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Jackie Paterson - Boxer

Oh the doom, the doom that so often follows brilliant young Scots with everything going for them. It caught up with Jackie Paterson quite early. Born at Springside in Ayrshire in 1920, Paterson was taken to America when he was eight, but came back at 13 and turned pro boxer when he was 18. A year later he took the British flyweight title, beating Paddy Ryan in 13 rounds, and in 1940 he beat Kid Tanner to pick up the empire title.

Everything was going for this young man. At Hampden Park in June 1943 Paterson knocked out the considerable Peter Kane and became the new world flyweight champion. He also became the British, European and empire bantamweight champion.

His luck began to turn in 1946 when he lost the European bantamweight title to Theo Medina. Then in 1947, Paterson was unwell and overweight and didn't turn up for a weigh-in prior to a fight with Dado Marino. So a new match was arranged in October 1947 between Marino and Rinty Monaghan, and it was recognised as a world title bout. Jackie brought an injunction against the British Board of Control and had the title returned to him in November. But in his next defence of it, in March 1948, he was knocked out by Monaghan in the seventh round.

Paterson was getting heavier, and never fought as a flyweight again. In 1949, he lost his British and Empire bantamweight titles to Stan Rowan. Paterson retired. He went into business. He emigrated to South Africa and was little heard of in his native Scotland until November 1966, when there was a very brief news story that he had been stabbed to death.

Benny Lynch died of alcohol. The facts about how Paterson got into the brawl that killed him are very vague. He was not a drinker, but an incurable gambler, and that can be fatal too.

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