Name: Jack Britton
Alias: Boxing Marvel
Birth Name: William J. Breslin
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Clinton, NY
Age at Death: 76
Height: 5′ 8″
Reach: 70 inches
Manager: Dan Morgan
The Fort Wayne Sentinel
5 April 1919
Jack Britton has "busted right through" old ring tradition by knocking out Ted Kid Lewis In nine rounds. According to said ring tradition Britton ought to be among the half forgotten ex-champions by this time, and here he Is again, wearing the crown in the welterweight class, and winning it back by knocking out the man who took It from him on June 26, 1917, nearly two years ago.
Britton won back the title like a real champion. Lewis took it from him on a referee's decision In a short bout, and Britton won it back by knocking Lewis out in nine rounds.
Britton's ring career has been out of the ordinary. He began fighting fourteen years ago at the age of twenty. From 1905 to 1911 he fought nearly a hundred fights, meeting the cleverest and the toughest men in the lightweight class. Then came the fight that made Britton's reputation. He met Packey McFarland in Memphis and held the greatest lightweight of his time to a draw. McFarland was in a class all alone, and Britton went to him and fought him hard through every round of the eight. Some of the sporting writers even thought Britton entitled to the decision, so the fight must have been very close. No other boxer at that time could break even with McFarland.
Shortly after Britton came to New York and met Danny Morgan, the famous Manager of the original Knockout Brown.. At that time Brown was Beginning to show that he had gone about as far as pure fighting spirit could take him. and Morgan was looking for a, lightweight who carried something more than a wallop. He found his man In Britton who was as keen and quick intellectually as he was with his hands. Morgan made Britton a proposition and became his manager.
Immediately crafty Dan began a campaign of advertising to put Britton before the public. He wrote and sent out hundreds of letters about Britton's draw with McFarland. and enclosed clippings of a Chicago paper that said Britton should have been declared winner. He challenged McFarland. and stirred up so much fuss over it that Packey, for once in his life, lost his "nanny" and announced that he'd never fight Britton again because to give him a match would be to give him a purse. Morgan enlarged on this decision of McFarland and got a lot of extra advertising out of It. Britton was in such demand all over the country that he was on trains half the time jumping around to fill his ring engagements in different cities. The fortune Morgan had promised began rolling in.
At this period Jack fought a lot of famous lightweights and some well known welters. He lost a four-round decision to Willie Ritchie In San Francisco, but beat Johnny McCarthy in 10 rounds in Sacramento. He beat Pat Moore in 20, Tommy O'Keefe in 2, Eddie Hanlon In 7, and fought a score of no-decision "bouts.'
Then he met McFarland at last in New York. There was tremendous interest in the fight, and the Garden was jammed with spectators. McFarland was out for revenge, and he trained as hard as he ever trained for a fight in his life. Using all of his wonderful skill he simply gave Britton a boxing lesson handing him so cleverly that Jack never had a chance to take the aggressive. Of course McFarland was a. much bigger man than Britton at that time, heavier and stronger, and the match was uneven.
For a time after fighting McFarland poor Britton wan discouraged. He fought a long list of no-decision bouts without landing a single knockout—ten bouts in the following three months. Then he jumped back into his style again by knocking out Charlie White of Chicago in eighteen rounds in New Orleans. White was a dangerous contender for the lightweight championship and was noted for his hard hitting. Britton was far too clever to be caught by the Chicagoan's heavy wallops and he did a little heavy hitting himself.
With this victory under his belt, our friend Jack fought Packey McFarland again, holding him fairly even in a ten round Milwaukee bout.
Britton fought sixteen bouts in 1914, meeting such men as Kid Graves. Johnny Griffiths. Mike Glover and Eddie Moran. Britton was claiming the welterweight title. So were Graves and Glover and a few others
The welterweight crown had been hung, on a nail since Jimmy Clabby grew up and became a middleweight.
Won and Lost Title Within Two Months.
In 1914 Ray Bronson claimed the title and sailed to Australia to meet the British champion. Matt Wells. Matt stopped Bronson in seven rounds. Acknowledged welter champion in Australia Wells came to America, to get under the big tent and shortly afterward a twelve-round decision to Mike Glover in Boston.- Glover was beaten by Jack Britton. and Britton took the title. Hero Ted Lewis came on the scene eight weeks later and won two Boston twelve-round decisions over Britton. claiming the title. There was a personal rivalry between the men that made them fight bitterly whenever they met. Britton refused to recognize the English welter's superiority and they fought decision less ten-round bouts in Buffalo and New York.
At last Lewis and Britton agreed to settle their argument in a twenty round championship bout in New Orleans. Britton won decisively. This was April 26, 1915. Britton had so little fear of Lewis as a championship rival that he gave him two more matches before the year was out. Winning one bout and fighting one draw. Britton's cutting left was too much for the Englishman.
June 25. 1917. Britton and Leewis met again in a twelve round bout in Dayton Ohio, and the referee gave Lewis the decision. After this Lewis refused to risk anything but a no-decision bout with Britton for a. long time. When they met Britton gave him a tough battle, but was unable to stop him. Lewis was a real champion, and fought with all confidence. The fight followers agreed that Jack had passed his prime and that he’d never "come back." As It sometimes happens they were all wrong. Britton did come back, and when the two met this month he fought in his old style and smothered the English champion with left jabs and hooks until Lewis went down for the ten second count.
They Can't Keep a Good Man Down
Just how long Britton will hold the Welterweight championship now that he has corralled it again nobody knows. He Has been fighting fourteen years. He has "corne back " twice, re winning A title each time which is a unique record in itself. He is a clean living fellow With a family and a home to take care of. During the war and while Waiting and expecting to be called in the draft Britton spent a large part of his time boxing exhibition bouts at the camps and for the soldiers benefits. Britton prefers fighting to boxing and has none of the average “Top Notchers” fears of being knocked out and having his earning power impaired. Consequently he has usually insisted that his Exhibitions should be real fights. He likes it that way and the spectators were never known to object.
Britton may hold the title a long time, or he may not. But anyone who takes it away from him will have to fight for it.