Saturday 3 November 2012

Sparring partner to Mickey Walker – June 1927 (aged 14)

Nipper Pat Daly aged about 15
"When Mickey Walker was signed up to defend his world middleweight title against Scotsman Tommy Milligan at the Olympia on the above date the whole world of British boxing fans were agog with interest.

Jack Kearns, Walker’s manager, struck camp at Taggs Island, which was situated in the middle of the Thames river at Hampton Court. Kearns, who was the former manager of Jack Dempsey, former heavyweight champion of the world, was very businesslike and arranged what order we would spar with his present champ.

As he looked at me I could see the disappointment in his eyes, and he said, 'You’re far too light for this job.' I weighed 7st-12lb or 110lb, American method. My manager explained to him that I was engaged for my speed, not my strength. Mickey, who was talking to another of his partners, noticed that we were talking, rather excitedly came to us and on hearing the cause of the argument said, 'Okay I’ll just spar with him last to speed me up, and he better be fast.'