|Real name||Joseph Patrick Bamford|
|Nickname(s)||The Rochdale Thunderbolt|
20 November 1908|
Burnley, Lancashire, England
|Died||20 November 1971(aged 63)|
|Wins by KO||88|
Bamford adopted the name Jock McAvoy so that his mother did not realise he was boxing. Initially discovered, trained and managed by Joseph Tolley at Tolley's famous Rochdale Boxing Club, reference the Rochdale thunder bolt. During his career he held the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles. McAvoy's bid to capture the European middleweight crown was derailed when he lost a unanimous decision to future world middleweight champion Marcel Thil of France in Paris on 15 January 1935.
In 1935 McAvoy travelled to the United States of America, where he outpointed Al McCoy in November. On 21 December 1935, McAvoy was matched against the World Middleweight boxing champion, Ed 'Babe' Risko at Madison Square Garden in a non-title bout. McAvoy, who outweighed his opponent by seven pounds floored Risko with a right to the jaw in the opening seconds. Risko was dropped five more times in the first round before being knocked out in 2:48. McAvoy had performed too well for his own good, and boxing politics being what they were, McAvoy was never allowed a rematch with the title at stake. McAvoy then decided to campaign as a light heavyweight in the United States. In November 1935 he made his debut in America, and won two fights in February 1936 before obtaining a title shot against world champion John Henry Lewis at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On 13 March 1936 he was outpointed over 15 rounds by Lewis.
After his unsuccessful bid to capture the light heavyweight crown, McAvoy returned to England, and his next fight was for the British and British Empire heavyweight titles held by Welshman, Jack Petersen. Petersen won the fifteen round fight on points. His most important bouts thereafter were against Len Harvey, who outpointed him twice over 15 rounds at Harringay Arena, and future Light Heavyweight world champion Freddie Mills, who beat him on points and forced him to retire in the re-match with an injured back.
McAvoy was a hard puncher who scored 88 KOs in his 132 wins. He lost 14 times and was held to a draw once. McAvoy was included in The Ring magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
The boxing statistics site BoxRec rates McAvoy as the tenth best British boxer of all time, the second best British boxer of all time in the middleweight division, behind Randolph Turpin and the thirty-ninth best middleweight in the history of boxing.
Retirement and death
- "Mills Beats British Champ". Leader-Post. August 9, 1940. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- "Jock McAvoy Hurt: Mills Wins Match". Milwaukee Journal. February 23, 1942. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Frith, David (2001). Silence of the Heart - Cricket Suicides. Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing. p. 22. ISBN 184018406X.