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On This Day: July 4th

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1903: Clare’s George Gardner knocked out Chicago-Bohemian Jack Root in the twelfth round at the International Athletic Club in Ontario, Canada, to become the inaugural undisputed light heavyweight championship of the World. The Lisdoonvarna fighter would lose the belt on points to Bob Fitzsimmons in his first defence later that year.

2013: Kilkenny welterweight Clare Grace grabbed a split-decision win over Croatian Jovana Vucic to guarantee a bronze medal at the EU Championships in Keszthely, Hungary. In her semi-final Grace would lose to France’s eventual gold medalist Erika Guerrier.

1925: Jimmy McLarnin, Ireland’s greatest ever fighter, defeated Filipino legend Pancho Villa at Oaks Ballpark in California on points over ten rounds. World flyweight champ Villa had had an ulcerated tooth removed on the morning of the fight and was in great pain throughout. Afterwards an infection was discovered and it would spread to his throat, causing Ludwig’s Angina, and resulting in Villa’s death on July 14th at the age of just 23.


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie