Tale Of The Tape
Born: October 31, 1895
Place: Stradbroke, New South Wales,
Died: May 24, 1917-Age 21
Place: Memphis, Tennessee
Height: 5 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 147-165 lbs.
Manager: Tim O'Sullivan
Les Darcy (born James Leslie Darcy) had a short but
brilliant fighting career that came to an unglamorous end when the young
boxer died far from home. Considered one of the greatest middleweights of
all-time, Darcy proved his mettle in his native australia. Born in New South
Wales, he started boxing as an amateur at age fifteen and quickly turned
professional. He won his first sixteen fights before challenging the veteran
Bob Whitelaw for the Australian welterweight title. Darcy lost the twenty-round
decision but, in a rematch, knocked Whitelaw out in five.
Darcy graduated from regional bouts to fighting in
Sydney Stadium, and promoters began to import talent to challenge him. He
lost his first two fights in Sydney, one by decision and one by foul, to
American Fritz Holland. The next year Darcy faced another American, Jeff
Smith, in what was considered a contest for the Australian world middleweight
title. When Darcy complained of a low blow at the end of the fifth round,
the referee believed that Darcy did not want to continue and awarded the
decision to Smith. In a rematch, Darcy was awarded the victory when Smith
punched him in the groin.
As Australian world middleweight champ, Darcy defeated
such top-flight visiting americans as Eddie McGoorty, Billy Murray, Jimmy
Clabby, George Chip, George "KO" Brown, and Buck Crouse, as well
as knocking out Smith and Holland in rematches.Darcy's opponents are said
to have admired his courage, stamina, and punching power. In 1916, Darcy
KO'd Harold Hardwick to capture the Australian heavyweight title.
Darcy was Australia's best known sportsman at the time
his country mobilized to join the allied cause in World War 1. Because Darcy
failed to enlist in the military, public opinion
turned against him. He escaped the mounting controversy by stowing away
on an oil tanker, the S.S. Cushing, bound for New York. In America he was
vilified by the press and labeled a "slacker". New York's governor
refused to issue a license for a fight involving Darcy. Other states' governors
followed suit and a six-month tour, promoted by Tex Rickard, failed to materialize.
To regain favor, Darcy signed an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and joined
the armed services (with the understanding that he would be given furloughs
to fight). However, he collapsed a few days later and died in Memphis of
blood poisoning from an infected tooth. His body was shipped home, where
he was mourned as a hero.
Bio courtesy of The Boxing Register.
By James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt
-Exact death was caused by a streptococcus virus.
-Most of his earnings were plowed backed into his family farm.
-It was his mother who twice refused him permission to fight in the World War.
-After his death, his embalmed body was returned to Australia where an
estimated half a million people paid their respects.
-He was misunderstood and died too young
"Les Darcy, Australia's Golden Boy of Boxing"
is considered to be the definitive biography of the life and career of this
tragic boxer. Pictured here is the softcover edition, published in 1965.
It is extremely rare. The hardcover run was limited to 1500 copies, and
only 1300 of the softcover were produced. Included in the book are three
generic tickets to Australian boxing venues.
RING RECORD: 45 wins - 4 losses - 0 ND's -0 draw - (49
unknown 1910 "Guv'nor" Balsa Thornton W 11
unknown 1910 Sid Pasco Maitland KO 2
July 26 1911 Tom Donohue Maitland W 4
Mar 30 1912 R. Fairbairn Newcastle KO 4
Apr 6 1912 Rhymer Newcastle KO 6
Apr 27 1912 Harry Emery Newcastle W 8
May 4 1912 Tom Page Newcastle W 10
Aug 24 1912 Jim Burns Newcastle W 4
Sept 14 1912 Harry Richards Newcastle W 8
Sep 21 1912 Peter Devon Newcastle KO 6
Sep 28 1912 P. Barnes Newcastle KO 9
Nov 4 1912 Dave Depena Newcastle KO 9
Dec 14 1912 Jim Burns Maitland KO 11
Mar 15 1913 Billy Hannan Maitland KO 18
July 19 1913 Reg Delaney Maitland KO 18
Sept 27 1913 Joe Shakespeare Maitland KO 7
Oct 25 1913 Billy McNabb Maitland W 20
Nov 3 1913 Bob Whitelaw Newcastle L 20 -for australian welterweight title
Jan 5 1914 Jack Clare Newton KO 9
Jan 30 1914 Young Hanley Newton KO 5
Mar 21 1914 Bob Whitelaw Maitland KO 5
Apr 23 1914 Billy McNabb Maitland KO 4
Jul 18 1914 Fritz Holland Sydney L 20
Sep 12 1914 Fritz Holland Sydney LF 18
Oct 5 1914 Henri KO Marchand Sydney KO 5
Nov 17 1914 Gus Christie Sydney W 20
Dec 26 1914 Fred Dyer Brisbane W 20
Jan 23 1915 Jeff Smith Sydney L disq. 5 -for australian world middleweight title
Feb 27 1915 Frank Loughrey Sydney W 20
Mar 13 1915 Fritz Holland Sydney W 20
Apr 3 1915 Henri Demlin Sydney KO 5
May 1 1915 Fritz Holland Melbourne KO 13
May 22 1915 Jeff Smith Sydney WF 2 -won australian world middleweight title
Jun 12 1915 Mick King Sydney KO 10 -retained title
Jul 31 1915 Eddie McGoorty Sydney KO 15 -retained title
Sep 4 1915 Billy Murray Sydney W 20 -retained title
Oct 9 1915 Fred Dyer Sydney KO 6 -retained title
Oct 23 1915 Jimmy Clabby Sydney W 20 -retained title
Nov 1 1915 Billy Murray Melbourne KO 6
Dec 27 1915 Eddie McGoorty Sydney KO 8
Jan 15 1916 George KO Brown Sydney W 20
Feb 19 1916 Harold Hardwick Sydney KO 7 -won australian heavyweight title
Mar 25 1916 Les O'Donnell Sydney KO 7 -retained
Apr 8 1916 George KO Brown Sydney W 20
May 13 1916 Alex Costica Sydney KO 4 -retained australian world middleweight title
Jun 3 1916 Albert Buck Crouse Sydney KO 2
Jun 24 1916 Dave Smith Sydney KO 12 -retained australian heavyweight title
Aug 16 1916 Dave Smith Brisbane KO 11 -retained australian heavyweight title
Sep 9 1916 Jimmy Clabby Sydney W 20 -retained australian world middleweight title
Sep 30 1916 George Chip Sydney KO 9 -retained australian world middleweight title
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ON LES DARCY
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