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Head and shoulders of a boxer, with his arms crossed.

Stylish Tommy Loughran
lacked punch, but evolved
into  a Hall of Fame light heavyweight

Born in Philadelphia on November 29, 1902, Tommy Loughran was one of the all-time master boxers, ranked as the No. 6 light heavyweight of all time in the International Boxing Research Organization rankings, No. 4 by legendary boxing writer Nat Fleischer.
 
  Loughran fought and defeated some of the greatest fighters of his era, among them Harry Greb, Georges Carpentier, Jim Braddock, Mickey Walker, Young Stribling and Mike McTigue, just to name a few.
 
One of the most skilled boxers in ring history, Loughran was a light puncher, having recorded only 18 knockouts in his pro career, but his agile footwork and clever style more than made up for it in the ring.
 
According to records, Loughran began his boxing career in 1919. In 1922 Tommy boxed no-decision bouts with Bryan Downey, future light heavyweight champion Mike McTigue, future hall-of-fame middleweight champion Harry Greb, and future heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. In January of 1923, he again fought Greb in a no-decision bout ,and, later that same month, in their third fight, lost a 15-round decision n an unsuccessful bid for Greb�s American light heavyweight title. In the remanding year of 1923, Tommy boxed two no-decision bouts with McTigue, defeated Greb in 10 rounds once, then lost to him in another 10-rounder.
 
In 1924 Loughran defeated ex-middleweight champion Johnny Wilson in 10 rounds, was stopped by Young Stribling in six, and fought to a draw in a non-title fight with Greb, who happened to be the newly crowned middleweight champ. In 1925 Loughran again lost a 10-round decision to Young Stribling, fought to a draw with future light heavyweight champion Jack Delaney, and stopped Tony �Young� Marullo in eight.
In 1926, he won a 10-round decision over former light heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier, and scored decisions over Johnny Risko, Martin Burke and Chuck Wiggins.
 
    He opened 1927 with decisive wins over �Young� Marullo in January, Johnny Risko in February and Young Stribling, leading to a 15-round decision win over Mike McTigue for the light heavyweight championship of the world.

   Tommy won the light heavyweight title on October 7
th, 1927 in New York. Loughran went on to dominate the light heavyweight ranks through the late 1920s, until relinquishing the title in 1929 to campaign as a heavyweight. As a light heavyweight he put his title on the line against Jimmy Slattery, Leo Lomski, Pete Latzo, (twice) Loughran also won a ten rounder over Mickey Walker. It was The Toy Bulldog�s unsuccessful bid to become light heavyweight champion of the world while he still held the middleweight crown. Tommy�s final defense of the light heavyweight title was on July 18th, 1929 when he defeated Jim Braddock over 15 rounds. After defeating Braddock, Loughran retired undefeated as a light heavyweight champion to enter the heavyweight ranks.
 
 
Tommy Loughran�s first bid at the heavyweight title was on September 26th, 1929 which quickly ended in a 3rd round knockout at the hands of Jack Sharkey, the future heavyweight champion.
In February and March of 1930 Loughran defeated heavyweights Pierre Charles in Miami and Jack Renault in Philadelphia. In April and June of 1930 Tommy lost two fights to Ernie Schaaf, than later in November of that year he defeated King Levinsky.
  
  Loughran decisioned future heavyweight champ Max Baer on February 6
th, 1931, then went on to defeat Schaaf, Johnny Risko, and Paulino Uzcudun. He finally lost a 10 rounder to King Levinsky in November of 1930. The following year he was stopped in two by Steve Hamas, then lost and won decisions in return fights with Hamas and lost to Stanley Poreda.
 In 1933 Tommy defeated Levinsky and Hamas and lost to Johnny Risko. He won a 15 round decision over Jack Sharkey, who was by now the ex-heavyweight champion and ended the year with a victory over giant heavyweight Ray Impellitiere. On March 1, 1934 Tommy Loughran challenged heavyweight Primo Carnera for the world heavyweight championship in Miami. In that contest Tommy gave away considerable weight, eighty-six pounds, yet managed to go the distance, losing a close 15 round decision. Eight months later Loughran fought to a draw with South America�s Arturo Godoy in Buenos Aires, than defeated Godoy in a return match in January of 1935. Later that year in 35� he lost to Godoy in Santiago, Chili, and defeated Impellitiere and Al Ettore.
 
In 1936 Loughran lost to Tommy Farr in London and again won over Impellitiere. Tommy Loughran officially retired from boxing after winning one last fight in January 1937 against Sonny Walker. Tommy Loughran had 172 recorded fights. �His own records show 227 bouts during his 19 year career.� According to official records Tommy Loughran fought 172 fights of which he won 96, 18 by KO. He boxed 45 no decision fights, drew 8 times, and lost 23 times, twice by KO.
 
Tommy Loughran was officially inducted into the International Boxing Hall-of-Fame in 1991.
 
 

 

More columns
by Sam Gregory:

 

Classy & cocky, an undersized Billy Conn was KO'd by a desperate Joe Louis

 

 

 

 

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Boxing historian Sam Gregory with Hall of Famer Larry Holmes

 
Sam Gregory has been a professional boxing writer since 2002 for publications such as BoxingTalk.com, Boxing Digest, EastsideBoxing.com The Cyberboxing Zone, StraightJab.com, boxingnews24.com and TheSweetScience.com. He has covered numerous fights and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the sport.

As a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, Gregory specializes in boxing history, and contributes regularly to that organization's quarterly publication. He is the author of numerous biographical articles about legendary fighters, classic match-ups, memorable boxing trilogies and other subjects.


CLICK HERE to contact Sam Gregory



 


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