Titles: World light heavyweight champion 1927-1929 Record: 96-23-8 with 45 no decisions Born: November 29, 1902 in Philadelphia, PA, USA Years active: 1919-1937 Nickname: None A highly skilled stand up boxer from the old school of starting his punches with a pawing jab followed by a lead left. It was the left that Loughran was known for, not for its power but the accuracy and timing in which it was landed. While most looked exclusively for power Loughran was more of a boxer preferring to stick a hard jab followed by ring movement and catching the opponent coming when the opening made itself available or more commonly by holding. When he started to box he was a bit of a kayo artist knocking out 11 men in his first two years as a pro before his right hand was broken. Loughran came to rely on his left hand after he broke his right hand, he never quite trusted that his right hand would hold up. It made his is his left hand arguably the best in the history of the light heavyweights. Tommy was safety first and a bit boring to watch but his skill and excellent footwork stood out during a time of brawlers. The first master boxer James J. Corbett was quoted as saying that Loughran "did things in the ring I wanted to do." In fact The Ring magazine still rates Loughran as one of the five best light heavyweights of all time. Only the heavyweights gave Loughran much trouble which he had to pursue in search of larger purses and fame. At light heavyweight he had few peers in his time, in his prime from what I have read and been told he would fare well in any era. Also remember he fought in a time where the light heavyweight division was loaded with talent like King Levingsky, Gene Tunney, Harry Greb, Mickey Walker, Pete Latzlo and Georges Carpentier. In fact Loughran faced 14 men who held world titles back in a era when there were only 8 world champions at any time. Another sign of his times was that it took Loughran eight years and over 100 fights before he would get his first title shot, thus making him more than a worthy challenger. Loughran began his career at age 17 as a middleweight learning to box in the tough Philadelphia gyms and rings. One of the things known on Loughran was that he would almost always end the round standing in his own corner, a sign of how he would control ring movement. In his first 43 fights Loughran went undefeated building a solid fan base with his fluid boxing. In 1922 Loughran faced his first world class test when he fought the ultra tough Harry Greb in Pittsburgh. It was a time of no decision bouts and no winner was declared in the bout but the newspaper men who covered the fight as well as the general consensus was that Greb had gotten the better of the fight. It was a good learning experience for the still young Loughran but nothing compared to the boxing skills of Gene Tunney whom he was to meet only 45 days later. Tunney was the exact opposite of Greb who was a tough, free swinging bomber, Tunney on the other hand was a smooth boxer with fast hands and educated jab. Things started bad for Loughran as Tunney knocked him down in the first round, but Tommy got up and boxed well for the rest of the bout. It was not enough the minds of most however to earn the win. All the time however the young Loughran not yet 20 years old was learning the skills to make him a champion. Loughran would meet Greb 4 more times with 1 win, 1 no decision, two losses and a draw which occurred in their last bout. Now well on his way in terms of skill Loughran would notch wins over Georges Carpentier, Jimmy Delaney and Young Stirbling. Tunney finally got his title fight against Mike McTigue and was brilliant in it. For 14 rounds Loughran dominated the champion leading him around the ring forever running into his left hand jab followed by right and left hand leads. In the last round McTigue launched a flurry that had Loughran staggering, Loughran was able to fend off the final surge to win a easily on rounds. Still Loughran was not universally recognized as the champion, that came after he defeated Jimmy Slattery in 1927. He would defend the title 6 times, all against good challengers and would not loose the title in the ring instead moving up in weight to look for a shot at the heavyweight title. Those he defeated as champion were future heavy- weight king James Braddock, Pete Latzlo (twice), Leo Lomski and legendary middle- weight Mickey Walker. A move up to heavyweight was a natural since all the light heavyweights of his time did it in search of more money. He was well aware of what was to come at the heavyweight level since he had been the main sparring partner for fierce hitting Jack Dempsey when Dempsey was to face Gene Tunney. Even at heavyweight Loughran excelled beating former world heavyweight champions Max Baer, Jack Sharkey and perennial contender Paolino Uzucudun. The first Sharkey bout was part of a eliminator for the heavyweight crown Tunney had given up after his sudden retirement. his heavyweight career got of to a rocky start however. Fighting before 45,000 fans Loughran held Sharkey at bay with his hard jabs for the first 3 rounds until Sharkey landed a big right hand that put him on the canvas. Loughran got up but the referee stopped the fight after it was clear Loughran was out on his feet. For the next 4 years Loughran fought exclusively at heavyweight with good success in search of a title shot. He beat good heavyweights like King Levingsky, Max Baer, Jack Sharkey (in the rematch) and Steve Hamas a 11 bout winning streak on his way to the title shot. But as luck would have it Loughran weighing 184 pounds would have to fight a giant of a man even by today's standard....... the 6 foot 5 inch 270 pound Primo Carnera. The 86 pound weight difference is still the largest ever recorded for a heavyweight title fight. While Carnera was not a skilled boxer Loughran was not able to get inside on Carnera or anywhere near his chin because of the ludicrous size disadvantage. Add to this the fact that Carnera broke one of Loughran's toes when he stepped on it and you have the makings of a route. Carnera did have a very good left jab and it held Loughran at bay and at the end of his punches. It was a one sided bout in which it was a good showing for Loughran to even last the entire 15 round distance, which he did en route to losing the decision. In a side not Loughran but very foul smelling grease on the top of his head, he would stick his head under the giants nose to prevent the giant Carnera from leaning on him during the clinches. Loughran went on boxing for three years never getting near another title shot and lost in a battle of greats when the aging Loughran dropped a decision to Tommy Farr. His last fight was a points win over Sonny Walker in front of his hometown fans in 1937, Walker was not a easy victim as he had beaten Tommy just the year before. During World War II Loughran enlisted in the Marines after which he made a small fortune as a Wall Street broker. Loughran died at a home for veterans at the age of 80.
1919 Dec 9 Eddie Carter Philadelphia, Pa KO 2 1920 Jan 1 Kid Emanuel Philadelphia, Pa NC 3 Jan 27 Jim McBride Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Feb 17 Jack Williams Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Mar Bill Clark Philadelphia, Pa KO 3 Mar 26 Joe Welling Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Apr Eddie Moran Philadelphia, Pa KO 4 May 7 John Dougherty Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 May Tommy Coyle Philadelphia, Pa KO 4 Jun 3 Bernie McLaughlin Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Jul 19 Johnny Vigi Philadelphia, Pa ND 5 Aug Joe Brock Philadelphia, Pa KO 2 Sep Jack Smith Philadelphia, Pa KO 4 Oct 10 Ed Dougherty Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Nov 18 Rube Bennett Lancaster, Pa ND 8 1921 Jan Lew Schupp Lancaster, Pa ND 8 Jan 20 Kid West Lancaster, Pa ND 8 Jan 25 Young Ramsey W 8 Feb 1 Hugh Blair Philadelphia, Pa KO 2 Feb 8 Johnny Kelly Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Feb 21 Al Nelson W 10 Mar 1 Johnny McLaughlin Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Mar 12 Leo Dillon Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Mar 29 Charlie O'Neill Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Apr 15 Jack Reck Reading, Pa ND 8 May 3 Al Daly Philadelphia, Pa TK 4 May 9 Johnny Alex Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Jun Ted Mitchell W 8 Jul Jules Ritchie Scranton, Pa ND 10 Aug 15 Frank Britton Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Sep 6 Frank Britton Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Sep 17 Roy Hirst Philadelphia, Pa KO 3 Sep 30 Al Miller Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Oct 6 Pat Bradley Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Nov 8 Len Rowlands Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Dec 20 Vincent Lopez Philadelphia, Pa TK 5 1922 Jan 24 Jimmy Darcy Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Feb 7 Fay Keiser Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Feb 28 Bryan Downey Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Mar 16 Mike McTigue Scranton, Pa ND 10 Mar 21 Jackie Clark Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Apr 6 Frank Carbone Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Apr 28 Jimmy Darcy Syracuse, NY W 12 May 12 Young Fisher Syracuse, NY W 12 Jul 10 Harry Greb Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Aug 24 Gene Tunney Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Sep 25 George Shade Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Dec 11 Lou Bogash Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 1923 Jan 8 Pal Reed Newark, NJ ND 12 Jan 15 Harry Greb Pittsburgh, Pa ND 10 Jan 30 Harry Greb New York, NY L 15 -Light Heavyweight Championship of America Mar 8 Jeff Smith Scranton, Pa ND 10 Jun 18 Jeff Smith Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Jun 25 Mike McTigue Philadelphia, Pa ND 8 Aug 2 Mike McTigue West New York, NJ ND 12 Aug 14 Teddy Taylor Minersville, Pa KO 2 Sep 14 Jimmy Delaney Oklahoma City, Ok D 12 Oct 11 Harry Greb Boston, Ma W 10 Nov 14 Ted Moore Boston, Ma W 10 Dec 10 Roland Todd New York, NY W 10 Dec 25 Harry Greb Pittsburgh, Pa L 10 1924 Feb 12 Johnny Wilson Boston, Ma W 10 Feb 19 Jack Delaney Boston, Ma L 10 Apr 28 Charley Nashert Detroit, Mi ND 10 May 19 Ad Stone Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Jun 2 Jack Smith Shamokin, Pa KO 2 Jun 26 W.L. "Young" Stribling New York, NY L 6 Jul 11 Joe Lohman Erie, Pa W 10 Oct 13 Harry Greb Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Nov 20 George Blake Williamsport, Pa KO 2 1925 Jan 1 Frankie Maguire Williamsport, Pa W 10 Feb 4 Buck Holley Oakland, Ca D 6 Feb 7 Billy Freas Culver City, Ca W 10 Feb 18 Jack Reeves Oakland, Ca W 10 Mar 28 W.L. "Young" Stribling San Francisco, Ca L 10 Jun 11 Martin Burke Brooklyn, NY W 12 Jul 16 Jack Delaney Philadelphia, Pa D 10 Sep 11 Tony Marullo New York, NY W 8 Sep 24 Jack Burke Philadelphia, Pa Koby 6 Oct 5 Benny Ross Buffalo, NY W 10 Oct 26 Ad Stone Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Dec 25 Emilio "King" Solomon Philadelphia, Pa W 10 1926 Jan 1 Billy Freas Grand Rapids, Mi ND 10 Jan 6 Joe Packo Grand Rapids, Mi ND 10 Feb 2 Chuck Wiggins Grand Rapids, Mi ND 10 Feb 8 Ad Stone Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Mar 15 Yale Okun Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 5 Yale Okun Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 13 Tom Kirby Boston, Ma W 10 Jun 17 Georges Carpentier Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Jul 2 George Manley Omaha, Ne ND 10 Jul 30 Johnny Risko Boston, Ma W 10 Sep 23 Jimmy Delaney Philadelphia, Pa W 6 Oct 8 Frankie Schramm Allentown, Pa KO 2 Oct 18 Martin Burke Chicago, Il W 10 Oct 29 Chuck Wiggins Providence, RI W D.Q 5 Nov 29 George Manley Indianapolis, In ND 10 1927 Jan 10 Tony Marullo Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Feb 15 Johnny Risko Wilkes-Barre, Pa W 10 Mar 16 Joe Lohman Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 6 Tom Kirby Philadelphia, Pa W 10 May 3 W.L. "Young" Stribling Brooklyn, NY W 10 Jul 20 Tony Marullo New York, NY W 10 Aug 8 Benny Ross Buffalo, NY W 12 Oct 7 Mike McTigue New York, NY W 15 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World Nov 14 Pat McCarthy Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Dec 12 Jimmy Slattery New York, NY W 15 -NBA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World 1928 Jan 6 Leo Lomski New York, NY W 15 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World May 18 Joe Sekyra Louisville, Ky ND 10 Jun 1 Pete Latzo Brooklyn, NY W 15 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World Jun 28 Armand Emanuel New York, NY W 10 Jul 16 Pete Latzo Wilkes-Barre, Pa W 10 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World Oct 1 Jack Gross Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Dec 17 Clayton "Big Boy" Peterson Chicago, Il W 10 1929 Feb 5 Armand Emanuel Los Angeles, Ca W 10 Feb 28 Joe Lohman Tulsa, Ok W 10 Mar 28 Mickey Walker Chicago, Il W 10 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World May 24 Ernie Schaaf Boston, Ma W 10 Jul 18 Jim Braddock New York, NY W 15 -Light Heavyweight Championship of the World Sep 26 Jack Sharkey New York, NY Koby 3 1930 Feb 27 Pierre Charles Miami, Fl W 10 Mar 17 Jack Renault Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 28 Ernie Schaaf Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Jun 11 Ernie Schaaf Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Oct 16 Dick Daniels Minneapolis, Mn ND 10 Oct 23 Dave Maier Milwaukee, Wi W 10 Nov 21 King Levinsky Chicago, Il W 10 1931 Jan 26 Jack Gross Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Feb 6 Max Baer New York, NY W 10 Mar 13 Ernie Schaaf New York, NY W 10 Mar 27 Gerald "Tuffy" Griffiths Chicago, Il W 10 May 15 Victorio Campolo New York, NY W 10 Sep 9 Jack Gross Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Sep 22 Joe Sekyra New York, NY W 10 Oct 19 Johnny Risko Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Nov 13 Paolino Uzcudun New York, NY W 10 Dec 18 King Levinsky New York, NY L 10 1932 Jan 15 Steve Hamas New York, NY Koby 2 May 11 Steve Hamas Philadelphia, Pa L 10 Jun 29 Steve Hamas Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Oct 17 Stanley Poreda Philadelphia, Pa L 10 1933 Jan 10 King Levinsky Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Feb 13 Walter Cobb Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Apr 21 Isidoro Gastanaga Chicago, Il W 10 Jun 21 Steve Hamas New York, NY W 10 Jul 26 Johnny Risko Chicago, Il L 10 Sep 27 Jack Sharkey Philadelphia, Pa W 15 Nov 22 Ray Impellitiere New York, NY W 10 1934 Mar 1 Primo Carnera Miami, Fl L 15 -Heavyweight Championship of the World May 4 Walter Neusel New York, NY L 10 Aug 1 Johnny Risko Freeport, NY L 10 Oct 6 Jose Caratolli Buenos Aires, Argentina L 12 Oct 20 Arturo Godoy Buenos Aires, Argentina D 12 1935 Jan 5 Arturo Godoy Buenos Aires, Argentina W 12 Feb 2 Jose Caratolli Buenos Aires, Argentina D 12 Mar 17 Arturo Godoy Santiago, Chile L 12 Apr 14 Vicente Parrile Lima, Peru KO 9 May 20 Al Ettore Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Jun 20 Ray Impellitiere Philadelphia, Pa W 10 Jul 29 Eddie Simms Toronto, Ont, Canada W 10 Aug 22 Al Delaney Buffalo, NY D 6 Nov 13 Maurice Strickland London, England W 10 Dec 9 Andre Lenglet Paris, France W 10 1936 Jan 15 Tommy Farr London, England L 10 Feb 10 Ben Foord Leicester, England L 10 Mar 16 Jack London Bristol, England W 10 Jul 6 Al McCoy Montreal, Que, Canada L 10 Jul 30 Al McCoy Montreal, Que, Canada D 12 Sep 16 Ray Impellitiere Oakland, Ca W 10 Oct 9 Tony Rosalia Reno, Nv KO 3 Nov 13 Alfred "Butch" Rogers San Diego, Ca W 10 Dec 3 Tom Beaupre Dallas, Tx W 10 Dec 9 George "Sonny Boy" Walker San Francisco, Ca L 10 1937 Jan 18 George "Sonny Boy" Walker Philadelphia, Pa W 10