Isaac ‘Ike' Bradley's is the classic boxer's story. From a hopeful kid selling newspapers on the streets of Liverpool to boxing for a world title and narrowly miss out on a really big pay day. In a professional career of some 11 years Bradley fought over 400 fights, on occasions the gap between contests being a matter of days. By comparison John Conteh fought 39 times in an 18 year career, and Alan Rudkin 50 times in 10 years. And many of Bradley's bouts were over 20 rounds.
Beginning his career sparring with boxers much older than himself for five shillings a session he fought his way into prominence in the English scene and in 1906 went to the USA hopeful of a championship match against world champion, Welshman Jimmy Wilde. Whilst this did not come about he stayed in America for some time fighting top rated boxers of the day. The pinnacle of his career was in 1911 when, at the Pudsey Street Stadium in Liverpool he fought the gypsy boxer ‘Digger' Stanley for the World Bantamweight title. Bradley lost the fight on points but remained convinced that Stanley had been down for 14 seconds when floored in the 4th round. The ferocity of the encounter can be gauged by the fact that Stanley finished the fight with two broken hands.
Bradley fought his last fight in 1916 and became a taxi-driver, keeping his connection with the sport acting as a second at the Liverpool Stadium. He died at the age of 68 in 1951 and was buried in Anfield Cemetery.
His childhood homes were at 12 and then 10 Ascot Street L5. After his marriage he lived at 25 Dorothy Street L7 and later moved to 41 Black Horse Lane L13. Only the last of these is still standing.
Ike Bradley's home at the time of his death in 1951.
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