Tommy Farr

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Tommy Farr
Statistics
Real nameTommy Farr
Rated atHeavyweight
NationalityWelsh
Born(1913-03-12)12 March 1913
Clydach Vale, Rhondda, Wales
Died1 March 1986(1986-03-01) (aged 72)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights126
Wins81
Wins by KO24
Losses30
Draws13
No contests2
 
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Tommy Farr
Statistics
Real nameTommy Farr
Rated atHeavyweight
NationalityWelsh
Born(1913-03-12)12 March 1913
Clydach Vale, Rhondda, Wales
Died1 March 1986(1986-03-01) (aged 72)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights126
Wins81
Wins by KO24
Losses30
Draws13
No contests2

Thomas George Farr (12 March 1913 – 1 March 1986) was one of the most famous Welsh and British boxers of all time. Born in Clydach Vale, Wales and nicknamed "the Tonypandy Terror", he became British and Empire heavyweight champion on 15 March 1937. Prior to 1936, he had boxed in the light heavyweight division in which he was the Welsh champion. He is considered one of the greatest British heavyweight fighters.[1]

Contents

World title fight vs Joe Louis

On 30 August 1937, Farr fought world heavyweight champion Joe Louis at the height of his career at Yankee Stadium, New York City; he gained respect despite losing a controversial points decision after 15 rounds. Louis, one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, had knocked out 8 of his previous 9 opponents and proceeded to knock out his next 7, but was fearlessly attacked and hurt by Farr. The 50,000 crowd booed when Louis was awarded a narrow points decision[2][3] after referee Arthur Donovan, Sr. had seemingly raised Farr's glove in victory. Seven years later, in his published account of the fight, Donovan apologised for the 'mistake'.[4]

Later career

After the Louis fight, Farr was unsuccessful in several contests at Madison Square Garden, New York. These included a ten-round fight on 21 January 1938, against former heavyweight champion James J. Braddock, "the Cinderella Man".[5][6] Farr returned to the UK early in 1939, enjoying a run of victories that year. He retired in 1940, but personal tragedies saw him lose his fortune and he ended up bankrupt, having to return to the ring at the age of 36 to make a living. Farr later ran a pub in Brighton, Sussex after retiring, and died on St. David's Day, 1986, aged 72.

Musical Contender

A musical based on Farr's career, Contender, was composed by Mal Pope and premiered at the United Nations building in New York, followed by a season at Swansea's Grand Theatre.[7] A theme of the musical is that Farr's lack of success in the USA resulted wholly from his refusal to co-operate with fight-fixing mobsters and bookmakers.

References

  1. ^ "Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper dies aged 76". BBC Sport. 1 May 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/13256045.stm. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  2. ^ "After collecting the judges' votes, referee Arthur Donovan announced that Louis had won the fight on points. The crowd of 50,000 . . . amazed that Farr had not been knocked out or even knocked down, booed the decision. . . Speaking over the radio after the fight, Louis admitted that he had been hurt twice." Sport: Louis v Farr Time Magazine, 6 Sept 1937. (Paid subscription required)
  3. ^ An authentic radio commentary on the fight's end is included in Mal Pope's soundtrack of The Main Event, from his musical Contender, highlighting the belief of commentator and audience that Farr was the real winner.
  4. ^ Donovan's Worst Mistake As a Referee The Mail, Adelaide, at Trove digitised newspapers, National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ James J. Braddock official site
  6. ^ YouTube an abridged video of the 21 January 1938, fight at Madison Square Garden
  7. ^ Boxing musical given UN audience BBC News, Wales, 26 Feb 2007

Bibliography

External links