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James Archibald McLarnin (19 December 1907 – 28 October 2004) was an Irish-Canadian professional boxer who became a two-time welterweight world champion and an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.[1] McLarnin has been referred to as the greatest Irish boxer of all time. BoxRec ranks McLarnin as the 11th best pound-for-pound fighter of all-time, the second best Canadian boxer of all time after Sam Langford, and the third greatest welterweight of all time.[2][3]

Jimmy McLarnin
Jimmy McLarnin.jpg
Statistics
Real nameJames McLarnin
Nickname(s)Baby Faced Assassin
Beltin' Celt
Dublin Dynamiter
Dublin Destroyer
Murderous Mick
The Belfast Spider
The Jew Killer
The Jew Beater
Hebrew Scourge
The Irish Lullaby
Weight(s)Flyweight to welterweight
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Reach67 in (170 cm)
NationalityIrish
Born(1907-12-19)19 December 1907
Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland
Died28 October 2004(2004-10-28) (aged 96)
Richland, Washington, US
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights68
Wins54
Wins by KO21
Losses11
Draws3

Contents

BackgroundEdit

There was often confusion over McLarnin's exact place of birth and his date of birth. McLarnin himself was unsure as to the exact location and at various times claimed to be born in Inchicore, Dublin or the Lisburn Road in Belfast. Adding to the confusion he went by nicknames the Dublin Destroyer and Belfast Spider. It was Irish boxing historian Patrick Myler who later unearthed McLarnin's birth certificate which showed that McLarnin was born in Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland in 1907.[4][5]

McLarnin's father, Sam McLarnin, a Methodist from Dublin, was described as 'a typical Dublin Irishman' and traveled throughout Britain and Ireland for work. He later married Mary Ferris from Belfast and they settled in County Down before being drawn into Belfast. When McLarnin was three years of age the whole family emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada via Liverpool. The McLarnins started out as a wheat farmers, but years later, following a particularly harsh winter, the family moved to Vancouver where they opened a second-hand clothes store in Vancouver's east end.[4][5][6][7][7]

McLarnin was prodigious athlete, his main sports were football, baseball and boxing and was considered a model of propriety by Rev. A.E. Roberts at the Methodist mission in Vancouver. He took up boxing at the age of 10 after getting into a fight defending his newspaper-selling pitch. Former professional boxer Charles "Pop" Foster recognized McLarnin's talent at the age of 13. He constructed a makeshift gym for McLarnin to train in, sure that he would one day be the champion of the world. The two of them would remain close, and when Foster died, he left everything he had to McLarnin.[6][7]

Boxing careerEdit

Following a successful start to his career in Vancouver, McLarnin's grew aggrieved at the low pay he was receiving for bouts and decided to move south. "We had to go to the United States to make our money. We owe Vancouver nothing" said McLarnin.[6]

Foster took McLarnin to San Francisco, where his youthful appearance made it difficult to get a fight until he lied about his age. It is for this reason that McLarnin was known as the "Baby-faced Assassin". Despite his youthful appearance, McLarnin had incredible power with both fists, his right being particularly feared. However, like many similar fighters McLarnin suffered several hand injuries throughout his career. Towards the end of his career McLarnin was forced to become more of a scientific boxer to reduce further injuries to his hands.[8]

McLarnin lost his first title shot on 21 May 1928 in New York against world lightweight champion Sammy Mandell. However, he did go on to beat him twice in the following two years. It would be five years before McLarnin would next get a title shot, during which time he knocked out gifted Jewish contenders Al Singer, Ruby Goldstein, and Sid Terris.[9]

McLarnin's second title shot came against welterweight champion Young Corbett III. McLarnin won by knockout after only 2 minutes 37 seconds. Following his title success, McLarnin fought an epic three-fight series with Barney Ross. The first fight, on 28 May 1934, was won by Ross, but McLarnin regained his title in their next match four months later. In the deciding fight on 28 May 1935, McLarnin lost his title for the final time in a narrow decision.

McLarnin retired in November 1936 still at the top of his game, having won his last two fights against all-time greats Tony Canzoneri and Lou Ambers. His record was 54 wins, 11 losses, and 3 draws in 68 contests. In 1996 Ring Magazine voted McLarnin the fifth-greatest welterweight of all time.

Life after boxingEdit

McLarnin never returned to the ring despite large incentives for him to do so.[10] Unlike many boxers, McLarnin invested his money wisely and retired a wealthy man. He opened an electrical goods store, and also did some acting, golfing, and lecturing.[10]

In 1937, he appeared with boxers Maxie Rosenbloom, James J. Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, and Jackie Fields, in MGM's Big City, a film involving rough competition between two rival taxi companies.[11]

In 1938, he appeared in a background gymnasium scene for the successful 1938, MGM boxing movie, The Crowd Roars with boxers Abe "The Newsboy" Hollandersky, Joe Glick, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Roper, and Tommy Herman.[12]

In 1946, he appeared in Monogram Pictures' boxing movie, Joe Palooka, Champ, with cameos by real boxing greats Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Ceferino Garcia, and Manual Ortiz. Heavyweight Jack Roper appeared as the character Waldo. The simple plot involved young boxer Joe and his girl resisting mob influence while Joe trains to fight the champ.[13]

DeathEdit

McLarnin died on 28 October 2004 at the age of 96 in Richland, Washington.[14] He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Professional boxing recordEdit

54 Wins (21 Knockouts), 11 Defeats (1 Knockout), 3 Draws[15]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 55–11–3   Lou Ambers UD 10 1936-11-20   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 53–11–3   Tony Canzoneri UD 10 1936-10-05   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 52–11–3   Tony Canzoneri UD 10 1936-05-08   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 52–10–3   Barney Ross UD 15 1935-05-28   Polo Grounds, New York City, New York Lost World Welterweight Title
Win 52–9–3   Barney Ross SD 15 1934-09-17   Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York Won World Welterweight Title
Loss 51–9–3   Barney Ross SD 15 1934-05-28   Madison Square Garden Bowl, Queens, New York Lost World Welterweight Title
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1934)
Win 51–8–3   Young Corbett III TKO 1 (10), 2:37 1933-05-29   Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California Won World Welterweight Title
Win 50–8–3   Sammy Fuller TKO 8 (10), 2:58 1932-12-16   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 49–8–3   Benny Leonard TKO 6 (10), 2:55 1932-10-07   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 48–8–3   Lou Brouillard SD 10 1932-08-04   Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 48–7–3   Billy Petrolle UD 10 1931-08-20   Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 47–7–3   Billy Petrolle UD 10 1931-05-27   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 46–7–3   Billy Petrolle UD 10 1930-11-21   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 46–6–3   Al Singer KO 3 (10), 2:21 1930-09-11   Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 45–6–3   Jack Thompson UD 10 1930-03-28   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 44–6–3   Sammy Mandell UD 10 1930-03-01   Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 43–6–3   Ruby Goldstein KO 2 (10) 1929-12-13   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 42–6–3   Sammy Mandell UD 10 1929-11-04   Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 41–6–3   Sergeant Sammy Baker KO 1 (10), 2:01 1929-10-09   New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York
Win 40–6–3   Ray Miller UD 10 1929-03-22   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 39–6–3   Joe Glick KO 2 (10), 1:37 1929-03-01   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 38–6–3   Joe Glick UD 10 1929-01-11   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 37–6–3   Ray Miller RTD 7 (10) 1928-11-30   Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 37–5–3   Stanislaus Loayza KO 4 (10) 1928-08-02   Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 36–5–3   Phil McGraw TKO 1 (10), 2:45 1928-06-21   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Loss 35–5–3   Sammy Mandell UD 15 1928-05-21   Polo Grounds, New York City, New York For World Lightweight Title
Win 35–4–3   Sid Terris KO 1 (10), 1:47 1928-02-24   Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Win 34–4–3   Billy Wallace PTS 10 1927-11-23   Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 33–4–3   Louis Kaplan KO 8 (10) 1927-10-18   Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 32–4–3   Don Long KO 3 (10) 1927-09-23   San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 31–4–3   Charlie McBride KO 2 (10) 1927-09-09   San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 30–4–3   Lope Tenorio PTS 10 1927-06-24   Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 29–4–3   Johnny Lamar PTS 10 1927-05-27   Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 28–4–3   Freeman Black KO 2 (10) 1927-05-06   San Diego Coliseum, San Diego, California
Win 27–4–3   Tommy Cello PTS 10 1927-04-05   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Draw 26–4–3   Tommy Cello PTS 10 1927-02-22   Recreation Park, San Francisco, California
Loss 26–4–2   Doc Snell PTS 10 1926-10-15   Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California
Win 26–3–2   Joe Glick PTS 10 1926-09-07   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Loss 25–3–2   Johnny Farr PTS 10 1926-03-17   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 25–2–2   Joey Sangor KO 3 (10) 1926-03-03   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Loss 24–2–2   Bud Taylor PTS 10 1926-01-12   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 24–1–2   Bud Taylor DQ 2 (10) 1925-12-08   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 23–1–2   Jackie Fields KO 2 (10) 1925-11-12   Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 22–1–2   Pancho Villa PTS 10 1925-07-04   Oaks Park, Emeryville, California Villa died days later of tooth infection complicated by fighting McLarnin
Loss 21–1–2   Bud Taylor PTS 10 1925-06-02   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 21–0–2   Eddie Spec Ramies KO 6 (6) 1925-04-18   Recreation Park, San Francisco, California
Win 20–0–2   Young Farrell PTS 6 1925-04-11   Lyceum A.C., Los Angeles, California
Win 19–0–2   Teddy Silva PTS 10 1925-03-24   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 18–0–2   Fidel LaBarba PTS 10 1925-01-13   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California Pacific Coast Flyweight Title
Draw 17–0–2   Memphis Pal Moore PTS 4 1924-12-09   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Draw 17–0–1   Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 1924-11-11   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 17–0   Fidel LaBarba PTS 4 1924-10-28   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 16–0   Young Nationalista PTS 4 1924-10-14   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 15–0   Frankie Dolan PTS 4 1924-10-07   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 14–0   Benny Diaz PTS 4 1924-09-30   Vernon Arena, Vernon, California
Win 14–0   Mickey Gill MD 10 1924-8-15   Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Win 13–0   Abe Gordon KO 2 (4) 1924-05-14   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 12–0   Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 1924-05-02   L-st Arena, Sacramento, California
Win 11–0   Jockey Joe Dillon PTS 4 1924-04-30   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 10–0   Johnny Jockey Lightner PTS 4 1924-04-23   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 9–0   Frankie Grandetta PTS 4 1924-04-09   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 8–0   Jimmy Griffiths PTS 4 1924-04-02   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 7–0   Sammy Lee PTS 4 1924-03-26   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 6–0   Frankie Sands PTS 4 1924-03-19   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 5–0   Joe Conde TKO 3 (4) 1924-03-05   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 4–0   Eddie Collins TKO 3 (4) 1924-02-22   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 3–0   Frankie Sands PTS 4 1924-02-13   Oakland Auditorium Arena, Oakland, California
Win 2–0   Mickey Gill MD 7 1923-12-28   Hastings Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia
Win 1–0   Young Fry KO 1 (6) 1923-12-19   Hasting Gym, Vancouver, British Columbia

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  2. ^ "All-time World welterweights". from BoxRec.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  3. ^ Glynn Evans (18 December 2015). "9 Greatest Irish Boxers of All-Time". BoxNation. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b Brendan Galbraith (28 June 2013). "Relative of the great Jimmy McLarnin in action in Belfast tonight". Yahoo Sport. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b Jack Cavanaugh (10 November 2004). "Jimmy McLarnin, Top Boxer Called Baby Face, Dies at 96". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "McLarnin and Ross" (PDF). The Boxing Biographies Newsletter. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Obituaries : Jimmy McLarnin". The Observer. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Obituary: Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  9. ^ Boxrec. "Jimmy McLarnin". Boxrec Fighter Page. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
  10. ^ a b Mike Lewis (11 November 2004). "Jimmy McLarnin". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  11. ^ "IMDB Cast of Big City". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Pretty Boy to HeMan", Dallas Morning News, pg. 12, Dallas, TX., 9 August 1938.
  13. ^ "IMDB Cast of Joe Palooka, Champ". IMDb. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ Jimmy McLarnin, Top Boxer Called Baby Face, Dies at 96
  15. ^ Jimmy McLarnin's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 30 September 2011.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Young Corbett III
World Welterweight Champion
29 May 1933 – 28 May 1934
Succeeded by
Barney Ross
Inaugural Champion The Ring Welterweight Champion
29 May 1933 – 28 May 1934
Preceded by
Barney Ross
World Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935
The Ring Welterweight Champion
17 September 1934 – 28 May 1935