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Benny Lynch Tribute (click the image and then the arrow).


Background  Dates  Record of Boxing Matches

Dates

Full Name
Benny John Lynch

Manager
Tommy McGinty

Professional Record
83-13-15 (34 KOs)

Born
April 2, 1913 Glasgow, Scotland

Died
August 6, 1946 Glasgow **

Cause of Death
Pneumonia brought on by malnutrition and alcoholism

Inducted into the sport of boxing's prestigious hall of fame in 1998.

Background

Benny Lynch was generally considered one of the finest boxers below lightweight in the pre-Second World War era, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever to come out of Great Britain. Standing only at 5'5'', Lynch was born in the deprived immigrant area of the Gorbals in Glasgow, Scotland in 1913, and turned pro in 1931 at 18 years old.

His early boxing experiences were played out in the arduous environment of travelling booths (carnivals) which were a popular form of entertainment at the time throughout the West of Scotland. It was on this circuit which he developed his formidable boxing skills. Lynch also possessed awesome punching power, which is seldom found in flyweights before or since.

"Our Benny" was a man of the people and developed into one of the biggest attractions in the history of the division, and was fiercely popular in his home country. On 16th May 1934 he won the Scottish flyweight title with a 15-round decision over Jim Campbell in Glasgow. A rematch with Campbell a month later ended with the same result. He continued this prolific form and went 20-0-1 in 1934 and into 1935.

In March 1935, he drew with British and European flyweight king Jackie Brown, which set up a showdown with Brown six months later with Brown's titles at stake for the rematch. Brown was also recognised in Europe at the time as the legitimate world champion.

The bout took place on 8th September 1935 in Manchester, England. It was a major road trip for Scottish boxing fans, but they employed every means possible to get there for the event and they were not to be disappointed, as Lynch scored six knockdowns en route to a second-round stoppage. He had seven non-title fights in 1936, winning all but one which was put down to a lack of application on his part.

There was dispute, at least on one side of the Atlantic, as to who was the best flyweight boxer in the world. Lynch, however, wasted little time in settling the matter when he out-pointed Philipino Small Montana in London for to established himself as the undisputed world flyweight boxing champion.

From 1932-36, he lost just two fights; both of them were points losses to Jim Warnock from Northern Ireland, in 1936 and again in 1937. Lynch won a Lonsdale belt outright by defeating Pat Palmer in eight rounds and Peter Kane in 13 rounds.

The Kane fight was particularly punishing for both pugilists. Kane, who would dominate the division after the premature departure of Lynch, gave the champ a formidable test of skill and stamina. By this time, however, Lynch was also beginning to lose a career-long battle with the scales.

By 1938, Benny's unconventional lifestyle meant that he could no longer make the weight for the division. He drew with Kane in a non-title bout in March. Two months later for a flyweight title defence with American Jackie Jurich, Lynch weighed in at 118.5, a half a pound over the bantamweight limit. Although the fight took place, Lynch was stripped of the title before it had even started - an unexpected event which lost him considerable affection with his formerly strongly loyal support.

It was made even sadder by the fact that, despite his weight problems, Lynch produced a creditable performance and stopped the American in the 12th round. For himself, his trainer and his fans it was a particularly bittersweet moment which Lynch himself never seemed to recover from.

His sad life of alcohol and lifestyle problems persisted. He lost a 12-round decision to Kayo Morgan on the 28th September 1938, and a week later was knocked out for the first and last time in his career by a contender who would never have been able to share a ring with him just a year earlier, Aurel Toma, in Round 3.

At the age of 25 - when a fighter should be approaching the prime of his career and seeking the rewards of all his efforts - his final fight in the ring.

Benny Lynch had health problems the rest of his life as he battled with the disease we now recognise as alcoholism. He suffered an agonisingly lonely end to a life which had shone so brightly for such a short time.

He died of malnutrition in 1946 at age 33.


Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph
Benny Lynch website photograph

Record of Boxing Matches

1931 - 1932 - 1933 - 1934 - 1935 - 1936 - 1937 - 1938

1931
DateOpponentVenueResult
Apr 24Young BryceGlasgowKO 2
May 23Packy BoyleGlasgowL 6
Jun 11Young McCollGlasgowKO 3
Jul 31Billy LeggettGlasgowW 6
Aug 14Young DonnellyGlasgowD 8
Aug 22Jim DevanneyGlasgowKO 3
Sep 5Young O'BrienGlasgowL 6
Sep 12Jim McKenzieGlasgowW 6
Sep 26Joe BoagGlasgowD 6
Oct 1Paddy DochertyGlasgowL 8
Oct 15Young O'BrienGlasgowW 4
Oct 29Young AdamsGlasgowL 8
Nov 6Mick CassidyGlasgowW 6
Nov 13Peter SherryGlasgowW 6
Nov 28Pat SweeneyGlasgowW 6
1932
DateOpponentVenueResult
Jan 1Charlie DeaconGreenockKO 3
Feb 5Young HardieGlasgowW 6
Feb 11Jack RileyGlasgowW 6
Feb 20Kid MurrayGlasgowW 6
Feb 27Jimmy BarrGlasgowW 6
Mar 11Scotty DeansGlasgowW 6
Mar 18Young McManusGlasgowD 6
Apr 9Jim O'DriscollGlasgowW 6
Apr 16Young GriffoGlasgowW 6
Apr 21Tiger NaughtonGlasgowW 6
Apr 24Young GriffoGlasgowL 6
May 21Scotty DeansGlasgowKO 4
Jun 11Joe AitkenGlasgowW 10
Jul 8Freddie TennantGlasgowL 10
Jul 15Tommy HigginsBlantyreD 10
Jul 28Jim JeffriesBlantyreW 6
Aug 18Tony FlemingGlasgowD 6
Sep 3Paddy DochertyGlasgowW 10
Sep 26Paddy DochertyLeithW 10
Oct 7Joe AitkenAirdrieD 10
Oct 17Freddie TennantLeithW 10
Oct 21Young BeattieHamiltonD 6
Oct 29Alec FarriesGlasgowW 10
Nov 3Tommy HigginsBridgetownW 10
Nov 9Ginger McLeodEdinburghKO 5
Nov 17Paddy DochertyGlasgowD 10
Dec 1Paddy DochertyGlasgowW 10
Dec 8Jim NaughtonGlasgowW 6
Dec 21Freddie TennantGlasgowD 10
1933
DateOpponentVenueResult
Jan 11Dan ConlinGlasgowW 10
Jan 25Freddie TennantDundeeW 10
Jan 31Paddy DochertyGlasgowD 10
Feb 15Joe AitkenGlasgowD 10
Mar 25Jim BradyGlasgowW 12
Mar 28Jimmy KnowlesDundeeL 12
Apr 19Walter LemmonGlasgowW 10
May 2Jim BradyDundeeD 12
May 3Freddie TennantGlasgowW 10
May 10Alec FarriesGlasgowW 8
May 24Jim MahargGlasgowW 12
Jun 14Billy WarnockGlasgowKO 11
Jun 28Kid HuguesGlasgowKO 9
Aug 17Alec FarriesGlasgowKO 4
Sep 8Joe CowleyGlasgowKO 8
Oct 12Willie VoganEdinburghKO 2
Oct 24Boy McIntoshBlantyreKO 4
Oct 29Bert KirbyWest BromwichW 12
Nov 9Bob FieldingLiverpoolD 10
1934
DateOpponentVenueResult
Feb 1Jim BradyEdinburghW 12
Feb 8Fred WebbGlasgowKO 3
Mar 21Carlo CavagnoliGlasgowW 12
Apr 17George LoweGlasgowKO 2
May 16Jim Campbell
(Wins Scottish Flyweight Title)
GlasgowW 15
May 27Evan EvansGlasgowKO 3
May 29Peter MillerGlasgowKO 8
Jun 27Jim Campbell
(Retains Scottish Flyweight Title)
GlasgowW 15
Aug 8Maurice HugueninGlasgowW 12
Aug 30Jim BradyGlasgowW 12
Sep 26Valentin AngelmannGlasgowW 12
Oct 25Billy JohnstoneGlasgowKO 5
Nov 7Pedrito RuizGlasgowW 12
Nov 12Peter MillerGlasgowKO 8
Nov 29Johnny GriffithsEdinburghKO 1
Dec 5Tut WhalleyDundeeWDQ 8
Dec 13Sandy McEwanEdinburghW 12
1935
DateOpponentVenueResult
Jan 7Bobby MageeGlasgowW 12
Mar 4Jackie BrownGlasgowD 12
Apr 15Tommy PardoeBirminghamKO 14
May 6Charlie HazelGlasgowKO 2
Sep 8Jackie Brown
(Wins NBA and British Flyweight Titles)
ManchesterKO 2
Dec 3Gaston MathonGlasgowW 12
Dec 12Harry OrtonLeithW 10
Dec 19Phil MilliganGlasgowW 12
1936
DateOpponentVenueResult
Mar 2Jim WarnockBelfastL 12
Apr 25Mickey McGuireNewcastleKO 4
May 28Pat WarburtonLondonKO 3
Jun 16Syd ParkerGlasgowKO 9
Sep 16Pat Palmer
(Retains NBA and British Flyweight Titles)
GlasgowKO 8
Nov 16Phil MilliganManchesterKO 7
Dec 10Eric JonesLondonKO 2
1937
DateOpponentVenueResult
Jan 19Small Montana
(Unifies World Flyweight Title)
LondonW 15
Feb 10Fortunato OrtegaGlasgowW 12
Mar 1Len HampstonManchesterLDQ 5
Mar 22Len HampstonLeedsKO 10
Jun 2Jim WarnockGlasgowL 15
Aug 20Roy UnderwoodGlasgowKO 6
Oct 13Peter Kane
(Retains World and British Flyweight Titles)
GlasgowKO 13
Dec 13Georges BatailleLeicesterKO 8
1938
Feb 9Maurice FilholGlasgowKO 5
Mar 24Peter Kane
(Retains World Flyweight Title)
LiverpoolD 15
Jun 29Loses World Flyweight Title After Failing to make weight  
Jun 29Jackie JurichPaisleyKO 12
Sep 28Kayo MorganGlasgowL 12
Oct 3Aurel TomaLondonKO by 3

END


**
When did Benny Lynch die?

Many publications (including this one previously) have quoted Benny's death date as August 8th 1946. However after more secondary research I have decided to change the date of Benny's sad death to August 6th 1946. There are a number of reasons I have done this, however the overwhelming is the article in The Herald on August 7th 1996:

Boxing champions pay tribute to Benny Lynch

Scotland's greatest boxing hero was remembered yesterday on the 50th anniversary of his death.

The glorious rise and tragic fall of Glasgow's Benny Lynch was commemorated at a service at Lambhill Cemetery.

Among the greats who paid tribute to Scotland's first world champion were Jim Watt, Johnny McManus, and Walter McGowan.

"Benny was quite simply a legend. He was a fantastic boxer and an inspiration to a whole generation of fighters," Watt said at the graveside.

Lynch, a featherweight world champion at the age of 21, suffered a steep decline into alcoholism and poverty.

He was born in the Gorbals on April 2, 1913, and turned professional in 1931. His fondness for drink ended his career in 1938.

On August 5, 1946, he was taken to the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, with respiratory problems. He died the next day at the age of 33.

Despite his rapid decline there were only fond memories at yesterday's ceremony.

Service organiser Frank O'Donnell, who grew up on the same street as Lynch in the Gorbals, said: "We have done this today to pay tribute to the incredible boxing talent of the man. He could never say no to a drink or to anyone who wanted to borrow money off him, but he was a true great."

Mr O'Donnell has set up an exhibition of the life of Benny Lynch at the John Main Centre in the Gorbals. It features pictures and memorabilia from his life and all the proceeds will go towards the upkeep of his grave.

Copyright: 1996 Caledonian Newspapers Ltd.

Martin Smith September 9th, 2007.

(Thanks to Priscilla, who raised this issue in the new BL Guestbook.)


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