Les Darcy





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 total bouts)


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