Saturday, September 23, 2017

On This Day: Remembering George "Kid" Socks

By Peter Silkov

Kid Socks was a very tough and game fighter who fought from flyweight to featherweight, in a busy career that spanned the years 1922 to 1934. A look at Socks' career reveals how much boxing has changed. Socks fought at a time when fighters were plentiful, and in order to get anywhere close to the top, you had to be bus,y and be willing to fight the best. In his 12-year career, Socks had 210 recorded fights, against many of the top fighters of his day.

Kid Socks was born George Joseph Stockings on August 14, 1904, Bethnal Green, London, and began his boxing career in August 1922, at the age of 18. Like so many fighters of that time, Socks was thrown into the deep end from the start, fighting 10 round matches from the beginning, and his first 15 round match in just his 10th professional contest. Socks tough apprenticeship is shown by the fact that he went a modest 5-8-1 in his first 14 contests, but Socks was already displaying the heart and durability for which he would become known. All of his 8 defeats came via points. In fact, out of his 78 career defeats, only 4 would come inside the distance, and only one of those stoppages was via a clean knockout (and that came at the fists of the great Bantamweight world champion Panama Al Brown.) As his career progressed, Socks became a crowd favourite, and gained the reputation as one of the toughest of ring warriors, and able to give any of the top fighters a run for their money

Socks fought a long list of top names, including Len Harvey, Teddy Baldock, Ernie Jarvis, Elky Clark, Charly Sauvage, Panama Al Brown, Emile Pladner, Alf Kid Pattenden, Nel Tarleton, Johnny Brown, George ‘Kid’ Nicholson, Charley Van Reedon, Dick Corbett, Nipper Pat Daley, Packey Mcfarland, Cuthbert Taylor, Phineas John, Spider Jim Kelly, Victor ‘Young’ Perez, and George Marsden.

Kid Socks fought twice for major titles. On April 19, 1926, he fought Elky Clark at the National Sporting Club, London, for the British, Commonwealth, and European Flyweight titles, and was stopped on a TKO in the 20th and final round.
Two years later on July 7, 1928, Socks travelled to Melbourne, Australia, and challenged ‘Young’ Billy McAllister, for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight title, losing on points after 15 rounds.

Socks' Career came to an end after a 12 rounds point's defeat to Jim Anderson on June 11, 1934. His final recorded record reads (106-78-26, 23koes) though like many fighters of his time it is likely he had additional contests which slipped through the records. George Stockings died on September 24, 1972, aged 68. 

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