In the early days of prizefighting to be champion of England or Great Britain was pretty much the same as being the best in the world. The best that the rest of the world had to offer would come to these shores, challenge our champions and be sent home with their tails between their legs after being humbled. In the 20’s and 30’s our best were as good as any and had no reason to fear a trip to the USA. But gradually the pattern started to change. This change may have come about as a result of mass migration into America; with its stated policy of accepting the world’s huddled masses and a welcome under the arms of the Statue of Liberty. These immigrants were, not surprisingly, poor. They migrated for the chance of a better life. Given these circumstances, they were virtually genetically programmed to fight. Poles and Italians, Mexicans and victims of the Jewish Diaspora either laboured in the fields of the Southern states, or else they sweated in the steel mills and factories of the Great Lakes cities and blue collar towns of the Mid West. For many of them boxing six or eight rounds a couple of times a week must have seemed easier than putting in another exhausting shift under a merciless sun, or in a foundry where liquid death surrounded them on all sides. Their surnames almost told you their story: Canzoneri, Arizmendi, Baer, Graziano, Levinsky and a host of others. And suddenly our boys were the ones coming home with a few pounds and the second prize. American boxers believed that if their opponent was a plucky Brit, then as long as they made the weight, a victory was assured. The Americans developed that sporting mentality that, until recently, was, similarly, a trademark of Australian athletes, when they faced British opposition. And they saw no reason to change when people like Rocky Marciano were hitting brave challengers like Don Cockell with everything but the kitchen sink.