hand injuries throughout his career. Towards the end of his career McLarnin was forced to become more of a scientific boxer to reduce further injuries to his hands.[8]

McLarnin lost his first title shot on 21 May 1928 in New York against world lightweight champion Sammy Mandell. However, he did go on to beat him twice in the following two years. It would be five years before McLarnin would next get a title shot, during which time he knocked out gifted contenders Al Singer, Ruby Goldstein, and Sid Terris.[9]

McLarnin's second title shot came against welterweight champion Young Corbett III. McLarnin won by knockout after only 2 minutes 37 seconds. Following his title success, McLarnin fought an epic three-fight series with Barney Ross. The first fight, on 28 May 1934, was won by Ross, but McLarnin regained his title in their next match four months later. In the deciding fight on 28 May 1935, McLarnin lost his title for the final time in a narrow decision.

McLarnin retired in November 1936 still at the top of his game, having won his last two fights against all-time greats Tony Canzoneri and Lou Ambers. His record was 54 wins, 11 losses, and 3 draws in 68 contests. In 1996 Ring Magazine voted McLarnin the fifth-greatest welterweight of all time.

Life after boxing[edit]

McLarnin never returned to the ring despite large incentives for him to do so.[10] Unlike many boxers, McLarnin invested his money wisely and retired a wealthy man. He opened an electrical goods store, and also did some acting, golfing, and lecturing.[10]

In 1937, he appeared with boxers Maxie Rosenbloom, James J. Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, and Jackie Fields, in MGM's Big City, a film involving rough competition between two rival taxi companies.[11]

In 1938, he appeared in a background gymnasium scene for the successful 1938, MGM boxing movie, The Crowd Roars with boxers Abe "The Newsboy" Hollandersky, Joe Glick, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Roper, and Tommy Herman.[12]

In 1946, he appeared in Monogram Pictures' boxing movie, Joe Palooka, Champ, with cameos by real boxing greats Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Ceferino Garcia, and Manuel Ortiz (boxer). Heavyweight Jack Roper appeared as the character Waldo. The simple plot involved young boxer Joe and his girl resisting mob influence while Joe trains to fight the champ.[13]

Death[edit]

McLarnin died in Richland, Washington at aged 96, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Professional boxing record[edit]

54 Wins (21 Knockouts), 11 Defeats (1 Knockout), 3 Draws[14]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 55–11–3 United States Lou Ambers UD 10 1936-11-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 53–11–3 United States Tony Canzoneri UD 10 1936-10-05 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 52–11–3 United States Tony Canzoneri UD 10 1936-05-08 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 52–10–3 United States Barney Ross UD 15 1935-05-28 United States Polo Grounds, New York City, New York Lost World Welterweight Title
Win 52–9–3 United States Barney Ross SD 15 1934-09-17 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York Won World Welterweight Title
Loss 51–9–3 United States Barney Ross SD 15 1934-05-28 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York Lost World Welterweight Title
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1934)
Win 51–8–3 Italy Young Corbett III TKO 1 (10), 2:37 1933-05-29 United States Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California Won World Welterweight Title
Win 50–8–3 United States Sammy Fuller TKO 8 (10), 2:58 1932-12-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 49–8–3 United States Benny Leonard TKO 6 (10), 2:55 1932-10-07 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 48–8–3 Canada Lou Brouillard SD 10 1932-08-04 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 48–7–3 United States Billy Petrolle UD 10 1931-08-20 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 47–7–3 United States Billy Petrolle UD 10 1931-05-27 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 46–7–3 United States Billy Petrolle UD 10 1930-11-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 46–6–3 United States Al Singer KO 3 (10), 2:21 1930-09-11 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 45–6–3 United States Jack Thompson UD 10 1930-03-28 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 44–6–3 United States Sammy Mandell UD 10 1930-03-01 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 43–6–3 United States Ruby Goldstein KO 2 (10) 1929-12-13 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 42–6–3 United States Sammy Mandell UD 10 1929-11-04 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 41–6–3 United States Sergeant Sammy Baker KO 1 (10), 2:01 1929-10-09 United States New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York
Win 40–6–3 United States Ray Miller UD 10 1929-03-22 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 39–6–3 United States Joe Glick KO 2 (10), 1:37 1929-03-01 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 38–6–3 United States Joe Glick UD 10 1929-01-11 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 37–6–3 United States Ray Miller RTD 7 (10) 1928-11-30 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 37–5–3 Chile Stanislaus Loayza KO 4 (10) 1928-08-02 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 36–5–3 Greece Phil McGraw TKO 1 (10), 2:45 1928-06-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 35–5–3 United States Sammy Mandell UD 15 1928-05-21 United States Polo Grounds, New York City, New York For World Lightweight Title
Win 35–4–3 United States Sid Terris KO 1 (10), 1:47 1928-02-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 34–4–3 United States Billy Wallace PTS 10 1927-11-23 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 33–4–3 United States Louis Kaplan KO 8 (10) 1927-10-18 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 32–4–3 United States Don Long KO 3 (10) 1927-09-23 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 31–4–3 United States Charlie McBride KO 2 (10) 1927-09-09 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 30–4–3 Philippines Lope Tenorio PTS 10 1927-06-24 United States Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 29–4–3 United States Johnny Lamar PTS 10 1927-05-27 United States Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 28–4–3 United States Freeman Black KO 2 (10) 1927-05-06 United States San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 27–4–3 United States Tommy Cello PTS 10 1927-04-05 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Draw 26–4–3 United States Tommy Cello PTS 10 1927-02-22 United States Recreation Park, San Francisco, California
Loss 26–4–2 United States Doc Snell PTS 10 1926-10-15 United States Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 26–3–2 United States Joe Glick PTS 10 1926-09-07 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Loss 25–3–2 United States Johnny Farr PTS 10 1926-03-17 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 25–2–2 United States Joey Sangor KO 3 (10) 1926-03-03 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Loss 24–2–2 United States Bud Taylor PTS 10 1926-01-12 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 24–1–2 United States Bud Taylor DQ 2 (10) 1925-12-08 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 23–1–2 United States Jackie Fields KO 2 (10) 1925-11-12 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 22–1–2 Philippines Pancho Villa PTS 10 1925-07-04 United States Oaks Park, Emeryville, California
Loss 21–1–2 United States Bud Taylor PTS 10 1925-06-02 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 21–0–2 United States Eddie Spec Ramies KO 6 (6) 1925-04-18 United States Recreation Park, San Francisco, California
Win 20–0–2 United States Young Farrell PTS 6 1925-04-11 United States Lyceum A.C., Los Angeles, California
Win 19–0–2 United States Teddy Silva PTS 10 1925-03-24 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 18–0–2 United States Fidel LaBarba PTS 10 1925-01-13 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California Pacific Coast Flyweight Title
Draw 17–0–2 United States Memphis Pal Moore PTS 4 1924-12-09 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Draw 17–0–1 United States Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 1924-11-11 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 17–0 United States Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 1924-10-28 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 16–0 Philippines Young Nationalista PTS 4 1924-10-14 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 15–0 United States Frankie Dolan PTS 4 1924-10-07 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 14–0 United States Benny Diaz PTS 4 1924-09-30 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 14–0 Republic of Ireland Mickey Gill MD 10 1924-8-15 Canada Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Win 13–0 United States Abe Gordon KO 2 (4) 1924-05-14 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 12–0 United States Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 1924-05-02 United States L-st Arena, Sacramento, California
Win 11–0 United States Jockey Joe Dillon PTS 4 1924-04-30 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 10–0 United States Johnny Jockey Lightner PTS 4 1924-04-23 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 9–0 United States Frankie Grandetta PTS 4 1924-04-09 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 8–0 United States Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 1924-04-02 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 7–0 United States Sammy Lee PTS 4 1924-03-26 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 6–0 United States Frankie Sands PTS 4 1924-03-19 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 5–0 United States Joe Conde TKO 3 (4) 1924-03-05 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 4–0 United States Eddie Collins TKO 3 (4) 1924-02-22 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 3–0 United States Frankie Sands PTS 4 1924-02-13 United States Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 2–0 Republic of Ireland Mickey Gill MD 7 1923-12-28 Canada Hastings Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia
Win 1–0 Canada Young Fry KO 1 (6) 1923-12-19 Canada Hasting Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andy Lee victorious after landing historic blow against Matt Korobov to win WBO middleweight title". Telegraph. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "All-time World welterweights". from BoxRec.com. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Glynn Evans (18 December 2015). "9 Greatest Irish Boxers of All-Time". BoxNation. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Brendan Galbraith (28 June 2013). "Relative of the great Jimmy McLarnin in action in Belfast tonight". Yahoo Sport. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Jack Cavanaugh (10 November 2004). "Jimmy McLarnin, Top Boxer Called Baby Face, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "McLarnin and Ross" (PDF). The Boxing Biographies Newsletter. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Obituaries : Jimmy McLarnin". The Observer. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Obituary: Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Boxrec. "Jimmy McLarnin". Boxrec Fighter Page. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  10. ^ a b Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "IMDB Cast of Big City". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Pretty Boy to HeMan", Dallas Morning News, pg. 12, Dallas, TX., 9 August 1938.
  13. ^ "IMDB Cast of Joe Palooka, Champ". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Jimmy McLarnin's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 30 September 2011.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Young Corbett III
World Welterweight Champion
29 May 1933 – 28 May 1934
Succeeded by
Barney Ross
Inaugural Champion The Ring Welterweight Champion
1933 – 28 May 1934
Preceded by
Barney Ross
World Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935
The Ring Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935