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Henry Armstrong: His Ten Biggest Ring Victories

Updated on August 28, 2016

Homicide Hank

Henry Armstrong holds to major records in the sport of boxing. He holds the record for the most welterweight title defenses with 18. He also is the only boxer in history to hold three titles in three different weight classes at the same time. It's hard to pinpoint just ten of his best fights because he has had so many. Henry Armstrong retired from the ring with a record of 150-21-10 with 101 knockouts.

Henry Armstrong vs. Barney Ross

Henry Armstrong and Barney Ross fought in a war for the welterweight title.
Henry Armstrong and Barney Ross fought in a war for the welterweight title. | Source

Whirlwind Prizefighter

Henry Armstrong and Petey Sarron pose before their featherweight title fight in which Armstrong won to become the featherweight champion.
Henry Armstrong and Petey Sarron pose before their featherweight title fight in which Armstrong won to become the featherweight champion. | Source
Henry Armstrong is seen here working out on the heavy bag.
Henry Armstrong is seen here working out on the heavy bag. | Source
Homicide Hank is seen here landing a right on Pedro Montanez.
Homicide Hank is seen here landing a right on Pedro Montanez. | Source

Which One?

Who was Henry Armstrong's toughest opponent?

See results

Henry Armstrong vs. Lou Ambers

Henry Armstrong had two of his toughest bouts against Lou Ambers.
Henry Armstrong had two of his toughest bouts against Lou Ambers. | Source

Henry Armstrong vs. Baby Arizmendi

Henry Armstrong beat Baby Arizmendi by decision in defense of his welterweight championship.
Henry Armstrong beat Baby Arizmendi by decision in defense of his welterweight championship. | Source

Henry Armstrong's Title Wins

Featherweight Title
Lightweight Title
Welterweight Title
Petey Sarron
Lou Ambers
Barney Ross
 
 
 
 
 
 
The list above are of the fighters Henry Armstrong beat to win the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight championships.

Henry Armstrong's Top Wins

1. Henry Armstrong W15 Barney Ross (1938) Homicide Hank challenged Ross for the welterweight title and earned a hard fought decision full of ebbs a d flows. Ross started out boxing well and won several early rounds but Armstrong never stopped punching with his all action style. Armstrong began to take control with his non stop work rate landing to the head and body. The bout was close throughout and Ross even managed to stagger Armstrong two times late in the fight. Armstrong was not to be denied as he let loose with hundreds of inches over the last four rounds of the match to seal the deal. Ross entered the contest with a record of 72-3-3.

2. Henry Armstrong W15 Lou Ambers (1938) This was their first bout and it was a war. Ambers was the lightweight champion and he gave it his all. Armstrong was clearly winning but the rounds were close and competitive. Armstrong was nearly disqualified in this bout for low blows and he was docked four points for his infractions. Even with the points took away Armstrong won the bout with pure aggression and hard, accurate right hands and left hooks. Ambers never folded however and landed his fair share of jabs and right hands. Lou Ambers entered the ring with a record of 75-5-7.

3. Henry Armstrong K.O. 4 Benny Bass (1947) The first heat was slow and therefore close. Bass out landed Armstrong easily but Armstrong landed several hard hooks to the head. In the second Bass landed some stiff jabs and started moving nicely until halfway through the round when Armstrong wobbled him with an overhand right and a left hook. Armstrong landed an uppercut and several big hooks to the body to end the round. The third was one way traffic with Armstrong launching a blistering attack that had Bass clinching constantly. The 4th started with Bass landed a one-two and moving to the side but then Armstrong cornered Bass on the ropes and knocked Bass stiff with a huge right hand and left hook. Bass entered the matchup with a record of 153-25-5.

4. Henry Armstrong W10 Midget Wolgast (1935) Armstrong started quick and overwhelmed Wolgast in the first round with lefts and rights from all angles. In the second Armstrong landed a whistling right hand that floored Wolgast who got to his feet on unsteady legs. Armstrong landed a lead right and a left hook that put Wolgast down again. Wolgast barely survived the round but in the third and fourth he started to stop Armstrong in his tracks with hard jabs. The last rounds of the match were extremely close with Armstrong throwing shots from everywhere while Wolgast retreated and countered. Armstrong pulled out a close win mostly because of the big knock downs. Wolgast entered the squared circle with a record of 131-18-12.

5. Henry Armstrong K.O. 6 Petey Sarron (1937) Sarron was the featherweight champion but he was no match for this version of the whirlwind Armstrong. The first two rounds were fairly slow and technical. In the third and fourth Armstrong simply out landed Sarron badly with uppercuts and hooks. The fifth heat was a dominate one for Armstrong as he staggered Sarron with solid right hand leads. In the 6th Armstrong landed a four punch combination punctuated by a thundering right to put Petey down and out. Sarron entered the prize ring sporting a record of 93-21-12.

6. Henry Armstrong K.O. 4 Juan Zurita (1936) Armstrong and Zurita fought a fast paced first round which favors the come forward Armstrong. Zurita actually landed several big hooks to edge a close first heat. In the second round Armstrong upped the pressure even more raining tons of punches down on Zurita's jaw and both eyes. Armstrong had Zurita holding but still Zurita landed a couple of good hooks. The third was all one way traffic as Homicide Hank beat the crap out of a brave but overmatched Juan Zuraita. Armstrong staggered Zurita with a solid right hand followed by a left hook and he clinched. Just before the bell Armstrong ripped an uppercut to Zurita that had him holding. In the fourth Armstrong wind milled with 21 punches with Zurita's back to the ropes and he landed half of them. Zurita slumped down and was counted out. Juan Zurita came into the bout with a record of 44 wins and 9 losses.

7. Henry Armstrong T.K.O 6 Lew Jenkins (1940) Jenkins began this fight in perfect condition with a great game plan. Jenkins had Armstrong running into jabs and stiff righy hands to easily win the first round. The second and third rounds were more of the same as Jenkins beat Armstrong to the punch. Armstrong could not catch Jenkins but in the fourth Armstrong stunned Jenkins with a swarm of right hands to drop him hard. Jenkins was floored twice more in the fourth and barely survived the round. In the fifth stanza Armstrong landed an uppercut and a left hook to put Jenkins down again. Upon arising Armstrong dumped him again with a lead left hook. In the sixth round Armstrong beat Jenkins from pillar to post scoring two big knock downs in the process. Lew Jenkins corner tossed in the towel on their badly swollen, bloodied and beaten fighter. Lew Jenkins entered the arena for the fight with a record of 45-15-4.

8. Henry Armstrong K.O. 3 Chalky Wright (1938) Armstrong had one of his finest performances in this match. In the first Armstrong couldn't miss as he landedshots from all angles. Armstrong had Wright hanging on at the end of round one from crisp hooks to the head and body. The second was even worse for Wright. Armstrong landed overhand rights and several right uppercuts in this round. At the bell Wright looked finished but he was sent out for another painful round. The third was the end as Armstrong launched a hellacious offensive that hurt Wright. Armstrong landed a left hook and a right hand to finish Wright off. Chalky Wright came into the matchup with a resume reading 79-18-17.

9. Henry Armstrong W10 Baby Arizmendi (1936) Henry Armstrong met Arizmendi for the third time and he was out for revenge. Arizmendi took the first two rounds but Armstrong went to work from rounds three through six dominating his rival. The seventh and eighth were close rounds and both boxers landed bone jarring head shots. In the ninth round Armstrong landed a lead left hook and a right hand that had Arizmendi in trouble. Henry Armstrong came out in the tenth scoring with jabs, right hands and left hooks. At the bell Arizmendi was a clear loser to the fresher and non stop punching Armstrong. Arizmendi entered the prizefight with a record of 67-11-8.

10. Henry Armstrong W10 Fritzie Zivic (1942) Armstrong lost twice to Zivic as his career was winding down but in the third encounter he turned back the clock. The first three rounds wee give and take but in the fourth Armstrong started to find his range. Armstrong began to Outland Zivic 2 to 1 for the rest of the bout. Although neither boxer was ever hurt seriously in the fight it was still a war. The difference in this bout was activity as Henry Armstrong used every punch in the book to get past Zivic's jab. Body shots and left hooks to the jaw wore Zivic down and had him clinching more and more as the bout progressed. Zivic came into this fight with a record of 125-31-6.



Henry Armstrong vs. Fritzie Zivic 1

Homicide Hank put Fritzie Zivic down hard on his face in their first encounter.
Homicide Hank put Fritzie Zivic down hard on his face in their first encounter. | Source

Where Does He Rank?

Most historians rank Henry Armstrong as the second or third best fighter in boxing history. The Ring Magazine ranks Henry Armstrong as the second best boxer in history behind only the great Sugar Ray Robinson.

Clips of Henry Armstrong vs. Lou Ambers

Henry Armstrong Tribute

Henry Armstrong vs. Barney Ross Highlights

Birthplace of Henry Armstrong (Columbus, Mississippi)

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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