Make your own free website on

Jack McAuliffe

Titles: lightweight champion 1886-1897

Record: 30-0-5 with 1 ND

Born: March 24, 1866 in Cork, Ireland

Years active: 1884-1897

Nickname:  The Napoleon of the Prize Ring

McAuliffe was a impressive boxer for his time and his undefeated record attests 
to his abilities. A feat made even more impressive by the fact that Jack rarely 
trained and relied on natural stamina to get him through some lengthy battles. 
Jack was the lightweight superstar of his time which was during the 
transitional period between the bareknuckle era and the adoption of the Marquis 
of Queensbury rules. Of course it is impossible to compare him to latter day 
lightweights but his beautiful two-handed attacks which relied heavily on 
straight blows would do well against looping punchers of any era. McAuliffe's 
best punches were said to be a left-right combo which landed with great 
accuracy. Jack was also said to be nimble on his feet, which was not common for 
the age. It is told that Jack McAuliffe was a protégé of Jack "The Nonpariel" 
Dempsey which would account for his ring generalship and footwork. Standing 5 
foot 6 inches tall and coming into most fights between 128-141 lbs he was 
average in this department but that is about all you can call him average at. 
While his record did show no losses towards the end of his career he was lucky 
to come away debatable decision wins by some accounts. He also boxer countless 
bouts against all comers when he toured the country. His early bouts before 
this are not well researched and hardly reported to my knowledge. McAuliffe 
immigrated from Ireland to the United States at a young age (not sure of his 
age?), settling with his family in Maine. At the age of 16 Jack became 
convinced he could become a boxer when he defeated a English sailor in a bare 
knuckle contest in the basement of a Bangor storehouse. Some writers claim 
McAuliffe learned to box under the tutelage of Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey while 
employed at a barrel factory in New York. McAuliffe began to fight during the 
bare knuckle era at the age of 18 winning his debut fight against Jake Karcher. 
McAuliffe won his first title 2 years after he began to fight when he beat Jack 
Hopper in 17 rounds. This was for the American lightweight title by most 
accounts. His championship claim was reinforced when a top contender of the day 
Jimmy Mitchen refused to face him. Eight months later he retained this title 
with a 21st round knockout of Billy Frazier. Billy claimed there was a fast 
count but that would have been nullified by the reported 5 pounds that Frazier 
came in over the weight. The win was followed by another defense against Harry 
Gilmore which went 28 rounds. By beating Gilmoure Jack also claimed the vacant 
world title, this was in 1887. The win set up a confrontation against English 
champion Jem Carney in America. Fighting in Revere Massachusetts on November 
16, 1887, McAuliffe and Carney battled to a 74-round, 4 hour draw. The bout 
started bad for McAuliffe when he was knocked down in the 7th and by the 60th 
round McAuliffe was tiring. The bout ended controversially when American fans 
stormed the ring after McAuliffe was dropped for the third time in the fight. 
When order was restored, both pugilists exited claiming they were world 
champion. Only in boxing, even back then! (27 years later McAuliffe and Carney 
re-enacted the bout at a London theatre) Even though the referee declared a 
draw Carney got the better of Jack and should have been awarded the 
championship. Still held the official title and went on to defend it two more 
times. In 1889, McAuliffe battled to a 64-round draw with Billy "The Streator 
Cyclone" Myer. In the bout McAuliffe suffered a broken arm and remarkably 
continued to battle on for the draw and retain his title. Jack did manage to 
defeat Myer in two subsequent bouts. The final Myer win came in New Orleans on 
the Carnival of Champions card held September 5, 6, and 7 in 1892. In the same 
year McAuliffe won a rematch with Billy Frazier. McAuliffe now past his prime 
and less in shape beat featherweight sensation Young Griffo in 1894, in a very 
controversial decision that most thought Griffo had won. McAuliffe retired 
shortly after, made a comeback in 1896, and retired for good (at age 31) after 
his 1897 battle against Philadelphia Tommy Ryan. Jack unfortunately for him was 
a very bad gambler and managed to loose all of his ring earnings after 
retiring, McAuliffe went into Vaudeville for a while doing monologues for a 
while to earn money. Still he liked to gamble and bet on horses and became a 
bookmaker in his later years. 

Jack McAuliffe

Career Record: 30 W, 0 L, 5 D, 1 ND (22 K.O's)


Oct 19 Jake Karcher               Brooklyn, NY                    KO 17
Dec 17 James Patterson            Brooklyn, NY                    TK  2


       Bob Farrell                Kings County, NY                 W   
May 11 Harry White                New York, NY                     W  3
Jul 25 Joe Milletechia            Jersey City, NJ                 TK  2
Nov 19 Billy Young                Washington, DC                  TK  4
Dec  7 Buck McKenna               Philadelphia, Pa                KO  2


Jan 13 Jack Hopper                New York, NY                     W  6
Feb 27 Jack Hopper                Long Island, NY                 TK 17
Apr  1 Andy Drumm                 New York, NY                    TK  3
Apr 21 Joe Heiser                 Brooklyn, NY                     W  4
Jul 24 Ed Carroll                 Philadelphia, Pa                TK  1
Jul 24 Charles "Bull" McCarthy    Philadelphia, Pa                ND  4
       -Sources vary as to whether the previous 3 bouts
        were held the same date
Jul 31 Charles "Bull" McCarthy    Philadelphia, Pa                KO  3
Oct 29 Billy Frazier              Boston, Ma                      KO 21
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
        Lightweight Championship of America;


Jan 14 Harry Gilmore              near Lawrence, Ma               TK 28
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
        Lightweight Championship of America;
Mar 31 Billy Frazier              Portland, Me                     W  4
Oct  3 Jem Carney                 New York, NY   
       -This bout was scheduled but postponed;
        McAuliffe did not feel well
Nov 16 Jem Carney                 Revere Beach, Ma      (4:58:15)  D 74
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
        Lightweight Championship of America;
        The crowd broke into the ring


Sep 26 Patsy Kerrigan             Boston, Ma                       D 10
Oct 10 Billy Dacey                Dover, NJ               (42:00) TK 11
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
Dec 17 Sam Collyer                Brooklyn, NY                    KO  2
Dec 26 Jake Hyams                 Brooklyn, NY            (35:00) KO  9
       -Weights: 135 - 139 1/2


Feb 23 Billy Myer                 North Judson, Il      (4:27:00)  D 64
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
        Lightweight Championship of America
Feb 28 Billy Boltz                Elgin, Il                       KO  1
May 14 Paddy Smith                Brooklyn, NY                    TK  1
Dec  5 Mike Daly                  Boston, Ma                       D 15


Mar 21 Jimmy Carroll              San Francisco, Ca               KO 47
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;


Sep 11 Austin Gibbons             Hoboken, NJ                     TK  6
       -Police intervened


Jun 22 Billy Frazier              New York, NY                    KO  3
Sep  5 Billy Myer                 New Orleans, La                 KO 15
       -Lightweight Championship of the World;
Dec 16 Billy Myer                 Chicago, Il                      W  6


Apr  1 Horace Leeds               Philadelphia, Pa                ND  4
Nov 19 Owen Ziegler               Brooklyn, NY                     D  3
       -The verdict was "Technical Draw";
        McAuliffe broke a bone in his left arm;


Jan 16 "Australian" Jim Ryan      San Francisco, Ca                W  6
Aug 27 Young Griffo               Brooklyn, NY                     W 10
       -Many observers thought Griffo won
Nov 19 Charles McKeever           Brooklyn, NY                     D  8


Apr  6 Gus Brown                  Little Rock, Ar                 KO  2
Apr  9 Harry Pigeon               Hot Springs, Ar                 KO  7
Nov 20 Jimmy Carroll              San Francisco, Ca                W 10


Sep 30 "Philadelphia" Tommy Ryan  Scranton, Pa                     W 10