Johnny Dundee

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Johnny Dundee
Johnny Dundee.jpg
Statistics
Real nameGiuseppe Corrara
Nickname(s)"Scotch Wop"
"Little Bar of Iron"[1][2]
Weight(s)Featherweight
Junior Lightweight
Lightweight
Height5 ft 4 12 in (1.64 m)
Reach63 in (160 cm)
NationalityUnited States American
BornNovember 19, 1893
Sciacca, Sicily
DiedApril 22, 1965 (aged 71)
East Orange, New Jersey
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights321
Wins113[3]
Wins by KO19
Losses31
Draws18

Johnny "Scotch Wop" Dundee (November 19, 1893 – April 22, 1965) was a featherweight and junior lightweight champion boxer who fought from 1910 until 1932.

Early life[edit]

Corrara was born in Sciacca, Sicily. His father was a fisherman. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1909.[4] He was raised on Manhattan's West Side where his father owned a fish shop on 41st Street and 9th Avenue.[1][5]

Professional career[edit]

Name[edit]

Corrara was given his ring name in 1910 by his former manager, Scotty Montieth, of Dundee, Scotland.[1][3]

"Scotty saw me scrapping in front of my old man's fish place. He convinced me I could make a living fighting and gave me my name – 'Scotch' – to go with his."[1]

Corrara retained the name for 22 years, even when he fought under new manager, Jimmy Johnston.[1]

Sports writer, and cartoonist, Hype Igoe, also bestowed the lasting moniker, "The Little Bar of Iron," on Corrara, in homage to his durability.[2]

Early career[edit]

Dundee fought his first fight at Sharkey Athletic Club, on 65th Street and Broadway. He fought under the name "Young Marino." His opponent was "Skinny Bob."[6]

In 1913, Dundee earned a world title fight in his 87th fight. He fought 20 rounds against World Featherweight champion, Johnny Kilbane in Vernon, California. The fight ended in a draw.[1] Dundee would not be afforded an opportunity to fight for the 126-pound featherweight title again for another 10 years.[1]

Junior Lightweight and Featherweight champion[edit]

Johnny Dundee y Benny Leonard en 1923.

In 1921, Dundee won the junior lightweight championship when his opponent, George "KO" Chaney, was disqualified in the fifth round. The win made Dundee the first universally recognized junior lightweight champion in history.[7]

A year later, Dundee knocked out Danny Frush. Following the win, he was recognized, in New York State, as the featherweight champion of the world.

On July 6, 1922, Dundee defeated "Little" Jackie Sharkey by unanimous decision in a fifteen-round Junior Lightweight title bout at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Sharkey was briefly down in the fourth round, and again in the fifteenth. Though the fight was close Dundee won "by a shade".[8] He was criticized for the fight with the New York Evening World writing that Dundee was "losing his fighting fire" by allowing the bout to go fifteen rounds. [9]

Dundee successfully defended his junior lightweight crown three times before losing it to Jack Bernstein on May 30, 1923. They fought at the Coney Island Velodrome, in front of a crowd of 15,000. Dundee was expected to win; however, he lost a unanimous fifteen round decision despite knocking Bernstein down in the third round knockdown.

Less than two months later, Dundee was given the opportunity to fight featherweight champion, and war hero, Eugene Criqui. He lost 28 pounds in four weeks in order to fight him, making 126 pounds on the days of the fight.[10] Criqui had beaten Johnny Kilbane two days after Dundee's fight with Bernstein, with a sixth round knockout. However, part of the contract for this fight required that he give Dundee a shot at the title within sixty days. Fifty-four days later, on July 26, 1923, Dundee fought Criqui. He knocked him down four times and beat him by a fifteen-round decision.[11]

Controversial decision[edit]

On December 17, 1923, Dundee fought Jack Bernstein again at Madison Square Garden. The fight ended in a Split Decision. Several newspapers, including the New York Times, wrote that the judges made the wrong decision. Author Ken Blady wrote that several of the judges may have been influenced to vote against Bernstein. The Milwaukee Sentinel echoed by printing "By probably the worst decision in local boxing history, Johnny Dundee of Jersey City regained his Junior Lightweight championship from Jack Bernstein."[12][13][14][15]

In contrast, the Milwaukee Journal noted that Dundee finished strong in the bout, and agreed with the decision. The paper also noted "the sentiment of the crowd, based on the fighters' round by round showing, was that Bernstein had won easily."

With the win, Dundee had unified the featherweight title and the junior lightweight title.[1]

Later career[edit]

Less than a year after unifying the title, Dundee lost the junior lightweight title to Steve "Kid" Sullivan on June 20, 1924. He then relinquished the featherweight crown, on August 10, 1924, at his manager's urging because he had outgrown (in weight) the 126 pound weight limit.[1][16][17]

The last significant fight of his career was in 1927 when he challenged featherweight champion Tony Canzoneri, but lost a 15-round decision.

After a three year retirement, Dundee tried to stage a comeback in 1932. However, two fights into it, he officially retired after posting a six-round decision win over Mickey Greb, and a 10th round lost to Al Dunbar.[18][19]

Style[edit]

In 1965, Al del Greco wrote that Dundee was regarded as a "good southpaw craftsman."

"Johnny Dundee wasn't the greatest little man in boxing, but he was good, very good...no one could come off the ropes like him.

Rivals backed away when Johnny sidles backward because he bounced off at the craziest angles."[17]

Local New York boxing legend, Johnny Martin, said of Dundee:

"You threw your arms out trying to hit Johnny. When he was moving right, you lowered your eyes a bit, threw a punch, and the next thing you knew, he was behind you, laughing his head off. He was nothing as a hitter, but he could box your ears off. The big idea when you fought Johnny was not too appear too ridiculous."[17]

Record[edit]

Dundee fought 321 fights. He won 35 percent of his fights, 6 percent ended in knock outs, 10 percent were losses and five percent were draws. Fifty percent (159) were No Decisions.[1]

In 1957, Dundee was voted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Dundee married a woman named, Lucille, on June 26, 1912.[20] They lived at 301 W. 40th Street and had a daughter, also named Lucille, born in 1913.[21][22][23]

After beating Frankie Callahan over 10 rounds, on March 16, 1915, the next day, Dundee filed a petition to divorce Lucille, claiming she "beat him up":

"Almost daily between February 1st and March 10 she walloped me. It is unsafe for me to try to live with her anymore."[24]

Several days later, his wife countersued on the grounds of his "uncontrollable temper."[25] His wife claimed he knocked her unconscious six months into their marriage, and would often hit himself in the head with a pair of shoes, to the point of drawing blood.[26][27] She also claimed he was a philanderer, and that when he left her he gave her a "farewell beating."[26][27]

Death[edit]

On April 9, 1965, Dundee was admitted to East Orange General Hospital in New Jersey. He died thirteen days later of a respiratory infection complicated by pneumonia.[1]

Dundee, who had become a successful businessman after boxing, left an estate valued at $300,000 ($2.4 million in 2018).[28]

Legacy[edit]

Dundee faced many great fighters in the featherweight, junior-lightweight, and lightweight divisions of his era including Benny Leonard (nine times), Lew Tendler (three times), and lightweight champions Freddie Welsh and Willie Ritchie. Dundee was knocked out only twice in his career – in 1917, he was knocked out in the first round by Willie Jackson in Philadelphia, and in 1929, he was knocked out in Montreal by Al Foreman in the 10th round.[16][18][29]

Dundee was regarded as a skillful boxer with great footwork. Though he had little knockout power, he was widely regarded as being highly skilled at fighting off the ropes.

Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Dundee as the #3 ranked featherweight of all time, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #4.[30] The International Boxing Research Organization rates Dundee as the 5th best featherweight boxer ever and boxing historian Bert Sugar placed him 32nd in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue.[31][32]

During his career he had 331 bouts. Only two fighters in history, Len Wickwar (463) and Jack Britton (350), had more fights.

Dundee was known to be highly regarded among the boxing community and his peers:

"Johnny Dundee was strictly a product of a generation that has long since passed and will not return. He was a fighter in the era when boxing was in full flower, a superior craftsman among a lot of other superior craftsmen. Although he was once the featherweight champion of the world, he gained far more fame than fortune. When he died the other day, at the age of 74, the main legacy he left was the enduring friendships that this popular and amiable little guy collected over the years."[2]

Dundee was elected to the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1957 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.[33]

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[34]
Loss United States Tony Canzoneri UD 15 1927-10-24 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss United States Jack Bernstein PTS 15 1924-09-15 United States Queensboro Stadium, Queens, New York
Loss United States Sammy Mandell NWS 10 1924-06-09 United States Open-Air Arena, East Chicago, Indiana Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Rocky Kansas UD 10 1924-04-21 United States Broadway Auditorium, New York, Buffalo
Win United States Jack Bernstein SD 10 1923-12-17 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won World Junior Lightweight Title.
Win France Eugène Criqui PTS 15 1923-07-26 United States Polo Grounds, New York, New York Won World Featherweight Title.
Loss United States Jack Bernstein UD 15 1923-05-30 United States Coney Island Velodrome, Brooklyn, New York Lost World Junior Lightweight Title.
Loss United Kingdom Charley White NWS 10 1922-06-27 United States Rock Island, Illinois Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Lew Tendler UD 15 1922-05-05 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win United Kingdom Charley White PTS 15 1922-03-17 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss United Kingdom Charley White SD 10 1922-01-16 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States George KO Chaney DQ 5 (15) 1921-11-18 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won World Junior Lightweight Title.
Draw United Kingdom Charley White PTS 10 1921-08-10 United States Boxing Drome, Bronx, New York
Win United States George KO Chaney NWS 8 1921-07-18 United States Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win United States George KO Chaney PTS 10 1921-06-10 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States Rocky Kansas NWS 10 1921-04-26 United States Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Benny Leonard NWS 8 1920-02-09 United States 4th Regiment Armory, Jersey City, New Jersey Newspaper Decision
Win United Kingdom Charley White NWS 10 1919-11-26 United States Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Benny Leonard NWS 8 1919-09-17 United States 1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Benny Leonard NWS 6 1919-06-16 United States Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Benny Leonard NWS 8 1919-01-20 United States 1st Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Rocky Kansas PTS 12 1918-09-10 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States George KO Chaney NWS 6 1918-03-09 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win United States George KO Chaney NWS 6 1917-11-19 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Lew Tendler NWS 6 1917-10-01 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Draw United States George KO Chaney NWS 6 1917-07-12 United States Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Win United States Rocky Kansas PTS 12 1917-05-29 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Loss United States Lew Tendler NWS 6 1917-03-26 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Benny Leonard NWS 6 1916-11-15 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Benny Leonard NWS 6 1916-11-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United Kingdom Matt Wells PTS 12 1916-05-16 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Draw United States Benny Leonard NWS 6 1916-03-08 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Joe Mandot PTS 20 1916-02-21 United States Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win United Kingdom Matt Wells PTS 12 1915-12-10 United States Italian Riverside Club, New Haven, Connecticut
Win United States Willie Ritchie NWS 10 1915-10-26 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Joe Mandot NWS 10 1915-09-23 United States Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United States Rocky Kansas NWS 10 1915-05-03 United States Broadway Auditorium, New York, Buffalo Newspaper Decision
Win United States Benny Leonard NWS 10 1915-03-02 United States 135th Street A.C., New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Joe Mandot PTS 20 1915-02-14 United States McDonoughville Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw United States Willie Ritchie PTS 4 1914-10-23 United States Coffroth's Arena, San Francisco, California
Loss United States Joe Mandot NWS 10 1914-07-04 United States Pelican Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana Newspaper Decision
Win United States George KO Chaney NWS 6 1914-04-20 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Matty Baldwin PTS 12 1914-04-14 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Loss United States Rocky Kansas NWS 10 1914-02-24 United States Broadway Auditorium, New York, Buffalo Newspaper Decision
Loss Wales Freddie Welsh NWS 10 1914-01-01 United States Pelican Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana Newspaper Decision
Win United Kingdom Charley White NWS 10 1913-11-27 United States Pelican Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Johnny Kilbane PTS 20 1913-04-29 United States Vernon Arena, Vernon, California For World Featherweight Title.
Loss United States Johnny Kilbane NWS 10 1912-09-04 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Loss United Kingdom Charley White NWS 10 1912-04-30 United States Alhambra, Syracuse, New York Newspaper Decision
Win Canada Frankie Fleming NWS 10 1911-06-10 United States Fairmont A.C., Bronx, New York Newspaper Decision
Win Canada Frankie Fleming NWS 10 1911-06-10 United States Olympia A.C., New York, New York Newspaper Decision

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Johnny Dundee, 71, Dead; Ex-Champ". The Daily News. New York, New York. 23 Apr 1965.
  2. ^ a b c Arthur Daley (26 Apr 1965). "The Little Bar of Iron". San Antonio Express. San Antonio, TX.
  3. ^ a b "Johnny Dundee Veteran of 321 Pro Fights". The Times Record. Troy, New York. 23 Apr 1965.
  4. ^ "Dundee Funeral Set Monday". Star-Gazette. Elmira, New York. 23 Apr 1965.
  5. ^ "Boxing Great Johnny Dundee Dies in New Jersey After Illness". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. 23 Apr 1965.
  6. ^ Si Burick (6 Apr 1929). "Si-ings". Dayton Daily News. Dayton, Ohio.
  7. ^ "Johnny Dundee - Lineal Jr. Lightweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  8. ^ "Buff Makes Sharkey Go Limit to Win By Shade", Reading Times, Reading, Pennsylvania, pg. 15, 17 January 1920
  9. ^ Van Every, Ed, "Dundee Scores Easy Victory Over Sharkey", New York Evening World, New York, New York, pg. 14, 7 July 1922
  10. ^ Earl Ruby (23 Apr 1965). "Ruby's Report: Worried about those few extra pounds? Johnny Dundee shed 2,000 in ring career". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky.
  11. ^ Stradley, Don (June 2005), The Ring, p. 75 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Jack Bernstein". BoxRec. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  13. ^ The Jewish Boxer's Hall of Fame, Blady, Ken, (1988) Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, pg.137
  14. ^ "Dundee is Champ Again, Wins Over Jack Bernstein", The Milwaukee Sentinel, pg. 25, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 18 December 1923.
  15. ^ "Dundee Again Champ of 130-Pound Boxers", The Milwaukee Journal, pg. 14, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 18 December 1923.
  16. ^ a b c "Johnny Dundee is Dead". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. 23 Apr 1965.
  17. ^ a b c Al del Greco (15 Apr 1965). "For the Record". The Record. Hackensack, New Jersey.
  18. ^ a b "Ex-Ring Champ Johnny Dunndee Dead at 74". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. 22 Apr 1965.
  19. ^ "Services Monday for Johnny Dundee". Redlands Daily Facts. Redlands, CA. 24 Apr 1965.
  20. ^ "K.O. for Cupid in Dundee Family". Boston Daily Globe. Boston, MA. 17 Mar 1915.
  21. ^ "Boxer Says Wife Beat Him". Reading Times. Reading, PA. 18 Mar 1915.
  22. ^ Johnny Dundee (27 Jul 1923). "New Champ's Exclusive Story for Globe Readers". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA.
  23. ^ "Terror to Pugilist, His Wife Beats Him". The Sea Coast Echo. Bay Saint Louis, MS. 19 Jun 1915.
  24. ^ "Dundee's Pitiful Wail; Pleads for Divorce in N.Y.". New Castle Herald. New Castle, PA. 17 Mar 1915.
  25. ^ "Kansas and Dundee Will Meet Tonight". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. 3 May 1915.
  26. ^ a b "Johnny Dundee Brutal: Wife Seeking Divorce". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. 4 Apr 1915.
  27. ^ a b "Just One Round of Terror Says Pugilist's Wife". The Wichita Daily Eagle. Wichita, KS. 28 Apr 1915.
  28. ^ "Voice of the People: Boxing Great". The Daily News. New York, New York. 19 May 1965.
  29. ^ "Johnny Dundee Knocked Out By Willie Jackson". The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut. 16 Jan 1917.
  30. ^ "All-Time Featherweight Rankings". BoxRec. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  31. ^ All-Time Featherweight Rankings IBROresearch.com Retrieved on 2014-04-29
  32. ^ Bert Randolph Sugar (2005). Boxing's Greatest Fighters. Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-59228-632-4.
  33. ^ Cyber Boxing Encyclopedia - Johnny Dundee CyberBoxingZone.com Retrieved on 2014-04-30
  34. ^ Johnny Dundee's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Inaugural Champion World Junior Lightweight Champion
November 18, 1921 – December 23, 1923
Succeeded by
Jack Bernstein
Preceded by
Eugène Criqui
World Featherweight Champion
July 26, 1923 – August 1923
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Kid Kaplan
Preceded by
Jack Bernstein
World Junior Lightweight Champion
December 17, 1923 – June 20, 1924
Succeeded by
Steve Sullivan