The descendents of old-time East End fighter Anderson have a family heirloom to be proud of
In October 1894, Joe won a 126lb competition at the famous Covent Garden NSC, beating three men in one night. Then, on April 24, 1897, came Harry Wright’s competition for the English 134lb title and that brilliant silver belt. Twelve fighters were chosen (eight to compete and four as reserves), but nine of the 12 came in overweight, which meant only three took part.
In his opening bout, at the Excelsior Baths in Bethnal Green, Joe KO’D Jerry Donaghue (Bethnal Green) and in the final outpointed Ireland. This meant not only did Anderson carry off the Harry Wright belt, but with it the right to claim the 134lb championship of England, although, as Harold notes, there were several other claimants.
Anderson boxed on for several years and had his last bout – after a fiveyear gap in his traceable record – in February 1907, aged 36. Including exhibitions, Harold has traced 75 contests for Anderson. In his prime, Joe was undoubtedly a top-notcher. He died in 1943, aged 73, and was interred at St Patrick’s Cemetery, Leytonstone.