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Fidel LaBarba

Titles: Flyweight 1927

Record: 70-15-6 (16 K.O's)

Born: September 29, 1905 in New York City, New York (USA)

Years active: 1924-1933

Nickname: None 

LaBarba a converted southpaw was a smooth boxer who could use his feet better 
than anyone else in his time. Fidel combined his footwork with very good upper 
body movement to become one of the first great defensive fighters, he was very 
seldom hurt and never knocked out. Never a heavy hitter La Barba counted on his
punching accuracy to become a champion. As a boy LaBarba began to fight other 
newspaper boys for the busy street corners so he could sell his newspapers. At 
the age of 14 he was noticed by George Blake a famous fight manager of the time
and was guided to his gym. Once there LaBarba would learn his boxing skills and 
train with the best of Los Angeles. Fidel first came to the attention of the 
boxing world when he won the gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympic games and 
turned pro the same year. LaBarba was the first fighter to parlay his Olympic 
gold medal to further his pro career since he was now  known to the general 
public. Because of his status as a gold medalist it did not take long for Fidel
to start mixing it up with the best at the flyweight level. In only his third 
bout LaBarba fought legendary Jimmy McClarnin and came away a disputed points 
looser. After his manager ripped the score sheets from the judges he saw two 
of the three judges awarded the fight to LaBarba. Still the decision of the 
referee stood. LaBarba then took on and defeated seasoned pro Frankie Genaro 
for the American flyweight title in only his 12th professional fight. The fight 
ended with a frustrated Genaro loosing on points over 10 rounds of trying to 
corner LaBarba. In 1927 the death of Pancho Villa left the world title vacant.
Fidel LaBarba was matched against Scotland's Elky Clark then the British and 
European champion for the world flyweight title. The fight was not memorable 
for anything other than the dominance shown by LaBarba as he cruised to a easy 
12 rounds points win. In this bout LaBarba even managed to knock Clark down 5 
times but his lack of power prevented him from finishing the European champ. 
In one of the strangest moves a boxer of any time made, LaBarba never defended 
that title and instead retired at the end of that year to attend prestigious 
Stanford college and earn a degree. Only a year after his announced retirement 
LaBarba returned to the ring but this time at bantamweight. Like many other 
athletes who retire for even a short time he was not the same fighter. His 
skills were still evident but the speed was just a bit off. In that comeback 
year LaBarba won all 5 of his fights however. In 1930 Fidel fought the skilled
Kid Chocolate twice with each of the great fighters taking a 10 round decision 
win in good but never exciting matches. Both fighters were excellent boxer and 
much of the fights was spend trying to find a weakness in the others defense. 
After four years of taking on the best of the division Fidel was finally given 
a title shot against Battling Battalino but it was at the featherweight level. 
Battalino's brawling style proved to be too much for the smaller LaBarba who 
was pushed into the corner numerous times but did manage to survive the full 
15 rounds. In this fight LaBarba gained some respect as he stood his ground 
and fought back rather than looking for angles as he had in the past. Still he 
fought the wrong fight and paid for it with a loss. The judges favored the more
aggressive Battalino and awarded him a deserved point win. A year and a half 
later Fidel again challenged for the world featherweight title against the his 
old rival and much improved Kid Chocolate for the New York version of the title.
Also at stake for this fight was the newly created junior lightweight crown. It 
was a lopsided decision win for Chocolate who employed a much more aggressive 
style than usual. He cut of the ring well and LaBarba was the slower of the two 
men on that night. It was still a close fight on the scorecards and the crowd 
was split in its opinion of the result. The champion got the nod however. It 
was later discovered that LaBarba had gone into the fight with blurred vision 
as he had hurt his eye in training before the fight. That injury would cause 
Fidel to later in his life have the eye removed. This bout with Chocolate proved
to be the end of Fidel as a world class participant, LaBarba fought 3 more times
(loosing twice) before hanging up the gloves for good. In retirement LaBarba 
returned to school and got a degree in journalism. 

Fidel LaBarba

Career Record: 70 W, 15 L, 6 D, 4 ND (16 K.O's)


     Sep 18 Pat Pringle                Los Angeles, Ca                 KO  1
     Oct 14 Frankie Grandetta          Vernon, Ca                       W  4
     Oct 28 Jimmy McLarnin             Vernon, Ca                       L  4
     Nov 11 Jimmy McLarnin             Vernon, Ca                       D  4
     Dec  4 Pedro Villa                San Pedro, Ca                    W  4


     Jan 13 Jimmy McLarnin             Vernon, Ca                       L 10
     Feb 20 Young Nationalista         Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Mar 20 Georgie Rivers             Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Apr 17 Newsboy Brown              Hollywood, Ca                    D 10
     May 29 Teddy Silva                Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Jul 17 Georgie Rivers             Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Aug 22 Frankie Genaro             Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Nov 20 Ray Fee                    Hollywood, Ca                   TKO 1
     Dec 23 Lew Perfetti               New York, NY                     W  6

     Jan 20 Clever Sencio              Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Mar 12 Vic King                   Hollywood, Ca                   KO  4
     Mar 31 Clever Sencio              Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     May  4 Emil Paluso                Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Jul  8 Georgie Rivers             Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Aug 13 Emil Paluso                Chicago, Il                      W 10
     Aug 25 Happy Atherton             Chicago, Il                      W 10
     Sep  2 Paul Milnar                Peoria, Il                       W  8
     Oct  5 Newsboy Brown              Vernon, Ca                       D 10
     Oct 26 Young Nationalista         Los Angeles, Ca                  D 10
     Nov 19 "California" Joe Lynch     San Francisco, Ca              W D.Q 4
     Dec  7 Delos Williams             Fresno, Ca                       W 10


     Jan 21 Elky Clark                 New York, NY                     W 12
            -Flyweight Championship of the World
     Feb 14 Johnny Vacca               Boston, Ma                       L 10
     Mar 22 Johnny Vacca               Boston, Ma                       L 10
     Apr 11 Young Montreal             Tucson, Az                       W 10
     Apr 24 Young Montreal             Providence, RI                   W 10
     Apr 29 "Mickie" Billy Shaw        Detroit, Mi                     ND 10
     May 11 Babe Keller                Kalamazoo, Mi                   ND 12
     May 27 Willie LaMorte             Cleveland, Oh                   TKO 10
     Jun 21 Mike Brody                 St. Louis, Mo                   ND 10
     Jun 27 Clarence Rosen             Detroit, Mi                     ND 10
     Jul 12 "Memphis" Pal Moore        Chicago, Il                      W 10
     Aug 23 Johnny Vacca               Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Aug    -LaBarba announced his retirement from boxing

     Jul 17 Huerta Evans               Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Aug  7 Earl Mastro                Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Sep 11 Bushy Graham               Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Sep 25 Young Nationalista         Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Nov 23 Ray Ravini                 San Francisco, Ca               KO  8


     Jan 26 Billy McAllister           Sydney, NSW, Aus                KO  4
     Feb  8 Willie Smith               Sydney, NSW, Aus                 W 15
     Mar  2 Billy Grimes               Melbourne, Vic, Aus              W 15
     Mar 16 Willie Smith               Sydney, NSW, Aus                TKO 12
     May 22 Kid Chocolate              New York, NY                     L 10
     Jun  7 Tommy Paul                 Buffalo, NY                      W  6
     Jun 25 Earl Mastro                Los Angeles, Ca                  L 10
     Aug 30 Jackie Mandell             Hollywood, Ca                   TKO 8
     Oct 12 Kid Francis                Paris, Fr                        L 12


     Jan 14 Ignacio Fernandez          Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Jan 28 Johnny Torres              Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Feb 14 Charley Sullivan           Hollywood, Ca                   KO  5
     Mar  4 Santiago Zorilla           Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Apr  4 Tommy Paul                 Buffalo, NY                      W 10
     Apr 21 Charles "Bud" Taylor       Chicago, Il                      W 10
     May 28 Bushy Graham               New York, NY                     W 10
     Aug  7 Earl Mastro                Chicago, Il                      D 10
     Nov  3 Kid Chocolate              New York, NY                     W 10
     Nov 28 Charles "Bud" Taylor       New York, NY                     W 10
     Dec  9 Eddie Shea                 Cleveland, Oh                    L 10


     Feb  3 Claude Varner              Los Angeles, Ca                  D 10
     Mar 27 Kid Francis                New York, NY                     W 10
     May 22 Battling Battalino         New York, NY                     L 15
            -Featherweight Championship of the World
     Jun 26 Claude Varner              Hollywood, Ca                    L 10
     Jul 20 Jackie Mandell             Stockton, Ca                    KO  1
     Jul 24 Ray Montoya                Palm Beach, Ca                   W 10
     Aug  6 Santiago Zorilla           Sacramento, Ca                   W 10
     Aug 21 Pinto De Sa                San Francisco, Ca                W 10
     Sep 16 Johnny Previs              Wilmington, Ca                   W 10
     Oct  9 Joe Guererro               Sacramento, Ca                   W 10
     Nov 10 Leslie "Wildcat" Carter    Seattle, Wa                      W  6
     Nov 27 Santiago Zorilla           Hollywood, Ca                   KO  6
     Dec 11 Leslie "Wildcat" Carter    Oakland, Ca                     KO  1
     Dec 15 Billy Pelz                 Portland, Or                     W  6
     Dec 17 Davie Jones                Tacoma, Wa                       W  6


     Jan  1 Alberto "Baby" Arizmendi   Mexico City, Mx                  L 10
     Mar 11 Varias Milling             Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Apr  8 Max Tarley                 Stockton, Ca                     W 10
     Apr 22 Petey Sarron               Detroit, Mi                      W 10
     Apr 29 Johnny Pena                Detroit, Mi                      L 10
     Jun  2 Varias Milling             Sacramento, Ca                   W 10
     Jun 14 Tommy Paul                 Los Angeles, Ca                  W 10
     Jun 28 Bobby Gray                 San Jose, Ca                    KO  8
     Jul 29 Varias Milling             Hollywood, Ca                    W 10
     Aug 12 Al Citrino                 San Francisco, Ca               TKO 6
     Sep  2 Vicente Venturillo         Honolulu, Oahu, Hi              TKO 10
     Oct 16 Little Dempsey             Honolulu, Oahu, Hi               W 10
     Nov 10 Conrad Senico              Honolulu, Oahu, Hi              TKO 6
     Dec  9 Kid Chocolate              New York, NY                     L 15
            -Featherweight Championship of the World
     Dec 29 Tommy Paul                 Chicago, Il                      L 10


     Jan 27 "Seaman" Tom Watson        New York, NY                     L 12
     Feb 13 Mose Butch                 Pittsburgh, Pa                   W 10