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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- Title Claimant

George "Johnny" Nichols
(Philip John Nicolosi or Philip Joseph Nicolasi)

BORN   July 10, 1907; Sandusky, Ohio (Some sources report July 9, 1907, some report June 9, 1908)
DIED Some sources report September 27, 1986; Sandusky, Ohio
HEIGHT 5-10 1/2
WEIGHT 160-177 lbs
MANAGERS.. Jack Singer, Paul "Red" Carr, Tommy Walsh and Jack Kearns

Nichols was a determined and capable boxer; He handled himself well in the ring and fought the best opponents around; During his career, George won the NBA Light Heavyweight Championship of America

In April of 1935, Walter Winchell, radio broadcaster, reported that George had secretly married
Catherine "Kit" Klein, World Champion Speed Skater, in 1933; Nichols and Klein had sparred together in a boxing ring, as kind of a joke; Also, as kind of a joke, they got married in Ripley, New York after attending a late night party; At first, Klein denied Winchell's report, but after announcing her engagement to Dr. Thomas Outland (of Sayre, Pa), she admitted it was true, and took steps to get the marriage annulled; Nichols and Klein had been engaged, remained friends, but had not lived together

George defeated such men as Osk Till, Dave Maier, Lou Scozza, Billy Jones, "Sunny" Jim Williams, Charley Belanger, Rosey Rosales, Jack McVey, Martin Levandowski, Allen Matthews and Tony Tozzo

Jan 19 Art Tight                  Sandusky, Oh                       ND  4
Mar 29 Frankie Rockie             Sandusky, Oh                       KO  1

Apr 10 Johnny Fisher              Sandusky, Oh                       TK  3

Jan 25 Chuck Byers                Sandusky, Oh                       ND  4

Apr 11 Jimmy Craig                Sandusky, Oh                       KO  1
Dec 10 Joe Sharkey                Fremont, Oh                        ND  6

Jan 13 Joe Trumpeter              Fremont, Oh                        LK  2
Feb 20 Harry Miller               Sandusky, Oh                       ND  4
May  1 Joe Koppel                 Erie, Pa                            W  6
May 15 Joe Koppel                 Erie, Pa                            W  6
Jul 29 Larry Posen                Toledo, Oh                         ND  4
Nov 11 Cowboy Spencer             Toledo, Oh                         LK  4
Dec  7 Harry Fuller               Buffalo, NY                         L  4

Mar  1 Lou Scozza                 Toronto, Ont, Canada               LT  3

Jan 17 Paul Brown                 Buffalo, NY                         W  6
Mar 21 Ray Wolford                Rochester, NY                       W  6
Mar 28 Art Fitzsimmons            Buffalo, NY                         W  4
Apr  6 Joe Midway                 Rochester, NY                      KO  2
Apr 11 Stanley Simmons            Erie, Pa                            L  6
          -Some sources report "D 6"
Apr 19 Charley Scherer            Huron, Oh                          ND 10
          -Reports vary - "W 10" - "L 10" - Sandusky, Oh - 7/01/1927
May  2 Sailor Andrews             Rochester, Oh                       L  6
May 26 Charley Scherer            Fremont, Oh                         D  8
Aug 19 Frank Kearns               Erie, Pa                            D  6
Nov 24 Paul Brown                 Buffalo, NY                         W  4
Dec 19 Charlie Eck                Buffalo, NY                         W  6

1928 Jan 9 Art Fitzsimmons Buffalo, NY W 6 Jan 23 Phil Jackson Buffalo, NY W 6 Jan 30 Jack McVey Rochester, NY LT 10 Mar 12 George Perotta Buffalo, NY D 6 Mar 30 Jack Golden Toronto, Ont, Canada TK 1 May 29 Ernie Burns Sandusky, Oh KO 2 -Some sources report 2/15/1928 Jul 3 Terry McMullen Sandusky, Oh KO 2 -Some sources report 3/15/1928 Jul 31 "Panama" Dixie Kid Buffalo, NY W 6 Aug 10 Johnny "Kid" Brown Erie, Pa TK 1 -Some sources report 5/11/1928 Aug 28 Freeman Pepper Sandusky, Oh ND 10 -Some sources report "W 10" on 8/30/1928 Sep 14 Cliff Becker Erie, Pa TK 2 -Some sources report 9/15/1928 Oct 19 Jack McVey Buffalo, NY L 10 Nov 5 Tubby Noble Buffalo, NY W 4 Nov 8 Norman Genet Huron, Oh ND 10 -Some sources report "W 10" in "Sandusky, Oh" Some sources report 8/01/1928 Dec 2 Willie Woods Buffalo, NY W 6 1929 Jan 4 Gary Leach Syracuse, NY LT 2 Feb 4 Ted Easterbrook Meadville, Pa KO 3 -Some sources report "Erie, Pa" Feb 22 Gary Leach Buffalo, NY D 6 Feb 28 Nick Martin Youngstown, Oh ND 6 -Some sources report "W 6" Mar 4 Tubby Noble Meadville, Pa KO 3 -Some sources report 3/02/1929 Mar 25 "Bingo" Joe Banovic Rochester, NY W 6 Apr 1 Benny "Kid" Stanley Fremont, Oh ND 10 -Some sources report "W 10" Apr 26 Arvin Spence Erie, Pa W 10 May 17 Arvin Spence Erie, Pa W 10 Jun 7 Billy Jones Erie, Pa LT 6 -Some sources report "LT 5" Jul 26 Henry Firpo Newburgh Heights, Oh L 8 -Some sources report 7/27/1929 in "Cleveland, Oh" Aug 21 Oliver "Snowflake" Wright Newburgh Heights, Oh W 6 -Some sources report "Vince 'Snowflakes' Wright" in "Cleveland, Oh" Aug 27 Archie Cross Sandusky, Oh TK 7 Oct 14 Sammy Weiss Buffalo, NY NC 8 -Some sources report "W 8" Oct 25 Charley Scherer Huron, Oh KO 3 -Some sources report "Sandusky, Oh" Nov 25 Osk Till Buffalo, NY W 6 Dec 9 Norman Wilson Rochester, NY KO 1 1930 Jan 13 Henry Firpo New Castle, Pa L 10 Feb 10 Harry Fuller Buffalo, NY D 6 Mar 7 "Indian" Tiger West Franklin, Pa W 10 Mar 14 "Indian" Tiger West Erie, Pa W 10 Mar 24 Henry Firpo Oil City, Pa W 10 May 26 James [Tarante] Rogers Boston, Ma KO 5 Jun 3 Tiger Thomas Williamsport, Pa W 10 Jun 9 James [Tarante] Rogers Boston, Ma KO 5 Jun 25 Gene McCue Buffalo, NY TK 3 Jul 10 Johnny Freeman Buffalo, NY W 6 Jul 25 Tiger Thomas Sayre, Pa W 6 Aug 26 Tiger Thomas Leiperville, Pa D 10 Sep 2 Harry Allen Boston, Ma W 10 Nov 11 "Sunny" Jim Williams Franklin, Pa W 10 Nov 24 Garfield Johnson Buffalo, NY TK 9 Dec 3 Charley Belanger Buffalo, NY W 10 Dec 15 Chuck Burns Buffalo, NY W 10 1931 Jan 16 Billy Jones Erie, Pa L 10 Jun 4 Johnny Klesch Norwalk, Oh KO 1 -Some sources report 6/22/1931 Jun 15 Rosey Rosales Boston, Ma TK 4 Jul 13 Leo Larivee Boston, Ma W 10 Aug 25 Jack McVey Sandusky, Oh ND 10 -Some sources report "W 10" Sep 4 Battling Archie Waterbury, Ct KO 2 Sep 18 Sam Bruce Buffalo, NY TK 5 Sep 25 Oliver "Snowflake" Wright Milwaukee, Wi W 10 Oct 1 Chuck Burns Sandusky, Oh ND 10 Nov 3 William "Gorilla" Jones Milwaukee, Wi L 10 Nov 27 Dave Maier Buffalo, NY LT 7 -Some sources report "LT 8" Dec 30 Don Petrin Chicago, Il TK 5 1932 Jan 15 Charley Belanger Chicago, Il W 10 Jan 28 Lou Scozza Chicago, Il W 10 Feb 18 Billy Jones Chicago, Il W 10 Mar 18 Dave Maier Chicago, Il W 10 -NBA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World May 31 Lou Scozza Buffalo, NY L 10 Jul 22 Red Fitzsimmons Colorado Springs, Co KO 5 Jul 29 Ham Jenkins Denver, Co L 10 Oct 17 Joe Knight Charleston, SC L 10 Oct 28 Adolf Heuser Boston, Ma L 10 -Some sources report 10/26/1932 Dec -Nichols relinquished the NBA Light Heavyweight Championship; Some sources report that Nichols was stripped of the title 1933 Feb 16 George Forrester Elizabeth, NJ KO 2 Mar 6 Lou Scozza Buffalo, NY D 10 Mar 13 Don Petrin Newark, NJ W 10 Mar 20 Lou Scozza Buffalo, NY LT 5 -Some sources report 3/30/1933 May 15 Al Gainer New Haven, Ct L 10 Jun 12 Frankie O'Brien Hartford, Ct W 10 Jul 6 Sammy "Kid" Slaughter Chicago, Il L 10 -Some sources report 7/07/1933 Jul 17 Norman Conrad Bedford, NH L 10 Aug 10 Martin Levandowski Muskegon, Mi TK 7 -Some sources report 8/18/1933; Some sources report "KO 8" Aug 31 Harry English Muskegon, Mi L 10 -Some sources report "ND 10" on 8/24/1933 Nov 3 Joe Knight New York, NY L 8 Nov 20 Larry Johnson Chicago, Il W 10 Dec 18 Harry English Toledo, Oh D 10 1934 Jan 11 Al Gainer New Haven, Ct L 10 Feb 5 George Manley Miami, Fl WF 5 -Some sources report "W 5" Apr 17 Mickey Dugan Cleveland, Oh W 10 Sep 3 Vic Bandish Sandusky, Oh KO 1 Sep 25 Mickey Dugan Cleveland, Oh L 6 1935 Sep 16 Tony Tozzo Buffalo, NY W 6 Oct 18 Al Delaney Buffalo, NY D 6 Oct 25 Henry Palmieri Sandusky, Oh ND 8 -Some sources report "W 6" Oct Joe Woods W 10 -This bout was held during "Oct-Nov 1935" Dec 11 Mickey Dugan Akron, Oh KO 8 Dec 30 Freddie Eiler Louisville, Ky KO 2 -Some sources report "Frank Eiler" on 12/31/1935 1936 Jan 15 Charley Belanger Akron, Oh D 10 Jan Johnny Nelson Buffalo, NY D 6 -This bout was held during "Jan-Feb 1936" Feb 17 Nick Masters Buffalo, NY W 4 -Some sources report "TK4" Feb 24 Louis LePage Buffalo, NY W 4 Mar 2 Joe Tripak Buffalo, NY KO 1 Mar 30 Johnny Nelson Buffalo, NY W 10 Apr 7 John Henry Lewis Buffalo, NY D 10 Apr 20 Al Gainer Pittsburgh, Pa LT 8 -Some sources report "LT 9" Jul 8 Allen Matthews Chicago, Il W 10 -Some sources report 7/09/1936 Aug 12 John Henry Lewis St. Louis, Mo L 10 Oct 26 Billy Bommer Buffalo, NY W 10 Dec 14 Paulie Sykes Buffalo, NY KO 3 -Some sources report "Eddie Saxon" Dec 28 Fanis Tzanetopoulous Buffalo, NY KO 1 1937 Jan 8 Domenico Ceccarelli Buffalo, NY W 10 Mar 2 Stanley Evans Detroit, Mi W 8 May 18 Charley "Killer" Coates Los Angeles, Ca W 10 Jun 15 Alabama Kid Denver, Co LT 4 -This man was "Clarence Reeves" Sep 27 Paulie Sykes Buffalo, NY W 6 -Some sources report "Eddie Saxon" Oct 18 Ralph DeJohn Buffalo, NY LK 1 1939 Apr 17 Fred Apostoli Houston, Tx LK 2 May 2 Gil LaCrosse Sandusky, Oh KO 3 *** The Following Bouts Have Been Reported But Not Confirmed *** 1923 Johnny Fisher Sandusky, Oh TK 3 Harry Miller Sandusky, Oh W 4 1926 Joe Zuppko Rochester, NY KO 2 -Some sources report "L 6" - From the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center - (

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008

George “Johnny” Nichols, Light Heavyweight Champion

George “Johnny” Nichols won the Light Heavyweight Championship in the National Boxing Association’s tournament finals in Chicago on March 18, 1932. Johnny Nichols is pictured below with his long time manager Jack Singer.

The March 19 Sandusky Star Journal reported that Nichols had only a “100 to 1” shot to win. Johnny defeated Dave Maier in the fight, but judge’s decision was not unanimous. Two referees voted for Nichols, but another judge, John Houghteling, cast his ballot for Maier. The crowd stood and cheered for Johnny Nichols when N.B.A. president John V. Clinnin linked the gold championship belt around the winner’s waist.

George “Johnny” Nichols was born in Sandusky to Italian immigrant parents. He did much of his boxing in Buffalo. The Sandusky Register Star News said in a 1957 article that Johnny Nichols fought from 1927 through 1937, sat out a year, and had one final fight in 1939. Nichols had boxed in many towns including Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Denver, and Houston.

Finding vital records about George Nichols proved to be a challenge. The May 10, 1957 Sandusky Register Star News stated that Johnny Nichols was born June 9, 1908. However, the Social Security Death Index gave July 10, 1907 as the birth date for John Nichols who died in 1986 in Sandusky, Ohio. The birth record at Erie County Probate Court (Volume 4, page 98) lists “Philip Joseph Nicolasi” being born Jul7 10, 1907 to Thomas Nicolasi and Ida Demmas Nicolasi. (Ida’s maiden name was probably Demma.)

The obituary of John G. Nichols in the September 27, 1986 Sandusky Register listed John G. Nichols’ parents as Thomas and Ida Nichols, and his wife as the former Bertie Horn. The 1910 U.S. lists his parents as Thomas and Ida Nicholas; but the 1910 Sandusky City Directory contains a listing for Thomas and Agata Nicolosi.

Variations in given names, surnames, and birth dates are all too familiar in family history research. Don’t rule out any data. The best thing to do is to keep a record of all the dates and spellings that are found, and document the source of each. Johnny Nichols was definitely born in Sandusky to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Nicholas, but through the years names were changed. Johnny’s mother name was listed as Mrs. Ida Nicholas in her 1936 obituary, but Johnny’s name was listed as John G. Nichols with the Ohio Department of Vital Statistics at the time of his death in 1986.

An interesting sideline about Johnny Nichols is his brief marriage to Kit Klein. The New York Times reported in 1935 that the national speed skating champion had married George Nichols, a boxer from Sandusky, but they had never actually lived together.

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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