Coffey Vs. Frank Moran 1916-01-07

Appendix Twenty Four

Boxing News 8th July 1918

Frank Moran KOs Coffey in Round 9

Six weeks after his first fight with Moran, Jim was back in his best form again to knock out “Gunboat” Smith in four rounds. Coffey, who considered his defeat by Moran as a fluke, pressed for a second chance and on January 7 1916 they met again in the Garden with another 'full house' to see if Moran could do it again.

This time the Irishman boxed like a world-beater, rattling punches on Frank's head and easily dodging his wild returns. Jim was finding it so easy to score that his rival grew desperate and received a warning from the referee for roughing. Coffey was plastering his opponent with punches from left and right and by the end of the sixth round was well ahead on points.

Perhaps he became over-confident, for although he well won the seventh his seconds were constantly tellin him to "Watch his right." Suddenly he slowed down, both in speed of foot and fighting ability. Even so, he was still in charge until nearing the end of the eighth Moran lashed out with another great right and this time landed solidly to daze the Irishman and force him to clinch until the bell ended the round.

It was all over in the next. Charging in, Frank smote his rival on the chin with another Mary Ann special and Coffey folded to the canvas. He was up at 'nine', but Frank chased him round the ring and struck again, swinging viciously and Jim had to take another nine count.

As soon as he got to his feet he was knocked off them and took another long count before rising. Now his condition was hopeless and his opponent had only to walk up and smite him with left and right to the chin.

Coffey collapsed to his knees, but was on the point of rising yet again when at 'six' Manager Gibson tossed in a towel in acknowledgement of defeat. No-one took any notice, so Billy threw in a larger towel, then a big sponge and would have thrown in the bucket if Referee Brown had not intervened.

It was another devastating defeat, but as before, Coffey made a quick recovery and was back in action three weeks later to knock out Lou Bodie in four rounds at Syracuse and Jack Geyer in five rounds at New York.

Coffey was now 25 but still young enough to fight his way back to the top. He kept going through the rest of 1916 - five bouts, no defeats, and was going along nicely the following year, winning all those fights that were not no-decision contests, including a sound victory over Bartley Madden, a solid heavy with a fair record, but nothing sensational.

When a return match was suggested Jim was only too willing and for six rounds outboxed his fellow-countryman with ease. Then in the following session he was slow in getting his chin out of the way of a weighty swing and was put down and out.

Everyone considered that the Roscommon Giant had developed a 'glass' chin and his friends urged him to take a rest. He stayed away from the ring for six months, took out American citizenship in the hope that it would aid his future, then made a come-back.

In 1918 he went ten contests without defeat then travelled to Boston where to his disgust he was judged to have lost on points to “Battling” Levinsky who he had already beaten four times.