Philly Boxing History

MARCH 07, 1938


Cool Hits Skids
as Boxing Star Bows to Cross
in Arena Bout

By Matt Ring (The Bulletin)

Eddie Cool, who started fighting professionally a decade ago, has outlasted most of his ring contemporaries, but he too is close to the end of the trail now.

The Tacony veteran, a slow-footed relic of the flashy boxer of a few years back, took a ten-round trimming from Tommy Cross, North Philadelphia's colored "comer", at the Arena last night, and with the defeat went his ranking as the city's No. 1 lightweight. He hasn't been a genuine lightweight for a long time anyhow, his customary fighting weight being 138 or over.

Cool was pitifully slow at 140 pounds last night. He tried to get by on his reputation for cleverness, weaving and dodging for all he was worth, sneaking over a stiff right-hand poke to Cross' jaw now and then, putting on a bewildering flurry of activity at strategic moments.

All the tricks were unavailing, however, largely because there was no footwork to help them click. Cross was smart enough to smother them most of the way and the officials saw it all clearly enough to give the colored boy a unanimous decision.

It was a well-merited victory for Tommy, who went into the ring a 2-1 underdog in the betting and proved himself a real prospect to the satisfaction of the crowd, which numbered more than 6,000 fans.

It was boresome in spots, though not enough to take the edge off the show. They went at each other quite spiritedly in several rounds. In the third Cross accidentally hit Cool low with a right and Eddie came right back with an intentional foul that made Tommy wince.

Recalling that Cross was stopped by Norment Quarles recently when he suffered a cut on his left eye, many in the crowd kept urging Cool to "get that eye."  In the end, it was Eddie whose eye was wounded, Tommy opening a slit directly over his left optic in the ninth round.  That was about all the visible damage the bout caused. 

There was a bit of variation in the officials' scoring.  Frank Knaresborough, judging for the first time in more than a year after a spell of illness, scored seven rounds for the winner and three for the loser.  Al Voice, the other judge, tallied five for Cross, four for Cool and one even, while Referee Joe McGuigan scored five, three and two, the same as this observer.

Excerpt taken from The Bulletin - March 8, 1937

  1960 - Arthur Persley W10 Jerry Black at the Alhambra in South Philly
  1963 - George Benton KO3 Clarence Alford at the Blue Horizon in North Philly
  1989 - Anthony Fletcher W12 Marvin Garris at the Blue Horizon in North Philly
  1997 - Rogers Mtagwa W10 Aldo Valtierra at the New Alhambra in South Philly
  1997 - Ernie Petrone