by Frank Hyde
April 2, 1946
Part 2 of 4
Clark Won State and National Titles in 8 Days; Set All-Time Kayo Record
Jimmy Clark had a few fight and quite a bit of ring savvy under his belt when he made his first ring start in Jamestown. Kid Kerr, a former featherweight puncher of merit, who still lives in Townville, near Titusville, had taught the tigerish Negro how to jab, hook, catch a stance and protect himself in clinches.Jim didn't need to be shown how to punch. Nature took care of that little item.
Anyway, Stuart Maguirre, one-time sports editor of the Post-Journal, was promoting here when Jim showed up one night and announced he'd like to test one of those Jamestown boys in a preliminary.
The test turned out to be Harry Smith of Buffalo, a pretty tough Indian hombre. Harry had a lot of respect for the dusky race when this one was over, for he absorbed an artistic lacing in a three-rounder.
From then on, the Titusville Negro appeared to have tied his iron fists to his star of destiny. It wasn't so much who he beat in those days, as the manner in which he beat them that attracted the attention of Joey Dolce, whose son recently won a divisional title in the Jamestown Boy's Club tournament.
Joey himself, a cracking good lightweight in his day, put a little more precision and smoothness in the dark machine, who continued to knock foes kicking with such regularity his name became a by-word locally and his fame spread to such previuosly unheard of distant fistic marts as Buffalo, Erie, Bradford, and eventually Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Gene Sparr, a Farrell, Pa. mauler, gave Jim one of his greatest battles. Another was Everett Pease of Toronto. Clark fought him six times, most of them at the Washington Street Auditorium, knocking him out twice, winning one decision and dropping the nod three times.
Lloyd Marshall, later of Los Angeles who arose to the realm of duration light heavyweight champion of the world when the war broke out and ring titles were frozen by the National Boxing Assoxciation, also staged four thrillers for a .500 percentage winning two in Jamestown and Oil City rings.
Today, Clark will tell you Marshall, who is still going good on the coast and who is heading for a card in Cleveland next week, was his toughest all-time opponent.
"That guy had a whambo of a left hook," Jim told the writer. "He tagged me with it in our first fight and had me out but didn't know it. I stuck in there and had him on the run when it was over, but those earlier points paid off and he won the nod."
In 1935 Clark won the sectional middleweight AAU title and went to New York for the state meet. From there he established a record that still stands, winning the state and national amateur title in a total of eight days, scoring six knockouts in eight bouts and garnering both crowns in a total of 19 rounds of fighting.
Both records still stand in the files of the AAU and, according to National Secretary Daniel Ferriss, will likely "never be replaced for Clark's knockout performance in sweeping through the two tournaments was nothing short of phenomenal."
At New York Clark drew Mike Carloni, a rugged Italian lad who had learned to fight in the streets and back alleys of the Dodgers' home diggin's. Carloni may have been as tough as the tree that grew in Brooklyn, but the Negro axeman chopped him down in the first round. That put the Jamestowner in the semifinals, where he drew Bradley Lewis, brother of John Henry who held the world's light heavyweight title for several year and who was foolish enough to try for the heavy title being guarded by Joe Louis. Clark decisioned him in three wild and wooly heats and went into the finals against Gene Alston, a New York boy, whom he chilled in the opening round to win the state cruiserweight crown.