International Boxing Hall of Fame

Benny Lynch

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benny Lynch (April 2, 1913 August 6, 1946) is considered by some to be one of the finest boxers below the lightweight division in his era and Ring Magazine has described him as the greatest fighter that Scotland has ever produced. He was born in the Gorbals area of Glasgow and learned his fighting skills in the carnival booths that were popular in the West of Scotland during the Great Depression.

Benny won the Scottish flyweight boxing title on May 16, 1934 with a 15 round decision over Jim Campbell in Glasgow. He then went on to win the British, European and world flyweight titles from Jackie Brown in an historic bout held in Manchester on September 8, 1935. The fight attracted enormous support from Glaswegians who travelled en masse to support "our Benny".

There was dispute, on at least on one side of the Atlantic, as to who was the best flyweight boxer in the world. Benny settled the matter when he out-pointed Filipino Small Montana in London in 1936 to established himself as the undisputed world flyweight boxing champion.

From 1932-36, he lost just five fights; two of them were points losses to Jimmy Warnock a 'southpaw' from Northern Ireland, on March 2, 1936 in Belfast and again on June 2, 1937 in front of a home crowd in Glasgow.

In 1937 he handed legendary English puncher Peter Kane his first loss (KO).

By 1938, Benny's drinking lifestyle meant that he could no longer make the weight for the flyweight division. He lost his world flyweight title to American Jackie Jurich, when he weighed in at 118.5 lb (53.8 kg), half a pound over the bantamweight limit. This was made sadder by the fact that, despite his weight problems, Lynch stopped Jurich in the 12th round.

Benny Lynch's boxing career was over by the time he was 25 and he battled with alcohol for the rest of his life. He was a pathetic sight in the streets and pubs of Glasgow where people pressed drinks on him when a square meal was what he needed. The man who had so much talent died in 1946 from malnutrition, aged 33, a lonely misfit in the city that loved and broke him.

His record for the seven years of his professional career was:

Total Bouts: 102
Won: 77 (includes 15 knockouts)
Lost: 10 (one knockout, in his last fight)
Draw: 15

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1998. A film about the life of Benny Lynch, directed by John Mackenzie and starring Robert Carlyle, was made in 2003.

He was featured on the artist Gun's cover of their second album, Gallus, in 1992.