History | Issue | Premium | Jul 08 2019

Wonderboy – Nipper Pat Daly

It’s 90 years since one of the greatest performances in the unique career of the prodigiously gifted Nipper Pat Daly
Nipper Pat Daly

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.


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