Mexborough boxer Iron Hague had fighting spirit

'IRON' HAGUE UNVEILING  l/r: Coun Ken Wyatt, Giles Brearley, Cliff Blades and Graham Scholfield, unveil the headstone to James William(Iron) Hague at Mexborough Cemetery.    28 July 2003 ironrxp
'IRON' HAGUE UNVEILING l/r: Coun Ken Wyatt, Giles Brearley, Cliff Blades and Graham Scholfield, unveil the headstone to James William(Iron) Hague at Mexborough Cemetery. 28 July 2003 ironrxp

Next week marks the anniversary of the birth of one of South Yorkshire’s greatest ever boxers - James William ‘Iron’ Hague.

Born on November 6 1885, the Mexborough fighter would later become British Heavyweight Champion between 1909 and 1911.

FLATBED 8/2/2000'In 1909, boxer Iron Hague leaves Mexborough station to fight for a purse worth 1,800 pounds.

FLATBED 8/2/2000'In 1909, boxer Iron Hague leaves Mexborough station to fight for a purse worth 1,800 pounds.

He rose to prominence by defeating a steady stream of English contenders before knocking out Gunner Jim Moir in the first round for the British title.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Mexborough town centre to give him a heroes’ welcome back.

In his next fight he took on Canadian Sam Langford, who is often credited as being one of the best boxers of all time. Hague put his opponent down early in the fight, but Langford managed to rally and eventually knocked Hague out in the fourth round.

Hague lost his British title to Bombardier Billy Wells in 1911. He retired with a record of 20 wins, nine losses and one draw.

Iron Hague in ring

Iron Hague in ring

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Grenadier Guards and saw military action in several battles. He died in his daughter’s arms aged in his mid 60s in 1951. He is buried in Mexborough Cemetery.

Iron Hague leaving Mexborough to fight Sam Langford

Iron Hague leaving Mexborough to fight Sam Langford

Iron Hague with Bruce Woodcock

Iron Hague with Bruce Woodcock

A painting of the legendary local boxer James William 'Iron' Hague.

A painting of the legendary local boxer James William 'Iron' Hague.

Iron Hague and manager

Iron Hague and manager

Iron Hague posing

Iron Hague posing

Doncaster Gaumont Iron Hague third from right with Bruce  Woodcock and Roland Todd

Doncaster Gaumont Iron Hague third from right with Bruce Woodcock and Roland Todd