Armstrong started out 1937 by winning 22 bouts in a row, 21 by knockout. He beat Casanova in three, Belloise in four, Joe Rivers in three, former world champion Frankie Klick in four and former world champion Benny Bass in four. After those 22 wins in a row, the inevitable happened: Armstrong was given his first world title try, for the 126 pounds title, Featherweight world champion Petey Sarron defending it against him at the Madison Square Garden. Armstrong became world's Featherweight champion knocking out Sarron in six, and closed the year with four more knockout wins.
In 1938, Armstrong started with seven more knockouts in a row, including one over future world champion Chalky Wright. The streak finally ended when Arizmendi lasted ten rounds before losing a decision to Armstrong in their fourth fight. His streak of 27 knockout wins in a row qualifies as one of the longest knockout win streaks in the history of boxing, according to Ring Magazine. After the fourth bout with Arizmendi was a bout with Fritzie Zivic's brother, Eddie Zivic, resulting in another Armstrong knockout win, and after one more bout, Armstrong, the 126 pound division world champion, challenged a fellow member of the three division champions' club, Barney Ross, then world Welterweight champion, for the title. Armstrong, 126, beat Ross, 147, by unanimous decision, adding the world Welterweight championship to his Featherweight belt. Then, he went down in weight, and challenged world Lightweight champion Lou Ambers. In a history making night, Armstrong became the first boxer ever to have world championships in three different divisions at the same time, by beating Ambers on points. A few days later, he decided he couldn't make the 126 pounds weight anymore, and left the Featherweight crown vacant.
He dedicated the next two years to defending the welterweight crown, beating, among others, future world middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia, Al Manfredo and Bobby Pacho, before defending his Lightweight belt in a rematch with Ambers, which he lost on a 15 round decision. After that, he concentrated once again on defending the world Welterweight title, and made eight defenses in a row, the last of which was a nine round knockout win over Puerto Rico's Pedro Montanez. Then, he tried to make history once again by becoming the first boxer to win world titles in four different categories in a rematch with Garcia, already world Middleweight champion, but the fight ended in a ten round draw, Armstrong's attempt to win a fourth division's world title being frustrated. According to boxing historian Bert Sugar, many felt Armstrong deserved the decision in this fight.
He went back to Welterweight and retained the title five more times, until Fritzie Zivic was able to avenge his brother Eddie's defeat by taking the world title away from Armstrong with a 15 round decision. With this loss, Armstrong's reign as Welterweight champion came to an end, leaving Armstrong's successful defense streak at eighteen, the most defenses by a champion ever in Welterweight history.
Pain or damage don't end the world, or despair or Fu*kn!g beatings. The world ends when you're dead, until then you got more punishment instore. Stand it like a man, and give some back