Search this blog

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lou Ambers, 1935

1935-02-25 The Sun (New York, NY) (page 28)
Ambers a Greb or Driscoll?
His Bout With Fuller on Friday Night Should Help to Answer Question.

There is going to be fighting this week, and in the Madison Square Garden ring, of all places! The Sun man has positive confirmation that next Friday night Lou Ambers and Sammy Fuller are scheduled to engage in a fifteen-round contest in what was once referred to as the temple of fistiana. Already one hears debates as to what effect the outcome of the tilt will have on the future activities of Barney Ross, and whether this Ambers boy is a miniature Harry Greb or a modern Jem Driscoll.

This writer inclined to the Greb theory, but Eddie Harvey, who assisted his brother Charley in handling Driscoll while he was in this country, insists there is more of Jem than of Harry in the style of the Herkimer Hurricane. Eddie says what he thinks and he usually thinks pretty straight in his estimates of pugilistic quality, though as much cannot be said for his auction pinochle.

"As with Greb and Driscoll, Ambers's long suit," declared Eddie, "is, of course, speed. The secret of Greb's success, aside from his rare stamina and lion heart, was his uncanny knack of rating himself. Without resorting to grabbing or tincanning he still had a way of relaxing while his opponent was trying to fight. Then, as soon as his opponent tried to let down a bit that was just where he didn't get any rest, then it was that Harry really went to work on him. With Driscoll the trick was what may best be described as 'fist lightning.'"

The term "fist lightning" probably more aptly describes Jem Driscoll in action than any this writer has ever heard applied heretofore. You would get Eddie's meaning with more understanding had you been in his company on the two nights--barely a week apart--twenty-six years ago this very month, when Driscoll gave an impressive demonstration of this said fist lightning. It happened right here in this city, and at the expense of Abe Attell and Leach Cross.

Driscoll vs. Cross.

Cross had been fighting about four years when he stacked up against the Welsh Wizard. Leach already had given a very good account of himself against the one and only Packy McFarland, and against Tommy Murphy, Willie Fitzgerald, Charlie Griffin, Mike Glover and other topnotchers, including Fighting Dick Hyland, who was to have his revenge some months later by getting Leach out on the Coast in a finish fight, which Fighting Dick won in forty-one rounds. Leach had displayed something of a punch around this time by stopping Joe Bernstein, Frankie Madden, Battling Hurley and Young Otto.

After Jem was done with Leach, however, some one was inspired to write the following bit of doggerel:

"Driscoll was a Welshman,
His left, it was a peach;
Kept sticking it in Leach's eye,
Now Leach he needs a leech."

"It was the darndest thing," explained Cross right after the bout. "That Welsh guy seemed to have an extra pair of mitts. I'd see his left right there in front of me and the same time I was getting it in the eye."

What really happened was that Jem beat Leach to the punch with an exceptional proficiency. Fist lightning, Eddie Harvey called it, and the Welshman certainly had it. Jem struck with the speed of lightning, but with the difference that Jem struck not only twice but many times in the same place, with special attention to Leach's left eye.

Driscoll vs. Attell.

Nine days later came Driscoll's meeting with Abe Attell, and this time we felt certain American boxing prestige would be avenged, even though Abe would be giving away not less than half a dozen pounds. Abe was recognized as the featherweight champion then, but lightweights of no less renown than Battling Nelson, Freddie Welsh and Matty Baldwin, the best of them in short, usually ran second to the clever Abe.

Alas, Driscoll proceeded to take good care of Attell. It was by no means a master and pupil affair, as some accounts would have it at this far day. No exponent of the manly art that ever lived could actually outclass Abe Attell to such degree. But Jem did succeed in beating Abe to the punch, and in one round made him miss so badly that Abe all but went plunging through the ropes.

If Ambers can get by Sammy Fuller next Friday night you may be certain a worthy opponent for Barney Ross has been developed. Sammy has seen action against boys of such quality as Ross, Billy Petrolle, Tony Canzoneri, Jimmy McLarnin and Jack Kid Berg. To come through Friday Ambers will need plenty of what Jem Driscoll had in the way of fist lightning.

1935-03-02 New York Post (New York, NY) (page 17)
Lou Is Called 'Another Greb'
Fuller's Handlers Note Similarity in First Look at Ambers
From Sammy Fuller's corner last night in Madison Square Garden, Lou Ambers looked like another Harry Greb.

"What were those guys talking about?" asked Harry Kelley, Fuller's veteran trainer. "I never saw Ambers fight before and when we got in town they told me Lou was a bum."

Kelley has been around a long time. During his career he has trained Johnny Wilson, Jack Sharkey, Jim Maloney, and Jock Malone.

"Why, Ambers is the nearest thing to Harry Greb I've ever seen," Kelley declared.

"That goes for me, too," said Dan Carroll, Sammy's manager. "He's Greb all over again."

1935-03-04 Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (pages 10, 12)
Concerning Ambers and Ross

Now that Lou Ambers has performed his first 15 round test, speculation is flourishing as to his chances of beating Barney Ross for the lightweight title. In soundly thrashing Sammy Fuller last week Ambers removed an obstacle to the royal match. A bout is in the making between Ambers and Tony Canzoneri, 'tis said. But this is not too important, assuming they do meet. Ambers, I believe, will handle Tony rougher than he did little Fuller. Canzoneri dropped a decision to an unknown, Chick Woods, in Detroit the other night. He was a grand little fighter once, but the parade has passed him by--as parades will. And close to the leader of that parade is this Ambers boy, surely too pugilistically young and talented for the present shopworn edition of Canzoneri.

But to get back to Ambers and Ross. They will probably meet this Summer, likely in a New York ball park. When they do you'll find two mighty capable glovesters with sharply contrasting styles. Each is showy and skilled in his own way. Ambers' style is what is familiarly known to cauliflower as "unorthodox." He has no conventional boxing attitude, no standard means of defense.

Ambers holds his gloves lightly in no set position, often dangling them at his sides, hitting with either hand when the whim seizes him. He rarely blocks with the arms, depending on sensing the coming punch, bobbing out of range or ducking the thrust. This was the method used by Jimmy Slattery, Pal Moore and Harry Greb. Ambers is talented in this respect, but not to the degree of a Slattery or Moore. He lacks the gusto and diversified slambang attack of Greb.

Sparkling Skill.

Ross is of the highest order of orthodox boxing skill. He punches with the swiftness of a striking cobra, is fast afoot, is a remarkable counter-puncher and an aggressive, crowding fellow as well. Blocking, slipping and ducking he is as elusive as a frisky eel. Ross is a smart, nimble-witted ringster, capable of diagnosing all styles and applying his tactics to them. Although not a terrific hitter he possesses a more damaging wallop than Ambers, a comparatively light hitter. Which will win? Well, I think Ross will, brother.

One of the points argued against Ambers is his limited experience. Although Ambers has been fighting but three years, and reached his forty-sixth bout against Fuller Friday night, so that is sufficient for the purpose--if he is as good as claimed.

Ross' record somewhat supports that. The Chicago Hebrew beat Canzoneri for the title in his thirty-ninth battle, and he was five years reaching that number. Of course, he will have had considerably more valuable experience than Ambers when they meet, what with the two McLarnin jousts last year.

And in Ross, of course, Ambers will be facing a more redoubtable champion than the Canzoneri who was whipped by the then challenger Ross. Tony was good but nevertheless on the down slide then.

That Sinking Spell

Ambers has had but two really "big time" shots, those with Harry Dublinsky and Sammy Fuller. He won both. However, figuring his chance against Ross on his showing in these bouts, he was not entirely convincing in either. The cyclonic Herkimer youngster seems to have difficulty getting off to a fast start against the better class of ringsters. He was a long while getting under way against Dublinsky, coming from behind to win what I thought was a questionable decision. Against Fuller he experienced a severe sinking spell in the third round after being nailed flush with a left hook on the jaw.

It was during these squally third-round moments, too, that he furnished evidence that he wasn't exactly an iron man for all his reputed stamina. He made mute signs of protest against a series of savage body wallops, holding his gloves to foul territory, although Fuller's punches were legitimate enough.

That has a strong bearing on the impending conflict with Ross. The champion is a mighty accurate and damaging body puncher, particularly in the close fighting. A fine tactician, Ross knows that the way to slow down a whirlwind, perpetual motion type like Ambers is to batter the body. It was with a steady, concentrated assault of this kind, you'll recall, that Tunney finally mastered Harry Greb. Ambers, to my mind, will have to bear up better under this attack from Ross than he did with Fuller in that brief stormy spell Friday night.

No Privileges

In Ross, Ambers will meet a fighter different in many ways from any he has hitherto encountered. Ambers' style scintillates against boxers who permit him to do most of the forcing. He isn't likely to have any such privilege against Ross, a crowding, fast-hitting boxer in his own right. Fuller and others soon became tamed and beaten out of all descent resemblance to a forcing, aggressive fight against Ambers. They waited for the flurry of blows, simply hoping they didn't get hit too many times while firing a random shot here and there.

Ambers, like Greb, is a terror when he can force the fight to his order. Ross isn't generously inclined that way. He makes his own pace, generally. The chances are Ambers will wish he had devoted some attention to orthodox defense and attack before Ross is through with him. One of Ambers' pet stunts--the pumping rapid-fire chops to the head--is likely to prove a dud against Ross. It is showy and effective against slow-thinking fighters like Fuller, Dublinsky, a smarter boxer, smothered it, after a few rounds, with his forearm. Ross, I imagine, will quickly check it in the same fashion. He knows all about this tying up and smothering business.

Greb and Bartfield

Of course some of the cleverest, most polished boxers have been made to look foolish by weird stylists. The modern ring hasn't developed two cleverer ringsters than the Gibbons boys--Tom and Mike. Yet Greb could always beat the conventionally skilled Tom. I once saw this crazy stylist take almost every round of ten from the bewildered master boxer in the old Garden.

Mike, who was even cleverer than Tom, who copied his stuff from his middleweight brother, was once humiliated by your own rough and tough Soldier Bartfield in Brooklyn. Mike had an original trick of rubbing his nose, then unexpectedly letting the punch go from that disarming pose.

It didn't fool rough and tough Bartfield. He punched the brilliant Mike about and wound up insulting Michael by imitating his nose-rubbing stunt!

Perhaps Ambers will prove another Greb or Bartfield against Ross. But I'll be surprised if he does. I don't think he's that good--yet.

1935-05-07 Buffalo Courier-Express (Buffalo, NY) (page 17)
Herkimer Lightweight Is Second Harry Greb, May Be Too Speedy for Ex-Champion

New York, May 6--A right brisk bit of beak-busting--we'll even go so far as to predict it'll be the most savage scrap staged by the smaller sluggers here all season--will be offered when Lou Ambers and Tony Canzoneri fight fifteen rounds in Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The winner--and he looks like Ambers from where we sit--will be recognized by the New York State Athletic Commission as the successor to Barney Ross, the lightweight champion who abandoned his title a few weeks ago.

Youth vs. Age

The Ambers-Canzoneri shindig will be a splendid test of Youth versus Age. Lou is an ambitious and brilliant newcomer from Herkimer, N. Y., who has decisively whipped such able athletes as Harry Dublinsky and Sammy Fuller, while Tony, from New Orleans, is a gallant little veteran with his palmiest days behind him.

His legs about gone, Canzoneri will try to knock out Ambers early in their match. If he doesn't he's sunk, for the Herkimer lad, a two-fisted leather swinger from start to finish, will give Tony a terrific going over and he may even succeed in flattening his foe if Canzoneri starts to wabble.

A great money fighter in the past, Canzoneri will attract many sympathizers who believe he can drop Lou. These rooters should remember that Fuller, a harder hitter than Tony, larruped Lou on the lug with his Sunday punch and failed to feaze Ambers.

Ambers Another Greb

A weaving, bobbing boy who boxes much like the late Harry Greb, Ambers in his past performances has convinced most critics that Canzoneri will have a tough time laying a glove on this elusive target. Lou is an 8 to 5 favorite today and should be a 2 to 1 or better to win at ringtime.

If Ambers runs true to form and whips Tony he is likely to get his cherished shot at Ross, for the Chicagoan already has announced he will return to the 135-pound ranks after he has fought Jimmy McLarnin for the welterweight championship up at the Polo Grounds on May 28th.

"There's nothing I'd like better than to fight Ross," declared Ambers at his Orangeburg training camp today. "I was terribly disappointed when Barney gave up his title recently because I thought I'd meet him this summer. And now it looks as if I'll get my wish."

Friday, October 31, 2014

1899-10-31 Joe Gans W-PTS25 George McFadden [Broadway Athletic Club, Brooklyn, NY, USA]

1899-11-01 New-York Tribune (New York, NY) (page 5)

"Joe" Gans, the clever colored Baltimore boxer, received a decision over George McFadden after fighting twenty-five rounds at the Broadway Athletic Club last night before one of the largest crowds of the year. This was the third time the men had met, the first meeting ending in a victory for McFadden and the second contest ending in a draw.

1899-11-01 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page 16)

Joe Gans of Baltimore completely upset the calculations of the reputed wise set in pugilistic circles, at the Broadway Athletic Club last evening by defeating George McFadden of New York, in a twenty-five round contest at 133 pounds. McFadden was a big favorite in the betting, his followers flooding the house with money at odds of 100 to 75. In making Mac the favorite the crowd forgot the last fight between the men when Gans really ought to have received the decision. They looked only at his recent performance with Kid Lavigne, but again forgot that Gans was an altogether different style of boxer from the Saginaw boy and that the latter virtually defeated himself.

At no time last evening did the New Yorker make any kind of a showing at all. Instead of sticking to his old style of blocking and allowing his opponent to make the fighting and thus wear himself out until he was so weakened that it would be an easy matter to finish him, Mac Immediately took the aggressive and attempted to do the leading. In Gans, however, he found a master hand at his own game of blocking and his attempts to land were usually futile. He put in some hard left swings on Gans' head and sent the right at times well to the body, but Gans met him every time he rushed.

Gans penetrated McFadden's guard with straight lefts and with one of the fastest and surest rights ever developed by a boxer, rocked George's head time and time again, and in the twentieth round sent Mac to the floor, Gans' footwork was wonderful and the way he sidestepped and threw his right to the body caused the crowd to cheer repeatedly. As the fight proceeded the odds on Mac steadily receded until Gans' admirers were offering 100 to 40.

Mac stayed the limit but was extremely lucky to do so for Gans had him groggy many times when the gong came to his aid. After the decision had been awarded to Gans, Al Herford, on his behalf, issued a challenge to any light weight in the world, O'Brien or Erne preferred, and offered to post a side bet of $5,000.

In the preliminary bout, Kid Trueman of New York and Johnny Reagan of Brooklyn met for twelve rounds at 116 pounds. They fought a fast a clever fight, Reagan getting the decision. Johnny White was referee.

1899-11-01 The Evening Telegram (New York, NY) (page 8)
Baltimorean Defeats McFadden in the Third Attempt by His Blocking and Jabbing.
"Joe" Gans, of Baltimore, was a popular victor at the Broadway Athletic Club last night, when he defeated George McFadden, of this city. It was his clever blocking and jabbing that gave him the triumph. He wore down his opponent until in the end McFadden was saved from a knockout only by a rare exhibition of clever blocking. When Gans was given the decision on points the referee was cheered.

Many bets were recorded on the result, with McFadden the favorite at odds of 100 to 80. McFadden and Gans had met on two former occasions. In the first contest "Mac" knocked the colored boxer out after twenty-two rounds of fighting. The second contest went to Gans on points.

Contrary to his custom, McFadden rushed his man when the bell called them to the centre, landing his left on Gans' face and cleverly dodging a right swing aimed for the jaw. Gans clinched. After breaking away the New Yorker again rushed, and scored with right and left on Gans' head. Gans clinched and held his opponent. The referee separated them and told Gans that if he continued his holding tactics he would disqualify him.

1899-11-01 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 8)
Joe Gans Whips George McFadden.

Joe Gans, the colored boxer of Baltimore, and George McFadden of this city put up one of the hardest fights of their careers for twenty-five rounds at the Broadway Athletic Club last night. The fight went to the limit, but it was astonishing that it did so, for Gans gave McFadden a beating hard enough to knock out an ordinary 133-pound fighter. McFadden stood up under blows that were heavy enough to fell an ox, but his fight after the tenth round was a hopeless one. Referee White gave the decision to Gans. McFadden was the favorite in the betting at odds of 100 to 80, and many thousands of dollars changed hands at that price.

1899-11-01 The World (New York, NY) (page 10)
Little Negro Was Worried in the First Two Rounds, but Then Began to Fight.
Gave McFadden an Awful Punishment and Several Times Nearly Put Him Out.
Stood a Mauling That Would Have Made Nine Out of Ten Fighters Lie Down.
Joe Gans, of Baltimore, defeated George McFadden in twenty-five rounds at the Broadway Athletic Club last night. It was the best lightweight exhibition of fast, clever fighting and bulldog courage and endurance ever seen in New York.

Both men aspire to championship honors, but last night the clever Baltimore negro made McFadden look like a fifth-rater. He punched him almost at will, and almost put him out several times.

McFadden's display of gameness and endurance was wonderful. He never stopped fighting against certain defeat.

Each man had let his friends know that he was in perfect shape, and was sure of winning. The result was that from the moment the doors opened betting was heavy.

The Baltimore men came to Gotham with a pot of money. McFadden had a host of friends, and was the favorite at 100 to 80. Probably $15,000 was wagered at these odds before the bout began.

Even at the increased prices the house was well filled. Four thousand spectators were on the benches. Johnnie White was the referee.

McFadden Started Well.

McFadden, who is usually slow to begin and cautious, rushed at the negro, sending in a fusillade of blows. Gans retreated, fighting back cleverly. Both blocked beautifully. For two rounds McFadden had slightly the best of it, but in the third Gans was all over his opponent. He sent straight lefts to the face again and again, and swung the right three times heavily to the jaw. McFadden slipped down, Gans helped him up.

The pace was too fast to last. It was all Gans in the next three rounds. McFadden was not fighting in his usual close blocking style, and the clever negro landed blow after blow with right and left.

Gans tried so hard that he grunted as he put all his strength in each blow. He is the weaker of the two, and McFadden is strong as a bull and stood the furious work without showing it.

McFadden's face and neck were red and swelling. He began to do more blocking and less leading. It was Gans all the way until the ninth round, when twice he turned McFadden's head around with a right swing, but Mac swung his left to Gans's jaw and staggered him. Then he ripped a right to the negro's body that hurt. The betting changed to even money. The referee had to tear them apart in the clinches.

They kept up the race for four more rounds, Gans still having the best of it although McFadden was blocking better. In the fourteenth round Gans punched McFadden almost at will. He swung right after right on Mac's jaw and had him almost groggy at the bell. Mac came back like a bulldog for more and got it. He was bleeding from the nose.

Gans Punches Hard.

Gans continued to punch McFadden on head, jaw and belly for three more rounds. McFadden came back doggedly, but he was gradually getting weak under the awful punishment. Gans again almost put him out with a right swing on the jaw in the eighteenth round. The bell saved him.

Gans looked at him as much as to say, "Well, who can put you out?"

McFadden was knocked down in the twentieth round. He stayed there nine seconds, got up groggy and fought back to the bell.

McFadden came up surprisingly strong. He was game as a pebble, and tried for a wild knock-out. Gans fought cautiously, looking for a knock-out chance. He almost did the trick in the twenty-fourth.

McFadden rushed desperately in the last round, but couldn't touch Gans, and was almost put out again.

Referee White gave the fight to Gans.

The preliminary bout was the hottest kind of a fight. Johnny Reagan, of Brooklyn and Kid Trueman, of New York, fought twelve rounds at 115 pounds. Reagan won.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1917-09-18 Johnny Dundee W-PTS12 Pete Hartley [Armory Athletic Association, Arena, Boston, MA, USA]

1917-09-19 Boston Journal (Boston, MA) (page 9)
Johnny Dundee Is Far Too Good for Pete Hartley.
By Jack Malaney

Johnny Dundee walloped all the championship aspirations out of the new Durable Dane, Pete Hartley, last night at the Armory A. A. show at the Arena. The Scotch Wop didn't succeed in scoring a knockout over Hartley nor is it likely that anybody will do that little trick for some time to come, but Dundee tried his best at several stages of the affair to flatten Peter as flat as a Durable Dane could be flattened.

Thanks to the willingness of Dundee to make a fine battle out of anything at all in the line of a battle, the contest was a very fair one. Thanks to the Wop's ability to be able to take many a punch that ordinarily he wouldn't think of taking, with also sufficient credit to Peter for doing his best to do well, the bout was about 50 per cent. above expectations.

Hartley Starts Well

But while Dundee won about as he pleased, he didn't win all the way. Hartley started off in great style. He was shooting his left in straight at the beginning of the battle, and hooking, both with the left and right, and in general connecting with Dundee. Johnny was doing some missing, too. It began to look as if all the dope was about to be crossed up, but Dundee was only kidding Hartley.

It wasn't Dundee's best battle by any means. He loafed aplenty all along the route, and only spurted to keep the fans from thinking that Hartley was doing well.

Careless on Defense

In the last few years Dundee has grown more and more careless about his defense, until now it doesn't appear that he has much of any at all. Last night he apparently didn't want to have any. He just laid his defense aside and let Pete take many a pop at him. But after Dundee got beated up a little, Peter had to take four or five in trade for almost every one that he sent across.

Dundee initiated Hartley into the graceful arts of ducking, dodging and bounding off the ropes during the encounter, and Pete took his lesson like a little major. He proved an apt scholar, too, so much so that he began imitating Dundee and making the Wop miss quite often.

Up to the eighth, Dundee made little effort to see how much Pete could stand. But from the eighth on, Hartley had to stand for a lot of solid wallops that Dundee sent at him.

Jumping in as a substitute without much of any conditioning didn't do Joe Pete Stanton any good in the semi-final. Joe Pete took on his old arch enemy, Tony Vatlin, and Tony beat him. The crowd failed to take to the mill.

Both six-round prelims were spirited affairs, Al Gerard and Frank Toronto going to a draw in the opener, and Charley Miller beating Freddie Williams in the other.

1917-09-19 The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, MA) (page 6)
Gives Dundee a Good Battle at That at Armory A. A.
Tony Vatlin Scores an Easy Win in Bout With Joe Stanton
Johnny Dundee defeated Pete Hartley in their 12-round bout at the Armory A. A. last night. Hartley took quite a whaling, but did not show any fear. He kept forcing Dundee all the time. The latter was in his usual good form, as speedy as ever. He did most of his punching with the left hand, repeatedly hooking and jabbing Hartley to the jaw and body. He landed some hard rights, too.

Dundee staggered Hartley a few times, but the latter blocked so well that his rival did not have a chance to bring off a knockout. Hartley sent Dundee's head back a number of times with left jabs. He also caught Dundee some good punches on the jaw.

Dundee tried his rope trick a few times, but Hartley did not let him land a punch by its use. Indeed, he gave Dundee the best battle he has had in this city in a long time.

Tony Vatlin had an easy time defeating Joe Stanton in their 10-round bout. Al Gerard and Frank Toronto boxed a fast and hard battle for six rounds. It was called a draw. Charlie Miller defeated Fred Williams, also a six-round affair.

Mike O'Dowd and Joe Connelly will box in the feature bout at the club next Tuesday night.

1917-09-19 The Boston Herald (Boston, MA) (page 6)
New Yorker Beats Pete Hartley in 12 Rounds at Arena--Prelims Tame.
Constantly shifting his attack, Johnny Dundee of New York proved too much for Pete Hartley of Brooklyn and Referee Conley's 12-round award to the Scotch-Italian was well received by the big crowd at the Armory A. A. last night.

Is a Ring Master.

A ring master, Dundee, by his superior knowledge, outclassed the Brooklyn boy, but to the latter's credit it must be said that he fought back in clever style. Dundee hit Hartley enough times on the face to sink a couple of dreadnoughts had there been any power behind the wallop, but either Hartley is a wonder at assimilating punishment or else Dundee carries a couple of balloons in his gloves.

On the other hand, Hartley, in the punches he landed, had plenty of kick behind them, and while he failed to stagger Dundee in the 12 rounds, he rocked him a few times. While Dundee was far and away the cleverer, the bout was interesting.

Dundee is always a spectacular performer and last night he injected a few of his kangaroo leaps into the bout to show that he can furnish an attack from any quarter. Dundee entered the ring a top heavy favorite, but the wise ones were a bit leary in the first few rounds, when Hartley carried the fight to Dundee. Johnny was sizing up his opponent during this stage and he cut loose with his usual vigor after the third round.

In the fifth round Dundee executed his first leap against the ropes, only to rebound and duck twice, making Hartley look foolish. In the eighth round the boys indulged in some lively swapping, with Hartley holding his own in the exchange. Two rounds later Hartley used a straight right and he landed solid blows on Dundee's chin. This was the best session of the mill.

The semi-final bout between Tony Vatlin of Brighton and Pete Stanton of Cambridge was a flivver, with the Italian getting the 10-round verdict after a dreary bout. Charlie Kid Miller of Roxbury and Freddie Williams of Cambridge furnished a tame six-round affair, with Miller winning.

The opening six-round bout between Young Toronto of Dorchester and Al Girard of the North end was a lively affair. The little fellows slugged their way through six rounds to a draw.

One of the interested spectators at the bout was Frank Dwyer of the New York boxing commission.

Mike O'Dowd of St. Paul and Joe Connolly of Charlestown will furnish the main bout of 12 rounds at the Armory A. A. next Tuesday.

1917-09-19 The Boston Post (Boston, MA) (page 8)
Johnny Dundee of New York carried too many guns for Pete Hartley, also of the "Big City," in their 12-round bout at the Arena last night and won the verdict on points. It was a spirited contest over the entire route, with Hartley the aggressor in a majority of the rounds. He was game and willing, but found the "Scotch-Wop" too speedy for him. The bout was a good one and was appreciated by the fans.

The 10-round semi-final between Tony Vatlin, Brighton, and Joe Stanton, Cambridge, was not very exciting. The men took things easy, did a lot of slapping and too much handshaking. Vatlin was given the award.

In the first prelim Young Toronto held Al Gerard to a draw in six rounds, while in the second six-rounder Charley Kid Miller beat Freddie Williams.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1920-08-05 Sammy Mandell W-TKO5 Eddie Corbett [Stephenson’s stone quarry, Belvidere, IL, USA]

1920-08-06 Belvidere Daily Republican (Belvidere, IL) (page 9)
Yesterday was play day for Boone Post of the American Legion, hosts of Legionnaires from other nearby posts and invited guests, the occasion marking the first annual outing and picnic of the organization.

The bosky cliffs and dells of Stevenson's stone quarry were over-run by a crowd of men estimated at upwards of 1,000 who turned out to have a good time.

There was a program that fairly bristled with features. The boxing card included three events and won much applause.

Sammy Mandell, the Rockford bantam, disposed of Eddie Corbett, veteran Chicago ring gladiator, in the fifth of their scheduled six-round go. Corbett was dead on his feet when "Red" Ryan stopped the mill and gave the decision to the dark skinned Rockfordite.

Corbett showed the effects of lack of training throughout and was bested in every round. He totes a nasty right hand haymaker which he endeavored to sneak over time after time but Mandell always was able to step out of the way and punish the red headed Chicagoan wickedly in the infighting.

Mandell had his man on the defensive throughout and Corbett was covered up or working himself into a clinch. Eddie was a game boy, however, and took his punishment without a grimace. It was this same exhibition of gameness that saved him from a knockout in the fifth session. Just before the bell Corbett threw up his hands and the bout was stopped.

The "brick top" staggered to the ropes and told the crowd that he "knew when he had enough."

In the opening bout Hamill of Camp Grant ran Young Kid DeMunn of Belvidere all around the ring and showered blows to his head and face. The referee stopped the fracas in the second session and announced that DeMunn had forfeited.

Kid Bush was cut short in the second round of the semi-windup by Scully of Capron. The bout was halted in the second round after Bush had been hopelessly beaten and sustained a cut over his left eye. It was announced that Bush had been overmatched with the Capronite.

But there were other things on the program besides boxing. There were games and sports of all kinds and sorts together with some vaudeville features. Music was furnished throughout the afternoon by the Belvidere band and following the boxing card the picnic spread was enjoyed.

1920-08-06 Rockford Morning Star (Rockford, IL) (page 10)

Sammy Mandell had an easy time with the ring veteran, Ed Corbett, in the feature bout of the Boone post American Legion picnic at Belvidere yesterday, scoring a technical knockout when referee "Red" Ryan stopped the fight in the fifth round to save Corbett from taking the count. Sammy carried the battling throughout and was complete master of the situation at all stages.

Eddie Corbett has been out of the boxing game for a long time and the lack of training showed plainly on the veteran. He put up a game fight, but the going was simply too fast for him, and he couldn't stand up to the wicked right and left jabs of the local mauler. The crowd gave him a good hand, however, for his gameness and with a little more work, Corbett should be able to regain the old-time speed and punch for which he was noted.

Sammy Starts Fast.

Sammy started off with a shade in the opening round although the exchange of blows was about even, the local bantam pushing Corbett around the ring with a ceaselessly working left jab.

The second and third rounds went to Sammy by a wide margin. Toward the end of the third Corbett began to slow up and the effect of Sammy's punches were having a marked effect on him. He kept backing away, barely able to land a blow while Sammy rained short punches to the head and body incessantly.

Only Corbett's gameness saved him from a knockout in the next round. Sammy had him against the ropes a greater part of the time, landing telling blows with apparent ease. The local fighter started a cross fire with the right that took Corbett off his feet. Corbett was fighting a losing battle and he knew it, but he stuck. The crowd was yelling for a knockout. The bell saved Corbett from the dream wallop.

Stops Fight in Fifth.

Sammy rushed out of his corner at the start of the fifth and landed several blows before Corbett put up a good defense. The going was too tough, however, and Red Ryan stopped the slaughter, with Corbett pleading to continue. The crowd cheered Ryan's decision when the bout was over.

In the opening bout Hamill of Camp Grant stopped Adams of Belvidere in the second round. Both lads weighed 135 pounds. Adams was beaten from the start, Hamill landing punches at will.

In the final preliminary to the main attraction, Honk Garrett's protégé, Kid Bush, was cut short in the second round by Phil Vergis of New Orleans, a former Great Lakes boxer. Vergis, a ringer, and an old experienced fighter, was substituted for Scully, who was supposed to meet the Olympic Athletic club man. Vergis has been visiting Scully and as the southern lad wanted a chance to step into the squared circle again, Scully and the show officials agreed to the change. Bush put up a clever fight, in spite of the big odds against him, but Vergis was too much of a match for the local lad.

Over 800 people, including a number of Rockford legionnaires, attended the picnic, and the affair was pronounced a decided success.

1920-08-06 The Rockford Daily Register-Gazette (Rockford, IL) (page 15)
Sammy Earns Technical Knockout in Fifth Round When Referee Stopped Milling.

Sammy Mandell, Rockford bantam, earned a technical knockout over Eddie Corbett, of Chicago, in the fifth round of their scheduled six round windup, at the American Legion picnic in the woods outside Belvidere yesterday. Corbett, who is a veteran of the ring, plainly showed lack of condition, having been a private and peaceful citizen for the last two years. From the initial gong Corbett hid behind his gloves and took what Sammy had to offer, the little Italian fighting in his usual style--sailing in for a lively mix and then cleverly retreating to draw his opponent on. Corbett wasn't severely damaged but his lack of staying power laid him open to repeated attacks, and the bout was stopped in order to save him from further punishment.

In the first bout of the afternoon, Hamil of Camp Grant stopped Adams of Belvidere, who substituted for Brentz, in the second round. Brentz suffered a broken hand the day before and was unable to keep the date. It wasn't much of a scrap, the soldier mauler walking through his opponent.

In the other bout, a ringer named Phil Vergis of New Orleans, stopped Kid Bush of the Olympic club in the second round, it being no fight. Bush was scheduled to meet Scully of the Great Lakes, but the latter run out of the match to allow Vergis to go on.

1920-08-06 The Rockford Republic (Rockford, IL) (page 16)

Youngster Has Little Trouble in Beating Veteran from Chicago--Kid Hamel Stops His Man in the Second.

Sammy Mandell finished off Eddie Corbett of Chicago in short order in the scheduled six round windup bout at the Belvidere legion picnic yesterday afternoon, the local boy beating the game veteran all the way. Referee Ryan stopped the battle in the fifth to save Corbett from needless punishment. From the tap of the gong in the first round it was apparent that Sammy had Corbett outclassed, Mandell's left jabs and right hooks shaking up Eddie and soon had him near the helpless stage. Corbett is one game fighter and he refused to quit although he was punished severely. The action of Ryan stopping the battle was applauded by the spectators.

In the first bout Kid Hamel of Camp Grant stopped Adams of Belvidere in the second round, the soldier handing the Boone county scrapper a bad beating in the two fracas. Hamel is improving right along in every fight and he will soon be given a chance in one of the preliminaries at one of the Camp Grant boxing shows. Bush, the Olympic club boxer, was no match for Phil Vergis of New Orleans and the fight was stopped in the second round. Bush, who was making his debut in the ring, was supposed to fight Scully of Capron but for some reason or other the veteran Vergis, who has a long string of battles behind him, was substituted without letting the local scrapper know of it. Bush is an inexperienced boxer and was booked to box a fighter of his own calibre and the substitution of Vergis did not sit well with the local fans there.

A crowd of over 800 attended the picnic. A Belvidere band and a Hawaiian quartet furnished the music and vaudeville numbers followed the boxing.

1921-08-05 Mike Gibbons W-PTS12 Gus Platts [Arena Athletic Club, Arena, Boston, MA, USA]

1921-08-06 The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, MA) (page 7)
It Will Take a Better Boxer Than This Platts Person Is to Show If Mike Gibbons Has Really Come Back to His Old Form

Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul Phantom, never met a softer opponent or won a decision as easily as he did the one he gained over Gus Platts of England, European middleweight champion, in their 10-round bout at the Arena A. C. last night.

Gibbons received $5000 for administering the licking he gave Platts and the latter received $3500 for taking it. Platts is one of the worst English fighters who ever showed in Boston. He is a sturdy fellow but muscle bound.

The punches he landed on Gibbons had little force. Only a few times did Gibbons show how clever he is when he wants to be. He did not have to display his cleverness, Platts was so easy. The St. Paul boxer took many punches that he could easily have avoided, but he evidently did not want to show the Englishman up any worse than he was doing.

It looked at times as if Gibbons were carrying Platts, and there were other times when it appeared as if he were trying for a knockout, for he staggered Platts with lefts and rights on the jaw.

Gibbons hit Platts so often with lefts and rights on the jaw, face and stomach that it was impossible to keep count of them. It was easy enough to keep tabs on the blows that Platts landed. The latter was such a punching bag that the big crowd of fans would not have kicked if the referee had stopped the bout before it had gone half the distance. If Platts is the European champion then the men he defeated in order to win that title must have been a poor lot of fighters.

This was Platts' first fight in America. He will have a sore fact for some days from the jabbing that Gibbons gave him all through the battle.

Platts weighed in at 160 pounds at 3 o'clock and Gibbons tipped the beam at 155 pounds at the same time. It was the second easy match that Gibbons had won in two succeeding nights, he having won from Ratner the night before in New York.

In the semifinal bout, Barney Rivers of Providence outclassed Willie Corbett of Somerville so much that Corbett's seconds threw in the towel in the sixth round and Rivers was declared the winner.

Freddie Madden of East Boston and Frankie Conway of Philadelphia boxed a hard and fast eight-round bout. Madden got the decision, but the majority of the fans figured that Conway was the winner.

In the opening bout, Newport Johnny Brown won from Billy Coogan of South Boston, three rounds.

1921-08-06 The Boston Herald (Boston, MA) (page 6)
Platts Clay in Hands of Mike Gibbons
Gibbons Throws Flock of Boxing Gloves All Over Opponent Platts

Gus Platts, proud possessor of the middleweight championship of Europe, was due to gaze on the field of American contenders for world championship honors. He might have obtained a peek at Mike Gibbons last night at the Boston Arena, but if he did it was a little peep. For 10 rounds Europe's best bet in the middleweight division stopped Mike Gibbons's assortment of punches unflinchingly and at the end was marked up a little, but as full of fight as when he started.

Hard Work for Platts

If Platts is the champion of Europe we would like to see some of the men he defeated winning his way to the title and the man he captured the championship from must be a "beaut." Poor Gus looked worse than anything we ever saw in a local ring. He absolutely knew nothing about boxing, but of course that could be accounted for when the fact is known that he faced the cleverest middleweight in the business today.

Gibbons, smart as ever, but lacking much of the old dash and snap that featured in his previous encounters here, looked good to the uninitiated who never saw him in action before, but not like the Gibbons who smeared Gus Christie and Joe White all over the ring in 12-round bouts several years ago.

Boxing to Gibbons is the most natural thing in the world, while to Platts it is hard work. There isn't a natural move in the Englishman, and if he has any he failed to display them last night. He couldn't do a thing but stop punches with his face and body until the mill became monotonous, and if Gibbons hadn't been in fairly good condition he would have tired under his own efforts thumping the Englishman.

Platts was willing enough and game as a pebble. He was belted enough in five rounds to have discouraged a less game fighter but never stopped trying to keep pace with his elusive and cleverer opponent. Gibbons was altogether too fast and shifty for Platts, who expected that he might tire under a heavy pace, only to be fooled in the end and outpointed for the decision. Outpointed hardly describes the result as Platts was outclassed more than any other fighter who has appeared in a local ring and been on his feet at the end.

Platts Never in Distress

Despite all that came his way, Platts at no time was in danger of being bucked away. He never was in distress and never wavered under the stinging left jabs and hooks Gibbons caught him with in each of the 10 rounds. Not once did Platts back away from his opponent. The faster Gibbons scored the harder Platts tried to fight, but it was next to a hopeless task for him to score on Gibbons.

Platts admitted his defeat manfully, but believes he will do better in his next contest. What he received last night was what he wanted, a hard, fast contest, and there is no denying that he learned a lot about boxing from Gibbons.

Gus claimed distinction of never having been knocked off his feet in more than 200 contests, and the distinction still belongs to him as he was propped up at the finish without ever being in danger of being knocked down even though he stopped more gloves than he ever thought were made.

Corbett Stops in Sixth

Willie Corbett had to give up in the sixth round in his fight with Barney Rivers in one of the preliminary bouts. The Cambridge boxer was not in any too good condition and the pace proved too warm for his comfort when his seconds tossed in the towel.

Freddie Madden of East Boston defeated Frankie Conway of Philadelphia in an eight-round bout. The judges' decision failed to please a few, but Madden won the contest by his cleaner and harder hitting and was entitled to the verdict.

Willie Coogan started out like a sure winner, but was defeated in the first round in his fight with Young Brown of Newport. The latter was sent to the canvas with a right that looked good enough to win the fight for Coogan, but when Brown took his feet he made the going warmer than Coogan could stand.

1921-08-06 The Boston Post (Boston, MA) (page 5)
Gibbons Winner but Platts Game
European Champion Cheered for Forcing Tactics, but Is Outclassed by St. Paul Phantom

When Gus Platts of England tied up with Mike Gibbons of St. Paul as the proper opponent with whom to make his American debut, he made a big mistake.

He knows this himself, now, so do the 7000 fans who took in last night's bout at the Arena.

Gibbons, though 37 years old and growing older, won the decision all the way, starting with the first round and going through to the end of the 10th.

Platts showed himself to be game, willing and tough, but he was dead slow as a ringster alongside the St. Paul "phantom," and stopped enough punches to sink a battleship. Happily for Platts, Gibbons is not a hard hitter, for Mike speared his man with straight lefts and rights, hooked him to the jaw with either hand, and now and then shook him up with jolts and uppercuts to the chin. Against the Britisher, the St. Paul man appeared to have lost none of his old-time speed, cunning and cleverness. His showing caused many to express the query what he would do with either Wilson or Downey or both.

Though Platts' face and jaw was the target for Mike's pet punches, the bulldog in the Englishman caused him to stick right with him, and, excepting two or three rounds, he was always forcing. His aggressiveness won for him more than one cheer in the earlier stanzas, though toward the last, when the fans realized that he had no chance to win, the referee was urged to interfere.

Face Badly Puffed

Gibbons left the ring without a mark, while Platts' face was badly puffed and bore a cut under the right eye. Jack Sheehan was the third man in the ring. After the bout it was learned that Platts had suffered a rupture in connection with his training and narrowly escaped being barred by the State's doctor from going into the ring.

Willie Coogan of South Boston, who was substituted for Denny Glynn in the first prelim, because the State weigher found Glynn six pounds overweight, gave Johnny Brown of Newport, R. I., a lively scrap for a couple of rounds, upsetting the Rhode Islander in the initial session. Then Willie blew up in the third and the referee stopped the affair, the award going to Brown.

Madden's Verdict

Freddie Madden, East Boston, and Frankie Conway, Philadelphia, put up a rugged eight-rounder in the next prelim. Madden did the cleaner landing and cleverer work, but too much holding to please the fans. He was given the verdict and the fans did not like the decision.

Willie Corbett, the Tech student, bit off too big a mouthful in Barney Rivers of Woonsocket, R. I., in the semi-final. Willie made a game, uphill fight of it and had the better of the first three rounds. Then he began to go to pieces and in the sixth the towel was tossed from his corner. The award went to Rivers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

1915-07-02 Pete Herman W-PTS20 Louisiana [Tulane Athletic Club, New Orleans, LA, USA]

1915-07-03 The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA) (page 11)
Local Bantam Wins Fifteen Out of Twenty Rounds--Bout One-Sided.
Kid Herman, the little New Orleans bantamweight, fighting in the best form that he has ever shown in a local contest, completely outclassed "Louisiana," the Philadelphia bantam, in a twenty-round bout at the Tulane Athletic Club last night, and thereby regained his old-time position on the pedestal of popularity from which he slipped a trifle some time ago through poor showings against rather mediocre fighters.

Herman won fifteen out of the twenty rounds by greater or less margins, three were classed as even and two went to Louisiana.

The latter two were the thirteenth and fourteenth and in these the visiting boxer made his only real hearty bid for the verdict. Finding that he could do nothing with the local youngster in the straight boxing and fighting game, Louisiana in the two rounds mentioned cast care to the winds and tore in. He completely disregarded the rain of short jabs and hooks that Herman poured in on his face and body, took them and smiled and kept boring in, at the same time swinging wildly to face, ribs, stomach and kidneys. His efforts, though wild, were earnest and in refreshing contrast to the one-sidedness of the greater part of the battle.

Herman went into the ring carrying a large sized and angry looking boil on his chin just at the point of the jaw, and when this was seen, many of the fans present thought that Louisiana would be sure to make a target of it. Possibly he tried to do so, but so far as was seen from the northeast corner of the ring, he has yet to hit that target.


It was practically all Herman and though the little fellow was under the handicap imposed by the boil, he fought a great fight. The aggressor at practically all times, he made Louisiana look like an amateur in the boxing game. The visitor was as much at sea as though he were midway between San Francisco and Australia. He willingly started punches, hard ones, too, but they landed nowhere. He tried it at long range, he tried to get in close. He tried swings, hooks, uppercuts and jabs. All failed. The only thing that he could work, and these were only occasionally, were long side-arm hooks to the ribs and stomach. When they landed Herman flinched, but they landed too seldom.

From the first round to the last it was almost the same thing. At the first Herman was going at so rapid a pace that many thought he could not last, especially as it was thought that the boil must have weakened him, but last he did. When he won the first four rounds by a wide margin, it was thought also that Louisiana was simply biding his time, waiting for Herman to work himself out, and then going out with a rush to finish things up. However, this, too, proved to be the wrong "dope" on the situation, for never for a moment from first to last, did Herman let up in the terrific pace that he set and this pace was many, many notches too great for Louisiana.

The latter, it appears, is a fighter, pure and simple. He knows little and cares less for the boxing end of the game. He relies on his ability to hit and hit hard. But it seems also that he must be set to deliver a telling punch. Well, when his opponent would not stay still long enough for him to get set to deliver, he was simply "up in the air."

Herman boxed beautifully and slugged, at times, on even terms with his opponent. Of course, there was nothing to it in the boxing department, but Herman, and when it came to the slugging, Herman surprised even his most ardent admirers by outfighting and outslugging Louisiana.

The latter would tear in, miss one, take a couple of sharp jabs on the face, become rattled at the way Herman was on him and out again, then fall into a clinch. Now, it was generally thought that in the clinches Louisiana would get in some telling work, but not so, not so. Herman landed four to one in the clinches, as in everything else.


In short, the phrase, "Herman outclassed Louisiana," describes the contest completely. It leaves little to be told. Louisiana finished the bout trying hard, but he could accomplish no telling effects.

Quite a little blood was spilled. In the very first round the boys bumped heads and Herman's face, over the left eye, was cut. In the latter rounds Louisiana suffered from a cut under the right eye coming from a vicious left jab and later still an old wound in the side of his head was opened and bled profusely.

The contest was viewed by only a fair-sized crowd, the rival attraction at the Dauphine undoubtedly having its effect in this respect.

Dick Roche, a local lad who has been out of the game nearly two years, punctuated his come-back with a victory over George Sirey, a boy who has been winning by knockouts recently. Roche was beaten nearly the whole way through, but was game and tough and in the final round wore Sirey down and punished him so that the referee stopped the bout about a minute before the end. There were two four-round preliminaries.

1915-07-03 The New Orleans Item (New Orleans, LA) (page 8)
Peter Herman's punch is in process of development, and when it is well developed Peter will be the fight fans' pick to take the championship away from Kid Williams.

Herman earned a decision Friday night over "Louisiana," Philadelphia bantam, who recently gave Williams quite a mauling. The bout went 20 rounds, and at the end of the 20th there was no other decision possible than a verdict for the little New Orleans boxer for he had outpointed "Louisiana" nearly all the way.

"Louisiana" was a distinct disappointment. He wasn't good enough to even extend Herman, who was second in the betting because the sports thought that the boy who had twice knocked down the sturdy Williams was good enough to defeat Pete.

"Louisiana" Over-Rated

"Louisiana" was a stronger betting favorite at the ringside than he had been all the week because of a boil that had appeared on Herman's chin some 36 hours before the fight.

So big and troublesome was this boil that Herman's manager, "Red" Walsh, tried to have the bout postponed, and it would have been postponed but for the refusal of "Louisiana's" manager to remain longer on the scene. He said he had to get back East and wouldn't agree to put off the mill.

Walsh remembered what happened to Herman when he fought Frankie Burns with a boil in his nose, and he practically made up his mind that Pete was in for another trouncing.

Pete Used to Boils

But "Louisiana" is not the boxer that Burns is, and not near the ring general. Burns lamped the boil first thing and aimed every other jab at the spot where it blossomed. "Louisiana" wasn't boxer enough and he wasn't smart enough to see the advantage he might have gained.

And Herman, too, showed that he had become used to boils. At first he was very careful to guard the infected spot but when he saw that "Louisiana" wasn't wise to his opportunities Pete forgot the boil and at times set in to slug with the Philadelphian with wonderful success. And in the finer points of the game he excelled to such an extent that a comparison is out of the question.

Moore Defeats Coster

While Herman was winning from "Louisiana," Young Pal Moore was turning a little trick at another fight mill. The young Memphian took Young Coster into camp. Neither affair was very profitable.

Dick Roche, who has been out of the game a good while, wore down George Sirey in the semi-final at the Tulane club. Sirey had Roche outpointed in the majority of the rounds, but Roche was tough and game.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1907-06-03 Harry Harris W-DQ8 Harlem Tommy Murphy [National Sporting Club, Lyric Hall, Manhattan, NY, USA]

1907-06-04 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page S2)
"Pride of Harlem" Ordered Out of Ring at National Sporting Club.

Harry Harris won over "Harlem" Tommy Murphy on a foul in the eighth round of a ten-round contest last night, at the National Sporting Club. Murphy had fought foul throughout and was allowed to proceed by Referee Johnnie White, who called Tommy's tactic unintentional, but in the eighth, when Murphy, in plain sight of everybody, deliberately butted Harris under the chin, he sent the "Pride of Harlem" from the ring.

Harris fought an excellent battle, considering the time he has been out of the ring; his left jabs were very effective and played havoc with Murphy's temper by repeatedly jarring Tommy's head; his footwork saved him many times when it seemed as if it only needed one more punch from Murphy to put him away. The body work weakened Harris, and Murphy would probably have stopped him before the limit, had he kept his head. Murphy's work was crude and did not tend to add to his popularity.

In the preliminaries, "Kid" Egan won over Harry Phillips; Willie Dorsey bested Joe Bedell, and Jack Robinson earned the decision over "Dutch" Zimmer.

Just before the main bout Terry McGovern, George Dixon and Young Corbett were introduced and received a rousing reception. Terry seemed in fine shape, but said there would be no more fighting for him.

1907-06-04 The Evening Telegram (New York, NY) (page 7)
1907-06-04 The New York Herald (New York, NY) (page 7)
Harry Harris Wins from Murphy on Foul
In the first fight of real quality held in New York without police interference since the lapse of the Horton law, seven years ago, Harry Harris last night won on a foul from "Harlem Tommy" Murphy. The decision was received with enthusiastic approbation by the members of the National Sporting Club in Lyric Hall, fully a quarter of whom were in evening dress.

Although the battle was sensational from the tap of the gong that called the two boys to the centre of the ring until the referee, "Johnny" White, sent Murphy disqualified to his corner, the greatest interest perhaps lies in the fact that it marked a resumption of legitimate pugilism in New York.

All present were bona fide members of the club and more representative men have seldom attended a glove event. Seated around the ringside were Stock Exchange members, merchants, physicians, "men about town," politicians and owners of famous race horses. They generally approved of the referee's decision, giving the winner's share of the purse to Harris.

Murphy was rough throughout the battle, which had been scheduled to go ten rounds. At least three different times did he foul Harris before he was disqualified after fifty-five seconds of fighting in the eighth round. He was full of the fever of warfare and at all times attempted to tear his way through Harris, who remained cool, though frequently in danger of a knockout. As a fighting machine Murphy is made of the right material, but he lacks the proper gray matter under his hair.

It was an experienced boxer possessed of ring generalship surpassed by few against a fighter who was willing to accept two blows that he might land one. The boxer won simply because his opponent has more willingness than brains. Harris had permitted himself to be lured into the ring under rules that weakened him and strengthened Murphy. He was fortunate that the fight terminated in his favor.

In the opinion of many White might have proclaimed Harris the winner on two prior occasions without doing Murphy an injustice. One opportunity for action on the part of White developed in the third round, when Murphy fouled his opponent, and another in the fifth, when the Harlem lad again violated the rules.

On both occasions claims of foul were made to the referee. He, however, refused to allow them, believing they were accidental. He made it clear when he finally stopped the bout in the eighth round that he entertained no doubt on that point. Walking to the ropes on the south side of the ring, he said:--"Gentlemen, I am here to give satisfaction. I know when a foul is deliberately committed and when it is not. The foul I just passed was one of the most deliberate I ever saw."

White's speech was loudly applauded, indicating that losers and winners alike recognized the fairness of his verdict.

The fight was full of ginger throughout, but the rules operated greatly to the disadvantage of Harris. The men fought with the understanding that each must protect himself on the break away. This helped Murphy's style of fighting considerably, as it enabled him to do fine execution at close range and in clinches with his famous short arm drives.

Harris, who shows to better advantage when sparring at long range, had few opportunities to extend himself to the limit of capabilities under the adverse conditions. Notwithstanding the handicap, he made a good showing, but Murphy had the better of the exchange, particularly during the early rounds, when he almost closed Harris' right eye and landed frequently with the left to the head and the right to the short ribs.

The fifth round was marked by terrific fighting. Harris scored heavily during the first minute and a half, using his straight left jabs effectively on his adversary's jaw and body. But he weakened under the pace and Murphy had him beaten to a state of collapse with short heart and body blows when the gong sounded. The minute's rest helped Harris wonderfully and he came out of his corner for the sixth round refreshed and aggressive.

He soon scored first blood with a stiff jab to the mouth, and also reached Murphy's jaw with the right. He also made a good impression in the seventh round with a terrific left hand hook over "Harlem Tommy's" right eye.

In the eighth and what proved to be the last round Harris was scoring vigorously on Murphy's damaged eye, when "Tommy," who was hard pressed, in danger of serious consequences, deliberately brought his left hand up in the final foul.

1907-06-04 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 12)
Pride of Harlem Butted Opponent Viciously in Eighth Round--Referee White Says that Loser's Manager Is a Liar.
Harry Harris got a decision over Tommy Murphy last night--got it when he was on the run, weak and staggering--when his mind was fighting off the Harlem demon rather than his fists. Murphy fouled him in the eighth round. The referee did the rest. It was a deliberate foul, as plain as the glove on Murphy's hand.

Nettled by the decision against Murphy, John Oliver, his manager, declared that the "Pride of Harlem" had been made the victim of a base and foul job. This is what Oliver said:

"A few days ago the Harris people sent a man to me, who offered me $3,000 to have Murphy lay down. I told them there wasn't enough money on Broadway to get Murphy to do it. And this is what they have done to us."

"Oliver's cry is that of a bad loser," said Tom O'Rourke, manager of the club. "The man he says offered him the money hasn't got a dollar. Everybody here saw the foul. It is ridiculous to say it was a job. All my friends lost money. They bet 2½ to 1 that Murphy would win."

Johnnie White, the referee, had this to say to-day about the fight:

"Having heard that Johnnie Oliver, Murphy's manager, has made the statement that he was offered $3,000 to have Murphy lose to Harris, I call upon Oliver to give the name of the person who made the proposition to him. If he refuses to make known this name, then all I have to say is that he is an unqualified liar.

"I desire to add that I have ample reason to believe that the yarn is false from beginning to end. I will give $500 to any charity selected by The Evening World if Oliver can come forward with evidence to show that his statement is true, or that I was in any way a party to such a plot."

All Saw the Foul.

If there was a job it was not apparent to the naked eye. Referee Johnny White had two chances to disqualify Murphy. Twice Harris stopped and dropped to his knees, claiming he had been hit low. And finally, when he did disqualify Murphy, even the men who had lost their wagers--and thousands were lost--took their medicine gracefully. They had witnessed the foul.

The National Sporting Club's quarters in Lyric Hall, Sixth avenue and Forty-second street, were crowded to the doors when the men entered the ring. It was a curious fight crowd. Only the elect were there. The pikers were nowhere. It was a crowd with parlor manners. The lusty-lunged hysterical fight fans of the olden days, when the Horton law was young, sat subdued and quiet. It is doubtful if at any stage the pedestrians on Sixth avenue knew, or had any reason to know, what was going on.

Three Champions There.

It was a convention of champions. Three of 'em sat in a row--wee dusky George Dixon, once invincible, now aged and withered; the quiet and well fed looking Young Corbett, and "Terrible" Terry McGovern. Surrounding them were lawyers and doctors--the highball coterie from the Waldorf-Astoria cafe, headliners from the Broadway shows, and the "also rans" of the sporting world, and last, but not least, John Philip Sousa.

Harris was the first in the ring. Norman Selby, once Kid McCoy, was his chief second. Then came Murphy, with Oliver at his ear. When they went to the centre of the ring it became known that they were to fight straight Queensberry rules. The Harris followers were chagrined. All hope of victory seemed gone. Murphy was known to be a furious and powerful combatant at that aggressive game.

Alongside of the stocky Murphy Harris's lithe, rangy body was accentuated. He spelled agility, Murphy power. When the bell sounded in the first of the ten rounds they were scheduled to go, Murphy was after Harris with a rush. Two lefts and then another crashed into the tall fighter's face, and then a vicious swing struck the body. The tall one doubled up, and they were at it in a rapid exchange of body blows. In a minute Harris's body was red from the pummeling he got. Then suddenly Harris's left shot out, and Murphy's head went back from the blow. But the Harlem boy came rushing back, and with a left to the jaw sent Harris staggering back. It was Murphy's round on aggressiveness.

Another for Murphy.

Murphy's left smashed into Harris's jaw at the beginning of the second. They came together and had a fair exchange. Then Murphy forced Harris to the ropes and shook his head back with a hard one on the jaw. Harris came out of the clinch with a jab to the face. It annoyed Murphy and was back again. But a short right uppercut stopped Harris. That round was Murphy's, too.

During the intermission the Harris followers became jubilant. The Harris of old seemed to be coming back. So far the sturdy Murphy, although his blows had landed hard, gave no sign of telling effect. Murphy's followers expressed surprise.

Murphy sent in a hard right to the body at the beginning of the third. Then out came Harris's jab again. Once, twice, three times it crashed against Murphy's face without return. Murphy, with head down and arms swinging, bored in to the tall one and suddenly Harris dropped to his knees and dragging himself to the ropes cried "foul." The crowd took up the cry, but the referee ordered Harris to continue. Murphy landed a terrific punch in the stomach. The bell parted a mix up. It was Murphy's round.

Murphy jumped from his chair with the gong at the beginning of the fourth and chased Harris around the ring. Harris kept him away with his annoying jabs, but when they clinched he suffered from Murphy's body blows. One fist after the other crashed against his heart and stomach and he began to grow weak. But suddenly his left found Murphy's jaw and then his right swing over for the first time. The round ended in a draw.

Another Cry of Foul.

The fifth started with a terrific exchange. Harris's wind was gone. He was getting wobbly and on the defensive. Murphy was fighting like a demon. Then Harris fell again, crying "Foul!"

Instantly two of his seconds were in the ring protesting to the referee. The house was in an uproar, "Give the decision to Murphy!" cried one crowd. "Give the decision to Harris!" cried the other faction. The referee shooed the seconds out of the ring and forced Harris to go on. That was Murphy's round.

Murphy leaped at Harris in the sixth. He seemed eager to finish it. He landed blow after blow and Harris clung to him in distress. At times he struck out, but all his steam was gone. All the way it was Murphy's round. Skill and pluck saved Harris.

In the seventh Harris came to life again. At the beginning he got the worst of the exchanges in the clinches, but he went after Murphy with his annoying jabs again. Murphy jarred him with a right to the head, but he came back with a terrific right to Murphy's stomach. Harris jabbed Murphy. When they came out of a clinch Murphy had a cut over the right eye. Harris's right eye was closed. It had been closing slowly for several seconds. The round was a draw.

The eighth round brought the thrilling climax. Murphy sent his left to the jaw and Harris landed two rights. They came together and clinched and fought around the ring. Then Murphy bored in again.

Murphy rushed in with his head down. As his gloves struck Harris he suddenly shot his head into Harris's face. Referee White promptly disqualified him, sending men to their corners.

Crowd Was Surprised.

The unexpected termination dazed the Murphy backers. It was some seconds before they recovered. They made a howl, but were quickly silenced. Referee White raised his hands and the noise subsided.

"Gentlemen, " said White, "I try to be fair, but I never saw a more deliberate foul, and my duty was plain."

Johnny Oliver jumped into the ring and protested to White, but his argument had no effect, and he finally led Murphy away. The crowd applauded both fighters. In his dressing-room Murphy made this explanation:

"He fouled me all through the fight. I never knew a fouler fighter. He gouged me, crushed my nose with his hand, and even bent back my fingers. And he butted me, too. That is how I got this cut over my eye."

The astute Kid McCoy made this characteristic explanation:

"Fouling may be all right if you can get away with it. Murphy got caught with the goods."

In the semi-windup Jack Robinson bested Dutch Zimmer. There were two other six round bouts. Bant Darcy defeated Joe Bedell, and Kid Eagan had a shade on Harry Phillips.

1907-06-04 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 8)
1907-06-04 The Standard Union (Brooklyn, NY) (page 8)
Disqualified in Lively Contest with Harris for Fouling.

In a most unsatisfactory ten-round bout Harry Harris, the elongated boxer of Chicago, defeated Tommy Murphy, "the Pride of Harlem," in the eighth round on a foul before the National Sporting Club at Lyric Hall last night. Murphy was disqualified for using his head while in a clinch. Whether the foul was intentional or not the spectators could not decide, but Referee Johnny White declared that it was, and made the announcement from the ring. Up to this time Murphy had a commanding lead and looked as if he had the encounter well in hand. The fight was a vicious affair, in which many hard punches were exchanged. Murphy was the most prolific with his blows, ripping his man with telling effect in nearly every round save the seventh.

In this period Harris caught Murphy on the right eye with a left hook, inflicting a deep gash.

From the outset Murphy cut out the pace, slashing away at Harris' body and head. Murphy connected exceptionally well at close range, Harris being unable to avoid Murphy's jarring jolts to the jaw and chin. As they agreed to battle under straight Marquis of Queensbury rules, this was permissible under the code. In order to escape this punishment, Harris had to resort to clinching, and displayed some strength while in this position.

Murphy made a rushing scrap of it from the first round. He plied both hands with lightning-like rapidity. If the rules had been religiously observed, Harris should have been the loser in the fifth. In this round, after Murphy caught Harris a hard right in the wind which dropped Harry, the latter's seconds raised a cry of foul and rushed pellmell into the ring. The referee pushed them back. The combat was also delayed in the third, when Harris claimed that Murphy had caught him below the belt. The blow was a sort of glancing one, and Harris dropped into his chair, to all appearances in agony.

There is no question regarding Harris's gameness. He withstood enough grueling during the fight to subdue five ordinary men, the beating about the body and face that Murphy administered being especially severe. Murphy's soporific left hooks played havoc with Harry's countenance, so much so that when Harris retired to his dressing room his lips were considerably puffed and his visage was marked and bruised.

1907-06-04 The Washington Times (Washington, DC) (page 8)
Tommy Murphy, However, Put Up Far the Best Fight.

NEW YORK, June 4.--Tommy Murphy lost to Harry Harris on a foul in the eighth round last night at Tom O'Rourke's National Club, which holds forth at Lyric Hall.

The boys were to have boxed ten rounds, but after a very shameful exhibition on the side of both men the Harlem boy lost for butting his opponent with his head in a clinch.

For the real, active merits in the boxing line Murphy proved himself far the better man, but after being butted himself and choked with the elbow, he tried to even things up--and he lost out. Referee Johnny White, after the fight, announced that it was the most deliberate foul he had ever seen and as he was there to see fair play, he gave the fight to Harris.

Mr. White may mean well, but he didn't give Tommy a square deal on the rules or else we read the rules wrong.

In the fifth round Murphy hit Harris a bit low, and the latter claimed a foul. Mr. White decided that there was no foul, and then two of Harris' seconds jumped into the ring, ran across to their man and yelled wildly at the referee for allowing such a thing to pass his notice. Mr. White told them to get out, and ordered the boys to fight.

Tom Sharkey won over Jim Corbett the night Jim's seconds entered the arena after Jim was pretty well mussed up, but then they might have changed the rules since. Mr. White will have to enlighten us a bit on that affair.

Just before that in the third round, when Harris had one of his eyes closed, Murphy missed a low punch and Harry, seeing a chance to cop, walked to his corner with an expression of pain on his face. The referee let him rest half a minute or so and then ordered him to fight amid loud protests from the Harris men.

If Murphy fouled him Harris should have won. If Murphy did not foul him, why was Harris allowed a rest?

It is only fair to ask such questions, for the rules were stretched so far last night. Mr. White was right in ordering Harris to fight, however, as he was not hurt in the least and no punch landed on him. Quite a number of foxy fighters have won bouts this way, but then those at the ringside are not all blind, even though some up there last night were crazy enough to bet two and one-half to one that Murphy would win.

1907-06-05 The Denver Post (Denver, CO) (page 11)
Explains Alleged Fake Go
McDonald Wanted Murphy to Lay Down-Offered Him $3,000.
(By Tad.)

New York, June 5.--The suspicious circumstances surrounding the fight between Tommy Murphy and Harry Harris, in which the Harlem boy lost on a foul, before the National Sporting club, were explained today by Johnny Oliver, the manager of Murphy, who said: "last Friday a man known as McDonald, and a former newspaper man, came to me at the New Polo Athletic club and said: 'Oliver, will you take $3,000 to have Murphy lay down in his fight with Harris? Just let him put a bandage around his bad leg and when the time comes he can go down for the count.'

"I told him that we were not in that kind of business. McDonald did not explain to me anything about the details of the matter."

1907-06-05 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 12)
To the safe and sane these things rise from the Harris-Murphy aftermath:

Tommy Murphy fouled Harry Harris, and was caught with the goods.

Harry Harris's seconds jumped into the ring and so disqualified Harris, according to the technical interpretation of the rules.


Any reasonable fight fan knows that all rules, all laws, are flexible to the application of common sense. Johnny White employed common sense. He knew that Harris's seconds were hysterical--he knew that the men who climbed into the ring were merely bottle-holders, and that Kid McCoy--the real second, the chief handler--had not violated the rules. He knew that a literal interpretation of the rule would mean that a dishonest second could finish any fight at any stage.
No matter how much Harris bruised Murphy in the clinches, no matter how foul Harris fought, the fact remains that Murphy's attempt at foul fighting was so flagrant the referee's duty was clear. Retaliation is no excuse for Murphy.

Oliver says he was offered $3,000 to lay down. He didn't take it. No man who saw the fight dare say that either man pulled. And no man of reason will condemn Johnny White for his part. It was a mighty fine thing that he was in the ring.

They are fighting around New York now. But if we have any more exhibitions of the Harris-Murphy sort it is likely that our fighting interests will once more take a train for Philadelphia.
  H. B.

1907-06-05 The Standard Union (Brooklyn, NY) (page 8)
Johnny Oliver, manager of Tommy Murphy, the "Pride of Harlem," who lost to Harry Harris on a foul at Tom O'Rourke's National Club Monday night, stated immediately after the bout that a man, whose name he gave, came up and offered him $3,000 if he would have Murphy lose to Harris.

There is heavy betting on all the bouts at the National Sporting Club.

Monday night Murphy was held favorite at 2½ and even 3 to 1. As fast as this price was offered by the admirers of the Harlem fighter it was taken in fifties and hundreds. Several of those near the ring held hundreds of dollars in cash, besides the thousands that were bet all over the hall, either in cash or "finger betting."

It was remarked that there never seemed to be a lack of Harris money, though the fight experts present gave him only an outside chance.

In the judgment of most of those present this opinion was vindicated, for Harris was badly beaten when Referee Johnny White gave the battle to Harris on a foul in the eighth round. Murphy was disqualified for butting Harris under the chin after Harris had butted him over the eye, opening a gash an inch long, from which the blood flowed down and blinded the Harlem man.

1907-06-05 The Washington Times (Washington, DC) (page 8)
Murphy-Harris Fight Has a Decidedly Bad Look.

NEW YORK, June 5.--Up and down Broadway yesterday there was nothing but talk of the Murphy-Harris fight. Some were for Harris straight, place, and show, while others took the Murphy end with its queer angles.

Just why the referee allowed Harris to butt Murphy and let it go on is still unanswered. Just why the referee allowed Harris' seconds to scamper about the ring in the fifth round and then chase them out without giving the fight to Murphy is still among the unanswered.

Johnny Oliver was the sorest man in town last night.

"I don't want to say that Murphy was double crossed," says Oliver, "but it certainly looks funny. When I refused the $3,000 offer which was made to me to have Tommy lay down, I thought we would get an even break, and the best man would win. Tommy did win by a mile, but he lost anyway. We should have won the fight twice on a foul, but when I made a kick to the referee, he wouldn't even listen to me."

One of the Harris' brokers last night at the Cadillac said that Murphy did everything but pull a knife on Harry in that fight. He said that Harris was getting better from the sixth on and Murphy, seeing no chance to knock him out, tried every dirty trick he knew.

To be fair to both sides, it was a very dirty exhibition after the sixth round. Harris used his elbow and tried to break Murphy's back over the ropes, butted him, and then got the same thing himself. If two professional pugilists can't engage in a bout without such tactics they should retire. There are plenty of clean fighters.