By Joe Queijo
This was a meeting between two great fighters. Mickey Walker was a ferocious two-handed puncher who first won the welterweight crown with a convincing decision over long-time champ Jack Britton. After four defences, Walker challenged middleweight great Harry Greb losing a tremendous 15-rounder.
Weightmaking difficulties contributed to Walker losing his title to previous victim Pete Latzo before he beat new middleweight champ Tiger Flowers. Two impressive victories over top contenders Tommy Milligan and Ace Hudkins quickly followed before his world light-heavyweight challenge against Loughran.
Tommy Loughran was a true boxing master with arguably one of the greatest left jabs in history. He broke his right hand early in his career and that forced him to rely heavily on his left, which became a snake-like rapier that befuddled most of his foes. Loughran faced Gene Tunney early in his career though he was floored and outpointed.
He went 1-1-2 with the great Harry Greb before outpointing former champ George Carpentier. Tough Mike McTigue was outscored for the light-heavyweight belt before he outpointed quality fighters like future champ Jimmy Slattery, Leo Lomski and Pete Latzo.
Walker moved out fast, knowing he would have to make an impression quickly to defeat Loughran over the allotted 10 rounds. The reigning middleweight champ attacked the body as he tried to slow Loughran down. Yet Loughran surprised Walker with lightning fast left hands as he repeatedly connected to his smaller opponent’s head.
Walker’s pressure began to tell in the middle rounds as he outworked his foe with two-fisted combinations. Loughran replied in the sixth with some fast one-twos as his speed of punch took control of the contest. Walker kept boring in, but he was nailed with some sharp right uppercut counters as Loughran jabbed his way to victory. After 10 intense rounds, Loughran took a warranted decision.
Walker would retain his 160lbs championship against rugged Ace Hudkins again before moving up to heavyweight where he would draw with future champ Jack Sharkey and get brutally stopped by Max Schemling. A second attempt at the 175lbs belt against tricky Maxie Rosenbloom also ended in failure before Walker finally hung up his gloves with a 93-19-4 (60) record, compiled against the best men from welter to heavyweight.
Loughran would make his final defence against future heavyweight champ Jimmy Braddock, whom he outscored over 15 rounds before vacating his crown to fight the big boys. In his first heavyweight bout, he took on future champ Jack Sharkey. After clearly outclassing Sharkey over the first two rounds, Loughran was nailed in the third by a big right, which stopped him for the first time in his career.
Loughran kept battling away with the elite of the heavyweights of the 1930s and managed to gain revenge over Sharkey over 15 rounds and also outscored big-punching future champ Max Baer. Loughran was finally granted a title shot against Italy’s Primo Carnera, but was not surprisingly outpointed by a foe who outweighed him by 58 pounds and also broke one of his toes by continually stepping on his feet for the full 15 rounds. Loughran’s form started to dip until he finally decided to retire with a record of 94-23-9 (17).
Tommy Loughran w pts 10 Mickey Walker (28 March, 1929, Chicago)