Harlem Tommy Murphy was born on April 1885. He was part of the history of Irish East Harlem and the history on boxing in America at the turn of the 20th century.
Harlem Tommy was described as “teak-tough, persistent, a hard puncher and no obliging stepping stone for anyone.” In his first nine first, he was undefeated, winning six and getting three draws. He fought many great fighters in his long career, which lasted from 1903 to 1919. He compiled a final record of 85 wins, 31 losses, and 26 draws. On April 17, 1914, Harlem Tommy fought for the World Lightweight Champion against Willie Ritchie who held the title, that night Ritchie successfully defended his title, winning in a 20-round decision over Harlem Tommy at Coffroth’s Arena in San Francisco.
His brother Charles Joseph Murphy was also a boxer and Johnny Oliver was his manager.
Harlem Tommy died November 26th, 1958 at the age of 73.
From the 1921 Exhibit Supply Company Postcard.
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