Boxing History - 1920's

The 1920's


July 5 - Benny Leonard, knocked out of the ring in the fifth round, climbs back to KO Charley White, nine rounds. Benton Harbor, Michigan, to retain lightweight title.

Oct 11 - Georges Carpentier KOs Battling Levinsky, 4 rounds, to win the light heavyweight title, Jersey City.

Dec 14 - Jack Dempsey comes from behind to KO Bill Brennan, 12 rounds, New York, to retain heavyweight title.

Dec 21 - Joe Lynch defeats Pete Herman, 15 rounds, New York, to win bantam title.


Jan 13 - Pete Herman stops flyweight champ Jimmy Wilde, 17 rounds, London.

Jan 14 - Benny Leonard floors Ritchie Mitchell three times, then is dropped and nearly KO'D himself, all in one round. Leonard goes on to KO Mitchell, six rounds, New York, to retain lightweight title.

Feb 7 - In the final fight of their 20 fight series, Jack Britton defeats Ted (Kid) Lewis, 15 rounds, New York, to retain welterweight title.

May 3 - Five times middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson is born Walker Smith, Jr. in Detroit.

July 2 - In Boxing's first million dollar gate, heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey defends his title by KOing Georges Carpentier, four rounds, Jersey City. 80, 183 fans pay $1,789,238 to see the bout, also the first title fight to be carried live on radio.

July 7 - Future heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles is born in Lawrenceville, GA.

Oct 14 - Ted (Kid) Lewis KOs Johnny Basham, 12 rounds, London, to retain the British middleweight title and claim the European middleweight title.

Nov 17 - Ted (Kid) Lewis KOs Noel McCormick, 14 rounds, to claim British light heavyweight title.

Nov 18 - Johnny Dundee, waiting since 1913 for another shot at the featherweight title, wins the vacant junior lightweight title on a foul over George (K.O.) Chaney, five rounds, New York.


Jan 13 - Gene Tunney defeats Battling Levinsky, 12 rounds, New York, to win American light heavyweight title.

March 13 - Harry Greb defeats Tommy Gibbons, 15 rounds, New York.

May 23 Harry Greb defeats Gene Tunney, 15 rounds, New York, to win American light heavyweight title, the only loss of Tunney's career.

June 11 - Georges Carpentier KOs Ted (Kid) Lewis, one round, London, to retain European light heavyweight title.

June 26 - Jack Britton retains welterweight title when lightweight champion Benny Leonard is disqualified for hitting Britton while he was down, 13 rounds, Bronx.

July 27 - Benny Leonard, rocked in the eight, defends his titles against Lew Tendler after 12 no-decision rounds, Jersey City.

Sept 24 - Battling Siki KOs Georges Carpentier, six rounds, Paris, to win light heavyweight title.

Nov 1 - Mickey Walker defeats Jack Britton, 15 rounds, New York, to win welter title.

Nov 15 - As a result of a poll taken in The Boxing Blade, Pinky Mitchell is proclaimed the first junior welterweight champion.


Feb 15 - Roland Todd defeats Ted (Kid) Lewis, 20 rounds, London, to win British, Empire and European middleweight titles.

Feb 23 - Gene Tunney defeats Harry Greb, 15 rounds, New York, to regain American light heavyweight title.

May 30 - Jack Bernstein defeats Johnny Dundee, 15 rounds, New York, to win junior lightweight title.

July 23 - Benny Leonard defeats Lew Tendler, 15 rounds, Bronx, to retain lightweight title.

Sept 14 - Jack Dempsey, floored in the opening seconds of the first round by Luis Firpo, arises to floor Firpo seven times in the first round. Firpo more then just survives, he knocks Dempsey out of the ring. In the second round, Dempsey floors Firpo twice, the last time for the full count to retain his heavyweight title. The Associated Press will call the bout the most dramatic sports moment of the half century.

Dec 10 - Gene Tunney defeats Harry Greb, 15 rounds, new York, to retain American light heavyweight title


March 24 - Harry Greb KOs Fay Kaiser, 12 rounds, Baltimore, to retain middleweight title.

July 24 - Gene Tunney stops Georges Carpentier, 15 rounds, New York.

Aug 1 - Benny Leonard struggles in 10-round no-decision bout against Pal Moran, Cleveland.

Sept 1 - Harry Wills floors Luis Firpo and then dominates no-decision 12 rounder, Jersey City.

Sept 17 - Gene Tunney goes 10 no-decision rounds with Harry Greb, Cleveland.

Nov 26 - Tommy Milligan defeats Ted (Kid) Lewis, 20 rounds, Edinburgh, to win British and Empire welterweight titles.


Jan 15 - Benny Leonard, just 28, reties and undefeated lightweight champion.

June 5 - Gene Tunney KOs Tommy Gibbons, 12 rounds, New York, the last victory earns Tunney a heavyweight title shot, Gibbons lasted 15 rounds with Jack Dempsey and had never been stopped before.

July 2 - Middleweight champion Harry Greb outbrawls welterweight champion Mickey Walker, 15 rounds, New York. Afterward referee Ed Purdy, accidentally knocked down during the bout by Greb, goes to the hospital for treatment of a dislocated knee. Later that night, its rumored that the two men hold a rematch by way of a street fight outside a Manhattan speakeasy.

July 2 - Welterweight David Shane shocks rising light heavyweight contender Jimmy Slattery, flooring him twice and stopping him in third round, New York.

July 4 - Jimmy McLarnin, then a bantamweight, defeats flyweight champion Pancho Villa, 10 rounds, Oakland.

July 14 - Flyweight champion Pancho Villa, 23, dies by ulcerated teeth and aggravated during his bout with McLarnin ten days earlier, San Francisco.

Nov 18 - Gene Tunney defeats Johnny Risko, 12 rounds, Cleveland.


Feb 26 - Tiger Flowers defeats Harry Greb, 15 rounds, New York, to win middleweight title. 

Sept 23 - In front of 120,757 spectators, Gene Tunney stuns Jack Dempsey with a right to the chin in the opening moments , then clearly outboxes Dempsey over 10 one-sided rounds to win heavyweight title, Philadelphia.

Aug 19 - Tiger Flowers defeats Harry Greb to retain middlewwight title.

Oct 12 - Jack Sharkey hands out a beating to Harry Wills until Wills is disqualified for excessive holding, 13 rounds, Brooklyn.

Oct 22 - Former middleweight champion Harry Greb, 32, dies during a surgical procedure in Atlantic City. It is later discovered that Greb fought most of his career with only one eye.

Dec 3 - Mickey Walker defeats Tiger Flowers, 10 rounds, Chicago, to win the middleweight title


July 21 - Jack Dempsey, rocked early and losing, KOs Jack Sharkey, while the latter is complaining to the referee about low blows, seven rounds, New York.

Sept 22 - Gene Tunney floored in the seventh round, benefited from a "long count" when Jack Dempsey fails to immediately go to a neutral corner, arise to floor Dempsey in the eight round on route to a 10 round decision, Chicago. A new gate record of $2,658,660.

Oct 24 - Tony Canzoneri defeats Johnny Dundee, 15 rounds, New York, to win vacant featherweight title

Nov 16 - Former middleweight champion Tiger Flowers, 32, dies following an operation, New York.

Dec 12 - Tommy Loughran unifies light heavyweight title by defeating Jimmy Slattery, 15 rounds, New York.


Feb 10 - Tony Canzoneri defeats Benny Bass, 15 rounds, to win undisputed featherweight title, New York.

April 4 - Max Schmeling defeats Franz Diener, 15 rounds, to win German heavyweight title, Berlin.

July 16 - Tommy Laughran defeats Pete Latzo, 10 rounds, Wilkes Barre, Pa, to defend light heavyweight title.

July 26 - Gene Tunney stops Tom Heeney, 11 rounds, Bronx, to retain the heavyweight title. Soon afterward, he retires an unbeaten champion.

Nov 30 - Ray Miller KOs Jimmy McLarnin, eight rounds, Detroit in the only KO loss of McLarnin's career.


Jan 6 - Tex Rickard, the greatest promoter in boxing history dies following an operation for appendicitis at age 67, New York.

March 28 - Tommy Laughran defeats Mickey Walker, 10 rounds, Chicago, to retain light heavyweight title.

July 18 - Tommy Laughran defeats James J. Braddock, 15 rounds, Bronx, to retain light heavy title.

Sept 26 - Jack Sharkey stops Tommy Loughran, three rounds, New York, to win vacant American Heavyweight title.

Oct 29 - Mickey Walker defeats  Ace Hudkins, 10 rounds, to retain the middleweight title on the day that the stock market crashed.

Dec 13 - Ted (Kid) Lewis, in the final bout of his 279 fight career KOs old foe Johnny Basham, three rounds, London.