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Johnny Kilbane

Titles: World Featherweight champion 1912-1923  

Record: 51-4-7 with 78 ND, 2 NC 

Born: April 18, 1889 in Cleveland, Ohio (USA)

Years active: 1907-1923

Nickname: None 

Kilbane is perhaps most known as the man who ended the featherweight championship 
reign of legendary Abe Attell who had kept the title for 12 years! Kilbane himself  
would go on to hold the title for 11 years. While that lengthy reign was in part
due to his very few title defenses (only 4) it is a impressive statistic none the 
less and many of Kilebane's fights ended in no decisions as his boxing skills 
prevented his foes from mounting any offense. Kilbane fought in a era where often 
fighters would fight 15 to 20 times a year and Kilbane was no different. Kilbane 
was a workman like fighter would out think his foes rather than trying to stop 
them with power. This is proven out by the fact that Kilbane only stopped 21 men
in over 16 years in the ring. Defense and a skillful jab were his claim to fame 
in the ring. Still two noted boxing historians Nat Fleischer of The Ring fame and 
Charley Rose ranked Kilbane as the #5 and #7 All-Time when they asked to rank the 
best featherweights of All-Time. Boxing at the start of 1907 Kilbane toured the 
Ohio and midwest fight circuit making a name for himself. Incredibly it took 
only 3 years for Kilbane to get a title shot, which at the time was nearly unheard 
of. The first title shot for Kilbane came against Abe Attell and Kilbane claimed
Attell soaked his back with chloroform to daze him in the clinches. This was never 
proven but Attell was known for his rule breaking and Kilbane often repeated this 
claim even in retirement. Still the fight was close and Attell kept the title 
despite his dirty tactics of butting, thumbing and hitting low. The second time 
around was different however as a younger Kilbane stayed on the outside and 
staying away from the brawling style Attell preferred. Speed would be the key 
difference as Kilbane counterpunched nicely to take a decision win and kept Attell 
at the end of his jab. After Kilbane won the title his most impressive win is 
thought to be a points win over a young Benny Leonard who would go on to become
a great world champion. Leonard did show his class by knocking Kilbane out in a 
return match 2 years later when Kilbane attempted a move up in weight. In his 
featherweight title defenses Kilbane fought back the challenges of such good 
fighters as Jimmy Walsh, Jimmy Fox, Johnny Dundee and KO Chaney. All very highly
respected fighters of the era. Kilbane was stripped of his title from the New York
sanctioning body for not defending is title, which led to his retirement. Kilbane 
was coaxed out of a 2 year retirement to fight his final battle for what was still
cosidered his featherweight crown. Kilbane would loose that title fight to Eugene 
Criqui a hard punching Frenchman at the age of 34 when he was clearly past his 
prime and rusty from his lack of fighting. The fight only lasted 6 rounds and 
Kilbane was never in the fight. When looking at his entire career it can be said 
that Kilbane was a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hide kind of fighter. At times he looked 
unstoppable while in other fights he looked to be a journeyman fighter at best. 
The same defensive skills which merit his place in this hall of fame are also what 
made him look as if he was a reluctant fighter who did not seem to take any 
chances in the ring. In retirement Kilbane became a United States Senator from 
the state of Ohio and kept in touch with boxing by refereeing fights and running
a gym.
                        


Johnny Kilbane

Career Record: 51 W, 4 L, 7 D, 78 ND, 2 NC (25 KO's)


1907

Dec  2 Tom Mangan                 Cleveland, Oh                    W  3
Dec 18 Tommy Burns                Cleveland, Oh                    W  3
Dec 25 Kid Campbell               Cleveland, Oh                   KO  6

1908

Jan  1 Tommy Kilbane              Lorain, Oh                       W  3
Feb 10 Tommy Kilbane              Cleveland, Oh                    D  4
Mar  1 Paul Koehler               Cleveland, Oh                    W  6
Mar 16 Herman Zahnizer            New Castle, Pa                  KO  9
Apr 13 Tommy Lynch                New Castle, Pa                  ND 10
May 22 Paul Koehler               Cleveland, Oh                    W  6
May 30 Battling Terry             New Castle, Pa                  ND 10
Jun  5 Milburn "Young" Saylor     Dayton, Oh                       W 10
Nov 25 Tommy Kilbane              Cleveland, Oh                    W 25
Dec  3 Clyde LeMaster             Cleveland, Oh                    W 10
Dec 12 Joe Grim                   Youngstown, Oh                  ND 10

1909

Jan 15 Jack White                 Dayton, Oh                       D 10
Feb  4 Johnny Whittaker           Akron, Oh                        KO 11
Feb 18 Clyde LeMaster             Akron, Oh                        W  8
Mar 29 Biz Mackey                 Akron, Oh                       W D.Q 5
May  7 Mike Bartley               Pittsburgh, Pa                  KO  5
Jun  1 Cloyce Yeager              Findlay, Oh                     ND 10
Jun 14 Jack White                 Akron, Oh                        D 12
Jun 30 Jess Gaffney               Pittsburgh, Pa                  KO  4
Aug  9 Happy Davis                Pittsburgh, Pa                  ND  6
Oct  2 Marty Heffron              Cleveland, Oh                    W  8
Dec 31 Tommy Kilbane              Canton, Oh                       W 15

1910

Feb  2 Jack White                 Windsor, Oh                     ND  8
Mar  3 Kid Tyler                  Cleveland, Oh                   KO  3
Mar 23 Biz Mackey                 Lorain, Oh                      NC  6
Mar 29 Bobby Tickle               Boston, Ma                       W 10
Apr 19 Al Delmont                 Boston, Ma                       W 10
Jul  4 Patsy Brannigan            Akron, Oh                       ND 12
Sep 29 Benny Kaufman              Pittsburgh, Pa                  ND  6
Oct 24 Abe Attell                 Kansas City, Mo                  L 10
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Nov 24 Benny Kaufman              Akron, Oh                       ND 12

1911

Jan  2 Patsy Brannigan            Canton, Oh                      ND 12
Jan  7 Tommy O'Toole              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Jan 12 Gussie Wilson              Cleveland, Oh                    W 10
Jan 30 Abe Attell                 Cleveland, Oh                   NC  4
Feb 14 Jack White                 Columbus, Oh                     W 12
Feb 27 Tommy Bresnahan            Youngstown, Oh                  ND 10
Mar  8 Johnny Albanese            Cleveland, Oh                    W 10
Mar 16 Young Ghetto               Cleveland, Oh                    W 10
Mar 24 Monte Attell               Cleveland, Oh                    D 10
May  6 Joe Rivers                 Vernon, Ca                       L 20
May 30 Jimmy Walsh                Canton, Oh                      ND 12
Jul 15 Patsy Kline                Vernon, Ca                       W 20
Sep 15 Joe Rivers                 Vernon, Ca                      KO 16
Sep 30 Frankie Conley             Vernon, Ca                       W 20
Nov 29 Patsy Brannigan            Youngstown, Oh                  ND 10
Dec 23 Charley White              Cleveland, Oh                   ND 12

1912

Feb 22 Abe Attell                 Vernon, Ca                       W 20
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
May 14 Frankie Burns              New York, NY                    ND 10
May 21 Jimmy Walsh                Boston, Ma                       D 12
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Jun  6 Tommy O'Toole              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Jul  4 Tommy Dixon                Cleveland, Oh                   ND 12
Sep  4 Johnny Dundee              New York, NY                    ND 10
Sep 11 Jack Moore                 Tiffin, Oh                       W 10
Sep 19 Eddie O'Keefe              New York, NY                    ND 10
Oct 14 Eddie O'Keefe              Cleveland, Oh                   ND 12
Oct 24 Johnny Albanese            Columbus, Oh                     W 10
Oct 29 Tommy Dugan                Johnstown, Pa                   KO  4
Dec  3 Monte Attell               Cleveland, Oh                   KO 9
Dec 19 Tommy Dixon                St. Louis, Mo                   ND  8

1913

Jan  1 Oliver Kirk                St. Louis, Mo                   KO  2
Feb  4 Young Driscoll             Brooklyn, NY                    ND 10
Feb 19 George Kirkwood            New York, NY                    KO  6
Apr 29 Johnny Dundee              Vernon, Ca                       D 20
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Jun 10 Jimmy Fox                  Oakland, Ca                     KO  6
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Sep 16 Jimmy Walsh                Boston, Ma                       W 12
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Sep 25 Joe Goldberg               Rochester, NY                   ND 10
Oct  8 Kid Julian                 New York, NY                    ND 10
Oct 30 K.O. Mars                  Cincinnati, Oh                  KO  7
Nov 10 Eddie O'Keefe              Philadelphia, Pa                KO  1

1914

Jan  5 Eddie Moy                  Philadelphia, Pa                KO  5
Feb  2 Eddie Moy                  Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb  7 Charley Thomas             Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb 11 Tommy Bresnahan            Syracuse, NY                    ND 10
Apr  6 Gene Delmont               Memphis, Tn                      W  8
Apr 13 Frankie Daily              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Apr 17 Kid Julian                 Syracuse, NY                    ND 10
Apr 22 Bobby Reynolds             Windsor, Ont, Can               ND  8
May 29 Benny Chavez               Denver, Co                      KO  2
Jul  2 K.O. Mars                  Cincinnati, Oh                  ND  6
Dec  7 Joe Mandot                 Akron, Oh                       ND 12
Dec 14 Willie Houck               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6

1915

Jan  1 Patsy Brannigan            Pittsburgh, Pa                  ND  6
Jan  8 Frankie Dailey             Toledo, Oh                      ND 10
Jan 23 Eddie Morgan               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb  1 Rocky Kansas               Buffalo, NY                     ND 10
Feb 13 Eddie Morgan               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Mar 17 Kid Williams               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Mar 30 Eddie Wallace              Brooklyn, NY                    ND 10
Apr 29 Benny Leonard              New York, NY                    ND 10
May 11 Mel Coogan                 Brooklyn, NY                    ND 10
Sep  6 Alvie Miller               Cedar Point, Oh                 ND 12
Sep 21 Richie Mitchell            Milwaukee, Wi                   ND 10
Oct 11 Cal Delaney                Akron, Oh                       ND 12
Nov 15 Bobby Reynolds             Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Nov 22 Packey Hommey              Toledo, Oh                      ND 10
Dec  2 Patsy Brannigan            Scranton, Pa                    ND 10

1916

Jan  1 Richie Mitchell            Cincinnati, Oh                  ND 10
Jan  6 Patsy Cline                Philadelphia, Pa                KO  2
Jan 15 Frankie Conifrey           Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Jan 31 Packey Hommey              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb 16 Johnny Creeley             Hot Springs, Ar                  W 10
Mar  4 Johnny Ray                 Pittsburgh, Pa                  ND  6
Mar 24 Harry Donahue              New York, NY                    ND 10
May  8 Willie Jackson             Philadelphia, Pa                KO  5
May 25 Eddie Wallace              Montreal, Que, Can              ND 10
Jun 13 Johnny O'Leary             Buffalo, NY                     ND 10
Sep  4 George "K.O." Chaney       Cedar Point, Oh                 KO  3
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Dec 11 Alvie Miller               Youngstown, Oh                  ND 12

1917

Jan 18 Johnny Drummie             Waterbury, Ct                   KO 10
Feb  3 Johnny Ray                 Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb 27 Rocky Kansas               Buffalo, NY                     ND 10
Mar 12 Tim Droney                 York, Pa                        ND  6
Mar 19 Eddie Shannon              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Mar 26 Eddie Wallace              Bridgeport, Ct                   D 12
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
Apr 19 Matt Brook                 Cleveland, Oh                   ND 10
May  1 Freddie Welsh              New York, NY                    ND 10
May 24 Frankie Flemming           Montreal, Que, Can              ND 10
Jul 25 Benny Leonard              Philadelphia, Pa                KOby  3

1919

Mar 10 Frankie Brown              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Apr  1 Johnny Mealey              Philadelphia, Pa                KO  2
Apr  6 Artie O'Leary              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Apr 12 Jack Lawlor                Philadelphia, Pa                ND 10
Apr 19 Jhnny Mahoney              Philadelphia, Pa                KO  5
May 14 Ralph Brady                Cleveland, Oh                   ND 10
Jul 28 Joe Fox                    Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Sep 16 Frankie Burns              Jersey City, NJ                 KO  5
Sep 20 Eddie Morgan               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Dec 29 Andy Chaney                Jersey City, NJ                 ND  8

1920

Jan  1 Al Shubert                 Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Jan 24 Johnny Murray              Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Feb 25 Benny Valgar               Newark, NJ                      ND  8
Apr 21 Alvie Miller               Lorain, Oh                      KO  7
       -Featherweight Championship of the World
May 24 Harry "Kid" Brown          Philadelphia, Pa                ND  6
Jun  2 Andy Chaney                Philadelphia, Pa                ND  8
Jul 28 Artie Root                 Cleveland, Oh                   ND 10

1921

May 25 Freddie Jacks              Cleveland, Oh                   ND 10
Sep 17 Danny Frush                Cleveland, Oh                   KO  7
       -Featherweight Championship of the World

1923

Jun  2 Eugene Criqui              New York, NY                    KOby  6
       -Featherweight Championship of the World