THE "PHILADELPHIA Bobcat" turned pro in 1938 and campaigned primarily in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, going unbeaten in his first 23 fights.
He is best known for splitting his thrilling four-fight series with fellow Hall of Famer, Beau Jack. In their first meeting, on May 21, 1943, Montgomery won the New York State world lightweight title by decisioning Jack over 15 rounds. He would lose the crown to Jack six months later.
After a win over Ike Williams and a loss to Bummy Davis, Montgomery regained the New York State title with another decision over Jack in 1944. The most famous Montgomery-Jack encounter, however, was their August 4, 1944 non-title bout at Madison Square Garden. The 15,822 who attended were encouraged to buy war bonds and thus generated a record gate of $35,864,000.
Shortly after, both Montgomery and Jack were inducted into the U.S. Army. In 1946, Montgomery successfully defended his title against Allie Stolz and Wesley Mouzon. He was then knocked out by Williams, the NBA champion, in a 1947-bout to determine an undisputed world lightweight champion.
Over his 97-bout career Montgomery also defeated a legion of top fighters including Lew Jenkins, Davey Day, Lulu Costantino, Fritzie Zivic, Joey Peralta, Leo Rodak and Tony Pellone.
Born: Feb. 10, 1919
Died: Aug. 25, 1998