Philly Boxing History

SEPTEMBER 25, 1909




On this day in 1909, Port Richmond featherweight Tommy O'Toole won a six-round newspaper decision over Patsy Kline of Newark, NJ in the main event of a Saturday night fight card at the National Athletic Club in South Philly at 11th & Catherine.

Kline, born Pasquale Gengro in Naples, Italy, took the first round of the bout and added the third to his column according to the newspaper reports of the day. But other than those two rounds, the bout belonged to O'Toole.

In these the early days of "no decision" fights, O'Toole had to rely on the newspaper reports to determine a winner. Most felt "The Pride of Port Richmond" had earned the victory.

On the under card that night, Joe Thiel beat Joe Burns in another six-round newspaper decision, and Johnny Dougherty won his six-rounder over Willie Beecher the same way.

O'Toole was a popular scrapper in Philadelphia who rarely traveled out of the city for his matches. He hated the road and easily filled a long career mostly with local bouts. Even the majority of his big fights - Johnny Kilbane, Pal Moore, Ad Wolgast, Owen Moran, Kid Beebe, and one of his bouts with Abe Attell - took place in Philadelphia.

O'Toole's rematch with Attell for the featherweight championship was set all the way in Boston. Attell won a 12-round decision.

In all Tommy O'Toole fought about 120 bouts in his ten-year career. After retiring from the prize ring, he became a Vaudevillian dancer. He and his partner Henrietta Gores played many of the big Vaudeville theaters up and down the east coast. Perhaps traveling as part of a dancing act was easier than fighting in someone else's backyard.

  1916 - Benny Leonard W6 Johnny Tillman at the Olympia A.C. in South Philly
  1920 - George 'KO' Chaney KO4 George Reynolds at the National A.C. in South Philly
  1922 - Tommy Loughran W8 George Shade in Philadelphia
  1925 - Danny Gartin W10 Frankie Ferro at the Cambria A.C. in Northeast Philly (Kensington)
  1925 - Harry Decker W8 Al Monahan at the Cambria A.C. in Northeast Philly (Kensington)
  1930 - Calvin Reed W6 Buster Hall at the Broadway A.C. in North Philly
  1930 - Harry Little D6 Billy Passan at the Broadway A.C. in North Philly
  1931 - Dick Welsh W8 Billy Landers in Portsmouth, VA
  1931 - Tony Falco W10 Mike Marshall at the Cambria A.C. in Northeast Philly (Kensington)
  1939 - Tommy Spiegal W8 Billy Mims at Trenton, NJ
  1941 - Sugar Ray Robinson W10 Marty Servo at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1941 - Charley Burley W10 Antonio Fernandez at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1941 - Leon Haire W10 Billy Speary at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1941 - Mayon Padlo KO1 Johnny Barbara at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1946 - Harold Johnson KO4 Jack Simon at Allentown, PA (3rd pro bout)
  1959 - Carl Hubbard W10 Eddie Perkins at the Alhambra in South Philly (1st event at venue)
  1982 - Robert Hines KO4 Tommy May at Great Gorge Playboy Club in McAfee, NJ
  1989 - Tyrone Frazier TKO9 Jimmy Barham at the Blue Horizon in North Philly