Arthur Chambers: Salford lightweight world champion boxer
by Tony Flynn
Salford has always had a great tradition of producing boxers including, Joe Bowker, Tommy Brown, Jack "Kid" Doyle, Freddie Webb, The Marchant Brothers, Steve Foster Senior, Steve Foster Junior and Jamie Moore.
I was recently told of a Salford boxer that I had never heard of, Arthur Chambers who became Lightweight World champion in October 1872 and remained undefeated until his retirement in the U.S.A.
Early research shows that Arthur Chamber's who was born in Salford in 1847 and began his boxing career in 1864, after serving in the Royal Navy, bare knuckle fighting don't forget.
One fight took place at Mode Wheel, Salford against Arthur Webber who he defeated with a KO after 20 rounds.
He fought Jem Brady at Barton Moss in 1866 and lost after a gruelling 63 rounds.
In 1871 he moved to America, in 1872 he won the Lightweight Championship of America by defeating Billy Edwards in 26 rounds, and again in 1879 by defeating John Clark in the 136th round.
He was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000.
During his career, Arthur defeated such men as John Clark, Billy Edwards and George Seddons.
Chambers retired for two years in 1877 after the middle finger on his left hand was amputated. When he returned, he participated in one more bout and many consider it to be the first great lightweight bout in history.
He met American Johnny Clark on March 27, 1879 in Chippewa Falls, Canada. The bout lasted 136 rounds for an elapsed time of 2 hours and 23 minutes before Chambers won by knockout. It established a record for the longest bout between international opponents.
In retirement, Chambers was also an early financial backer of heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan. In fact, one of Sullivan's early bouts took place inside of Chambers' Philadelphia saloon. He was also selected by Sullivan to act as "umpire" in his famous bout with Paddy Ryan. Chambers also operated a saloon and a famous boxing gym in Philadelphia.
Arthur Chambers died in 1923 and is buried in Philadelphia, but will always be a son of Salford.
Thanks to Steve Pugh for sharing his knowledge about Arthur Chambers with me.