Name: Jimmy Duffy
Hometown: Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
The former Bootle fighter and manager Jimmy Duffy has a unique claim to fame as he is one of the very few men to have bought themselves out of the army specifically to take up a career as a professional boxer. This was in 1937 when he was serving as a regular with the King’s Liverpool regiment.
Jimmy was a staunch member and supporter of the Merseyside Former Boxers Association who sadly died in Jan 1984 aged 66. The former Bootle fighter and manager Jimmy Duffy has a unique claim to fame as he is one of the very few men to have bought themselves out of the army specifically to take up a career as a professional boxer. This was in 1937 when he was serving as a regular with the King’s Liverpool regiment. He had boxed as an amateur with the old Mace Club until joining the army when he was aged 18. He was stationed at Seaforth and his commanding Officer Colonel Miller had watched him in several contests and persuaded him to enter the army championships.
He Told Jimmy “ You won’t win”…”but the experience will do you good” Jimmy caused a right turn up by taking the title with just four months Army service behind him beating L/Cpl Wombell in the final at the Royal Albert Hall London.
His promise was such that when his family hit hard times a group of his Liverpool fans headed by Major Bennet and stadium promoter Johnny Best chipped in the ú35 required to buy him out of the army so he may help out his family with his fighting talent. He signed pro in early 1938 for George Sibley who had been his trainer at the Mace club and beat Danny Mack on his debut followed by a string of wins until he found himself back in the army when war broke out. This time joining the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was stationed in Chester, then Northern Ireland and finally in Holland where he was wounded twice in the legs.
His injuries were such that his ring career was over and when discharged fro the forces in 1948 he turned to the managerial side of the game. During the war however he fought frequently in Ireland and the north of England. He had three fights with the Irish welter champion Tommy Armour with one draw and win apiece. On one occasion he had finished a 23 mile route march when he was asked to go in with the Irish cruiseweight champion Pat Mulcahy which he did although lost on points – Jimmy was a welter.
Jimmy reckoned that the hardest puncher he met was Jackie Lyden, a great left hooker of his day “ I was watching out for his left when he suddenly hit me with a right in the second round which broke my jaw” As a manager Jimmy had a good run in the post war years when his famous Bootle stable frequently provided half the bill for the stadium.He had a fine string of fighters, his first signing being Gordon Ashun – AKA Kid Ash.
Others to carry the Duffy banner were. Billy Ellaway, the mason brothers ( Bobby, Tommy and George ), Jimmy O’Connell , Ritchie Edwardson, Ned Thomas, Ken Hignet, Don Martin, the Southport brothers Andy and Eric Monaghan, Eddie Fitzsimmons, Billy Flynn, Billy Riley, Billy Anderson, Dave May, Teddy Tyrell and Jackie Ryder ( who emigrated to Australia).