View Full Version : Packey McFarland


CCobra
10-03-2009, 02:13 PM
I've been researching this ATG fighter of late. He was a terrific fighter and arguably one of the greatest to have never been crowned World Champion. Here is what Cyberboxing has to say about him..

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Lodge/6525/Packey-2.jpg

McFarland was one of the greatest fighters that Chicago ever produced; He was an all-time great; Packey was a devastating puncher when he chose to hit but usually fought carefully with a clever boxing style that perplexed even the smartest of fighters

McFarland never had the opportunity to fight for a world title; His problem was that (1) his best fighting weight was around 138 pounds and he was unable to easily make the Lightweight limit of 133 pounds and (2) the lighter champions did not want to fight him; Since there was no Junior Welterweight title in his day, he was out of luck

Nonetheless, McFarland defeated a number of outstanding fighters such as Leach Cross, "Cyclone" Johnny Thompson, Freddie Welsh, Jimmy Britt and Jack Britton (newspaper decision)

McFarland retired from the ring, invested his money wisely and lived comfortably; His most notable post-retirement boxing achievement came in working with and developing the young Barney Ross, who ultimately became another great fighter from the Windy City; Packey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992

Here is an excellent write up on the great fighter.

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Lodge/6525/Article-PackeyMcFarland.htm

mickey malone
10-03-2009, 02:40 PM
Never knocked out in well over 100 fights, and probably one of the best fighters never to win the title.. Came within a whisker in his one and only opportunity, boxing out a draw with Freddie Welsh..

As the poster rightly says, he was the 'who wants him?' of boxing.. Due to his unpredictable style, he was avoided like the plague.. He could out punch boxers and out box punchers in equal measures.. A particularly rare breed indeed..

Had a convo with GJC on this guy a few weeks ago.. Neither of us could work out why he never fought Battling Nelson who prided himself on fighting all comers...
They were the same weight, with both careers running almost simultaneously..

Anyone know WHY they never fought?... They must of had nearly 300 fights between them, but never faced each other...

BattlingNelson
10-03-2009, 03:52 PM
Never knocked out in well over 100 fights, and probably one of the best fighters never to win the title.. Came within a whisker in his one and only opportunity, boxing out a draw with Freddie Welsh..

As the poster rightly says, he was the 'who wants him?' of boxing.. Due to his unpredictable style, he was avoided like the plague.. He could out punch boxers and out box punchers in equal measures.. A particularly rare breed indeed..

Had a convo with GJC on this guy a few weeks ago.. Neither of us could work out why he never fought Battling Nelson who prided himself on fighting all comers...
They were the same weight, with both careers running almost simultaneously..

Anyone know WHY they never fought?... They must of had nearly 300 fights between them, but never faced each other...
McFarland defeated Dick Hyland in 1910 one year after Nelson defended his world title against the man. McFarland also beat Owen Moran less than 6 months after Moran became the only man to beat Nelson by KO.

So McFarland was definetely world class at the time Nelson was so it's odd that they never squared off in the ring.

I checked some of the old papers and this is a piece from 1909 where it's clear that Mcfarland was looking for Bat:

"...Harry Gilmore, who is here looking after McFarland's interests, says that the man he is after is Battling Nelson, but as there is not a chance of getting the champion this month lie would be willing to let his man go against any other lightweight the local promoters
might get for February. Murphy would be glad to -tackle McFarland, but there is certain to be a hitch over weights. McFarland has intimated that he would, hold out for 135 pounds, as he would not care to go through a severe course of training for a boxer outside of Nelson.

...

McFarland will remain in the city some time in the hope of getting a match with Nelson. The Battler will come out this way soon, and there is little doubt that he will accommodate McFarland if the latter will consent to meet him in a long contest; which the public has come to recognize as the correct manner in deciding the championship."

A few days later The San Francisco Call writes that Nelson is willing to defend against Mcfarland provided that it'll be 45 rounds or more and that the weight would be 133 lbs ringside. The paper states that: "...while McFarland's
recent statements and actions are leading everybody to believe that
he can never hope to make 133 pounds a few minutes before the first gong
of a championship battle with Nelson."

So this indicates that weight was a concern in terms of a shot at Nelson during his championship reign.


Regarding why McFarland didn't get a titleshot at a later champion I know that Ad Wolgast, who suceeded Nelson, was in heavy negotiations for a defense against Packey but that the two boxers managers couldn't come to terms.
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/348209892.html?dids=348209892:348209892&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Nov+09%2C+1911&author=&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=AD+AND+PACKY+CAN'T+AGREE.&pqatl=google

Other articles, where I can only read abstracts, indicate that a contract had been signed.

At this time I cannot look into the matter any further, although it would be quite interesting to find out why a fight never came about.

I'm tired. Perhaps some other poster will do some more research?

Oasis_Lad
10-03-2009, 03:55 PM
Another one of the forgotten greats like Tucan McGinty. Although, sadly, a lot of records were lost on Tucan.

mickey malone
10-03-2009, 04:23 PM
McFarland defeated Dick Hyland in 1910 one year after Nelson defended his world title against the man. McFarland also beat Owen Moran less than 6 months after Moran became the only man to beat Nelson by KO.

So McFarland was definetely world class at the time Nelson was so it's odd that they never squared off in the ring.

I checked some of the old papers and this is a piece from 1909 where it's clear that Mcfarland was looking for Bat:

"...Harry Gilmore, who is here looking after McFarland's interests, says that the man he is after is Battling Nelson, but as there is not a chance of getting the champion this month lie would be willing to let his man go against any other lightweight the local promoters
might get for February. Murphy would be glad to -tackle McFarland, but there is certain to be a hitch over weights. McFarland has intimated that he would, hold out for 135 pounds, as he would not care to go through a severe course of training for a boxer outside of Nelson.

...

McFarland will remain in the city some time in the hope of getting a match with Nelson. The Battler will come out this way soon, and there is little doubt that he will accommodate McFarland if the latter will consent to meet him in a long contest; which the public has come to recognize as the correct manner in deciding the championship."

A few days later The San Francisco Call writes that Nelson is willing to defend against Mcfarland provided that it'll be 45 rounds or more and that the weight would be 133 lbs ringside. The paper states that: "...while McFarland's
recent statements and actions are leading everybody to believe that
he can never hope to make 133 pounds a few minutes before the first gong
of a championship battle with Nelson."

So this indicates that weight was a concern in terms of a shot at Nelson during his championship reign.


Regarding why McFarland didn't get a titleshot at a later champion I know that Ad Wolgast, who suceeded Nelson, was in heavy negotiations for a defense against Packey but that the two boxers managers couldn't come to terms.
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/348209892.html?dids=348209892:348209892&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Nov+09%2C+1911&author=&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=AD+AND+PACKY+CAN'T+AGREE.&pqatl=google

Other articles, where I can only read abstracts, indicate that a contract had been signed.

At this time I cannot look into the matter any further, although it would be quite interesting to find out why a fight never came about.

I'm tired. Perhaps some other poster will do some more research?
Many thanks!... It appears he was indeed, a feared opponent...

GJC
10-03-2009, 04:41 PM
My understanding was that McFarland was more of a cutter than a devastating puncher. He had great footwork and could move in and out of range slashing opponents. Re Nelson Packy was quite tall for a LW and could get down to 135 at a pinch but Nelson only wanted him at 133, Nelson was too brave to duck anyone but I think Mcfarland had a habit of making opponents look clumsy so maybe he took a pass. Sounds a bit of a Herol Graham type one phrase was that he couldn't be hit with a horsewhip. Guess if there was an advert for junior weight titles it would be McFarland. Retired at 27 on the end of an 11 year undefeated streak after losing one fight as a kid. Surely must be in the mix as one of the greatest not to win a title and it is nice that he is still remembered.

TheGreatA
10-03-2009, 05:21 PM
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BattlingNelson
10-03-2009, 05:30 PM
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I find it odd that the commentator calls this fight as being for the world lightweight title when Ad Wolgast definetely was the real champion at the time. According to boxrec the fight was for the so-called 'british version' of the title.

I guess disputed champions is no new invention :(