The first fight ever held in the Madison Square Garden ring was lost by what former and future champ?
The first fight
Dec. 11, 1925
The Madison Square Garden ring made its debut appearance on Dec. 11, 1925, in a card that was topped by a world light heavyweight contest between defending champion Paul Berlenbach and former and future champ Jack Delaney.
Champion Joe Louis lay on the canvas after being knocked down by Jersey Joe Walcott at Madison Square Garden.
In an exciting battle, Berlenbach — who had won the belt from Mike McTigue a little under seven months previously (McTigue having lifted the crown from Delaney) — was knocked down in the third and, according to a ringside report, “punched groggy” in the sixth and seventh, but rallied strongly over the second half to turn back the challenge of Delaney.
Delaney won a rematch, and regained the title, at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field the following year.
In 1924, Delaney decisioned future light heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran, and less than a month later, in Madison Square Garden, Delaney first faced the hard punching Paul Berlenbach. In a great fight that saw both men knocked to the canvas, Delaney scored two knockdowns in the fourth round, causing the referee to stop the fight.