BOOK REVIEWTracy CallisTHE INDIANA WASP The Jimmy Clabby Story By Jim Clabby
The new book about Jimmy Clabby, The Indiana Wasp, traces the boxing career of this talented pugilist as a welterweight and middleweight in America and Australia. Also known as "The Connecticut Tornado," Clabby had a ring career that lasted nearly eighteen years and he engaged in more than 160 bouts.
"The Wasp" had little formal education and a limited work history outside of the ring. Although he was able to sustain a long and successful career, his penchant for a life in the fast lane, fueled by increasingly excessive use of alcohol and love of wagering at the track, took its toll; and, as his career faded, his life spun out of control. Despite all, he remained popular, well-liked and respected.
Fighting during a time in which boxing was both revered and reviled, Jimmy made the most of the circumstances and even laid claims to world championships. The Frawley Law that was enacted in 1911 is scrutinized and its stagnating effect on boxing is pointed out.
A number of newspaper references and excerpts are utilized to describe fight results and circumstances associated with particular fights. Many tidbits about Jimmy and his opponents are included and lots of family history too.
In the author's own words --
This biography is not solely an account of Clabby's life and career; it is certainly that, but it's the writer's intention to merge his story with that of his boxing contemporaries and to illustrate for the reader how boxing integrated into the social fabric of the time.
Clabby was an ardent supporter of his community, Hammond, Indiana. He sponsored The Hammond Clabbys, an early Independent football team and forerunner of The Hammond Pros, a team admitted to The National Football League, formed in 1922. An addendum chapter describes those days of Jim Thorpe and other well-known players and covers Hammond's Independent and early NFL history.
This book includes a nice collection of photos, a year-by-year summary of Clabby's bouts, a list of general sources and a list of newspaper sources. Followers of boxing will enjoy the interesting and informative account of the life and times of this outstanding boxer.
James R. Clabby resides with his wife, Kathy, in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and is retired after spending his career in the metals industry.
To order this book, visit the website amazon
260 pages. softcover (9 x 6), $16.95
THE INDIANA WASP
Callis description --
Clabby was a talented fighter who boxed well, hit effectively and was, overall, a very good fighter; He was successful in America and especially successful in Australia where he won Australian titles and recognition as a World Champion; During his career, he won the Welterweight Championship of the World (as recognized by Louisiana state), the Welterweight Championship of the World (as recognized by Australia), the Heavyweight Championship of Australia, the Heavyweight Championship of New Zealand, the Middleweight Championship of Australia, and the Lightweight Championship of Louisiana
Clabby had nice shoulders, long arms and incorporated "agility, endurance, timing, footwork and punching power" into his style of fighting. He was excellent at feinting a punch to set up his stiff right cross.
Jimmy defeated such men as Mike Gibbons, Dave Smith, George Cook, George Chip, Eddie McGoorty, Mick King, Albert Lloyd, Tommy Uren, Arthur Cripps, Fritz Holland, Hughie Mehegan, Willie "K.O." Brennan, Fred Kay and Albert Pooley
Charley Rose ranked Clabby as the #7 All-Time Welterweight; Herb Goldman ranked him as the #23 All-Time Welterweight
Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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