Archives | Premium | Jul 02 2019

On This Day: Harry Greb vs Mickey Walker and the most famous street fight in history

94 years ago Harry Greb beat his great rival in the ring and, legend has it, on the sidewalk
Harry Greb
Harry Greb

THE 1925 Fight of the Year was the definition of pound-for-pound super fight, featuring two greats in a bout that lived up to all expectations. Welterweight champion Mickey Walker was the brutal ‘Toy Bulldog’ who earlier that year had got the better of light-heavyweight king Mike McTigue over 12 rounds. The defending world middleweight champion Harry Greb was an incomprehensible fighting force able to withstand any blow and move and strike with the rapidity of a man much smaller that terrorised every fighter worth his salt up to heavyweight.

In a borderline street fight before more than 50,000 spectators that makes the widespread folklore of an plainclothes tussle taking place post-fight insignificant, the men slugged it out for much of the bout, with The New York Herald Tribune calling the second session ‘one of the greatest of all time’. Just when Greb pulled away Walker was there, defiant.