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Thursday, April 28, 2011

1899-04-28 Terry McGovern W-PTS25 Joe Bernstein [Broadway Athletic Club, Brooklyn, NY, USA]

1899-04-29 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page 2)
The Brooklyn Lad Gives Away Much Weight to Joe Bernstein and Wins.
Rated Only as a Little Slugger Heretofore, Terry Surprises the Crowd With His Skill.
Terry McGovern made his debut as a featherweight last evening and effectively disposed of Joe Bernstein before one of the largest crowds that ever assembled in the Broadway Athletic Club. The Brooklyn boy's performance was up to the fondest expectations of his friends and stamped him as something more than a possible aspirant for championship honors. The fight itself was by far the best given since the club reopened, fast from the start to the finish and free from the slightest semblance of anything like foul work. Terry has been looked upon as a fighter pure and simple, and has not been credited with possessing any great amount of cleverness, but last evening's contest proved not only that he could fight, but that he is clever far beyond the ordinary. His blows were clean and his blocking, ducking and getting away were exceptionally good. Bernstein's high guard prevented him from doing any great damage about the head, but on the body Terry scored as he pleased and usually got away without return. Bernstein's best work was done at close quarters, but even at this game he was not a match for Terry and many times he was guilty of holding. He made a good fight and took the severe punishment Terry administered to his body without flinching, but was on the defensive throughout and depended mostly on his ability to counter. A peculiar part of the battle is the fact that with the exception of a slight trickle from Bernstein's nose not a drop of blood was spilled during the bout. Joe's performance stamped him as an exceptionally game man, for although he has often taken severe punishment before he never received the beating he did last evening.

Bernstein had several pounds the best of the weight, while Terry did not scale more than a couple of pounds over his usual fighting trim. At the conclusion of the battle the referee announced his decision in favor of Terry on points and received the applause of the crowd. The sports made McGovern a strong favorite, betting their money freely at odds of 2 to 1, and many offered even money that Bernstein would not go the distance. There were no discussions after the boys entered the ring, and as soon as the gloves were donned they proceeded to business.

Terry landed again with his left in the nineteenth and Joe dropped to his hands and came back only to receive a hard right on the body. The same thing happened again in the twentieth and just before the bell rang Terry drove his right to the body and a light shove with his left sent Joe clear through the ropes. They pursued the same tactics in the following rounds until they reached the twenty-fourth, when Joe started to do some leading, but could not land effectively. They came up strong for the last round and Terry proceeded to force the fighting and at last succeeded in getting over his right. Joe staggered to the ropes and Terry rushed in to finish him, but Joe stayed by clinching hard, and the gong sounded with both on their feet and when quiet was restored the referee announced his decision in favor of McGovern.

Harry Fisher of Brooklyn and Jim Austin of Canada, colored, met for ten rounds in the preliminary bout at catchweights. The contest went the limit and Referee Johnny White awarded the decision to Fisher.

1899-04-29 The Evening Telegram (New York, NY) (page 7)
Referee Gives Him the Decision on Points After Twenty-Five Rounds at Broadway Athletic Club.
Before the largest and most enthusiastic crowd that ever assembled in the Broadway Athletic Club "Terry" McGovern, of Brooklyn, obtained the decision over "Joe" Bernstein, of Manhattan, after twenty-five hard fought rounds.

McGovern clearly outclassed his man. He scored twenty points to Bernstein's one. Bernstein made a plucky defence and took a terrific punishment, but at no time did he appear to have an even chance of winning. It was evident early in the contest that Bernstein's only hope lay in the knockout blow, which did not materialize.

It was also evident after a few rounds had been fought that Bernstein could block cleverly and that "Mac" would experience considerable difficulty in reaching his opponent's head. Bernstein's superb defence of his face excited the admiration of all.

Bernstein tried hard to score a knockout in the twenty-fifth round, but "Mac" was away and outpointed his adversary. This final round was in favor of McGovern, who never gave himself a moment's rest. He hit Bernstein often and hard. Once he staggered "Joe" with a right on the jaw. When the bell rang "Joe" was very tired. The referee gave the fight to McGovern amid great applause.

1899-04-29 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 7)
McGovern Got the Decision.
"Terry" McGovern of Brooklyn got the decision over "Joe" Bernstein of Manhattan in their bout at the Broadway Athletic Club last night. To the disinterested among the big crowd of spectators present, however, Referee "Johnny" White's judgment in awarding the fight to the Brooklyn boy was both surprising and unsatisfactory. To the unprejudiced ones it was plain that Bernstein was entitled to at least a draw. The bout was of twenty-five rounds at 118 pounds. The pair fought it out to the limit. McGovern was a 2 to 1 favorite. Two members of the Mazet Investigating Committee were interested spectators of the bout. They were Assemblymen Hoffman and Boland.

1899-04-29 The World (New York, NY) (page 8)
In an interesting fight at the Broadway Athletic Club last night Terry McGovern defeated Joe Bernstein, getting the decision after twenty-five rounds of fast fighting.

Every available seat in the house was occupied, and good standing-room was at a discount when the men were introduced to go twenty-five rounds at 125 pounds.

The betting opened at 10 to 8 on McGovern, and went to 2 to 1 before the Brooklyn contingent could get any good bets on. While McGovern was the favorite with the bettors, the rest of the spectators were about evenly divided in their choice.

The work of both boys was fast from the start, with McGovern the aggressor and Bernstein on the defensive, but lively enough when pressed. For the first three rounds nearly all the work was done at short range.

In the fourth round a hard right-hand swing caught McGovern under the ear. It shook him up considerably. Terry came back with right and left, and drove Bernstein to the ropes. Up to the eighth round the going was in McGovern's favor, although Bernstein stood the gaff well. In the eighth Terry cut loose with a vengeance and threw right and left at Bernstein's body for keeps. Joe came back fresh and smiling, and had a shade on McGovern for half of the ninth. Terry got home a vicious left-hander on the jaw just before the gong sounded.

McGovern forced the fighting along to the twelfth round, but Bernstein always came back ready to meet everything that came his way. Joe's work on Terry's jaw in the twelfth caused the remark by a McGovern man:

"Terry don't look much like a 2 to 1 shot just now."

McGovern was the aggressor nearly all the time up to the twentieth round. He continually followed Joe to his corner. Then would follow a few rapid exchanges on the ribs and stomach and a clinch. Neither had a mark on the face.

Bernstein had a slight advantage in the twenty-fourth round. McGovern made a determined effort to knock Bernstein out in the last round, and punished Joe more than in any previous round. Referee White gave McGovern the decision on points. The Brooklyn boy did the most work throughout the bout. He was the aggressor in about every round, with Bernstein on the defensive. Both finished strong and to all appearances none the worse for their work.

Harry Fisher, of Brooklyn, got the decision over Jim Austin, of Camden, in the ten-round preliminary.

1899-05-20 The National Police Gazette (New York, NY) (page 10)
Decision Over "Joe" Bernstein in Twenty-five Rounds.
Neither Man Badly Punished and the Decision Was Very Fair.
"Terry" McGovern won his fight with "Joe" Bernstein "on points" as the referee said, but why this specific explanation was made was not exactly understood by the spectators, unless the official wished to convey the self-evident fact that Bernstein was not knocked out. The fight took place at the Broadway Athletic Club and was witnessed by one of the largest gatherings of spectators that ever was within the edifice.

McGovern earned the decision by his aggressive tactics, showing wonderful strength throughout the contest. Bernstein outweighed him by several pounds. In spite of the fact that he was meeting the strongest man he had competed against, McGovern was quickly made a favorite by the betting fraternity, the odds dropping from 100 to 70 down to 2 to 1. Even this price found plenty of confident admirers still ready to back the East sider. The Brooklyn boy had his opponent's body very red from hard blows in the early part of the bout. Bernstein's condition was superb, and he was able to take the hard knocks that he received. At close quarters Bernstein used his left for the face, which did not bother the Brooklyn boy, as he kept pegging away at the body in return. Bernstein was the first to lead, tripping in his efforts to reach his opponent in the opening round. Both then came to close quarters, and a vicious exchange of blows took place, McGovern having slightly the better of the mix-up. Just before the close of the round McGovern sent the right to the body several times without a return. He continued to be the aggressor in the second round, sending the right to the body with crushing force. Bernstein was slightly winded when he went to his chair. The fighting in the third and fourth was well contested.

McGovern's principal point of attack was the body, which he reached frequently. Bernstein reached the Brooklynite in the third with a heavy right on the back of the ear, which sent him back a few feet. In the fourth Bernstein reached the jaw several times with light lefts, which did not seem to bother the Brooklynite at all. McGovern was showing phenomenal strength, never stopping his aggressiveness. Bernstein landed a hard right on the head in the seventh, McGovern then boring in with rights on the body and forcing the East sider to the ropes.

After a rapid exchange of blows in the ninth at close quarters, the Brooklyn boy sent in a heavy left-hand swing on his opponent's jaw, which threw the East sider half way to the floor, Bernstein in return reaching McGovern with a right on the back of the neck just before the bell rang. In the twelfth it was give and take between the two. Bernstein made but few efforts to lead, relying on his work at close quarters to even up the disadvantage of his opponent's aggressiveness. McGovern tried for the jaw several times, but Bernstein succeeded in blocking. McGovern still made the body his principal point of attack in the fourteenth, sending the right and left to the body and receiving light blows in return. In this round the Brooklynite narrowly missed a vicious uppercut. McGovern showed his superiority in the sixteenth by sending Bernstein's head back several times with stiff lefts and rights on the face.

With a severe left on the right eye in the nineteenth, McGovern caused a serious swelling that inconvenienced his opponent. The East sider was sent through the ropes with a stiff left on the mouth, and he was bleeding at the mouth when he went to his chair in the twentieth round. The fast work was beginning to tell on both men. Frequent clinching occurred in the two following rounds, the honors being even. Bernstein staggered the Brooklynite in the twenty-third with a stiff left on the jaw, but McGovern, recovering quickly, finished the round none the worse for it. The remaining two rounds were lively. In the last McGovern sent in a right-hand swing that staggered his opponent. He followed up his advantage during the round and had Bernstein weak when the bout terminated. McGovern received the decision on points for his aggressive tactics.

The opening event of the evening was a ten-round bout between "Jim" Austin, a negro, of Canada, and Harry Fisher, catchweights. In their opening round Fisher was sent down with a heavy left swing on the jaw, the New Yorker taking the limit of time to rise. During the remainder of the round Fisher avoided most of the negro's swings by careful blocking. In the following two rounds, Fisher carefully avoided his opponent's wild swings, sending home a straight left with heavy force that sent the negro's head back, and then, on the breakaway, swinging with the left and landing frequently. Fisher continued the same tactics through the remainder of the bout and received the verdict at the end of the contest.

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