Saturday, September 23, 2017

On This Day: Elky Clark Remembered

By Peter

Elky Clark was a tough and game fighter, who achieved a lot in his comparatively short, whirlwind career.

Born William Clark, on January 4, 1898, in Bridgeton, Scotland. Clark worked as a riveter, and also earned money playing the accordion.

He began fighting as a professional in 1921, and was put into the deep end right from the start, with his first professional fight being scheduled for 15 rounds. Clark lost his debut on a 3rd round knockout to Alec Boyes, but would fight Boyes again 3 times in succession, drawing once, and winning twice on points over 10 rounds. Clark would compile a record of 5-7-5 in his first 19 contests, but this was a time when a loss was just part of the learning curve for a boxer, and Clark was learning his trade and honing his busy style of fighting.

On May 15, 1923, Clark challenged Willie Woods for the Scottish area Flyweight title, but was beaten on points over 20 rounds.

Six months later, Clark challenged Harry McConnell for the Scottish Area Bantamweight title, and won on a 13th round retirement.

On March 31, 1924, Clark stopped Kid Kelly in 20 rounds to win the vacant British flyweight title. Six months later, Clark added the Commonwealth Flyweight title title to his collection, with a 10th round stoppage of Jim Hanna.

Clark was out-pointed over 20 rounds by Michel Montreuil, for the European flyweight title on November 21, but in a rematch two months later, Clark emerged the winner, and new European champion, after out-pointing Montreuil over 20 stanzas.

Elky retained his titles through a number of defences over the next few years, then on January 21, he travelled to America to meet American Flyweight champion, Fidel Labarba, in a fight that was billed as the vacant world flyweight championship. The fight was a disaster for Clark. He injured his eye, and was beaten badly, being floored 5 times, with only his courage helping him last the 12 rounds distance, to lose on points.

This was Clark’s final fight, as his eye injury was too severe to allow him to continue his career. Elky Clark’s final record was (30-12-5, 20koes).

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