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Bob Montgomery


 Titles: World lightweight champion 1943, 1944-1947

 Record: 75-19-3 

 Born: Febuary 10, 1919 in Sumter, South Carolina (USA)

 Years active: 1938-1950

 Nickname: The Bobcat 

 Montgomery is a boxer who if he had used all his skills might have been a legendary 
 boxer instead of a great boxer. In a era of great boxers in his weight class he stood  
 out as one of the toughest along with Ike Williams and Beau Jack. They made up a iron  
 triangle of top flight lightweights that could have been champions in any era and who 
 dominated the very good crop of talent of the time. Bob had extraordinary handspeed and 
 could maneuver in the ring with the best of them, his problem might have been that he 
 also had a great chin. This allowed him to easily be drawn into brawls instead of 
 outboxing his foes, of course his style also made him a fan favorite and thus allowed 
 him to earn more money. This was the trade of the naturally smooth boxer who had a 
 aggressive streak in him made willingly. It is a testament to his ability that he would 
 still win many fights when he did not employ his best skills. Bob also had a tendency to 
 start slowly building momentum as the fight wore on, and his opponents wore down.  
 Montgomery got his nickname of "The Bobcat" from a Philadelphia sportswriter because Bob 
 continually moved forward pawing and striking at his foes. At the tender age of 21 he 
 was already mixing it up with former world champions Lew Jenkings and Sammy Angott. 
 Montgomery should also be applauded for not quitting after losing his first two title 
 shots and plugging away to get back into the title mix. Montgomery was born in South 
 Carolina and after little schooling and a lot of manual labor left his home at age 15 to 
 find his brother who had moved to Philadelphia a year earlier. Montgomery began to box 
 almost at the moment he arrived and fell under the management of Joe Gramby, one of the 
 first influential black managers on the East Coast. At 5 foot 8 inches tall Montgomery 
 used his size and skills to run up a Amateur Record of 32-2. Starting his pro career in 
 the talent rich city of Philadelphia provided him with many learning experiences which 
 were used to carry him to future titles. But the skills Montgomery displayed set him 
 apart even in his early fights and he quickly moved up the rankings in the  
 prestigious "The Ring" magazine rankings. In his first year as a pro he went 6-0 and 
 only one of his foes lasted the distance. 1939 saw Montgomery fight in 19 bouts, which 
 included 1 draw (later avenged) against George Zenegaras and a disputed loss to Tommy  
 Spiegel. All fights were held in Philadelphia or Atlantic City where Montgomery had now 
 build a large following. After 2 years Montgomery was 23-1-1 with 17 knockouts to his 
 credit. His third year saw a decided step up in competition and it showed,in 7 fights 
 Bob went 3-2-2 but his wins over Al Nettlow and Jimmy Vaughn showed Bob could compete at 
 the world level. It is those wins that also earned him his first title shot, which came 
 against Lew Jenkings. All of these fight came within his first 3 years of turning pro! 
 These accomplishments had him ranked as a top lightweight contender for the year of 1941 
 by "The Ring" magazine even after losing the two title shots. And 1941 would arguably be 
 the best year of Montgomery's career which included a title win. It began with 4 wins
 over good competition and culminated with a title shot rematch against Lew Jenkings. 
 After winning the title Bob ran of 9 more (no-title) fights in 1941 against admittedly 
 weak opposition. This was done to fatten up his bank account after years of taking the 
 short end of purses. 1942 saw Montgomery come face to face again with a man he just 
 could not beat.... Sammy Angott. He met Angott in his second fight of the year and first 
 title defense and had already lost to Angott a year earlier. Angott was a clever boxer 
 whose nickname of "The Clutch" came because he persisted on clutching his opponent so  
 often following clean punches that Angott had landed. This frustrated Montgomery a lot 
 and had him looking to land one big punch, which never came. 2 distance fight wins 
 after  his loss to Angott would earn Montgomery a rematch with Sammy Angott. The same 
 result ensued as Montgomery was once again frustrated over 12 rounds. The year ended 
 with a win over Bobby Ruffin and a inexplicable loss to Max Shapiro which was avenged 
 two months later the same way he lost...... via 10 round decision. 1943 saw Montgomery 
 match his 1941 heroics with 5 wins over good opposition, the most notable a 10 round win 
 over Lulu Constantino which afforded Montgomery a lightweight title shot. This came at 
 his New York City rival's hometown and Jack was considered a 3 to 1 favorite. Montgomery 
 dominated the fight after getting rocked in the opening round and showed how good he 
 could have been if had boxed his whole career. Bob skillfully countered the attacks of 
 Jack with combination punches from angles. Jack continually pressed the action but could 
 never connected cleanly or get out of the way of the counter punches. The fight ended 
 with Jack's eyes swollen shut and his lip badly disfigured. In a ironic twist the 
 favorite would loose every bout. This was the beginning of a 4 fight series that might 
 the best friendly rivalry in all of lightweight history. 4 wins followed the victory 
 with the most notable coming over Fritzie Zivic. The end of the year saw Montgomery 
 facing off with Beau Jack again as a 4 to 1 favorite. In the rematch the heavily favored 
 Montgomery traveled to New York City to meet Jack who was bolstered by his home town 
 crowd. Jack won the early rounds with pressure and pushing Montgomery into the corners. 
 But Montgomery launched a furious rally in the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds and was 
 thought a bit unlucky by some to loose the 15 round fight via split decision. The 
 decision however was judged to be fair by most ringsiders even though he floored Jack 
 twice, in our era of 10-8 scoring instead of rounds scoring it might have made the  
 difference in Montgomery retaining a title. Two wins would open 1944 including what was 
 perhaps the best win of Bob's career when he dominated future champ and Hall of Fame 
 boxer Ike Williams over 12 brutally one sided rounds. Montgomery felt so sure of a win 
 that he bet $1,000 on himself. It was a loss that Ike Williams took personally, and he 
 held a grudge towards Montgomery in the years to come feeling that Montgomery had 
 unnessaceraly extended the fight. Maybe Bob was feeling full of himself after the great 
 win over Ike Williams and overlooked his next opponent. As a results he was knocked out 
 in the first round by self proclaimed streetfighter Al "Bummy" Davis in just 63 seconds 
 of the first round. In that 63 seconds Williams was down twice. Davis was by no means 
 championship material but he had the reputation as a knockout puncher which Montgomery 
 obviously did not pay attention to. Davis had previously knocked out the great Tony 
 Canzoneri, and was the only man to ever do so. Beau Jack perhaps feeling the Davis KO of 
 Montgomery signaled a decline of Montgomery signed to meet Bob for a third time. Two 
 weeks after the Davis knockout Montgomery stepped through the ropes to meet his nemesis 
 Beau Jack again. Before a packed house of 19,066 at Madison Square Garden Montgomery won 
 a 12 round split decision. The rematch with Montgomery again went 15 rounds but this 
 time Beau Jack was the crisper fighter and his offensive style won the judges favor and 
 his crown back. Unlike the first fight Jack did not tire in the later rounds. A easy win 
 over Joey Peralta would lead to a another showdown with Beau Jack, this time in a non 
 title bout. In his 4th fight with Beau Jack, Montgomery would loose a 10 round decision. 
 It was the dullest of the 4 fight series and ended their 55 rounds of boxing against 
 each other. The fight was basically a wrestling and mauling match. Montgomery forced his 
 way past the jabs of Jack (when he did try to box) to tear down the midsection of Jack. 
 Again Beau Jack faded late and Montgomery won a very close decision. The fight produced 
 $35,864,00 in sales of war bonds at the arena, a record not even Joe Louis fights could 
 equal! After the fight Montgomery (on the same day as Beau Jack) was called into the U.S 
 Army and spent most of his 7 months in the Army performing in exhibition fights in aid  
 of the war troops and to earn money for war bonds. In 1945 Montgomery after he had been 
 released from the army he traveled to the West Coast for fights. He was rudely received 
 by Nick Moran in his third fight on the West Coast, Moran outpointed him over 10 rounds.
 The loss was quickly avenged two months and 1 day later. But there seemed little doubt 
 that Montgomery for some reason was no longer on top of his skills. A 4 fight wining
 streak in 1946 lead to a Allie Stolz fight in New York City in which Montgomery retained 
 his title via a 13 round knockout. Over the next two years Montgomery fought 10 times 
 with success but his skills were eroding to the point where he suffered two unexpected 
 losses, one to Wesley Mouzon (avenged via KO) and Tony Pellone (his first time at the 
 140 pound weight limit), both were capable boxers but Montgomery was the favorite in 
 both fights. On a side not Mouzon fought the two fights with Montgomery with a detached 
 retina. Any doubts about the fading skills of Montgomery were put to rest when Ike 
 Williams brutally sent Montgomery into a fistic spiral at Philadelphia's Municipal 
 Stadium in front of 30,500 fans. It was Montgomery's biggest payday as he walked away 
 with a $47,000 paycheck but the physical punishment he absorbed was incalculateble. The 
 fight was still a pick' em fight even though most saw Williams as a fading star. For two 
 rounds of the fight Montgomery looked the faster man, after 5 rounds the fight was 
 actually pretty even as Montgomery seemingly found a reserve of youth. In the 6th round  
 however Williams knocked Montgomery down twice and the referee was forced to stop the 
 fight. The bout up until that point however was wildly exciting with both men taking the 
 initiative and was voted one of the 20 greatest fights of all time in a 1981 "The Ring" 
 magazines poll of experts. After the fight Ike Williams was still mad at over his 
 previous loss to Montgomery (where he thought Montgomery had needlessly punished him) 
 and stated "I didn't get him as good as I wanted to. I wanted to murder him, he's no 
 bleeding good." Montgomery would not win another fight after the brutal loss to 
 Williams, going 0-6 in comeback fights against weak foes. Still the last 6 fights should 
 not be held against Williams when looking over his entire fistic career. In 1950 
 Montgomery retired from boxing with some Philadelphia properties and tons of memories to 
 show for his career. But over the years Montgomery would loose all his assets to a 
 gambling habit and would go back to work as a salesman. In the 1970's Montgomery would 
 again give back to his community by counseling street gang members for the city of 
 Philadelphia. In 1995, Montgomery was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of 
 Fame. Montgomery died 3 years later on August 25th, 1998 of a heart attack in his 
 adoptive hometown of Philadelphia Pa. 

 

Bob Montgomery

Career Record: 75 W, 19 L, 3 D (37 K.O's)


                                 -1938-

 Oct 23	 Johnny Buff		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Oct 27	 Pat Patucci		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Nov 4	 Eddie Stewart		Philadelphia		KO 2
 Nov 10	 Joe Beltrane		Atlantic City		KO 3
 Nov 17	 Red Rossi		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Dec 8	 Jackie Shepard		Atlantic City		W 8

                                 -1939-

 Jan 19	 Harvey Jacobs		Atlantic City		KO 1
 Feb 2	 Charley Burns		Atlantic City		W 8
 Feb 23	 Jay Macedon		Atlantic City		W 8
 Mar 9	 Billy Miller		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Mar 16	 Frankie Saia		Philadelphia		KO 4
 Mar 30	 Benny Berman		Atlantic City		W 8
 Apr 13	 Young Raspi		Atlantic City		KO 6
 Apr 20	 Eddie Guerra		Atlantic City		W 8
 May 1	 George Zengaras	Philadelphia		D 10
 May 23	 Norment Quarles	Philadelphia		KO 4
 Jun 15	 Charley Burns		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Jun 21	 Tommy Rawson		Philadelphia		KO 1
 Jul 3	 Frankie Wallace	Philadelphia		W 10
 Aug 14	 Jimmy Murray		Philadelphia		KO 3
 Aug 24	 Ray Ingram		Atlantic City		W 10
 Oct 5	 Charley Gilley		Atlantic City		KO 6
 Oct 23	 Mike Evans		Philadelphia		W 10
 Nov 10	 Tommy Spiegel		Philadelphia		L 10
 Nov 17	 Mike Evans		Philadelphia		KO 1
 
                                 -1940-

 Jan 29	 Al Nettlow		Philadelphia		D 10
 Mar 11	 Al Nettlow		Philadelphia		W 10
 Jun 3	 Al Nettlow		Philadelphia		W 12
 Jul 5	 Jimmy Vaughn		Atlantic City		KO 2
 Sep 16	 Lew Jenkins		Philadelphia		L 12
 Nov 7	 Norment Quarles	Atlantic City		D 10
 Nov 25	 Sammy Angott		Philadelphia		L 10

                                 -1941-

 Jan 29	 Julie Kogon		Brooklyn		W 8
 Feb 7	 Al Nettlow		New York		W 8
 Mar 3   George Zengaras	Philadelphia		KO 3
 Apr 28  Nick Peters		Philadelphia		KO 3
 May 16  Lew Jenkins		New York		W 10
 Jun 16  Manuel Villa		Baltimore		KO 1
 Jun 30  Wishy Jones		Washington DC		KO 6 
 Jul 3	 Frankie Wallace	Atlantic City		KO 3
 Jul 14  Luther "Slugger" White	Baltimore		W 10
 Sep 8	 Mike Kaplan		Philadelphia		W 10
 Oct 10	 Davey Day		Chicago			KO 1
 Oct 24	 Julie Kogon		Chicago			W 10
 Oct 30	 Frankie Wallace	Williamsport, PA	KO 5
 Dec 8	 Jimmy Garrison		Philadelphia		KO 4
 
                                 -1942-

 Jan 5	 Mayon Padlo		Philadelphia		KO 8
 Mar 6	 Sammy Angott		New York		L 12 
 Apr 20	 Joey Peralta		Philadelphia		W 10
 May 8	 Carmen Notch		Toledo, OH		W 10
 Jul 7	 Sammy Angott		Philadelphia		L 12
 Aug 13	 Bobby Ruffin		New York		W 10
 Oct 6	 Maxie Shapiro		Philadelphia		L 10
 Dec 1	 Maxie Shapiro		Philadelphia		W 10

                                 -1943-

 Jan 8	 Chester Rico		New York		KO 8
 Feb 22	 Lulu Constantino	Philadelphia		W 10
 Apr 5	 Ramon Alvarez		Philadelphia		KO 4
 Apr 30	 Gene Johnson		Scranton, PA		W 10
 May 3	 Henry Vasquez		Holyoke, MA		W 8
 May 21	 Beau Jack		New York		W 15
	 (Wins New York State Lightweight Title)
 Jul 4	 Al Reasoner		New Orleans		KO 6
 Jul 30	 Frankie Wills		Washington DC		W 10
 Aug 23	 Fritzie Zivic		Philadelphia		W 10
 Oct 25	 Petey Scalzo		Philadelphia		KO 6
 Nov 19	 Beau Jack		New York		L 15
	 (Loses New York Lightweight Title)

                                 -1944-

 Jan 7	 Joey Peralta		Detroit			W 10
 Jan 25	 Ike Williams		Philadelphia		KO 12
 Feb 18	 Al Davis		New York		KO by 1
 Mar 3	 Beau Jack		New York		W 15
 	 (Regains New York Lightweight Title)
 Apr 28	 Joey Peralta		Chicago			W 10
 Aug 4	 Beau Jack		New York		L 10

                                 -1945-

 Feb 13	 Cecil Hudson		Los Angeles		W 10
 Mar 20	 Gennaro Rojo		Los Angeles		KO 8
 May 8	 Nick Moran		Los Angeles		L 10
 Jul 9	 Nick Moran		Philadelphia		W 10

                                 -1946-

 Feb 3	 Bill Parsons		New Orleans		W 10
 Feb 15	 Leo Rodak		Chicago			W 10
 Mar 8	 Tony Pellone		New York		W 10
 Mar 21	 Ernie Petrone		New Haven, CT		KO 4
 Jun 28	 Allie Stolz		New York		KO 13
	 (Retains New York Lightweight Title)
 Jul 29	 George LaRover		Springfield, MA		W 10 
 Aug 19	 Wesley Mouzon		Philadelphia		KO by 2
 Nov 26	 Wesley Mouzon		Philadelphia		KO 8
	 (Retains New York Lightweight Title)

                                 -1947-

 Jan 20	 Eddie Giosa		Philadelphia		KO 5
 Feb 7	 Tony Pellone		Detroit			L 10
 Feb 25	 Joey Barnum		Los Angeles		KO 7
 Mar 31	 Jesse Flores		San Francisco		KO 3
 May 12	 George LaRover		Philadelphia		W 10
 Jun 2	 Julie Kogon		New Haven, CT		W 10
 Jun 9	 Frankie Cordino	Springfield, MA		W 10
 Aug 4	 Ike Williams 		Philadelphia		KO by 6
   	 (Loses NY, For NBA and World Lightweight Titles)
 Nov 24  Livio Minelli		Philadelphia		L 10
 Dec 22	 Joey Angelo		Boston			L 10


                               -1948 to 1949-

 Inactive

                                 -1950-

 Feb 3	 Aldo Minelli		Washington DC		L 10
 Feb 27	 Johnny Greco		Monreal			L 10
 Mar 9	 Don Williams		Worcester, MA		L 10
 Mar 27	 Eddie Giosa		Philadelphia		L 10