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robert.snell1@ntlworld.com

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Number 13

 

 

 

The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 4- No 13   20  June ,  2009

Harlem Tommy Murphy

 

Name: Harlem Tommy Murphy
Career Record:
click
Alias: Harlem
Nationality:
US American
Birthplace: New York, NY
Hometown:
New York, New York, USA
Born: 1885-04-13
Died:
1958-11-26
Age at Death: 73
Stance:
Orthodox
Height: 5′ 5″
Manager:
Johnny Oliver
Manager: Charles Joseph Murphy, his brother

 

Harlem Tommy Murphy was champion near-champion of boxing. Too heavy for the featherweight class  and too light for the lightweights. Murphy developed into the toughest work-horse in both classes.Champions steered clear of him until they lost their titles, Willie Ritchie being the only one to give Harlem Tommy a crack at his crown. But the chance came too late. Murphy was in the yellow of his fighting days when he battled Ritchie for the lightweight championship, April 17, 1914, in San Francisco, and lost in 20 hard-fought rounds.

Murphy fought only once more after that, then hung up his gloves ending a checkered career of 12 years of hectic battling. Some ex-champions who felt the thud of Murphy's jarring fists were George Dixon, Young, Corbett, Abe Attell and Ad Wolgast.

ATTELL FIGHT TOUGHEST

Attell met Murphy twice while still champion, but in ten round no decision affairs. After Abe was shorn of his crown, he fought two 20-ronndcrs with Murphy, losing one, the second ending in a draw, the goriest fight in ring history. This, he says, was his toughest fight. Grueling was the word for most of Tommy Murphy’s contests and Lady Luck always looked the other way when it came to the breaks.

Murphy just missed winning the lightweight championship from Ad Wolgast, Willie Ritchie beating him to it. Wolgast was to fight them both, chose Ritchie first and lost on a foul. So Murphy's immediately succeeding draw and triumph over Ad in 20 rounds each meant nothing so far as titular honors were concerned.

TERRY SCORES KNOCKOUT

After he knocked out George Dixon in two rounds in Philadelphia, Sept. 20. 1905, Murphy was matched to fight Terry McGovern there four weeks later. The club was packed to overflowing when the men entered the ring. Hundreds were turned away. Murphy outclassed McGovern in the first minute, knocking Terry down twice with clean shots to the chin. The last time Terry got up and parked a wild haymaker on Tommy's lantern jaw and it was all over. Lady Luck had again frowned on the Harp from Harlem.

Thomas Emmett Francis Murphy, 5ft  5 , blue-eyed, brown haired and lantern-jawed, was born in Harlem section of New York, April; 13,1885, of Irish American parents. Today Harlem Tommy Murphy is a successful insurance agent in Brooklyn, teaches boxing to trainees at Fordham and New York universities. He learned from bitter experience that it's a fine thing to have something laid by for a rainy day.