Search this blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

1889-02-28 Kid Lavigne D-PTS77 George Siddons [Putnam’s Hotel, near Saginaw, MI, USA]

1889-03-01 The Bay City Times (Bay City, MI) (page 4)
And Still the Fight was Declared a Draw.

Twenty days ago a match for a fight to a finish with two-ounce gloves was arranged to take place between George Siddons, of Grand Rapids, champion light-weight of the northwest, and George Lavine, of East Saginaw, for the championship, $100 a side, and gate receipts.

The match took place last night in a dance hall four miles from Saginaw City. At 11:12 the men were called to time, a ring having been arranged in the hall. Both of the contestants were stripped to the waist and were in prime condition. Siddons weighs about 130 and Lavine 128.

John Connolly, of East Saginaw, was chosen referee, Groves and Carson time-keepers.

Eighty rounds were fought, whereupon the match was declared a draw.

1889-03-01 The Saginaw Evening News (Saginaw, MI) (page 7)
The Siddons-Lavine Fight This Morning Declared a Draw After Battling Over Five Hours--Large Attendance--Everybody Satisfied With the Decision.

The long talked-of battle between Geo. Siddons, champion feather-weight of the Northwest, and Geo. Lavine, champion feather-weight of the Valley, for $100 aside and 75 per cent. of the gate receipts, is over, and one of the longest battles ever fought in Michigan is down on record. Last night shortly after 8 o'clock there seemed to be a demand for hacks and rigs and although they filled readily with the masculine gender, no one could definitely tell what was the cause of the sudden desire for midnight rides and the destination was uncertain. The knowing ones, however, said the tip is "Putnam's," and those that invested a $3 bill for an admission ticket seemed satisfied with the information, and after leaving the heart of the city instructed their drivers to head for the Gratiot State Road, for Putnam's hotel, about five miles from the city, just across the Tittabawassee River. Load after load was deposited there, including sporting-men from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Flint, Bay City, Saginaw City and several other places. The men, on arriving, adjourned to an upper floor of the hotel, used for dancing, where a ring was pitched in the center.

Of the contestants, Geo. Siddons has a great reputation as a ring-fighter, having met the "Belfast Spider," Weir, in an eight-round draw. He has had many "difficulties" in the squared circle, meeting the best men in his class and always with a creditable showing. He had a draw with Tommy Warren, bested John Connors and been in the ring with Tom Miller, Harry Jones, Billy Rhodes, Ed. Hurley, Tommy Burke and a host of others. Siddons is about five feet five inches in height, and his standard weight is around 120 pounds, so that he does not need much training down to his class, and is one of the quickest prepared bantams for the ring in this country. He is about 20 years of age and was sailing in the navy up to within four years ago when he took to sparring, and as his work was clean-cut he soon found backers who put him in the professional arena about two years ago, and since then he has worked his way up to the foremost ranks among the bantams of this country. He was born in Philadelphia.

Geo. Lavine, of this city, is nearly 20 years of age, a cooper by trade, is almost an amateur. He has been in numerous sparring matches and has never been defeated. He met "Pikie" Johnson, a noted bantam, who it was supposed would put an end to him in five rounds, but at the end of eight it was declared a draw, with a slight shade in favor of Lavine. He also bested Pat Connors in a five round engagement. George is about five feet four inches in height and his regular weight is about 125 pounds.

About 300 people had arrived on the scene by 10 o'clock, but it was 11:15 before either of the principals made their appearance. Lavine was first to enter the circle, followed by Harry Gilmore, his second, and Billy Lavine. Ed. Hurley came next with a set of two-ounce gloves, which he dropped in the center, and Siddons then appeared and he and Hurley and Ed. White immediately took the northeast corner of the ring. It was then announced that the spectators were to choose a referee, and John Connelly was agreed upon. A man named Carson acted as timekeeper for Lavine and Fred Groves filled that capacity for Siddons.

No announcement was made, but the principals took off their overcoats and it was noticed Siddons wore blue tights, white belt, low ring shoes, and was just a trifle tallest, while Lavine wore maroon tights and the regulation high ring shoes. The latter is more stocky built and looked a trifle heaviest when they shook hands.

When time was called the men opened up with cautious sparring and a minute passed before a pass was made. Siddons made a feint and by a quick recovery sent in his left full on Lavine's neck. It was followed by an exchange of blows, both getting in their left. Some more cautious sparring followed, when Siddons got his left on Lavine's mouth, slightly drawing blood. First blood was claimed by Siddons and allowed. This closed the round.

It was conceded by almost everybody that Siddons would win, the only difference in opinion was the length of time, a majority thinking ten rounds would see the end, since Siddons' work in the first round. In it Siddons displayed some wonderful science in ducking, and Lavine made some nice counters. During the next five rounds honors were easy, no one having the advantage. Clinching Siddons was almost floored in the break-away and Hurley tried to claim a foul on it, but was not allowed.

Lavine wore a determined look and Siddons was smiling when the seventh round was called. After dancing around a minute, Siddons got in his left on Lavine's left eye and got away by ducking a heavy hit from Lavine's left. Both made nice counters and Lavine reached Siddons' neck at the close of the round, which raised a lump like a small-sized egg.

The next three rounds were principally put in with cautious sparring, and Siddons' lump on the back of his neck had disappeared when the eleventh round was called. It was then evident that Siddons had to do something more than heretofore, as Lavine showed up as well as he did. He made a pass and fell short, and in return he got one on his chest and one on the neck for his folly. After feinting once Siddons scored a hit on Lavine's left eye which made that optic assume rather larger proportions. A clinch closed the round.

The men appeared fresh at each call of time and the audience soon saw that Siddons had his hands full to best Lavine. Siddons had the most science, but he lacked the strength to hold an advantage after he had it. Lavine, doing the heaviest hitting, would cause the champion of the Northwest to keep on guessing in getting out of Lavine's way. Round after round rolled off in this way, the men showing no punishment, with the exception of Lavine's left eye which was closing slowly. Siddons paid all his attention to this and hoped to finish his man after his eyes were shut. Occasionally a round would terminate without a pass being made.

The fifty-first round was opened with some sharp infighting followed by a clinch, and in breaking Siddons got his right again on Lavine's eye. He led again, which was nicely stopped, and in getting away Lavine just reached him lightly, Siddons slipping received two blows on the back of the head before he recovered. When he did he found Lavine's left eye, and the round closed.

Honors were easy until the sixty-fourth round, when Gilmore said "Now do some fighting and give the people the worth of their money." Everybody was getting tired and it looked as though the two could fight sixty-four more rounds. The next ten rounds were the best of the mill, and it was no man's battle; sometimes one and then the other would have a slight advantage. The next two rounds were simply walk-arounds, not a heavy blow being struck.

Murmurs of make it a draw were heard at the conclusion of the 76th and White was talking to Gilmore over some matter when time was called for the 77th round. An equal exchange and a rib-roaster to Lavine's credit was all that was done in the round with the exception of each making two nice stops. It was then announced at 4:30 a. m. that the men were willing to call it a draw, providing the audience were satisfied. All said "make it a draw, we've had our money's worth," and the referee so declared. Siddons immediately shook hands with Lavine and both smiled at the outcome. Thus ended the longest battle ever fought in the State of Michigan--seventy-seven rounds and over five hours of fighting.

Everybody that could reach the principals shook hands with them and then there was a hasty scramble into the vehicles and in a few minutes the place was again deserted.

No comments:

Post a Comment