Monday, August 21, 2017

On This Day: Frankie Conley Remembered

By Frankie Conley

Frankie Conley was a strong and durable fighter, who fought many of the worlds top bantamweights during his career. Born Francesco Conte on April 21, 1890, in Platania, Calabria, Italy, Conley came with his family to live in America while still a child, settling in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Conley’s boxing career started in 1905 and became known as the 'Iron Man' of Kenosha. His ability to take a beating and punishment in a fight was renowned. and during his career, he faced fighters such as Chuck Larson, Willie Gardner, Johnny King, Ad Wolgast (Conley faced the future world lightweight champion three times) Charley White, Pete Savoy, Frankie White, Danny Webster, Monte Attell, Joe Mandot, Abe Attell, Johnny Coulon, Joe Coster, Patsy Kline, Johnny Kilbane, Mexican Joe Rivers, Johnny Dundee, Ernest Lucien, Benny Chavez, Benny Kaufman, Owen Moran, and Alvie Miller.

On February 22, 1910, Conley gained some recognition as World bantamweight champion after he stopped Monte Attell in 42 rounds, to win the ‘McCarey' Diamond Belt World bantamweight championship. Conley retained this recognition until February 26, 1911, when he was beaten on a point's decision after 20 rounds, by Johnny Coulon. (Coulon was already recognised as the World bantamweight champion before this fight and would soon establish himself as the undisputed champion.) Johnny Coulon would comment years later on the constant head-butting by Conley "I had a tooth longer than the others, and as sharp as a tiger's fang. I must've made 20 holes in Conley's head before he quit butting."

Frankie Conley carried on fighting until 1923, having his last contest against Billy Kautz, who beat Conley on a 4th round stoppage after Frankie retired in his corner with a broken hand. Conley’s final record was (34-15-11, 16koes) though like many boxers of his era he is likely to have had many other fighters, which have gone unrecorded.

Copyright © 2017 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to

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