Happy Fourth Of July! A Listing Of The World Title Fights That Took Place On America's Day Of Independence

by James Slater - As fight fans have surely read, today, July the Fourth, American Independence Day, marks the 100th anniversary of the Jack Johnson-James J. Jeffries heavyweight title fight. The "Fight of The Century" took place in Reno, Nevada, and the unpopular Johnson took care of the former champion and current "White Hope" in the 15th-round.

Race riots ensued all over America as a result of the black man having beaten the "superior" white man, and the whole episode is, in truth, far from one worthy of being celebrated. Nevertheless, as has reported, descendants of both Johnson and Jeffries are today gathered in Reno, to pay tribute to the unforgettable boxing match..

Interestingly, there have not been too many world title fights staged on July 4th. In fact, in the history of the sport of boxing, there have been a total of 13 world title bouts held on Independence Day.

Here, in this article, I list them in order of their taking place:

1: Lightweight king Joe Gans KO'd Buddy King in the 5th-round in Butte, USA on July 4th 1903, while on the same day, in Fort Erie, Canada, light-heavyweight champion George Gardner scored a 12th-round KO over Jack Root.

2: Heavyweight ruler Tommy Burns KO'd Bill Squires in the 1st-round in Los Angeles, USA on July 4th 1907, while on the same day, in Marysville, USA, middleweight world champion Stanley Ketchel drew over 20 long rounds with Joe Thomas.

3: On July 4th, 1908, in San Francisco, lightweight ruler Battling Nelson scored a 17th-round KO over former champion Joe Gans.

4: On July 4th, 1910, heavyweight boss Jack Johnson scored that famous and now 100-year-old 15th-round TKO over the returning James J. Jeffries in Reno.

5: On July 4th, 1911, in San Francisco, lightweight champ Ad Wolgast scored a 13th-round KO over Owen Moran.

6: Two world title fights took place on July 4th, 1912: at heavyweight, world's champ Johnson scored a 9th-round TKO over "Fireman" Jim Flynn in Las Vegas, and at lightweight, ruler Ad Wolgast won a 13th-round KO over Joe Rivers in Los Angeles.

7: On July 4th, 1913, lightweight king Willie Ritchie stopped Joe Rivers with an 11th-round KO in San Francisco.

8: On Independence Day in 1916, lightweight champion Freddie Welsh won an 11th-round Disqualification over former champ Ad Wolgast in Denver.

9: Another truly memorable heavyweight title fight took place on July 4th, 1919, as challenger Jack Dempsey ripped the title from Jess Willard with a brutal 3rd-round retirement victory in Toledo.

10: And finally, also at heavyweight and also featuring the great Dempsey, Jack won a July 4th, 1923 15-round points victory over Tommy Gibbons in Shelby, USA.

That, trivia fans, is all the world title fights that took place on this special day for America. Unless you can find any that my records have omitted?

Article posted on 04.07.2010

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