Jimmy McLarnin

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Jimmy McLarnin
Jimmy McLarnin.jpg
Statistics
Real nameJames Archibald McLarnin
Nickname(s)Baby Face[1]
Beltin' Celt
Dublin Dynamiter
Dublin Destroyer
Murderous Mick
The Belfast Spider
The Jew Killer[1]
The Jew Beater
Hebrew Scourge[1]
The Irish Lullaby[2]
Weight(s)Flyweight
Bantamweight
Lightweight
Welterweight
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Reach67 in (170 cm)
NationalityIrish[Note 1]
Born(1907-12-19)19 December 1907
Hillsborough, Ireland, U.K.
(nowadays Royal Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, U.K.)[3]
Died28 October 2004(2004-10-28) (aged 96)
Richland, Washington, U.S.
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights69
Wins55
Wins by KO21
Losses11
Draws3

James Archibald McLarnin (19 December 1907 – 28 October 2004) was an Irish professional boxer who became a two-time welterweight world champion and an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.[4]

McLarnin has been referred to as the greatest Irish boxer of all time. BoxRec ranks McLarnin as the fourth-best pound-for-pound fighter of all-time, the greatest Canadian boxer of all time, and the second greatest welterweight of all time.[5][6]

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, in modern-day Ireland, or the Lisburn Road in Belfast, Ireland, modern day Northern Ireland. 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.[3][7]

McLarnin's father, Sam McLarnin, a Methodist from Dublin, was described as 'a typical Dublin Irishman' and traveled throughout Britain and Ireland for work as a butcher. 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 McLarnins started out as a wheat farmers, but years later, at the age of 10 and following a particularly harsh winter, the family moved to Vancouver where they opened a second-hand clothes store in Vancouver's east end.[3][7][8][9][10]

McLarnin was a 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 boxer Charles "Pop" Foster recognized 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.[8][9]

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.[8]

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.[11]

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 Jewish fighters Al Singer, Ruby Goldstein, and Sid Terris.[12]

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.[13] 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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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. 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.[16]

Death[edit]

McLarnin died on 28 October 2004 at the age of 96 in Richland, Washington.[17] He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Professional boxing record[edit]

69 fights 55 wins 11 losses
By knockout 21 1
By decision 34 10
Draws 3
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Age Location Notes
69 Win 55–11–3 Lou Ambers UD 10 Nov 20, 1936 28 years, 337 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
68 Win 54–11–3 Tony Canzoneri UD 10 Oct 5, 1936 28 years, 291 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
67 Loss 53–11–3 Tony Canzoneri UD 10 May 8, 1936 28 years, 141 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
66 Loss 53–10–3 Barney Ross UD 15 May 28, 1935 27 years, 160 days Polo Grounds, New York City, New York, U.S. Lost NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring welterweight title
65 Win 53–9–3 Barney Ross SD 15 Sep 17, 1934 26 years, 272 days Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York, U.S. Won NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring welterweight titles
64 Loss 52–9–3 Barney Ross SD 15 May 28, 1934 26 years, 160 days Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York, U.S. Lost NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring welterweight titles
63 Win 52–8–3 Young Corbett III TKO 1 (10) May 29, 1933 25 years, 161 days Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Won NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring welterweight titles
62 Win 51–8–3 Sammy Fuller TKO 8 (10) Dec 16, 1932 24 years, 363 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
61 Win 50–8–3 Benny Leonard TKO 6 (10) Oct 7, 1932 24 years, 293 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
60 Loss 49–8–3 Lou Brouillard SD 10 Aug 4, 1932 24 years, 229 days Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
59 Win 49–7–3 Billy Petrolle UD 10 Aug 20, 1931 23 years, 244 days Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
58 Win 48–7–3 Billy Petrolle UD 10 May 27, 1931 23 years, 159 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
57 Loss 47–7–3 Billy Petrolle UD 10 Nov 21, 1930 22 years, 337 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
56 Win 47–6–3 Al Singer KO 3 (10) Sep 11, 1930 22 years, 266 days Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, U.S.
55 Win 46–6–3 Jack Thompson UD 10 Mar 28, 1930 22 years, 99 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
54 Win 45–6–3 Sammy Mandell UD 10 Mar 1, 1930 22 years, 72 days Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
53 Win 44–6–3 Ruby Goldstein KO 2 (10) Dec 13, 1929 21 years, 359 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
52 Win 43–6–3 Sammy Mandell UD 10 Nov 4, 1929 21 years, 320 days Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
51 Win 42–6–3 Sergeant Sammy Baker KO 1 (10) Oct 9, 1929 21 years, 294 days New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York, U.S.
50 Win 41–6–3 Ray Miller UD 10 Mar 22, 1929 21 years, 93 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
49 Win 40–6–3 Joe Glick KO 2 (10) Mar 1, 1929 21 years, 72 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
48 Win 39–6–3 Joe Glick UD 10 Jan 11, 1929 21 years, 23 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
47 Loss 38–6–3 Ray Miller RTD 7 (10) Nov 30, 1928 20 years, 347 days Olympia Stadium, Detroit, , Michigan, U.S.
46 Win 38–5–3 Stanislaus Loayza KO 4 (10) Aug 2, 1928 20 years, 227 days Olympia Stadium, Detroit, , Michigan, U.S.
45 Win 37–5–3 Phil McGraw TKO 1 (10) Jun 21, 1928 20 years, 185 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
44 Loss 36–5–3 Sammy Mandell UD 15 May 21, 1928 20 years, 154 days Polo Grounds, New York City, New York, U.S. For NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring lightweight titles
43 Win 36–4–3 Sid Terris KO 1 (10) Feb 24, 1928 20 years, 67 days Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
42 Win 35–4–3 Billy Wallace PTS 10 Nov 23, 1927 19 years, 339 days Olympia Stadium, Detroit, , Michigan, U.S.
41 Win 34–4–3 Louis Kaplan KO 8 (10) Oct 18, 1927 19 years, 303 days Chicago Stadium, Chicago, , Illinois, U.S.
40 Win 33–4–3 Don Long KO 3 (10) Sep 23, 1927 19 years, 278 days San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
39 Win 32–4–3 Charlie McBride KO 2 (10) Sep 9, 1927 19 years, 264 days San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
38 Win 31–4–3 Lope Tenorio PTS 10 Jun 24, 1927 19 years, 187 days Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.
37 Win 30–4–3 Johnny Lamar PTS 10 May 27, 1927 19 years, 159 days Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.
36 Win 29–4–3 Freeman Black KO 2 (10) May 6, 1927 19 years, 138 days San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California, U.S.
35 Win 28–4–3 Tommy Cello PTS 10 Apr 5, 1927 19 years, 107 days Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
34 Draw 27–4–3 Tommy Cello PTS 10 Feb 22, 1927 19 years, 65 days Recreation Park, San Francisco, California, U.S.
33 Loss 27–4–2 Doc Snell PTS 10 Oct 15, 1926 18 years, 300 days Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, U.S.
32 Win 27–3–2 Joe Glick PTS 10 Sep 7, 1926 18 years, 262 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
31 Loss 26–3–2 Johnny Farr PTS 10 Mar 17, 1926 18 years, 88 days Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
30 Win 26–2–2 Joey Sangor KO 3 (10) Mar 3, 1926 18 years, 74 days Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
29 Loss 25–2–2 Bud Taylor PTS 10 Jan 12, 1926 18 years, 24 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
28 Win 25–1–2 Bud Taylor DQ 2 (10) Dec 8, 1925 17 years, 354 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
27 Win 24–1–2 Jackie Fields KO 2 (10) Nov 12, 1925 17 years, 328 days Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
26 Win 23–1–2 Pancho Villa PTS 10 Jul 4, 1925 17 years, 197 days Oaks Park, Emeryville, California, U.S.
25 Loss 22–1–2 Bud Taylor PTS 10 Jun 2, 1925 17 years, 165 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
24 Win 22–0–2 Eddie Spec Ramies KO 6 (6) Apr 18, 1925 17 years, 120 days Recreation Park, San Francisco, California, U.S.
23 Win 21–0–2 Young Farrell PTS 6 Apr 11, 1925 17 years, 113 days Lyceum A.C., Los Angeles, California, U.S.
22 Win 20–0–2 Teddy Silva PTS 10 Mar 24, 1925 17 years, 95 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
21 Win 19–0–2 Fidel LaBarba PTS 10 Jan 13, 1925 17 years, 25 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S. Won Pacific Coast flyweight title
20 Draw 18–0–2 Memphis Pal Moore PTS 4 Dec 9, 1924 16 years, 356 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
19 Draw 18–0–1 Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 Nov 11, 1924 16 years, 328 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 Oct 28, 1924 16 years, 314 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 Young Nationalista PTS 4 Oct 14, 1924 16 years, 300 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 Frankie Dolan PTS 4 Oct 7, 1924 16 years, 293 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Benny Diaz PTS 4 Sep 30, 1924 16 years, 286 days Vernon Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Mickey Gill MD 10 Aug 15, 1924 16 years, 240 days Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
13 Win 13–0 Abe Gordon KO 2 (4) May 14, 1924 16 years, 147 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 May 2, 1924 16 years, 135 days L-st Arena, Sacramento, California, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Jockey Joe Dillon PTS 4 Apr 30, 1924 16 years, 133 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Johnny Jockey Lightner PTS 4 Apr 24, 1924 16 years, 127 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Frankie Grandetta PTS 4 Apr 9, 1924 16 years, 112 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 Apr 4, 1924 16 years, 107 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Sammy Lee PTS 4 Mar 26, 1924 16 years, 98 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Frankie Sands PTS 4 Mar 19, 1924 16 years, 91 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Joe Conde TKO 3 (4) Mar 5, 1924 16 years, 77 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Eddie Collins TKO 3 (4) Feb 22, 1924 16 years, 65 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Frankie Sands PTS 4 Feb 13, 1924 16 years, 56 days Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Mickey Gill MD 7 Dec 28, 1923 16 years, 9 days Hastings Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia
1 Win 1–0 Young Fry KO 1 (6) Dec 19, 1923 16 years, 0 days Hasting Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ British citizen from 1892 to 1922 and Irish citizen from 1922 to his death. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until 1922.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Jimmy McLarnin". The Independent. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  2. ^ Century, Douglas (2009). Barney Ross: The Life of a Jewish Fighter. Vol. 2. Schocken. p. 65.
  3. ^ a b c Brendan Galbraith (28 June 2013). "Relative of the great Jimmy McLarnin in action in Belfast tonight". Yahoo Sport. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  4. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  5. ^ "All-time World welterweights". from BoxRec.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  6. ^ Glynn Evans (18 December 2015). "9 Greatest Irish Boxers of All-Time". BoxNation. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "McLarnin and Ross" (PDF). The Boxing Biographies Newsletter. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Obituaries : Jimmy McLarnin". The Observer. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  10. ^ Geoff Poundes (1 April 2009). "Jimmy McLarnin: An Irish Gentleman". Ringside Report. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Obituary: Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  12. ^ Boxrec. "Jimmy McLarnin". Boxrec Fighter Page. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  13. ^ a b Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  14. ^ "IMDB Cast of Big City". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Pretty Boy to HeMan", Dallas Morning News, pg. 12, Dallas, TX., 9 August 1938.
  16. ^ "IMDB Cast of Joe Palooka, Champ". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  17. ^ Jimmy McLarnin, Top Boxer Called Baby Face, Dies at 96

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by World Welterweight Champion
29 May 1933 – 28 May 1934
Succeeded by
Preceded by The Ring Welterweight Champion
29 May 1933 – 28 May 1934
Preceded by World Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935
The Ring Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935