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Monday, March 7, 2011

1894-03-07 Kid Lavigne D-PTS8 Solly Smith [Arbeiter Hall, Saginaw, MI, USA]

1894-03-08 The Saginaw Evening News (Saginaw, MI) (page 4)
George Lavigne Proved Too Much for Solly Smith.

Admirers of the fistic art gathered in force at Arbeiter hall last evening to witness the eight round go between Solly Smith, the champion featherweight of the United States, and George Lavigne, of this city, otherwise known as the Kid, whose recent contest with Griffo at Chicago gives him a high place among aspirants for pugilistic honors. Bay City, Flint, Detroit and other places throughout the state were represented, while Chicago also sent a goodly contingent. President Buckhout, of the police board, Chief of Police Kain, Captain Baskins, and a body guard of the finest were on hand to see that nothing in the shape of a knock out occurred while many of Saginaw's capitalists and lumber barons were scattered throughout the audience.

A succession of two and three-minute rounds between such local devotees of the fistic art as Richard Boyle, Wesley Brown, George Johnson, John Tracy, Ollie Freeman, Jack Beadly, Billy Lavigne, Peter Major, Billy Bushy, Billy Skimmons, besides Dick Elliott of Buffalo and Jim Weeden of Pittsburg opened the exhibition. In the bout between Billy Lavigne, the popular welter-weight, Lavigne accidentally gave Major a pivot blow on the jaw which dazed him so that he fell helpless to the floor and was assisted by his opponent to his corner, where he shortly afterwards recovered and went at it again, the claret flowing freely from the effect of the blow. Some phenomenal bag punching was done by William St. Mary, who struck the bag 100 times in a minute. Frank Mostellar also gave a fine exhibition of club swinging and juggling.

When the event of the evening was announced by William E. Gardiner, who acted as master of ceremonies, the applause was uproarious, almost approaching an ovation, and after the "Kid" and Solly Smith went to their corners the former was presented with a handsome training stick, manufactured for him by his friend, E. Grigware, jr. The duties of referee were performed most acceptably by Walter Grimmon, of this city. Smith was seconded by Al Daugherty, of Chicago, Frank Vanderbilt, of Bay City, and Peter Major, of this city. Behind the "Kid" were his brother, Billy Lavigne, William St. Mary and Pat Hogan, of this city. Clin J. Van Scoter, of Bay City, and George Groves, of this city, were time keepers.

Both men were in splendid form, Lavigne stripping at 127 and Smith at 123, the corded muscles of each standing out like ribs of steel.

Lavigne opened the ball in the first round by getting in two blows in rapid succession upon Smith's bugle. After considerable feinting and dodging blows were rapidly exchanged at short range, honors being easy at the close of the round.

The second round opened lively from the start, the men clinching each other continually, giving and exchanging some wicked blows in which each displayed considerable slugging power. When time was called both retired to their corners breathing heavily.

Lavigne got in a stinger on Smith's jaw in the third round which threw his head back with a jerk. Both men confined their attention to the face, but few body blows being delivered. The round closed slightly in favor of Lavigne.

In the fourth round Smith got in some hot ones on the Kid's neck and acted more on the aggressive, and both men displayed wonderful agility and striking power.

Lavigne did some artistic work on Smith's jaw in the fifth round, the latter responding with some good blows on the chest and face, but got one in the neck that made him wince.

In the sixth round Lavigne chased Smith all around the ring, occasionally getting in a blow.

There were some close exchanges made in the seventh round, Smith being apparently on his mettle. The Kid, however, got his work in toward the close and knocked Smith over on the ropes, following him up with several stingers.

Throughout the fight Smith acted more on the defensive and kept up his dodging and feinting throughout. His tactics were the same in the eighth round and amid cries of "knock him out kid," the last round ended, Lavigne having by far the best of it from beginning to finish, showing himself thoroughly scientific and strong on his pins and agile as a panther. The receipts were about $1,000, a goodly portion of which will be divided by the champions. The audience was orderly throughout and the exhibition as a whole was highly creditable.

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