Hughie Dwyer - 'You don't fight your man in America — you fight the whole family'

Hughie Dwyer
Place Of Birth Gunnedah, NSW
Date Of Birth June 05,1898
Date Deceased 28-08-1975
Height 5′ 7½″ / 171cm
Divisions Middle, Welter and Lightweight
Titles Middle, Welter and Lightweight
Record won 37 (KO 12) + lost 13 (KO 4) + drawn 8 = 59 Newspaper Decisions won 1

Stadium Span 1922-1924

The following information is an extract from an undated copy of Becketts Budget Weekly (circa 30s)

From his very start in boxing he showed science in attack and particularly in defense, though he had difficulty with the more powerful and heavier opponents he had to meet in his early efforts, as the result of his better speed against those of his own poundage.

This somewhat marred his early record. Owing to the lack of knowledge of promoters, Dwyer did not get the chance his ability deserved, especially after spending quite a long time as assistant instructor to Dave Smith. Because of this he went to New Zealand. Returned to Australia, defeating such people as, Frank O’Connor, Herb McCoy, Harry Stone, Harry Collins, Sid Godfrey and Billy Grime.

He then went to America. Damaged his hand. When he returned to Australia his hand was still “on the blink”.

As is the case with most boxers who do likewise, Dwyers periodical lay offs and comebacks put him well out of his stride.

The West Australian March 1924 (transcript of article to the left)
Click for larger view
With a. suggestion of. disapppintment -colouring his statements, Hughie Dwyer told a representative of the 'West Austrailan' facts concerning his trip abroad

Dwyer left Australia about twelve months ago for America, and England, and he returned yesterday on the Orsova.

Booked up with a number of .fights ahead, both in America and England, and buoyant with his recent -wins in Australasia, by which he had attained the title of light-weight champion of Australia, and feather, light,welter, and middle weights championships of New Zealand, Dwyer sailed for America.

In his first fight be received an injury to his hand, which eventually caused the cancellation of his engagements. In that fight with Jole McCabe he obtained the decision, but was not successful against another opponent a week later. Commenting on boxing in America, Dwyer said it had become commercialised to such a degree that the only persons who obtained any benefit were the promoters, managers, and newspaper men who lived on the game. 'Foreigners have no chance in the States,' said Dwyer, 'and the only fighters that come forward are those that carry around with them their own referees and large entourage.

You don't 'fight your man in America — you fight the whole family.' While in America Dwyer saw the Dempsey-Firpo bout He said that the statements that Dempsey is a slogger are incorrect as the world's champion is a fast big man, capable of giving and receiving terrific punishment and a clever fighter.

While abroad he did not see any heavyweight that could hope to live in the ring with Dempsey with the possible exception of Harry Wills, who appeared to be a formidable opponent.

From America Dwyer journeyed to England, -where he 'was matched to meet Ernie Bice, but acting under medical instructions, he bad to cancel the fight, owing to his hand injuries. He thought it probable that Rice' might come to Australia during this year.

In England he found the game clean, but run under old-fashioned rules. Upon an inquiry being made as to why Australian fighters did not succeed in England, Dwyer said that the greatest difficulty appeared to be the matter of acclimatisation. 'You can't breathe in those terrible English fogs, and when you go into even light training your chest simply cries out for some good Australian air,' Dwyer said.

It is his wish to get his hand in pro per fighting trim, and to meet anybody of his weight in Australia. 'I ask one thing more,' Dwyer concluded, 'and that is to be given the first fight with any American that comes to Australia, or any imported boxer that lands in the Commonwealth.'

Copyright Mike Hitchen, Lane Cove, NSW, Australia. All rights reserved