STUDY the photo that accompanies this piece. What do you see? The muscular figure striding purposefully towards a neutral corner appears on the verge of victory, and the fighter – just visible – who is having the count tolled over him looks to be in the throes of defeat. Don’t let the photo fool you.
The powerfully built boxer is Alf “Kid” Pattenden, a British bantamweight champion of the interwar years. Pattenden was age 21 when the photo was taken – at Premierland, Whitechapel, in July 1929. But his opponent, Nipper Pat Daly, was only 16.
The Daly-Pattenden match was one of the domestic fights of the year. It pitted a brilliant boxer (Daly) against a relentless, improbably tough, hard-hitting pressure fighter (Pattenden), both of whom were huge favourites at Premierland, East London’s top fight hall.