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Alf Pattenden




Name: Alf Pattenden
Career Record: click
Alias: Kid
Nationality: British
Hometown: Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom
Stance: Orthodox
Manager: Victor Berliner
Pattenden was forced to retire at the end of 1931 with eye trouble


3 June 1927  The Times

Opinions differed at first as to what really was the most interesting event on the programme at the Royal Albert Hall test night, a fact which might be taken to speak volumes for the match-making skill of the promoters or, quite possibly, for the intelligent refusal of the publics to judge the quality of fights and fighters merely by the wealth of style and title accorded to any particular contest. No doubt, too, the policy of having no one contest longer than 15 rounds had something to do with it.

Soon after Archie Bell, the American Champion, and Kid Pattenden, one of this country's best Bantam-weights, had made their appearance in the ring, however, there was little doubt as to which, in fact, was to be the fight of the evening. Even with  the memory of Johnny Hill's triumph at the N.S.C. fresh in the mind - not to mention Bell's own magnificent contest with Baldock this fight deserves to rank among the memorable ones. Bell,  this time, found himself faced by a very different type of boxer to Baldock, and, because Pattenden apparently was whole fractions of a second slower in movement and in the delivery of punches than Baldock, the American, and many of the spectators may well have under-estimated their man.

This difference in speed did at first enable Bell to stand up almost casually and make plain to the crowd what a punishing fighter he can he, and, incidentally, emphasize the superlative quality of the youth who recently had won a world's title at his expense. Very soon, however, the American's task began to take a rather more serious aspect. Pattenden, indeed, stood up and fought with plenty of sound orthodox technique, supported by any amount of initiative and pluck.

From the very start Pattenden had not been afraid to shoot out the left wholeheartedly, and although Bell's drives to the body and swift hitting with both hands to the head repeatedly made him retreat, the fight by no means developed into the expected rout. Bell, perhaps unwisely, elected to take a chance in the exchange of swings, and Pattenden obliged. The exchanges became swifter and fiercer, and Bell himself began to use the ring, but Pattenden, to every one's surprise, became able to carry the fight to him. Only Only thing seemed to make all the difference — and even this nearly proved a snare and a delusion. Whereas Pattenden's assault, though heavy enough, was mainly to the head, the American varied his attack and mixed up his swings and hooks to the jaw with the swift and penetrating body blows that every now and then had brought even Baldock to the edge of defeat.  And against a slower footed man, these blows looked twice as deadly.

There were moments last night when Pattenden actually outfought Bell at straight hitting and at swinging to the head, but his most promising moments generally slipped away and became anxious ones instead whenever the American developed his assault to the body. All scrupulously fair punching, let it be granted at once, for Bell is a credit to the prize ring and is a boxer who, in victory or defeat, always may be assured of an appreciative reception in a British ring. That Pattenden should have stood up so well for 12 rounds against such a dangerous opponent was very flattering to our pride, though, to be scrupulously fair in return, Bell must be accounted unlucky to have earned nothing better than a draw. Certainly that draw does not mean that the British boxing public have seen enough of Archie Bell.


5 June 1928 The Times

Kid Pattenden, of Bethnal Green, won his first championship and Lonsdale Belt when he beat Kid Nicholson in a 20-round contest for the. British Bantam-weight title at  the National Sporting Club, Covent Garden, last night. Nicholson was counted out in the 12th round.

It requires a somewhat inhuman restraint to refrain from calling the fight a great one. It is equally hard to make up one's mind as to whether Nicholson was unlucky in the manner of his defeat, or whether Pattenden's last blow in tile 11th round, which dropped Nicholson to the floor of the ring, and the effective way in which he (Pattenden) finished off  his man at the very start of the 12th round, was not in its  way a model of determination to seize the chance of a lifetime.

There also had to be taken into account the claim made by Nicholson, when still on his knees in a neutral corner, that he could not rise owing to an attack of cramp. The attack of cramp may be granted, but that still leaves the original question unanswered. One thing at least is certain, a keener and better fight for a Lonsdale Belt has not been seen at the Club for many a long day, and, if Nicholson's attacks to the body and occasional straight lefts and rights to the jaw were magnificently done that they gave him a substantial lead on points — and, furthermore, had not in the least sapped his own reserves and steady skill and stamina . Pattenden's steadiness and strength and resource were such that he at least earned the right not to have his victory dismissed as lucky, and, at most, deserved to be accounted a very gallant and adroit victor. It also was good to hear the cheers that encouraged each man at the end of many of the Pounds.


Them won no doubt about the mind of either boxer from the start of the first round. Nicholson, looking as keen and fit as a man could be made by training, set a cracking pace and got home a series of telling blows to the ribs and stomach, and one left hook to the jaw that would have knocked all the confidence and most of the material stuffing out of  any one but an opponent as steady and whole hearted as Pattenden.

 Round Two also was won by Nicholson. and it was rather in the latter's favour that in the next two rounds he settled down to box well within himself, as the old hands would say, shooting home's straight left as often as his opponent did, and yet finding an opening from time to time for those telling body blows of his.

Pattenden meanwhile had fairly earned the sympathy of the spectators and  respect of Nicholson by his splendid steadiness under fire and his never failing determination to hit back hard when. The slightest opportunity arose. One of Pattenden’s rights in fact took some of the healthy fire from Nicholson’s eyes in Round Four and in the next. Pattenden’s infighting and occasional right gave him his first round on points.

This was followed by a round as fierce as the first.  Pattenden  dealing out punishment at close quarters, but failing to prevent Nicholson from sailing in with a whole series of penetrating drives to the body.

 Nicholson had to accept a staggering right before once more he gained the upper hand in Round Seven. But, if Pattenden combined craft and steadiness still made one think, Nicholson’s  fitness and variation of tactics — he mixed up his sudden assaults so the body with some admiral footwork and countering with the left  whenever Pattenden tried to lead — invited the belief that he still had plenty in reserve.

 The exchanges were even in Rounds  Eight and Nine. But they were never slow or dull. and one of the blows — a swift right swing to  Pattenden’s jaw — made the crowd, mostly held silent with excitement and expectation, give vent to a loud "Oh !” — a sure sign that a crisis was not far away.

 Round Ten, indeed. was another swift and determined affair, and again Nicholson landed the blow that mattered most — one of  his fiercest drives to the stomach, a blow that clearly had Pattenden in trouble for the rest of the round.

The crisis arrived sure enough in the next round, in Round 11, though hardly in the way most people had expected it to arrive. Pattenden still had all his wits about him and he was quite prepared to  take his chance at a spell of "all-in" fighting against the ropes. Nicholson fully held his own, and even
succeeded in driving Pattenden out into the centre of the ring, but there the latter stepped back suddenly and caught Nicholson fair and squaws on the jaw with the right.

Apparently it was the old story of dropped guard. The bell went almost at once, and so there was little opportunity to gauge the full weight of the blow, but Pattenden, for one, was convinced that the great, moment had arrived, and when the next three minutes was sounded, the Bethnal Green boxer went in to finish off his mm before he could fully recover. So deadly was Pattenden’s intent, and so good his marksmanship, that inside half a minute. Nicholson was in serious trouble, and taking a count in a neutral corner. There he signaled his distress to his seconds, and failed to rise the count of nine, No doubt muscle trouble had something to do with it, but it may he questioned if he could have survived Pattenden's next onslaught, even if he had risen to his feet


27 Nov 1928 The Times

Kid Pattenden, of Bethnal Breen, upset very rudely indeed the reports that he would not be at his best to defend his title of British bantam-weight champion and his Lonsdale belt at the National Sporting Club last night. In one of the severest contests seen at the Club for some time, Pattenden always was the steadier and stronger fighter, and when Young Johnny Brown, of St. George's, finally fell to a right to the jaw in Round Twelve, his seconds were wise as well as quick in carrying him to his corner without waiting for the count to be completed. That it was a knockout punch could not, of course be questioned, and still less that the better man had won.

The pace and eagerness with which the It rounds were started by both men very strongly suggested that the referees chief work would be to keep the boxers and spectators in hand rather than count the points. It certainly was so, for Brown's methods at close quarters left a good deal to be desired and the referee's repeated interventions inflamed the passions of his supporters, who may have felt that their man was being hardly done by, it was palpable that Pattenden was no more than inconvenienced  and in fact scored heavily at close quarters. Brown's boxing Style, even in the roughest periods, was more attractive, regarded superficially, than the champion's, but as early as the third round it was possible to gain the impression that the latter and not Brown would be the man to weather the storm.

Pattenden’s Early Advantage

The first two rounds, It may be suggested, were even Pattenden though often forced against the ropes and held as well as hit, fully leveled  up matters by upper cutting and jabbing his opponent both hands, and
Also  scoring with the right to the body. Pattenden created his slight but by no means negligible ascendancy in round three by getting in quickly with a series of straight lefts to the mouth and nose and by following them up with the.

Once after being crossed with the right Brown looked fought to a standstill, but actually he kept his wits wonderfully well, and even recovered the lost ground to some extent in the next round until he tired at the end of a fierce span of more less legitimate in fighting started by himself.

The Referee’s activities about this time aroused a positive din which did not decrease when Brown sustained his efforts in round Five and shared what honours there had been acquired in the course of three minutes of protracted rough stuff.

In Round Six, however Pattenden reopened fire once more with his straight lefts and held on to his advantage until the bell. Once again Brown shook off his fatigue and the effects of fairly heavy punishment and by keeping in close and hitting more freely than before kept Pattenden on the defensive for most of the round.

Brown also held his own more or less in the exchanges of straight punches in round Eight, but at the next meeting Pattenden was so strong and willing and Brown so obviously tired that the end seemed well in sight.

In round ten Brown was completely outfought and averted the worst only by well timed ducking when his opponent swung the right. Nothing however, could reduce the cumulative effects of Pattenden’s short arm punches and although Brown fought gallantly and swiftly enough in a melee in his own corner that exceeded the allotted spell by some 6 sec — neither man could be blamed for this and were mutually agreed on this point when at least the arms ceased to whirl – Pattenden still looked an almost certain winner.

All in doubt upon this point vanished in the next round when Pattenden's straight lefts to the the face were so mercilessly accurate and well timed that Brown was staggered to the pitch of being enfeebled and Pattenden’s subsequent attack with hooked blows quickly produced the coup de grace . this was a right hook to the jaw, from the effect of which Brown fell flat on to his face. On last nights form not even Baldock could book a contest with Pattenden in other than a serious frame of mind.