Object of the month for November 2010

Each month we will feature a different item relating to the Museum with a unique story to tell.

Johnny Brown's Lonsdale belt won outright 19 October 1925
This new acquisition to our collection, recently unveiled at the Museum of London, was won outright by East End boxer Johnny Brown after he successfully defended his title against Mick Hill on 19 October 1925. The belt has been given to the Museum by Johnny Brown's son, Edward. The Lonsdale is the oldest and most famous championship belt in boxing. It was first issued by the National Sporting Club in 1909. Johnny's belt, the very first bantamweight belt, was made in 1910. It consists of 22ct gold medallions and enamels, joined by links, also made of gold.

Johnny Brown was 13 when he won his first major amateur championship and at 19 he received an invitation from leading New York boxing manager Charlie Harvey and made his first of many successful trips to the United States. In 1923, aged 21, Johnny won the British, British Empire and European Bantamweight titles and within 2 years had won this Lonsdale belt outright.

Jewish boxers, especially from the East End, dominated British boxing in the 1920s and 30s, with Johnny Brown the only Jewish fighter to date to win a Lonsdale belt outright.