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Sunday, May 23, 2010

1919-11-17 Benny Leonard W-TKO2 Lockport Jimmy Duffy (Tulsa, OK, USA)

1919-11-18 Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, OK) (pages 1, 2, 8)

Spectators Lose the Decision in 'Lightweight Championship' Go
The story of Monday night's "championship bout" at convention hall is quickly told.

It was rotten.

In some respects the affair was up to the press notices.

No other city in the world has had the opportunity of seeing Champion Benny Leonard risk his title in a 15-round battle--at about $11 an opportunity.

It was a remarkable exhibition of fistic prowess--was this round and a half hesitation.

If Duffy is a fighter, San Francisco boy is full of grape juice.

Mr Leonard had a desire to fight apparently, but he had no competition. Mr Duffy, who claims decisions over boxers like Ted Lewis, Freddie Welsh and Jack Britton, would have been easy for either of the semi-windup fighters.

Even Leonard was disgusted with the feeble attempts of Duffy. He knocked the poor dub down six times in less than five minutes--and each time Duffey dropped forward on his hand and knees. Once he sat down while the referee counted. Ordinarily a man knocked down is laid on his back. Maybe he was dazed and forgot the proper method of registering "knockout."

When "Choc" Is Spilled.

The first preliminary was stopped in the first round because neither of the small boys knew how to handle their gloves.

The second preliminary was stopped in the second round when the referee chased the combatants from the ring.

The third preliminary featured Kid Spack and a boy named "Choc" in a two-round sketch which was brought to a sudden termination when "Choc" was spilled.

The semi-windup wasn't so bad. It might have been worth a dollar ringside--provided the promoter paid the war tax. Fleming couldn't hit and Nurdin couldn't box so it was fairly even but not very interesting.

One report is that Duffy is a union fighter and refused to go on when he learned that Leonard was not a member of the Amalgamated Association for the Soaking of the Public.

Another is that he was scared stiff.

There are others less charitable.

The promoter and managers who have been quite voluble for the past two weeks, had nothing to say last night.

The receipts have been disbursed and the managers have no complaint.

Some 3,000 spectators are thoroughly disgusted. The management did not announce a "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" polley. If it had there wouldn't have been coin enough left in the box office to pay for the stage electrician.

There wasn't any stage electrician.

The Affair by Rounds.

For two hours after the fiasco complaints poured into The World office--personally and by telephone. Some were almost threats.

All agreed that the affair was a frost.

Some hero worshippers paid good money for a glimpse of the champion.

Others saw him in the hotel lobby.

But about the fight itself--here is the account by rounds.

Round One--Leonard came out fast. Duffy went down the same way. The referee counted seven. Leonard came in fast. Duffy went down the same way. The referee counted seven. Same as last three sentences. Bell.

(Two thousand of the fans are putting on their overcoats.)

Round Two--Duffy is sticking his tongue out at Leonard. Duffy sits down for a short interval while the referee counts nine. Leonard seems puzzled that he will neither flop nor fight. Duffy down again--dreaming of the gate receipts. The referee is tiring fast. Duffy goes down again. The crowd is leaving. The exhausted referee carries Duffy--unhonored and unsung--to his corner where he imagines he is once more picking daisies on the banks of the canal at Lockport.

Some of the fans by this time have reached Main street. The others leave muttering to themselves. The loyal and disgusted citizens who have made Tulsa the best boxing town in the southwest are quoting lines from Edgar Allan Poe's masterpiece "The Raven."

It runs something like this:


Roped in the Arena

Famous flops: The jitney and Duffy.
Somebody said "It reminds me of the Doing of the Duffs'."
Even at that it might have been better to "duck and lose than never to have ducked at all."
A famous showman by the name of Barnum once said something. They were all there last night.
Famous Jimmys' Duffy and the little pet instrument of the burglar.

Referee Stops "Title" Fight After Four Minutes in Ring
Duffy, Afraid or Unable to Fight, Knocked Down Six Times.
Champion Declared Duffy Was Stalling After First Knock-Down.

Hoaxed! Never again! These and similar other expressions indicate the deep disgust that Tulsa and southwestern boxing fans who had paid fancy prices to see Benny Leonard defend his crown against Jimmy Duffy at convention hall last night, before the Tulsa Sporting club. John J. Reisler, promoter, feels Duffy, either under the influence of fear or some other power went down four times in the first round, staying down for the count of eight three times. In the second round he went down for eight counts after 26 seconds had been consumed. When he went down for the sixth time within four minutes, Referee William 'Kid' McPartland stopped the farce.

Too surprised and disgusted with Duffy's inability of refusal to even attempt to fight, the hundreds of spectators gave vent to their outraged feelings with silence standing without a word until Leonard and Duffy had gone to their dressing rooms.

Duffy Was Dazed.

Duffy appeared dazed, even before the milling started. After the announcer had called his name, he hesitated before acknowledging the introduction. After the bout he sat in his corner with eyes fixed unseeingly ahead.

Champion Leonard came from his corner fast and tapped Duffy several times before the latter covered up. Benny shot over a right cross to Duffy, sending Jimmy to the floor for the count of eight. After Duffy had gone down the third time in the first round, Leonard looked toward Billy Gibson, his manager, and others in his corner and said, "he's stalling."

Whether Duffy was stalling or unable to fight, will, of course probably never be known. But Benny Leonard must be absolved from all blame. It wasn't the champion's fault that last night's fiasco was one of the rawest deals ever pulled in boxing annals in Tulsa and that the game, which has thrived so well here, received a severe jolt from that fiasco. Leonard is a great and popular champion. Too great to be connected with last night's disgraceful affair.

My Apologies to Fans.

Lockport Jimmy Duffy has an impressive record. Last night's bout here was widely touted by sporting writers throughout the country, New York scribes giving it much space. The Central Press news service sent out a long story on the fight with a two-column picture of Duffy and Leonard, by N. E. Brown. From the word of these writers and Duffy's previous record, coupled with the desire to do all possible to "boost" sport and Tulsa, which a real championship fight undeniably does, I wrote several columns on the bout, really believing it should at least be a good fight and that I was doing Tulsa a service. To the boxing fans of Tulsa, I most sincerely apologize for those articles. And I am in accord with you in your declaration of "hoax" and "never again." Let us have no more high priced boxing matches if they are of the sort of last night. Better the coming boys who at least are willing than a ham either too old or unable to fight.

Carl Fleming of Tulsa and Frankey Nurdin of Drumright were given a draw by Referee Corrigan in the eight-round semi-windup. Nurdin took the lead in the early rounds, sending Carl to the floor for the count of three in the first frame. Fleming's gameness and stamina enabled him to make a splendid finish. Nurdin is a clever, clean boxing boy and had the edge on Fleming in the opinion of the writer.

Kid Spack, Tulsa newsboy, showed splendidly in his first appearance in a Tulsa ring in nearly a year stopping Kid Stark, a husky youth, in two rounds.

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