EXHIBIT “THE DUKE OF LOCKPORT” honors boxer Jimmy Duffy. A new History Center exhibit honors “The Duke of Lockport,” Lockport boxer Jimmy Duffy, who fought as a lightweight and welterweight from 1908-1921. Born on Gooding St. to an Irish-American family in 1889, Duffy put Lockport on the map in the boxing world, fighting in over 200 matches and ending his career with 32 KO’s.
Even though Duffy never competed in a title match for the award of “World Champion,” he took on numerous champs with skill and style and won several of those matches. He faced Champions Jack Britton, Benny Leonard, Ted Lewis, Johnny Dundee, Freddie Welsh and Rocky Kansas. Posters from some of these famous fights are displayed in the exhibit.
Duffy married the former Alice Barrett of Lockport’s First Ward. After retiring from boxing he served as a night deputy in the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, being reappointed every three years for 27 years. During World War II he took part in benefit fights for injured soldiers in New York City.
A fall and resulting hip injury spelled chronic health problems for Duffy, who later battled back from five strokes. He died in 1960 at the age of 70 and is buried in Lockport’s St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
The History Center exhibit displays Duffy’s sparring and fighting gloves, some from his matches against World Champions. It also includes his boxing shorts and sweater, plus an impressive collection of photos from his boxing and Sheriff’s Department careers, and proclamations honoring him throughout his life. Some are on loan from a private collector.
The “Duke of Lockport” was an inspiration to all during his career and his memory continues to influence the community and other fighters to come. Stop by and see the exhibit dedicated to Lockport’s own Jimmy Duffy and enjoy a look back at his boxing career and life here in Lockport. The exhibit is open through January.