Owen Moran – The Fearless

By David Martinez /

When people ask me “who was the toughest and roughest boxer never to win a championship”, although I can think of many, my first response is Owen Moran.

Born in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom on October 4, 1884, he was one of England’s finest that fought as a flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight. His nickname was “The Fearless”.

Moran started his professional career on December 3, 1900, just two months prior to his seventeenth birthday. He fought all the top fighters of his era, and once fought two men in one night, winning both by knockout in the first round.

He defeated former lightweight champion Battling Nelson by knockout and fought boxing greats Jim Driscoll, Packey McFarland, Ad Wolgast, Frankie Neal, Pal Moore, George Digger Stanley and George Dixon.

In 1908 he fought Abe Attell twice for the featherweight title, with both fights ending in a draw, and in 1910 they later fought three more times in non-title fights that ended with two Attell wins and a draw in that trilogy.

Moran was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1965 and into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2002.

Moran retired in 1916 with an official ring record of 70 wins, 19 defeats, 8 draws, and 4 no contests, with 23 knockouts. To his credit, he was only stopped twice in 101 fights.

Boxing Historian and founder of Ring Magazine, Nat Fleischer, ranks Moran as the #3 greatest lightweight of all time, right behind Joe Gans and Benny Leonard.

At the age of 64, Moran died on March 17, 1949.

The photo posted with this article is an original rare card that I have had in my personal collection for over fifty years.

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