Monday, January 18, 2016

Jimmy Clabby: The Indiana Wasp

Jimmy Clabby was a brilliant all-round boxer who was fast and agile, with great ring smarts, while also being tough and durable.  Nicknamed ‘The Indiana Wasp,’ Clabby fought all over the world during his 17 year career against the best middleweights of his era. 

Born on July 14, 1890, in Norwich, Connecticut, Clabby grew up in Hammond, Indiana, and began his professional boxing career in 1906, at the age of 16.  By 1909, Jimmy was already fighting 10 and 20-rounders, and tangling with some of the top names amongst the welterweights and middleweights.  The top fighters that Clabby fought during his career included Jimmy Gardner, Mike’Twin’ Sullivan, Paddy Lavin, Dixie Kid, Jeff Smith, Mike Gibbons, Arthur Cripps, Hughie Mehagan, Willie ’Ko’ Brennan, Eddie McGoorty, Billy Murray, Dave Smith, George Chip, Les Darcy, and Tommy Uren.

In 1910, Clabby traveled to Australia, and fought several fights, to great success.  Over the years he would spend a lot of time in Australia and became a big attraction with the Australian fight fans.  Clabby would also win the Australian Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight titles.  On June 6, 1914, Clabby lost a 20-round point’s decision to Jeff Smith in Sydney, Australia, for the Australian version of the World middleweight title.  The decision was so unpopular with the fans that there was a riot after the fight. 

On May 4, 1915, Clabby gained recognition as the World middleweight champion in Brooklyn, New York, when he was judged to have won the 10-round newspaper decision in a no decision fight with champion Al McCoy.  5 months later, Clabby returned to Australia and lost his claim to the World middleweight title when he was out-pointed over 20 rounds by the brilliant Les Darcy.  Nine months later, Clabby lost again to Darcy for the Australian World Middleweight title, being once more out- pointed over 20 rounds. 

Clabby fought for another 7 years, but never got another shot at the world title.  Known as a very popular and generous man. Clabby’s life unraveled tragically as his boxing career waned.   Being a lover of the fast lane, and overly generous with his money, he soon had little to show for his years in the ring, after he retired in 1923. After the death of his father, Clabby’s life took a turn for the worse and two years later, on January 19, (some sources say January 19th) 1934, Clabby was found dead in a shack in Indiana.  The once brilliant boxer who had earned an estimated 500,000 dollars during his career had died at the age of 43 of starvation and exposure.   

Jimmy Clabby’s final record was 80(45koes)-21-23.  He also took part in 160 no- decision fights during his career.  Jimmy was the brother of Eddie Clabby, who had a much shorter, less successful boxing career.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to

1 comment:

  1. OT: Pacquiao will be getting back in the ring this 2016 with Timothy Bradley. Fortunately we can still see his training and fights at Manny Pacquiao Video Channel . Go check it out!