Frankie Klick

Frankie Klick
Real name Frank Klich
Rated at Super featherweight
Junior Lightweight
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Reach 67.5 in (171 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1907-05-05)May 5, 1907
San Francisco, California
Died May 18, 1982(1982-05-18) (aged 75)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 125
Wins 85
Wins by KO 24
Losses 26
Draws 13
No contests 1

Frankie Klick (May 5, 1907 – May 18, 1982) was an American boxer who became a World Jr. Lightweight boxing champion when he defeated "Kid Chocolate", on December 25, 1933 at the arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a seventh-round technical knockout. In his career he fought the exceptional champions Henry Armstrong once, Barney Ross twice and Tony Canzoneri four times.[1] His managers were Joe Doran and Ray Carlin.[2]

Early life and career

Frank Klich was born on May 5, 1907 in San Francisco, California. Klick, as he became known when a promoter of one of his early bouts misspelled his name, began his interest in boxing when an older brother gifted him with a pair of boxing gloves when he was nine years old.[3] From October 9, 1924 to April 22, 1927, Klick fought twenty-seven times in San Francisco's National Hall or Dreamland Rink. He won all but one of his first twenty-seven bouts, as one was a draw. Impressively eight of his twenty-seven early wins were by knockout or technical knockout.[1]

On January 28, 1927 Klick defeated California Joe Lynch, a well respected West Coast boxer, for the first time at Dreamland Rink in San Francisco in a six-round points decision. On March 23, 1928, Klick defeated California Joe Lynch again in a four-round points decision at the State Armory in San Francisco. He would fight Lynch twice more in ten round draws.[1]

Loss to Joe Murphy

In his first loss, and very likely his first knockout, Klick was defeated by Dynamite Joe Murphy in the fourth round at the Auditorium in Oakland, California on June 1, 1927. A left hook to the head dropped Klick to the canvas for a count of eight, and when he arose another attack landed him on the canvas for the full count.[4]

Marriage in May 1928

At the age of twenty-one, Klick was married to Cecelia McCarthy on May 6, 1928. The marriage lasted seven years and produced two children Patricia, and Frankie Jr., but ended in divorce on June 5, 1935.[5]

On May 18, 1932, Klick tried unsuccessfully to take the USA California State Lightweight Title, but was defeated by Young Peter Jackson in a ten-round points decision at the Golden Gate Arena in San Francisco California.[1]

Taking the World Jr. Lightweight Championship against Kid Chocolate

Before a crowd of 4,000, Klick took the World Jr. Lightweight boxing champion against Kid Chocolate, on December 25, 1933 at the Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a seventh-round technical knockout. The Ludington Daily News, wrote "The flashy Cuban "bon bon" (Chocolate) was bereft of the title in the seventh round of a scheduled fifteen round Christmas Day bout by a whistling right smash to the chin and all he got in exchange was the second knockout of his career although the latest was of the technical variety." The bout had been fairly close until the seventh with Chocolate showing stamina and style.[6] The seventh round had gone two minutes and fifty-eight seconds when the knockout occurred. "The Cuban waged a fast, agressive fight in the early rounds that gave him a temporary lead." Chocolate had landed rights "to the head and body," but may have lacked the stamina to stay with Klick. Chocolate may have been suffering from a knockout he had received from Tony Canzoneri only a month previously. He retained his featherweight championship at least in the state of New York.[7]

Boxing after taking the Jr. Lightweight Title

On October 28, 1933, he lost to Tony Canzoneri at Ridgewood Grove in Brooklyn in a ten-round Unanimous Decision. It was the first of four meetings the two would have, and Klick would fail to win a decision in all four. Nonetheless, the capacity Brooklyn crowd of 5000 hailed Klick and booed when he lost the decision.[1]

On January 22, 1934, Klick lost a ten-round points decision to Frankie Wallace, a Cleveland native, at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.[1][8]

First bout with champion Barney Ross

Champion Barney Ross

On March 5, 1934, Klick met Barney Ross, defending his Jr. Welterweight Title before a capacity crowd of 10,000, in a ten-round draw at Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Klick's quick punching in the last two rounds earned him the draw according to the referee Toby Irwin. The Associated Press gave Ross five rounds, Klick four, and one even. Ross, in his typically lightning fast style, may have landed twice as many punches, but many ringside believed Klick's punches carried more authority. According to the Santa Cruz Evening News, "Klick's swift rallys in the last two rounds earned him the decision of the referee."[9] The draw was impressive for Klick, as Ross had won all his bouts in the previous three years, never having been held to a draw.[1][10][11]

Vacating the World Jr. Lightweight Title

Klick vacated the World Jr. Lightweight Title in 1934, most likely as a result of being unable to maintain a weight under 130 pounds, the limit for Jr. Lightweight division.

Losing to champion Tony Canzoneri

On June 28, 1934, Tony Canzoneri defeated Klick in a ninth-round technical knockout when referee Patsy Haley stopped the bout at Ebbets field in Brooklyn. Haley, former lightweight boxer, would become one of the best known and trusted New York referees in history. Klick may have won the first two rounds but by the third Canzoneri had battered Klick with a strong right to the jaw, and began piling up points in the following rounds, landing a hard blow to the eye of Klick in the fifth which contributed to Haley's decision to end the bout four rounds later. The winner of the bout would be matched with Barney Ross for the World Lightweight Crown.[12]

On July 31, 1934, Klick lost a disputed ten round points decision to Italian boxer Cleto Locatelli at Shibe Park, in Philadelphia. A significant crowd of 15,000 voiced their disapproval of the decision, and Ray Carlin, Klick's manager wrote a letter of protest indicating Klick had clearly won six of the ten rounds.[13]

On October 2, 1934, Klick defeated Harry Dublinksky in an important ten round split decision at New York's Madison Square Garden.[1]

Klick would face Canzoneri two more times, on June 10, 1935 in Washington D.C., and in a non-title fight on August 19, 1935 at Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. He would lose both of the well attended fights, the first in a close twelve round Split Decision by referee Jack Dempsey, and the second in a ten-round points decision. Their first bout was a great tribute to the staying power of Klick, who manaaged to match one of the greatest fighters of the era at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. before a crowd of 20,000. The bout was not a title fight. A hard right to the face of Klick, may have been the turning point in the judging, and at least one source felt that Canzoneri had done the heavier punching in the close bout.[14] Many fans protested the decision as the judges split their votes, and Dempsey, more a boxing celebrity than an experienced referee, was required to make the call as to who had won the fight.[15]

Klick's decline in the fourth and last Canzoneri bout

Their second meeting on August 19, 1935 was described as a "dull bout" by the Oakland Tribune. Noting a decline in his fighting style, the Tribune, wrote, "the Klick of last evening was a tentative, uncertain chap, who depended almost entirely on a left jab, who missed more punches than could be expected of a world's champion." Canzoneri managed to outpunch Klick for nearly the entire bout.[16] Canzoneri was noted as having an advantage in every round but the seventh.[17] It should be noted however, that Canzoneri was easily one of the greatest, and fastest boxers of the era, and hardly an easy target. Both boxers had fought over one hundred bouts, a telling number, and both were nearing thirty, which may have been a factor in their lack of snap and stamina.

Second bout with Barney Ross

On January 28, 1935 Barney Ross retained his Jr. Welterweight crown in a title bout against Klick before a crowd of 13,000 at Municipal Stadium in Miami, Florida. Ross's Lightweight Title was not at stake. Ross scored the only knockdown of the fight, with a blow to the chin of Klick in the second round. With Ross showing greater confidence and technique, the Associated Press gave him eight of the ten rounds, though he received a hard right from Klick in the sixth round.[18]

On November 22, 1935, Klick defeated Al Roth in a ten-round points decision at Madison Square Garden. Klick was still hoping for a Lightweight Title fight with Canzoneri, though one never materialized.[19]

Loss to Lou Ambers

On January 3, 1936, Klick lost to important lightweight contender Lou Ambers in a ten-round Unanimous Decision at Madison Square Garden. The winner of the bout was to earn a World Lightweight Title match with Tony Canzoneri. The Associated Press gave eight round to Ambers and only one to Klick with one even. Only 8,236 fans turned out to see what the Arizona Republic considered a "tame" fight.[20]

On June 9, 1936, Klick lost to Puerto Rican fighter Pedro Montanez in a ten-round points decision. According to one source, Klick was on the "verge of being knocked out three times in the ten round affair."[21]

On May 4, 1937, Klick lost to the great Henry Armstrong in a fourth-round technical knockout at Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Armstrong, along with Barney Ross, would become one of the few triple World Champions in boxing history.

Klick ended his career with two bouts against Al Citrino at National Hall in San Francisco in February and April 1943, drawing in eight rounds in the first, and losing in eight in the second.

Klick lived a relatively long life for a boxer who had fought so many champions and over one hundred fights. He died on May 18, 1982 at the age of 75.

Boxing achievements and honors

Preceded by
Kid Chocolate
World Jr. Lightweight Boxing Champion
December 25, 1933 – Vacated 1934
Title next held by
Sandy Saddler


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Frankie Klick". BoxRec. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  2. "Frankie Klick". Cyber Boxing Zone. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  3. "Stillman Shows Real Courage, Frankie Klick Here", St. Louis Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri, pg. 21, 7 February 1934
  4. "Fight Results of Last Night, Klick Loses First Fight", Santa Cruz Evening News, Santa Cruz, California, pg. 10, 3 June 1927
  5. "Frankie Klick, Boxer Divorced", The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, pg. 8, 5 June 1935
  6. "Young Frankie Klick Holds Junior Lightweight Title", Ludington Daily News, Ludington, Michigan, pg. 6, 26 December 1933
  7. "Frankie Klick Takes Junior Lightweight Crown", Belvidere Daily Republican, Belvidere, Illinois, pg. 6, 26 December 1933
  8. "Frankie Wallace Given Decision over Frankie Klick", The Burlington Free Press, Burlington, Vermont, pg. 9, 23 January 1934
  9. "Ross Extended to Earn Draw With Frankie Klick", Santa Cruz Evening News, Santa Cruz, California, pg.8, 6 March 1934
  10. Jr. Welterweight Title was at stake in "Barney Ross, Frankie Klick Battle", The Salt Lake Tribune Salt Lake City, Utah, pg. 14, 6 March 1934
  11. Ross had not been held to a draw in three years in "New York Boxing Body is in Favor", The Ogden Standard Examiner, Ogden, Utah, pg. 11, 10 April 1934
  12. "Tony Canzoneri Knocks On Ross's Door", The Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pg. 39, 29 June 1934
  13. Ward, Allen, "The Neutral Corner", Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, pg. 13, 2 August 1934
  14. Klick gave good fight, and was of Polish origin in "Klick Gives Champ Tough Ring Battle", Wilkes-Barre Evening News, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pg. 14, 11 June 1935
  15. "Klick, Tony, to Click for Scribes", Reno Gazette Journal, Reno, Nevada, pg. 13, 2 August 1935
  16. "Klick Loses to Champion Fourth Time", Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 20 August 1935, pg. 23
  17. "Canzoneri Forces Out Forth Victory Over Frankie Klick", The Decatur Daily News, Decatur, Illinois, pg. 27, 20 August 1935
  18. Mickelson, Paul, "Easy Winner Over Frankie Klick in Ten Fast Rounds", Oshkosh Daily Northwester, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, pg. 13, 29 January 1935
  19. "Game Ralley Staged by Frankie Klick", Logansport Pharoah Tribune, Logansport, Indiana, pg. 2, 23 November 1935
  20. "Frankie Klick Whips Lou Ambers in Tame Bout", Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona, pg. 12, 4 January 1936
  21. "Montanez Turns Back Frankie Klick", Green Bay Press-Gazette, Green Bay, Wisconsin, pg. 19, 9 June 1936
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