Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jimmy Slattery

     (Oops -- According to someone who is working on a book on Slattery, he was actually born on August 25, 1904 instead of April 25, 1904, as has been reported in many places. We'll take his word for it.)

     No one can say Jimmy Slattery didn't put in the hours at his chosen profession of boxing. No one can say he wasn't good at it, either. Slattery is in the small club of Western New York boxers who won a world championship.

     Slattery was the son of a Buffalo fire fighter and turned pro in 1921. He once fought 15 times in four months. It took him four years to get a title shot in the light heavyweight division, only to come up short in a bout against Dave Shade.

     It was back to work for Slattery, who had to wait two years before another chance to be a champion. This time he won the NBA title, beating Maxie Rosenbloom in a decision. Slattery only had that title until December, when he lost to Tommy Loughran.

     Fast forward another three years, and Slattery took a different title (NYSAC) by defeating Lou Scozza. Again, he lost it to Rosenbloom, this time in an unpopular split decision.

     Slattery's personal story has plenty of twists. He supposedly threw money out the window of his car in order for neighborhood kids to be able to afford new shoes. That was one way that the $400,000 he earned in the ring disappeared. The boxer also had major problems with alcohol.

     Slattery died in 1960. He's in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and had a street named after him locally in 2006.

--- Budd Bailey

tagged

History
comments powered by Disqus