Jackie Patterson was a Scottish fighter who carried a destructive punch and won British, European and world titles at flyweight and bantamweight. He’s one of the most underrated boxers of all-time, let alone the most underrated flyweight ever.
He was a massive flyweight and often struggled to make the weight limit. And in his prime, he was an absolute terror in the ring.
His record is very deceiving, 10 of his losses came at the very tail end of his career and he literally always fought high-level competition.
In just his second professional fight, Patterson knocked out future flyweight champion Rinty Monaghan —who was already a veteran of over 30 fights—in five rounds.
In his 16th pro bout, he knocked out the standout flyweight Tut Whalley in one round. After that, Patterson knocked out Eric Jones in another one-round demolition, in what was a title eliminator for the British flyweight title.
In Patterson’s 19th fight, he continued to feed his craving for knockout victories when he decked and finished the excellent Paddy Ryan in 13 rounds.
Patterson, although just a flyweight, was leaving a trail of destruction wherever he laid his tiny fists.
By the time Patterson knocked out Ryan—again—two years later (this time in eight rounds) he was arguably the premiere flyweight in the world.
But Patterson didn’t let up. With the world flyweight title in his sights, he kept swinging, and the brutal knockouts kept coming. And for the next seven years, he would not lose to another flyweight. (His losses during this stretch all came to bantamweights or even featherweights.)
He defeated Richie Kid Tanner (two times, once by knockout), Jimmy Stubs and Norman Lewis before being matched up with Peter Kane for the flyweight championship of the world.
Kane is another of history’s most underrated flyweights. With a record of 70-4-1 and wins over Jackie Jurich, Jimmy Stubbs, Joe Curran (two times), Norman Lewis and Ryan this wasn’t going to be an easy win for Patterson.
But then it was.
On June 19, 1943 Patterson made the boxing world take note when he flattened Kane in the first round. Kane was supposed to be Patterson’s most dangerous opponent—and Patterson crushed him in 61 seconds.
From here, Patterson defeated standouts George Pook, Ronnie Clayton and even Jim Brady and Theo Medina, respectively, for the EBU (European) and Commonwealth bantamweight titles.
He was putting together a truly legendary résumé and beat Joe Curran, Theo Medina (again) and Johnny King before finally being dethroned as champion in 1948.
The discrepancy Patterson created between him and his contemporaries during his prime is astonishing. Thanks to some otherworldly and nightmare inducing knockout power and a ravenous hunger for victory—Patterson should be remembered forever.
But, of course, he isn’t.