Petey Sarron – Former world featherweight champion Petey Sarron of Birmingham, Alabama is part of the 2016 induction class at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.
Sarron’s career spanned 15 years from October of 1924 until July of 1939 and his final known record stands at 103 wins, 23 losses and 12 draws. He fought a set of six total fights with another Hall of Famer, Cincinnati’s Freddie Miller (183-29-6). Three of them were for the world featherweight championship, with Sarron going 2-1 in title fights after losing their first three meetings.
Sarron won the world title from Miller in their fourth meeting, on May 11th, 1936 at Washington D.C.’s Griffith Stadium. The two had just met two months earlier in Coral Gables, Florida and Miller was given a controversial decision by referee Leo Shea, the only official judge of the fight. Sarron would take the title in the nation’s capital via a close majority decision that saw one judge call the fight a draw.
Sarron would go on to defend the belt twice, first defeating Cuba’s Baby Manuel and then defeating Freddie Miller a second time with the belt on the line.
Sarron would lose the featherweight title on October 29th, 1937 to another future Hall of Famer by the name of Henry Armstrong (151-21-9) on a card promoted by the legendary Mike Jacobs at Madison Square Garden.
It should be noted that during his nearly 18-month reign as featherweight champion of the world, Sarron stayed very active in non-title bouts. Sarron went 9-3-1 in non-title bouts while he was champion, and one of those losses was to rival Freddie Miller setting up their third meeting with the world title at stake.
Earlier in his career, Sarron travelled to Australia and New Zealand, where he stayed for a year fighting. He went 13-5-1 in the span of that year, from mid-1929 to mid-1930. He was known as a globe-trotter, logging fights in England and South Africa during his long career.
Sarron was a decorated amateur and he ended his amateur career in Paris at the 1924 Olympic games, where he was an alternate.
Sarron’s parents emigrated to Alabama from Lebanon, and Sarron was born on November 21st, 1906. Sarron passed away on July 3rd, 1994 at the age of 87.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York will host their 2016 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the weekend of June 9-12. This year the modern-era inductees come with a heavy Latin influence as Lupe Pintor of Mexico, Hilario Zapata of Panama and Hector “Macho” Camacho of Puerto Rico lead the enshrined. Petey Sarron is the only competitor being recognized in the old-timers category as he takes his place among his peers in boxing’s IBHOF.