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Hall of Fame Friday: Johnny Dundee

04
Feb

JOHNNY DUNDEE

Birthdate: Nov. 22, 1893
Date Of Death: April 22, 1965
Birthplace: Sciacca, Sicily
Nickname: The Scotch Wop
Weight Classes: Featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight
Professional Record: 90-31-19 (22 knockouts) with 194 no-decisions, 1 no-contest
Titles Held: Junior lightweight (Nov. 18, 1921-May 30, 1923; Dec. 17, 1923-June 20, 1923), featherweight (July 26, 1923-Aug. 10, 1924)
Best Performances: Eugene Criqui (W 15), Johnny Kilbane (D 20), Mexican Joe Rivers (W 20), Charlie White (W 15), Eddie “Cannonball” Martin (W 10), Jimmy Goodrich (W 10), Rocky Kansas (D 12), Joe Welling (W 12), George Chaney (W 10, W DQ 5), Joe Tiplitz (W 10, W 12)
Year of IBHOF Induction: 1991
Background: Born Giuseppe Carrora in Italy, immigrated to the United States with his family while still an infant ÔǪ Raised in New York City’s “Hell’s Kitchen” neighborhood, where his family ran a fish market ÔǪ Turned pro on Aug. 10, 1910 and went on to become one of the most prolific boxers of all-time, fighting an amazing 47 times in 1911 alone ÔǪ A tricky, unorthodox boxer with dazzling footwork and a great chin, especially adept at launching punches while bouncing off the ropes ÔǪ Fought much of his career during the no-decision era, when it was illegal to render a decision in many jurisdictions ÔǪ Engaged legendary lightweight champion Benny Leonard in eight no-decision bouts, gaining the “newspaper” decision in two of them and a draw in a third ÔǪ Boxed a 20-round draw with featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane in 1913, his first attempt to win a title ÔǪ Won junior lightweight title in November 1921 when George “KO” Chaney was disqualified in the fifth round ÔǪ Became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1919 ÔǪ When New York State passed the Walker Law in 1920, which legalized boxing and allowed for decision verdicts, Dundee fought the first main event under the new regulations. He lost a 15-round decision to Joe Welling on Sept. 17 at Madison Square Garden ÔǪ Lost junior lightweight title to Jack Bernstein in May ’23, but less than two months later won the world featherweight championship with a 15-round decision over Eugene Criqui in front of approximately 40,000 fans at the Polo Grounds ÔǪ Regained junior lightweight title from Bernstein in December ’23 in what is considered one of the worse decisions in boxing history. The New York Times gave Dundee only three of the 15 rounds, with two even and 10 for loser Bernstein ÔǪ Gave up featherweight title in August ’24 because he could no longer make the weight ÔǪ Lost junior lightweight title to Steve “Kid” Sullivan in June ’24 ÔǪ Although past his peak, Dundee fought on until December 1932 ÔǪ Lost most of his ring earnings investing in a stable of racehorses.

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