MERSEYSIDE & WIRRAL Archive
Tarleton v Cuthbert programme cover
British Featherweight Title Fight at Anfield, 1 October 1931. There was a 30,000 crowd for the first ever boxing promotion at Anfield.
Note that the promotion was a joint effort between the National Sporting Club and Johnny Best. Until 1929 British title fights, ones that were awarded a Lonsdale belt, could only take place at the National Sporting Club in London. However, the NSC was experiencing growing difficulties with this stance and was forced to give way to the demands of promoters such as Johnny Best who were keen to meet the demand for top class boxing in the regions. The other factor that forced a change was the establishment of the British Boxing Board of Control in 1929. This body formalised national rules for boxing and oversaw all boxing including British title fights. However, until 1936 winners of a British title fight were awarded a Lonsdale Belt from the NSC, not the BBBofC. Thus the first Lonsdale Belt to come to Liverpool was one issued by the NSC. Tarleton won this belt outright when he defeated Dave Crowley in 1934; boxers who won three title fights were awarded the belt outright. Uniquely, among Liverpool boxers, Tarleton also won a BBBofC belt outright when he defeated Al Phillips in 1945 in Manchester.