Louis Mbarick Fall (September 16, 1897 – December 15, 1925), known as Battling Siki, was a French-Senegalese light heavyweight boxer born in Senegal who fought from 1912 to 1925, and briefly reigned as the World light heavyweight champion after knocking out Georges Carpentier.
|Born||September 16, 1897|
|Died||December 15, 1925 (aged 28)|
He was born in the port city of Saint-Louis, Senegal. While still a teenager, Siki changed his name, and moved to metropolitan France, where, by the age of 15, he began his professional boxing career. Siki's early years were inauspicious. From 1912 to 1914 he compiled a record of just eight wins, six losses and two draws.
When World War I erupted, Siki joined the French army, serving in the 8th Colonial Infantry Regiment. During the war he was decorated for bravery in battle with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille Militaire, before being honorably discharged.
After his discharge from the military, Siki resumed his boxing career. In October and November 1920 Siki boxed two matches in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He was romantically involved with a Dutch woman, Lijntje van Appelteer, who became his common-law wife. On December 16, 1921, she bore him a son, Louis Junior. In this period he taught boxing at the amateur boxing club De Jonge Bokser (The Young Boxer).
From November 1, 1919, until he faced Georges Carpentier for the world light heavyweight championship in 1922, Siki compiled the impressive record of 43 wins in 46 bouts (21 KOs), suffering just one loss (on a decision) and two draws. Carpentier, the reigning World and European champion, agreed to fight Siki for the title, and they met in Paris, France, on September 24, 1922.
Siki claimed that he had agreed to take a dive, but when Carpentier dropped Siki, the outraged African decided to get up and fight. Although he had agreed to throw the fight, he did not intend to get beat up doing so.
In the sixth round Siki hit Carpentier with a powerful right uppercut that appeared to put Carpentier down and out for the count. The referee, however, claimed Siki had tripped Carpentier, and awarded the bout to the unconscious champion on a foul. Fearing a riot from the aroused crowd, the three ringside judges overruled the referee, and Siki was eventually declared the champion.
Siki then embarked on a well publicized rampage of partying and carousing. He would walk his pet lion down the Champs-Élysées while wearing his top hat and tuxedo. Siki was known to fire his revolvers in the air in public as a means of prompting his two Great Danes to do tricks. He was constantly reported drinking champagne in night clubs, and spent freely on flashy clothes and partying. He was fond of white women, and both his wives were white.
During this time offers poured in from the United States for the colorful Siki to meet the leading heavyweight contender Harry Wills, middleweight champion Johnny Wilson, and the legendary Harry Greb. Attempts were even made to match Siki with the then reigning heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey.
Instead, Siki signed to defend his title against Irish light heavyweight Mike McTigue on Saint Patrick's Day in Dublin. The bout was controversial and Siki lost his belt on decision and lost the title. This defeat was the first loss in a downward trend of dissipation and poor ring performances suffered by Siki, which culminated in his death a little over a month after his last fight.
After the world titleEdit
After losing his European title on a foul, Siki moved to the United States. His record in the States was poor and he failed to defeat any top-notch fighters. His failure to train properly was evident; his record after winning the title was a dismal 11 wins (7 KOS), 17 losses, 1 draw and 2 no contests. It was during this time period that he suffered the only two knockout defeats of his career. On July 23, he married artist Lillian Werner of Memphis, Tennessee, who was seven years his senior, in a civil marriage. Werner was registered as white, making theirs a rare mixed-race marriage at the time. At the time of his wedding, friends of Siki from France alleged that he was still married to a Dutch woman living in France who had born him a child two years earlier.
Even in the States Siki continued to carouse and train on booze and street brawls. Often, he would get drunk in speakeasies, refuse to pay the tab, and fight his way out.
Murder and burialEdit
On December 15, 1925, he was stopped by a policeman who saw him staggering drunk on 42nd Street, not far from his apartment in New York City. Siki stated that he was on his way home, and walked off. Later he was found lying face down, shot twice in the back at close range, dead at the age of 28.
The Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, the father of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., presided over his funeral, which was held in Harlem, New York. He was survived by his widow Lillian Werner Phal, whom he had married a year earlier.
He was initially buried at Flushing Cemetery, in an unmarked grave. There were brief ceremonies held in the Flushing Cemetery on 46th Ave and was participated in by representatives of the Senegalese government and of the African Boxing Union: a headstone was dedicated here by the International Veterans Boxing Association. Cherif Djigo, first consul at the Senegalese Mission to the United Nations, stated "This stone represents to us a grand symbol that Battling Siki has not been forgotten". His body was repatriated to Senegal in 1993.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|91 fights||60 wins||24 losses|
|91||Loss||60–24–4 (3)||Lee Anderson||PTS||12||Nov 13, 1925||104th Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|90||Loss||60–23–4 (3)||Billy Vidabeck||NWS||10||Aug 18, 1925||Playgrounds Stadium, West New York, New Jersey, United States|
|89||Loss||60–23–4 (2)||Joe Silvani||DQ||8 (12)||Aug 08, 1925||Commonwealth Sporting Club, New York City, New York, United States|
|88||Win||60–22–4 (2)||Jimmy Francis||KO||2 (8)||Jul 23, 1925||Playgrounds Stadium, West New York, New Jersey, United States|
|87||Win||59–22–4 (2)||Chief Halbran||KO||3 (12)||Jul 10, 1925||Steeplechase A.A., Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York City, New York, United States|
|86||Loss||58–22–4 (2)||Art Weigand||PTS||6||Jun 25, 1925||Bison Stadium, Buffalo, New York, United States|
|85||Loss||58–21–4 (2)||Paul Berlenbach||TKO||10 (12)||Mar 13, 1925||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States|
|84||Loss||58–20–4 (2)||Jack Burke||PTS||12||Dec 04, 1924||Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States|
|83||Draw||58–19–4 (2)||Frank Kearns||PTS||10||Nov 27, 1924||Arena, Syracuse, New York, United States|
|82||Loss||58–19–3 (2)||Tony Marullo||PTS||12||Nov 14, 1924||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States|
|81||Win||58–18–3 (2)||Roscoe Hall||TKO||6 (10)||Nov 07, 1924||Passaic Armory, Passaic, New Jersey, United States|
|80||Loss||57–18–3 (2)||Mike Conroy||TKO||8 (10)||Aug 20, 1924||Lorain, Ohio, United States|
|79||Loss||57–17–3 (2)||Homer Smith||PTS||10||Aug 11, 1924||Bison Stadium, Buffalo, New York, United States|
|78||Win||57–16–3 (2)||Dixie Kid||RTD||3 (10)||Aug 04, 1924||Fair Grounds Arena, Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States||Not to be confused with Dixie Kid|
|77||Loss||56–16–3 (2)||Sergeant Jack Lynch||PTS||10||Aug 02, 1924||Clinton Oval, Woonsocket, Rhode Islan, United States|
|76||Win||56–15–3 (2)||Blacksmith Russell||KO||7 (10)||Jul 18, 1924||Textile Field, Manchester, New Hampshire, United States|
|75||Win||55–15–3 (2)||Ray Bennett||NWS||12||Jul 11, 1924||Bellaire, Ohio, United States|
|74||Loss||55–15–3 (1)||Tut Jackson||PTS||10||Feb 14, 1924||Fort Hayes Arena, Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|73||Win||55–14–3 (1)||Joe White||PTS||10||Feb 08, 1924||Rochester, New York, United States|
|72||Loss||54–14–3 (1)||Joe Lohman||NWS||10||Jan 31, 1924||Kenwood Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|71||Loss||54–14–3||Battling Owens||PTS||15||Jan 21, 1924||Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|70||Win||54–13–3||Young Norfolk||PTS||8||Jan 14, 1924||Southern A.C., Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|69||Win||53–13–3||Tony Stabenau||KO||2 (10)||Jan 07, 1924||Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, United States|
|68||Loss||52–13–3||Jack Taylor||PTS||10||Dec 25, 1923||Adelphia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|67||Loss||52–12–3||Kid Norfolk||PTS||15||Nov 20, 1923||Madison Square Garden, New York, United States|
|66||Win||52–11–3||Gaston Marmouget||KO||3 (12)||Aug 05, 1923||Arènes du Bouscat, Bordeaux, France|
|65||Win||51–11–3||Marcel Nilles||KO||2 (15)||Jul 08, 1923||Stade Buffalo, Montrouge, France|
|64||Loss||50–11–3||Emile Morelle||DQ||6 (20)||Jun 16, 1923||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France|
|63||Loss||50–10–3||Mike McTigue||PTS||20||Mar 17, 1923||La Scala Theatre, Dublin, Ireland||Lost NBA and NYSAC light heavyweight-titles|
|62||Win||50–9–3||Georges Carpentier||KO||6 (20)||Sep 24, 1922||Stade Buffalo, Montrouge, France||Won NBA, NYSAC, and IBU light-heavyweight titles;|
Won IBU heavyweight title
|61||Win||49–9–3||Harry Reeve||TKO||6 (15)||Jul 27, 1922||Marseille, France|
|60||Win||48–9–3||Hans Dressler||TKO||5 (6)||Jul 23, 1922||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|59||Win||47–9–3||Marcel Nilles||PTS||15||Jun 23, 1922||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France|
|58||Draw||46–9–3||Harry Reeve||PTS||10||May 19, 1922||Hippodrome-paleis, Antwerpen, Belgium|
|57||Win||46–9–2||Harry Reeve||PTS||10||May 11, 1922||Theater Carré, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|56||Win||45–9–2||Alfred Baker||PTS||12||Apr 26, 1922||Frontón Condal, Barcelona, Spain|
|55||Win||44–9–2||Louis Piochelle||PTS||12||Apr 16, 1922||Stade Municipal, Algiers, Algeria|
|54||Win||43–9–2||Martinus Vige||TKO||6 (10)||Mar 31, 1922||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|53||Win||42–9–2||Frank Hoche||PTS||10||Mar 23, 1922||Iris Park, Barcelona, Spain|
|52||Win||41–9–2||Alphonse Rogiers||PTS||10||Mar 15, 1922||Salle de Trocadero, Brussels, Belgium|
|51||Win||40–9–2||Jules Lenaers||TKO||2 (15)||Mar 03, 1922||Palais des Fêtes, Strasbourg, France|
|50||Win||39–9–2||Iter||TKO||2 (?)||Feb 02, 1922||Palais des Fêtes, Strasbourg, France|
|49||Win||38–9–2||Alphonse Rogiers||PTS||12||Jan 17, 1922||Cirque de Paris, Paris, France|
|48||Win||37–9–2||Paul Journee||PTS||15||Dec 03, 1921||Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France|
|47||Win||36–9–2||Jean Leroi||KO||2 (20)||Oct 21, 1921||Magic City, Paris, France|
|46||Win||35–9–2||Jean Leroi||TKO||2 (20)||Oct 21, 1921||Magic City, Paris, France|
|45||Win||34–9–2||Battling Marcot||TKO||5 (15)||Oct 02, 1921||Arènes des Amidonniers, Toulouse, France|
|44||Win||33–9–2||Ercole De Balzac||DQ||2 (20)||Sep 21, 1921||Salle Wagram, Paris, France|
|43||Win||32–9–2||Constant Barrick||PTS||10||Aug 21, 1921||Arènes du Rond-Point du Prado, Marseille, France|
|42||Win||31–9–2||Gabriel Pionnier||TKO||7 (15)||Jul 02, 1921||Salle Wagram, Paris, France|
|41||Win||30–9–2||Harry Reeve||PTS||10||Jun 14, 1921||De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|40||Win||29–9–2||Jeff DePaus||PTS||10||Apr 29, 1921||Antwerpen, Belgium|
|39||Win||28–9–2||Hugo Podzuhn||TKO||10 (15)||Mar 15, 1921||Sagebiel, Germany|
|38||Win||27–9–2||Giuseppe Spalla||RTD||9 (15)||Feb 25, 1921||Zirkus Busch, Mitte, Germany|
|37||Win||26–9–2||Bertus Ahaus||PTS||10||Feb 05, 1921||Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|36||Win||25–9–2||Herman Sjouwerman||PTS||10||Jan 19, 1921||Paleis voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|35||Win||24–9–2||Hans Breitenstraeter||PTS||15||Jan 14, 1921||Admiralspalast, Mitte, Germany|
|34||Win||23–9–2||Jeff DePaus||PTS||10||Dec 04, 1920||Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|33||Win||22–9–2||Nicol Simpson||KO||1 (15)||Oct 25, 1920||Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|32||Loss||21–9–2||Tom Berry||PTS||15||Aug 30, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|31||Win||21–8–2||Tom Berry||PTS||10||Jun 17, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|30||Win||20–8–2||Willem Westbroek||TKO||5 (10)||Jun 04, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|29||Win||19–8–2||Daan Holtkamp||KO||2 (10)||Jun 27, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|28||Win||18–8–2||Bertus Ahaus||PTS||10||June 13, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|27||Win||17–8–2||Jimmy Lyggett Sr.||PTS||10||May 29, 1920||Cirque de Paris, Paris, France|
|26||Win||16–8–2||Willem Westbroek||KO||7 (10)||May 02, 1920||Circus Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|25||Win||15–8–2||Rene De Vos||PTS||10||April 28, 1920||Cirque de Paris, Paris, France|
|24||Win||14–8–2||Jeff DePaus||PTS||15||Apr 16, 1920||Antwerpen, Belgium|
|23||Win||13–8–2||Victor Marchand||KO||8 (15)||April 09, 1920||Nouveau Cirque, Paris, France|
|22||Win||12–8–2||Maurice Lefevre||PTS||10||April 02, 1920||Nouveau Cirque, Paris, France|
|21||Win||11–8–2||Leon Derensy||KO||3 (10)||Mar 26, 1920||Nouveau Cirque, Paris, France|
|20||Win||10–8–2||Jean Audouy||TKO||4 (?)||Feb 16, 1920||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|19||Win||9–8–2||Billy Henrys||PTS||12||Jan 12, 1920||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|18||Loss||8–8–2||Felix Leonard||PTS||10||Dec 29, 1919||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|17||Win||8–7–2||Eugene Stuber||TKO||2 (10)||Dec 08, 1919||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|16||Win||7–7–2||Frank Roose||DQ||9 (10)||May 12, 1918||Arènes des Amidonniers, Toulouse, France|
|15||Loss||6–7–2||Eugene Tajan||DQ||7 (?)||July 12, 1914||Place Lamourguier, Narbonne, France|
|14||Loss||6–6–2||Jules Perroud||PTS||10||June 20, 1914||Salle du Jardin Royal, Toulouse, France|
|13||Win||6–5–2||Jules Perroud||DQ||8 (10)||June 04, 1914||Salle du Jardin Royal, Toulouse, France|
|12||Win||5–5–2||Pierre Nicolas||KO||2 (10)||Feb 19, 1914||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|11||Loss||4–5–2||Jean Audouy||PTS||10||Feb 07, 1914||Salle des Fêtes, Narbonne, France|
|10||Win||4–4–2||Frank Roose||PTS||10||Jan 08, 1914||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|9||Win||3–4–2||Frank Roose||PTS||10||Dec 16, 1913||Théâtre des Nouveautés, Toulouse, France|
|8||Win||2–4–2||Georges Carr||TKO||3 (?)||Nov 29, 1913||Toulouse, France|
|7||Win||1–4–2||Georges Bert||TKO||3 (?)||May 18, 1913||Montreuil, France|
|6||Loss||0–4–2||Bill Henrys||DQ||3 (?)||May 03, 1913||Eldorado-Casino, Marseille, France|
|5||Loss||0–3–2||Francois Servat||PTS||8||Mar 27, 1913||Comoedia-Cinéma, Marseille, France|
|4||Draw||0–2–2||Fernard Pratt||PTS||8||Mar 13, 1912||Comoedia-Cinéma, Marseille, France|
|3||Draw||0–2–1||Mario Gall||PTS||8||Dec 16, 1912||France|
|2||Loss||0–2||Jean Chayne||TKO||2 (?)||Oct 20, 1912||Stand Bènes, Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France|
|1||Loss||0–1||Louis Maria||RTD||2 (6)||Oct 13, 1912||Stand du Pré-du-Lac, Châteauneuf-Grasse, France|
- Lardener, John "Who Shot Battling Siki? The Life And Murder Of A Prizefighter", Deadspin, June 18, 2013.
- Benson, Peter, "Battling Siki: A Tale of Ring Fixes, Race, and Murder in the 1920s", p. 140.
- ESPN - McTigue a part of St. Patrick's Day folklore - Boxing at sports.espn.go.com
- "BATTLING SIKI WEDS WHITE WOMAN HERE: Paris Friends of Senegalese Say Prizefighter Is Already Married to Dutch Girl", The New York Times, July 24, 1924.
- "BATTLING SIKI SHOT DEAD IN THE STREET: Negro Pugilist Who Knocked Out Carpentier Murdered From Behind When Intoxicated. TWO BULLETS IN HIS BODY". The New York Times. May 26, 1925.
- Oreskes, Michael (August 7, 1976). "A Crown for an Ex-Champ: Dead Fighter Honored After 50 Years". Daily News.
- Anderson, Dave (March 28, 1993). "Sports of The Times; Battling Siki Finally on His Way Back Home". The New York Times.
| World Light Heavyweight Champion
24 September 1922 – 17 March 1923
|Light Heavyweight record|
| Shortest Living World Champion
December 15, 1925 – present