1866 - 1937
Sometimes called the 'Napoleon of the Ring' because of his characteristic stance (see photo below) Jack McAuliffe, who fought out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, is immortalised in the Boxing Hall of Fame as one of the best lightweights ever.
Jack McAuliffe was born on March 24, 1866 Cork, Ireland and died on November 5, 1937 at Forest Hills, New York. He emigrated from Ireland to the United States at a young age, settling with his family in Maine.
He began fighting in 1884, during the bare knuckle era. Jack rarely trained and relied on natural stamina to get him through some lengthy battles. He was the lightweight superstar of his time which was during the transitional period between the bareknuckle era and the adoption of the Marquis of Queensbury rules. In 1886, he captured the American lightweight title by knocking out Billy Frazier in the 17th round. A protege of Jack "The Nonpariel" Dempsey, Jack McAuliffe claimed the vacant world title by stopping Canadian Harry Gilmore in 1887. He beat Young Griffo in 1894, retired shortly after, made a comeback in 1896, and retired for good after his 1897 battle against Philadelphia Tommy Ryan.
Jack McAuliffe was only one of only three titleholders to retire undefeated as a pro - the famous Rocky Marciana in the heavyweight and bantamweight Jimmy Barry were the others.
When he retired on April 27, 1956, he boasted a perfect professional ring record, 49 wins with 43 by knockouts.
After retiring, Jack worked for a time in vaudeville and later became a bookmaker.
Portrait of Jack McAuliffe from cigarette card 1887.
Jack McAuliffe in characteristic pose.
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Jack McAuliffe - Boxing Champion
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This page last updated 28 June 2009
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