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Benny Lynch

Titles: World flyweight champion 1937-1938

Record: 83-13-15

Born: April 2, 1913 in Clydesdale, Scotland 

Years active: 1931-1938

Nickname:  The Kid from the Gorbals

Lynch is perhaps the first big name boxer to suffer burn out, at the age of 23 he 
was the undisputed world flyweight champion. Two years later at 25 he had already 
retired. By age 33 lynch had died of malnutrition brought on by alcoholism. But 
in his short time as a contender and champ he earned a place in any Hall of Fame as 
one of the greatest and most popular flyweight of all time. This is quite a feat 
considering he never traveled outside of Great Britain to box and he American media 
never got to see him box. Lynch was a complete boxer. He should also be considered 
the best boxer Scotland ever produced. British historian Ron Olver said of Lynch 
"As a fighter he had no weakness, in his prime he was perfect." Standing 5 feet 
5 inches he was a tall flyweight, who carried a lot of power in his left hand. 
When on offense Lynch was a calculating predator, setting up opponents with good 
footwork. On defense he was simply superb, particularly adept at picking off his 
opponents punches with a high guard. His action style and precision punches made 
him a instant fan favorite. As a boy Lynch was a newspaper boy before he fought 
in the boxing booths, traveling the northern counties taking on all comers as well 
as boxing in amateur boxing tourney's. His boxing skills were discovered early and 
at the age of 8 he was already winning amateur trophies. In all he won 37 amateur 
bouts while only losing two. In 1931 at age 18 Lynch decided to trade punches for 
pay and within two years was a main event fighter. The first big win for Lynch came 
in 1934 when he won a close 15 round decision over Jim Campbell to win the Scottish 
flyweight title in Glasgow. A rematch saw the same result but the win was more 
lopsided and any doubts over who was the best boxer of the two was settled. 1934 
was perhaps the greatest year for Lynch. Along with his win over Campbell he 
defeated Italian flyweight champ Carlo Cavagnoli, French champ Valentin Angelmann 
and finally Spanish champion Pedrito Ruiz. A feat which had never before been 
achieved, or since. Now Lynch was the toast of Scotland and Jackie Brown was 
enticed to travel from America to fight Lynch in a non title match in Glasgow. 
Lynch behind great lateral movement and a devastating left hook boxed the champion 
Brown to a draw. Still a draw was a great showing and some still feel Lynch deserved 
a decision win. Because of the closeness of the first bout a rematch was in the 
cards and set for Manchester, England. It was mere six months since their last 
meeting. This time, with the title on the line Lynch was much more aggressive and 
his improvement was obvious. Lynch came straight at Brown instead of using the foot 
speed he showed in the previous bout with Jurich. In less than two rounds Lynch 
put Brown on the canvas 10 times (4 in the first round) before the champion was 
rescued by his corner. The left hook was once against he key weapon. It was the 
kind greatest title wining performance in the history of the division. Lynch went 
on to win the Lonsdale belt at the British level with wins over with wins over 
Pat Palmer and Peter Kane. It was not all great for Lynch however, a under trained 
Lynch lost to tough Irishman Jimmy Warnock in Belfast. It was a good lesson for 
Lynch who rededicated him self. Luckily his titles were not on the line. Lynch was 
still not universally recognized as the world champion and needed to fight Small 
Montana the other recognized champ. In 1937 Lynch got the opportunity as Montana 
traveled to London for the bout. Montana attacked early with a fast start, driving 
Lynch repeatedly to the ropes. Lynch managed to weather the early attacks with 
smart movement. Slowly Lynch broke down Montana with left hooks to the body and 
head. The mid and late rounds were all Lynch as he won a deserved points verdict.
Now age only 23 Lynch was world famous and began to reap the rewards of his work, 
unfortunately it also effected him in the ring as he began to have trouble making 
weight. Before that however he would fight and loose again to his nemesis Jimmy 
Warnock, once again it was not a title bout. 5 bouts followed before he would run 
into the very talented 19 year old Peter Kane (unbeaten in 41 bouts). Kane got 
the title shot by beating Lynch rival Jimmy Warnock. This bout is probably the 
greatest puncher duel of the flyweight divisions history. In front of 40,000 fans 
Lynch dominated Kane, knocking him down 5 times before the 13th round stoppage. 
Kane did start fast as did Small Montana but Lynch once again Lynch used his 
superior defense to avoid major problems. In the 13th Lynch knocked Kane down two 
times before the referee stopped the bout. It was a case of experience overcoming 
youth. This is considered the finest performance of Lynch when you consider the 
opposition. It was also his last great showing. Their second bout was much close 
and some say Kane got the better of Lynch who was lucky to come away with a draw. 
By now making weight was near impossible for Lynch as he was for all purposes a 
functioning drunk. Lynch first began to drink in order to control his chronic 
migraine headaches but it quickly grew out of his control. Benny Lynch failed to 
make weight against Jackie Jurich and was forced to give up his crown even though 
he won a 12 round decision over Jurich. The fight had been canceled twice as Lynch 
claimed injuries, but the truth was Lynch was trying frantically to make weight. 
Still Lynch came in 6 1/2 pounds over weight! The fight went on and Lynch dominated, 
scoring 6 knockdowns before taking Jurich out in the 12th round. Lynch his body 
a wreck from the strains of making the weight moved up to bantamweight, still 
depressed about losing his title. Lynch only fought two more times, both at bantam-
weight. Both bouts ended in losses for Lynch. One to a average American fighter in 
Kayo Morgan. Beny decided to retire after his only knockout loss to Romanian Aurel 
Toma and returned to various odd jobs. In the Toma fight he did not land one 
significant punch and the British Boxing Board revoked his license. To fuel his 
need for whisky he pawned his old trophies and went back to boxing booths taking 
on all comers. He did try to battle back against the bottle and even locked himself 
away in a Irish Monastery for a while, but the bottle was the one foe he could 
not conquer. Now divorced from his wife he became homeless when his mother died 
drifting from various slum lodings in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. On August 
6 a policeman found Lynch (now weighing less than 100 pounds) lying in the street 
and took the former champ to a hospital. Suffering from Pneumonia and malnutrition 
brought on by alcoholism, he died that same day. 


Benny Lynch

Career Record: 83 W, 13 L, 15 D (34 K.O's)


     1931

     Apr 24  Young Bryce             Glasgow                 KO 2
     May 23  Packy Boyle             Glasgow                 L 6
     Jun 11  Young McColl            Glasgow                 KO 3
     Jul 31  Billy Leggett           Glasgow                 W 6
     Aug 14  Young Donnelly          Glasgow                 D 8
     Aug 22  Jim Devanney            Glasgow                 KO 3
     Sep 5   Young O'Brien           Glasgow                 L 6
     Sep 12  Jim McKenzie            Glasgow                 W 6
     Sep 26  Joe Boag                Glasgow                 D 6
     Oct 1   Paddy Docherty          Glasgow                 L 8
     Oct 15  Young O'Brien           Glasgow                 W 4
     Oct 29  Young Adams             Glasgow                 L 8
     Nov 6   Mick Cassidy            Glasgow                 W 6
     Nov 13  Peter Sherry            Glasgow                 W 6
     Nov 28  Pat Sweeney             Glasgow                 W 6

     1932

     Jan 1   Charlie Deacon          Greenock, Scotland      KO 3
     Feb 5   Young Hardie            Glasgow                 W 6
     Feb 11  Jack Riley              Glasgow                 W 6
     Feb 20  Kid Murray              Glasgow                 W 6
     Feb 27  Jimmy Barr              Glasgow                 W 6
     Mar 11  Scotty Deans            Glasgow                 W 6
     Mar 18  Young McManus           Glasgow                 D 6
     Apr 9   Jim O'Driscoll          Glasgow                 W 6
     Apr 16  Young Griffo            Glasgow                 W 6
     Apr 21  Tiger Naughton          Glasgow                 W 6
     Apr 24  Young Griffo            Glasgow                 L 6
     May 21  Scotty Deans            Glasgow                 KO 4
     Jun 11  Joe Aitken              Glasgow                 W 10
     Jul 8   Freddie Tennant         Glasgow                 L 10
     Jul 15  Tommy Higgins           Blantyre, Scotland      D 10
     Jul 28  Jim Jeffries            Blantyre, Scotland      W 6
     Aug 18  Tony Fleming            Glasgow                 D 6
     Sep 3   Paddy Docherty          Glasgow                 W 10
     Sep 26  Paddy Docherty          Leith, Scotland         W 10
     Oct 7   Joe Aitken              Airdrie, Scotland       D 10
     Oct 17  Freddie Tennant         Leith, Scotland         W 10
     Oct 21  Young Beattie           Hamilton, Scotland      D 6
     Oct 29  Alec Farries            Glasgow                 W 10
     Nov 3   Tommy Higgins           Bridgetown, Scotland    W 10
     Nov 9   Ginger McLeod           Edimbourg, Scotland     KO 5
     Nov 17  Paddy Docherty          Glasgow                 D 10
     Dec 1   Paddy Docherty          Glasgow                 W 10
     Dec 8   Jim Naughton            Glasgow                 W 6
     Dec 21  Freddie Tennant         Glasgow                 D 10

     1933

     Jan 11  Dan Conlin              Glasgow                 W 10
     Jan 25  Freddie Tennant         Dundee, Scotland        W 10
     Jan 31  Paddy Docherty          Glasgow                 D 10
     Feb 15  Joe Aitken              Glasgow                 D 10
     Mar 25  Jim Brady               Glasgow                 W 12
     Mar 28  Jimmy Knowles           Dundee, Scotland        L 12
     Apr 19  Walter Lemmon           Glasgow                 W 10
     May 2   Jim Brady               Dundee, Scotland        D 12
     May 3   Freddie Tennant         Glasgow                 W 10
     May 10  Alec Farries            Glasgow                 W 8
     May 24  Jim Maharg              Glasgow                 W 12
     Jun 14  Billy Warnock           Glasgow                 KO 11
     Jun 28  Kid Hugues              Glasgow                 KO 9
     Aug 17  Alec Farries            Glasgow                 KO 4
     Sep 8   Joe Cowley              Glasgow                 KO 8
     Oct 12  Willie Vogan            Edimbourg, Scotland     KO 2
     Oct 24  Boy McIntosh            Blantyre, Scotland      KO 4
     Oct 29  Bert Kirby              West Bromwich, England  W 12
     Nov 9   Bob Fielding            Liverpool, England      D 10

     1934

     Feb 1   Jim Brady               Edimbourgh, Scotland    W 12
     Feb 8   Fred Webb               Glasgow                 KO 3
     Mar 21  Carlo Cavagnoli         Glasgow                 W 12
     Apr 17  George Lowe             Glasgow                 KO 2
     May 16  Jim Campbell            Glasgow                 W 15
     May 27  Evan Evans              Glasgow                 KO 3
     May 29  Peter Miller            Glasgow                 KO 8
     Jun 27  Jim Campbell            Glasgow                 W 15
     Aug 8   Maurice Huguenin        Glasgow                 W 12
     Aug 30  Jim Brady               Glasgow                 W 12
     Sep 26  Valentin Angelmann      Glasgow                 W 12
     Oct 25  Billy Johnstone         Glasgow                 KO 5
     Nov 7   Pedrito Ruiz            Glasgow                 W 12
     Nov 12  Peter Miller            Glasgow                 KO 8
     Nov 29  Johnny Griffiths        Edimbourgh, Scotland    KO 1
     Dec 5   Tut Whalley             Dundee, Scotland        WDQ 8
     Dec 13  Sandy McEwan            Edimbourgh, Scotland    W 12

     1935

     Jan 7   Bobby Magee             Glasgow                 W 12
     Mar 4   Jackie Brown            Glasgow                 D 12
     Apr 15  Tommy Pardoe            Birmingham, England     KO 14
     May 6   Charlie Hazel           Glasgow                 KO 2
     Sep 8   Jackie Brown            Manchester, England     KO 2
             (Wins NBA and British Flyweight Titles)
     Dec 3   Gaston Mathon           Glasgow                 W 12
     Dec 12  Harry Orton             Leith, Scotland         W 10
     Dec 19  Phil Milligan           Glasgow                 W 12

     1936

     Mar 2   Jim Warnock             Belfast, N. Ireland     L 12
     Apr 25  Mickey McGuire          Newcastle, England      KO 4
     May 28  Pat Warburton           London                  KO 3
     Jun 16  Syd Parker              Glasgow                 KO 9
     Sep 16  Pat Palmer              Glasgow                 KO 8
             (Retains NBA and British Flyweight Titles)
     Nov 16  Phil Milligan           Manchester, England     KO 7
     Dec 10  Eric Jones              London                  KO 2

     1937

     Jan 19  Small Montana           London                  W 15
             (Unifies World Flyweight Title)
     Feb 10  Fortunato Ortega        Glasgow                 W 12
     Mar 1   Len Hampston            Manchester, England     LDQ 5
     Mar 22  Len Hampston            Leeds, England          KO 10
     Jun 2   Jim Warnock             Glasgow                 L 15
     Aug 20  Roy Underwood           Glasgow                 KO 6
     Oct 13  Peter Kane              Glasgow                 KO 13
             (Retains World and British Flyweight Titles)
     Dec 13  Georges Bataille        Leicester, England      KO 8

     1938

     Feb 9   Maurice Filhol          Glasgow                 KO 5
     Mar 24  Peter Kane              Liverpool, England      D 15
             (Retains World Flyweight Title)
     Jun 29  Lose World Flyweight Title After Failing to make weight
     Jun 29  Jackie Jurich           Paisley, Scotland       KO 12
     Sep 28  Kayo Morgan             Glasgow                 L 12
     Oct 3   Aurel Toma              London                  KO by 3