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Jack Harrison
Holder of the Lonsdale Belt

John Harrison was born at Bozeat on 15th October 1888, son of Arthur and Martha, living in High Street.

About 1909 the family moved to Rushden, living at 12 West Street.

Always known as Jack, he died in 1970 aged 82.

wearing the Lonsdale belt
Jack wearing the Lonsdale belt
The Northampton Mercury, 24th May 1912, transcribed by Kay Collins

New Middle-weight Boxing Champion - Rushden Boxer’s Success
“Middle-weight Boxing Champion of England.” This is the alluring title which Jack Harrison, the Rushden boxer, won at the national Sporting Club on Monday night, when he defeated Private McEnroy, of the Coldstream Guards, in a twenty round contest.

Harrison was in greater favour with the critics than his opponent, owing, no doubt, to his battle with Johnny Rutherford, of South Africa, and his wins over Harry Mansfield, of America, George Beckett (Southampton), and Dai Thomas (Cardiff). Without being looked upon as a particularly scientific boxer, Harrison had always proved himself a stout and stubborn fellow, a worthy opponent at all times for anyone his own size and weight. McEnroy, built on different lines, claimed an advantage of close upon three inches in height, and, bearing in mind his undoubted improvement and his long experience, he was much fancied in his immediate circle.

The Contest
Harrison was boxing to orders, and, knowing that the soldier possessed a formidable right, he took no risks. He contented himself with continual lefts, and whenever McEnroy became audaciously inclined the Rushden man would vary the attack on the body and again restore the balance of points in his own favour. Both men showed fine footwork, but Harrison was the better judge of distance, and he has evidently learnt from Driscoll the knack of hitting from all sorts of angles. Harrison wins his matches by persistent attack. He never allows his rival a moment’s relaxation, and it say much for McEnroy’s splendid condition that he was going just as fast at the close as his conqueror.

The Guardsman was quite as strong as Harrison, but he is inferior to him as a boxer.

On last night’s showing Harrison would seem to lack the punch that solves all questions in one instant, but I do not think this is really so (writes “Astral” in the “Daily News and Leader”). He boxed with a becoming restraint, conscious of his superiority, but determined not to imperil his chance for the championship by risking too much. His will power is very marked and McEnroy, despite his fine nervous pluck and determination, obviously felt the stronger clash of personality. He must have known he was fighting a losing battle, but, like a good soldier, he went down with his colours flying.

A fight between Eddie McGoorty of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, and Jack Harrison was staged at Madison Square Garden, in New York, USA, on 23rd September 1912. From the opening bell McGoorty was throwing rights and lefts to the head of Harrison, and put Harrison down for ‘nine’ after a right uppercut to the jaw. Harrison was then chased around the ring and went down again, following a left hook. After a similar punch on his jaw, he was counted out with only five seconds of the first round remaining.
Rushden Echo, 19th September 1913, transcribed by Kay Collins

Boxing - At Newcastle on Monday Jack Harrison, of Rushden (middle-weight champion and holder of the Lonsdale Belt), and Nicol Simpson, of Hetton, Newcastle, met in a contest of twenty rounds at catch weights for stake and purse amounting to £200. Simpson opened in brilliant style, and half way through the opening round had his man down. The succeeding rounds were of an exciting character, and in spite of the fact that Harrison had the longer reach, his opponent put more power behind his blows. In the 13th round Simpson had his man down again with a swinging right to the face, and in the succeeding rounds it was apparent that the honours were going to Simpson, barring accident. After going the whole distance Simpson was awarded the verdict on points.

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