International Boxing Hall of Fame

Harry Harris

"The Human Scissors"

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Harry Harris
Real name Harry Harris
Nickname(s) Human Scissors
Rated at Bantamweight
Nationality Flag of the United States USA
Birth date 1880-11-18
Birth place Chicago, IL
Death date November 26, 1958 (aged 78)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 54
Wins 40
Wins by KO 14
Losses 2
Draws 8
No contests 4

Harry Harris ("The Human Hairpin"; born November 18, 1880, in Chicago, Illinois; died June 5, 1959, in New York City) was an American boxer.

Harris was World Bantamweight Champion in 1901-02.

Boxing career

Harris turned professional in 1896 at the age of 16.

Exceptionally tall for a bantamweight, his physique belied his considerable knockout power. Nonetheless, Harris was known as "The Human Hairpin."

Harris stood a shade less than 5' 8", and weighed only 105 pounds. At the turn of the century there was no class to accommodate his weight, so he was relegated to the 116-pound Bantamweight Division. At the outset of his career, Harris weighed only 96 pounds and was pitted against opponents who were as many as 20 pounds heavier.

Harris claimed the Bantamweight title in 1900, when titleholder Terry McGovern vacated his throne due to excess weight. However, two Englishmen, Harry Ware and Pedlar Palmer, also claimed the title, so Harris sailed to England to meet the claimants. Once there, Ware declined to fight Harris, preferring to forfeit his title claim. Palmer accepted the challenge, but not without his handlers proffering gamesmanship provocations in Harris´┐Ż direction. Nonetheless, Harris fought and beat Palmer in 15 rounds for the undisputed crown.

A year later, however, weight problems forced Harris to relinquish his title.

He successfully fought five more bouts as a featherweight and retired.

In 1906, he returned to the ring as a lightweight, scoring one victory and three no-decisions. Although the win was over the leading lightweight title contender, Harris decided to retire for good.

In an 11-year career he was never knocked out.

His career record over 54 bouts was W-39 (15 by KO, 1 by foul), drew 7, L-2, 5 no-decisions.

Boxing style

His fighting style was greatly influenced by Kid McCoy, who taught him the famed "corkscrew punch." He was an excellent jabber and two-handed puncher.

Halls of Fame

Harris, who was Jewish, was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.[1]

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2002.[2]


  • Harris was a twin. His brother Sammy, also a top boxer, died suddenly at age 20.
  • Upon retirement he became successful in the theatre and a Wall Street tycoon.