History | Issue | Premium | Aug 05 2019

Johnny Clark, John McCluskey and the nine rounder

Johnny Clark and John McCluskey’s contracted nine-round fight was an oddity but it wasn’t unique, writes Alex Daley
Johnny Clark
Johnny Clark

WRANGLES over the particulars of a fight – the venue, purses, who enters the ring first and last – are part of big-time boxing, but seldom do they apply to domestic non-title fights. Back in November 1968, however, the respective managers of the participants in a bout set for a Wembley undercard were at loggerheads over one detail: the fight’s scheduled distance.

Scotland’s John McCluskey, the reigning British flyweight titlist, was to take on the unbeaten bantamweight prospect Johnny Clark at 8st 6lbs (118lbs). The bout was billed as an eight-rounder. But McCluskey’s handlers did not want their champion to fight less than 10 scheduled rounds, presumably feeling that a longer distance might give him an edge over the less experienced Clark, who had never gone beyond seven rounds. Clark’s manager, Dennie Mancini, however, would not hear of him facing McCluskey over 10. Eventually, they found a compromise. They would meet over nine rounds.

Subscribe now to keep reading

We're chuffed you’re enjoying our website, but I'm afraid you need to be a subscriber to read this story.

As a subscriber you'll get access to all online content, including weekly issues - you can opt for digital only or print and digital - plus an online archive of weekly digital editions back to January 2012.

You'll also be helping to support our editorial independence so we can continue to get to the heart of the stories that truly matter to you, the reader. Every subscription we secure will go directly to ensuring that Boxing News retains its voice for many years to come.

If you're not ready to subscribe there are plenty of free articles on the site you can enjoy by registering

To enjoy premium content such as this story, and to get the weekly issue you will need to subscribe

Got an account? Sign in