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Sunday, March 27, 2011

1902-03-27 Joe Gans W-KO5 Jack Bennett [Eureka Athletic Club, Ford’s Opera House, Baltimore, MD, USA]

1902-03-28 Baltimore American (Baltimore, MD) (page 5)
McKeesport Welterweight, While Fighting in Good Form and Giving the Lightweight a Great Battle, Was Jolted Into the Count by a Blow That Reached the Proper Point of Jaw--For Four Rounds the Victor Sized Up His Man and Well Judged Distance, After Which There Was a Change of Pace and a Quick Result Followed--Great Power of a Short-Arm Jolt.
In the fifth round at Ford's last night Joe Gans sent a short right hook to the jaw of Jack Bennett, of McKeesport, Pa., and Charlie White stooped over and counted out Bennett, who was temporarily as dead as though struck by lightning. Thus ended one of the best battles in which Gans has appeared here, and the great colored lightweight knocked out the best welterweight whom he has yet met, for Bennett is a welterweight of distinction, having fought with credit with many of the best in that class.

For four rounds the fight was splendidly contested and Bennett seemed in the game. In the third round Bennett scored a left jab to Gans' stomach that seemed to make the local man wince. In the four rounds Gans was simply measuring the distance and sizing up his man, throwing in an occasional jolt that did little damage. In the fifth round Gans began to fight in earnest, and the wise ones saw that it was up to Bennett to take the count. Gans whipped over a succession of short right blows, and then came the chance for which he was looking. For an instant Bennett's jaw was uncovered, and that instant's indiscretion was his undoing. There probably never was before a fighter with such nice judgment of distance as Joe Gans. It is his method, if he is against a good man, to spend several rounds in a minute study of the distance between a short right hook and an antagonist's jaw, and the most vulnerable part of the jaw at that.

Knows Where to Hit.

He goes about this with as much skill as the surgeon wielding a knife marks the space of a quarter inch that spells the difference between the success of an operation and the death of a patient. It is not that Gans hits a man in the jaw, but that he hits him in precisely that portion of the jaw that jars his brain into inactivity, and he falls a senseless mass to take the count. This is just what happened to Bennett last night, and it tells the whole story.

For four rounds they fought in open fashion. Bennett's advantage of weight was apparent in the clinches, but Gans fought shy of this advantage by aiming to fight in open order. Gans kept away as much as he could, his quick eyes all the time measuring the distance to the point of the jaw, to reach which was the goal of his present ambition. But once did the chance come and that once meant the finish of Bennett. During the second and third rounds Gans marked up Bennett's eye, and Gans landed repeatedly on the body, but Bennett was no dead one. He was in excellent condition, was nervy, took a chance, did not break much ground and was sufficiently aggressive. Gans neatly blocked repeated leads for the face and head and wiggled out of the way of much body punishment. By these means and several neat side steps Gans got out of the rushes of the heavier man and with little damage, all the while figuring out how to snap a blow on Bennett's jaw and stop the game. There was much sparring throughout, with Bennett fighting carefully and creditably.

Bennett in Good Form.

Until the knockout Bennett was in good condition, and he looked able to go 20 rounds just a second before he took the count. It came at the close of a mix; and, when Bennett was gathering himself for another effort, Gans shot his right fist to the jaw and down went Bennett. The remarkable power developed by Gans in these short-arm punches brings about much of his success. A blow starts from nowhere and ends somewhere and the referee begins to count. There is but a short arc to this blow, and Gans' wonderful forearm propels it with terrific force with but a short start. This power and the science with which the blow reaches the proper angle of the jaw does the business and is making Gans one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.

The fight was refereed by Charlie White, who gave one of the cleverest exhibitions of that business seen here. He had the men under excellent control all the time and helped make it a clean, hard battle, with the winner one of the champions of the world.

Bennett is a good boxer, with science, strength, ambition and a most clever foot movement. He and Gans in the same ring made a great display of some of the finer points of the game possible to men nimble on their pins and good blockers. Gans made away with this clever welterweight so easily that it will now be about impossible to get lightweights to meet him, and Erne is apt to get a weakness of the spinal column.

Fun in the Prelims.

The preliminaries did not lack their usual interest, and in each the contestants went after each other in rattling good fashion. There were eight preliminaries before the star bout. Kid Washington lost to Kid Hamburger in three rounds. Al Mason won from Dave Frederick; Charles Boyer and William Torsch fought a draw; Johnny Leckner made Kid Smith quit in the first round; Jimmy Farren stopped John Rahn in the first round; Alonzon Jackson and Joe Howard went four rounds to a draw; Ed Terry won from William Perry in three rounds. The semiwind-up was between Raymond Coates and Charles McElderry, the St. Marys county Bully. Coates won and incidentally chopped up the Bully's face.

Herman Miller and Tim Kearns will appear in the next boxing show of the Eureka Athletic Club, which will be next Friday night, at the Germania Maennerchor Hall.

Among the out-of-town sports who witnessed the fight were Fred Taral, Jockey Bullman, Patsy McCue and Jimmy Colville, the once noted referee. The house was packed and the crowd orderly. The entire show was conducted without a hitch and Manager Herford should be commended on the rare skill with which he pulled off the whole program.

1902-03-28 Baltimore Morning Herald (Baltimore, MD) (page 4)
Knockout Blow in Fifth Round Ends One of the Most Scientific Bouts of the Year.

Joe Gans is eligible to lightweight championship honors. He broke down the stipulations imposed by Frank Erne and before 3000 persons knocked out Jack Bennett at Ford's Opera House last night in the fifth round.

It was one of the cleverest exhibitions ever pulled off in this city. While it did not last any length of time, it was from start to finish a neat exhibition of scientific sparring. Gans took his time in taking Bennett's measure and when the opportunity presented itself he blocked Bennett's lead and returned with a short straight right arm blow to the tip of the jaw, which lifted the white lad off his feet and he went down and out. Bennett was carried to his corner by his seconds--Archie McEachern, Bobby Thompson and Mike Campbell.

Joe Gans was almost mobbed by his friends, who crowded around him to offer congratulations. Manager Al Herford also came in for a share of the compliments and was kept busy shaking hands for quite a while. Charlie White, the prince of referees, was not forgotten, and was besieged by friends of both of the fighters. To the Herald reporter Referee White said:

"It was one of the cleanest knockouts I have seen in a long time. Gans evidently waited for his opportunity, and when it presented itself he took advantage of it. That is all there is to it. It was a clean scientific exhibition and Gans proved the better man."

In the first round the men fiddled in order to size each other up. Bennett was the aggressor and led several times. Gans blocked his leads, but Bennett succeeded in planting one on the colored lad's ear, doing but little damage.

Round 2--Bennett seemed confident at the opening and swung a vicious right to Joe's head, but the Baltimore boy ducked. Both were shifty on their feet and each sparred carefully for an opening. Gans led with his right, which Bennett blocked, and a clinch followed with a breakaway at the gong.

Third Round--Gans whipped over his right, which Bennett blocked. The colored boy then sent a stiff punch to Bennett's right side and Jack retaliated by shoving his right to Joe's head, which shook the latter up considerably. In a mix-up Joe led for the jaw, but it went high and cut Bennett over the eye.

Fourth Round--In the fourth round both men went in to mix affairs, and it was give and take. Both landed body blows with telling effect. Bennett let himself out in this round and it was here that Gans took his measure.

The Finish--At the opening of the fifth round Gans was the aggressor, and it was easy to be seen that something was about to take place. Joe rushed Bennett around the ring and both men administered and received some stiff punches. Gans sent his right to Bennett's jaw with but little damage, and the white lad got back with a stiff body punch. While in close quarters Joe's trusty right shot out, landed, and it was all over with Bennett. When the knock-out was administered the house rose as one man and howled itself hoarse. It was by long odds one of the cleverest mills ever pulled off in this city.

The preliminaries were up to the usual standard presented by Manager Herford, and acted as an appetizer to the main bout.

Al Mason was awarded the decision in a three-round bout over Dave Frederick, both colored. Charlie Boyer, colored, fought William Toss, white, three rounds to a draw. John Leckner, white, and Kid Smith, colored, were to have gone three rounds. Leckner knocked Smith through the ropes and the latter started for the tall timber, ending the bout. John Rahn met Jimmy Farren, but Rahn was outclassed, and the bout was called off. Alonzo Jackson and Joe Howard, both colored, went to a draw.

Ed Terry and William Perry furnished the most interesting set-to on the program of preliminaries. It was a rough and tumble go, and Terry won. Raymond Coates and the Bully of St. Mary's County ended the first part by a hugging match, in which referee Fred Sweigert gave the decision to Coates.

At the ringside was a contingent of racing people from Bennings. The followers of the ponies included Jockey Fred Taral, Jockey Bullman, Patsy McCue and the old referee of Boston, Jimmy Caldwell.

1902-03-28 The Sun (Baltimore, MD) (page 6)
Knocks Out Jack Bennett Within Five Rounds.
McKeesport Lad Strong And Clever, But Soon Measured Up--A Line On Coming Contest With Erne.

At Ford's Opera House last night before an attendance which packed the theatre Joe Gans knocked out the welterweight Jack Bennett, of McKeesport, Pa., in a fight which lasted less than five rounds.

The knockout blow, a right half swing to the point of the jaw, came quickly and unexpectedly. The contest was to have been for 20 rounds, and much money changed hands on the result.

Mingled in the large attendance were horsemen, bookmakers, trainers and jockeys from the Benning race track. New York, Philadelphia and other nearby cities and towns were well represented. The Eastern visitors backed Bennett to stay the limit, and with the odds on Gans they bet on Bennett to win.

The McKeesport boy proved to be a good, clever one, but he was up against a much cleverer lad. Bennett proved a hard hitter, a good blocker, a fair ring general, showed that he knew the game and looked to be a boxer who could beat most of the claimants as topnotchers in his class. The fight simply proved that Gans today is a nonpareil. Indeed, it was confidently asserted by men last night who know the game well that the only way to best him is to produce a freak such as Robert Fitzsimmons was when he weighed in and thrashed the great Jack Dempsey.

Like Jack Dempsey.

Gans in his winning career may well be compared with Dempsey. He is unlike John L. Sullivan or Terry McGovern, men who have been beaten by cleverer sparrers. Gans' cleverness is such that it will take immense brute strength combined with cleverness equal or nearly equal to his own to defeat him.

Bennett was clever and strong, but was not quite clever enough. Frank Erne, the champion, will be Gans' next competitor, and many who saw last night's fight believe Gans will wrest the championship from him when these two meet at Fort Erie. Many of them were at Ford's last night to make up their minds on this point.

Both Gans and Bennett were in good condition. The fight by rounds was mostly interesting to those of the spectators who were well up in the science of sparring. It was devoid of slugging and was scientific from start to finish. This is how it went by rounds.

Fiddling To Start.

Round 1--Considerable fiddling was done, and Bennett appeared the more anxious. Gans was doing a waiting act. In a lead of Bennett's Gans got in a light counter on the ear. It was the only blow that landed in the round.

Round 2--Gans was careful, and it was not until the middle of the round that he made his first attempt to lead. The lead fell short. Bennett got his left to Gans' body, and there was no other blow of note before the gong sounded.

A Staggerer On Gans.

Round 3--Gans opened up with a lead for the body, but did not reach. Bennett stepped in and Gans countered on the body. Bennett then sent in a half arm swing, which landed on the side of Gans' face. It was a staggerer and the crowd yelled. No other damage was done in the round. Both men were doing beautiful work.

Joe Wakes Right Up.

Round 4--Bennett jabbed to the face with the left and got in on Gans' body a moment later and Gans woke up.

Gans then sent a straight left to Bennett's face and shortly afterward repeated the blow. Bennett rushed in and landed on Gans' head hard. Just before the gong ended the round Gans tried a full right swing, which was cleverly avoided. It was a vicious blow.

Round 5--Bennett led off with a slight blow to the body and followed with one to the head. Gans countered the last blow with one on the chin and thus looked as if he had taken Bennett's measure. Bennett led and landed lightly on Gans' body. Bennett tried to repeat and Gans sidestepped. Then, just as Bennett was getting away, Gans shot his right hand over and it landed squarely on the point of Bennett's jaw.

A Crushing Smash.

Bennett was lifted off the floor and fell heavily on his back. He was out for the count and when his seconds picked him up and brought him around he said he saw the blow coming, but thought he was safely beyond it.

Gans was seconded by Harry Lyons, "Young Peter Jackson" and Herman Miller.

Bennett's attendants were "Mike" Campbell, "Bobby" Thompson, Archie McEachern and Ernest Jones, the latter a colored man.

The battle was fought strictly according to Marquis of Queensberry rules. The veteran "Charley" White, of New York, was the referee, and, as usual, did his work faithfully.

As The Preliminaries Went.

The preliminaries resulted as follows.

"Kid" Hamburger got a decision over "Kid" Washington, colored, in three rounds.

Al Mason, colored, beat David Frederick, colored, in three rounds.

Charles Boyer, colored, and William Toss made a three round draw. Toss did most of the fighting.

John Leckner, the clever little white boy who has been doing some fast fighting in preliminaries, knocked "Kid" Smith, a negro boy, through the ropes early in one round, and when the black fellow crawled back into the ring Leckner went at him like a bulldog and Smith ran out of the ring.

Jimmy Farren then faced John Rahn. They were to box three rounds, but Rahn was no match for the clever Farren and was taken out of the ring at the end of the first round.

Alonzo Jackson and Joe Howard, both colored, boxed four rounds to a draw.

Edward Terry beat William Perry, colored, in three rounds. They were welterweights.

Raymond Coates and the St. Mary's county Bully boxed three rounds and referee Frederick Sweigert awarded Coates the verdict. The bully, however, did all of the fighting and the spectators thought he should have gotten the verdict, or at least, a draw.

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