Wednesday, September 6, 2017

On This Day: Leach Cross Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Leach Cross was an outstanding fighter, a tough and gutsy slugger, whose fighting style made him a huge hit with the fans. Known as ‘The Fighting Dentist’ Cross did not need to box for the money as he came from a comfortable family life and founded a successful private dental business. In an era where the lightweight division was overflowing with talented fighters of all styles, Cross fought most of the top names in the division, and proved himself to be one of the best lightweights of his time, and one of the best fighters to never fight for the world title.

Cross was born Louis Charles E Wallach on February 12, 1886, in New York, New York.

The Fighting Dentist’ began his professional career in 1905, and fought top names such as Sammy Smith, Young .Loughrey, Mike Glover, Dick Hyland, Harlem Tommy Murphy, Packey Mcfarland, Young Erne, Knockout Ko Brown, Mexico joe Rivers. Bud Anderson, Willie Richie, Charlie White, Joe Shugrue, Ad Wolgast, Gene Delmont, and Johnny Dundee.

Cross fought from 1905 to 1921, but never managed to secure a shot at the world title. Yet, he made a lot of money both in, and out of the ring, with his ring earnings, and his successful dental business, He was able to build his own apartment complex and also a gym, both of which he ran himself. Cross also worked as a very respected referee.

Leach Cross’s record was 33-10-4, 21 koes while his newspaper record (due to the fact that many of his fights came under the ‘No Decision’ rules of the time) was 56-28-13.

Leach Cross died on Sept 7, 1957, aged 71.

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