Two Titles, 200 Fights and Only One Good Hand

Whilst trying to find his way in boxing, Jack worked at Samuel Heath Brass Founders, who supported him through his early days in the ring. This was the catalyst for a career that spanned until 1934 and although Hood never had a shot at the World Welterweight Title his accomplishments include over 200 professional bouts, one Lonsdale belt, an undefeated six month period fighting in America and a bout ordered by Royal Command of the Prince of Wales.


Know as 'Gentleman' Jack, for his generous and charismatic persona both in and out of the ring, Hood went on to rule the British Welterweight Division for two decades between the 1920's and 1930's. Although in a class of his own in the British Welterweight Division, Hood was never given an opportunity to fight for the World Welterweight Title because of an apparent weakness of the right hand. "Every time I landed a solid right punch an agonising pain shot through my arm" said Hood, ultimately making his achievements all the more impressive. He was therefore forced to seek contestants in the Middleweight Division, yet it was in this division where he found his greatest rivalry, with three memorable contests against the great tactician and future Heavyweight Champion of Great Britain, Len Harvey.


On 31st May 1926 Hood defeated Harry Mason over a brutal 20 rounds in Holland Park Rink, Kensington, to win the Lonsdale belt and take charge of the British Welterweight Title. He then outpointed Mason once again in a rematch just two months later on 22nd July in the same venue, to retain the title. It then took a further two years for Hood to find someone to challenge him for his British Welterweight Title but on the 25th June 1928 Hood proved to be too good for Alf Mancini, again being victorious on points. Following his initial win and winning his two successful challenges, in line with Lonsdale rules, Hood became legible to keep his Lonsdale belt outright.


Hood's Lonsdale belt is one of the original belts made under the contract of the National Sporting Club, before changes were made to the design by the British Boxing Board of Control in 1936. This belt was made by Mappin & Webb in Birmingham and is cast in 9ct gold with the original enamelled 'boxers' design. It is a tremendous example of boxing supremacy and continued success in the most hegemonic of sports.


The proudest moment of Jack Hood's boxing career however, came before his 25th June 1928 Lonsdale belt battle with Alf Mancini. At mid-day on Monday 13th February 1928 Hood fought Len Johnson by Royal Command of the Prince of Wales at the famous Blackfriars 'Ring'. Len Johnson had been scheduled to fight Belgian cruiserweight Fernard Delarge, however, when the then heir to the throne heard this he remarked "I'd prefer to see that Birmingham boxer, Jack Hood. Can't they match him with Johnson?" Hood received the call from his manager whilst on holiday 'You're fighting at the 'Ring' on Monday before the Prince of Wales. The money's good. I'll see you at the weigh in' and Hood swiftly caught the train to London. When the fight was all said and done, it was Hood who stood with his hand aloft by outpointing Johnson after the 15 classic rounds.


Boxing over 200 bouts, winning his first 187 and losing only six demonstrates the depth and success of Jack Hood's boxing career. When Hood came to retire in 1935 at the age of 32, he was the acclaimed Champion of Great Britain, Europe and the Empire, and he retired as the undefeated and undisputed British Welterweight Champion. It is the champions that people remember and in a sport where few things come easy it took two gruelling fights with Harry Mason and one with Alf Mancini to cement Jack Hood and his Lonsdale belt in boxing history.


Hood only fought once more after his retirement in 1935, at an exhibition in 1947 at the age of 44. It was also for his second life as a pub owner where many remember him. His Lonsdale belt was displayed proudly over the bar at the Bell in Tanworth -in-Arden for 32 years where 'Gentleman' Jack would reminisce with boxing followers and regulars alike who would come from far and wide to meet the man. When he would be asked about his days as a boxer Jack would always reply with "No regrets, I'd do it all again". A true champion and a real gentleman, Jack Hood's stunning Lonsdale Belt will go under the hammer during Fellows' auction of Silver, Plated Ware, Coins & Medals on Monday 5th September 2011 and has an estimate of £15,000 - £20,000.

Lalanne necklace

Lot 650

Lonsdale Belt

£15,000 - £20,000

Place Bid