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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

1903-04-20 Philadelphia Jack O'Brien D-PTS10 Joe Walcott [Health and Physical Culture Athletic Club, Grand Dime Theatre, Boston, MA, USA]

1903-04-21 The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, MA) (page 13)
O'Brien-Walcott Bout Angers Spectators.
Club Members Throw Their Cards Into the Ring.
Choice of Officials Also Unsatisfactory.
Joe Walcott and Philadelphia Jack O'Brien went 10 rounds to a draw at the Health and Physical Culture club last night.

There were about 2000 spectators present, and they were evidently of the opinion that the bout had a queer look. So disgruntled were some of the members that while the bout was in progress they hissed and threw their membership cards into the ring. The members were not only disgruntled over the contest, but they were also sore that the club officials engaged a Philadelphia man, pitcher Rube Waddell, for referee, and had a Philadelphia man as ticket taker.

From the outset the spectators were of the mind that Walcott was not out to win, and he verified that suspicion after the contest when he declared that he would not get anything if he had defeated O'Brien.

The latter was shifty on his feet and jabbed Walcott repeatedly. The colored boxer did let loose once or twice and sent some rights on O'Brien's body and jaw, but they were so weak that they made no impression on the Philadelphia boxer.

In the opening preliminary contest John Butler of Lynn got the award over W. Johnson in 8 rounds. Johnny Sheehan and W. O'Brien went six fast rounds and Sheehan was given the award. Harry Snelling of Quebec scored a decisive victory over Tim Harrington in two rounds.

1903-04-21 The Boston Journal (Boston, MA) (page 9)
Joe Walcott and Jack O'Brien Boxed Ten Tame Rounds Without a Decision
Big Crowd at Culture Club Cried "Fake" at Negro and Philadelphian--Walcott Said He Could Have Knocked Out O'Brien Had He Desired, But There Was An Agreement.
"Philadelphia Jack" O'Brien and Joe Walcott boxed ten rounds at the meeting of the Health and Physical Culture Club at the old Grand Dime Theatre last evening. "Rube" Waddell, the Athletics' pitcher, was referee. Before the bout started he announced that if both men were on their feet at the end of the tenth round there would be no decision. They both went the limit, with cries of "fake" heard as it progressed.

After the bout Walcott, in his dressing room, said that he could have knocked out O'Brien any time he desired, but that by agreement entered into he could not do it. O'Brien made no pretence about contesting with the colored demon, but was content with staying through the exhibition. He showed leads for the nose with a left, coming in on the lead clinching. The referee called "Break" as soon as one man hugged or clinched, even though the other man was free. As O'Brien persisted in hugging, holding or clinching at every opportunity, Walcott had no chance to do any effective punching at short range, had he desired.

O'Brien gave a beautiful exhibition of foot work and ran around the ring as fast as a champion sprinter could. Several times he deliberately turned his back to the colored boy and fled from his attacks. There was a large crowd present, and in the eighth round more than a dozen membership cards were hurled deliberately into the ring while the men were boxing. A cry went up from the gallery and pit calling on everyone to leave the building.

Many were disgusted with the exhibition and left before the tenth round.

O'Brien jabbed Walcott on the nose, using his left in the attack, but did not injure the negro, although he made him snuffle a bit. His jabs were delivered without steam or viciousness. After the men shaped up, O'Brien assumed the aggressive, shooting out the left for the head.

Between several of these leads Walcott essayed to reach the Philadelphian, but Jack went to a clinch and stalled him.

In the second round the negro was on the offensive, but outside of a few punches he was cautious not to have his hand clenched. O'Brien beat a retreat whenever he could without appearing too ridiculous.

Preceding the main bout there were three rattling good preliminaries. John E. Butler of Lynn defeated John Johnson in the eighth round. Frend Snelling, the Canadian champion, defeated Tim Harrington of South Boston and Johnny Sheehan of South Boston won from Billy O'Brien, also of South Boston.

1903-04-21 The Evening Times (Pawtucket, RI) (page 2)
Boston, April 21.--Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, the scrapper of high aspirations, lost his prestige in Boston last evening, when he boxed 10 rounds with Joe Walcott to a draw, according to previous agreement. The playful way in which the two men boxed was roundly hissed by 2,000 spectators at the Health and Physical Culture Club last evening.

Not once during the 10 rounds did either man hit the other hard enough to have moved a hair or whisked away a fly. There was much swinging of arms and dancing, but little else. At the very outset it was plain to see that neither man was in earnest. When the pair clinched they killed time by waiting for the referee to go between them. That official was "Rube" Waddell, of the Philadelphia American League ball team, who grew a little rough, or was perhaps too hasty, in his breaking, which aroused Walcott's anger.

The result was Waddell did not attempt to break the pair after the fifth round. Every time they clinched, on the order to break, Walcott dropped his arms and backed away. O'Brien was taking no chances of a cross, however, and carefully kept his hands on Walcott's arms until the latter backed out of reach. So it was through the 10 rounds. The renowned left on the alleged clever O'Brien was not on view last evening.

Several times during the mill O'Brien left himself open. Once when he was completely uncovered Walcott started a vicious right swing for the jaw, but cleverly stopped it. O'Brien hit with wide open hands, but the greater part of his work consisted of pushing and hugging. The spectators showed their disgust by throwing their membership tickets into the ring. Many of them left before the bout was half over.

Yesterday afternoon O'Brien's manager was at the club and had the ring enlarged a foot and a half. Then, too, there was fussing about gloves. At the end of the bout Walcott was as fresh as when he entered the ring, and on the way out remarked that he could have put O'Brien out any time he wanted to. O'Brien was tired on account of his dancing about the ring, and plainly showed that he had done little or no training.

Three good preliminaries took place. Jack Johnson of Cambridge was put away by John E. Butler of Lynn after eight rounds of hard, fast work. Harry Snelling of Canada did the same thing to Tim Harrington of South Boston in the second round of their contest. Harrington had a hard bout in the afternoon and was too tired to withstand Snelling's hard rights. In the final preliminary Johnnie Sheehan of South Boston won in six rounds from Tommy O'Brien.

1903-04-21 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 10)
O'Brien and Walcott Fought Ten Rounds--Decision a Draw, in Keeping with an Agreement Made Before the Contest.

(Special to The Evening World.)

BOSTON, April 21.--"Philadelphia Jack" O'Brien and Joe Walcott fought ten rounds to a draw before the Health and Physical Culture Club last night. The decision was in keeping with an agreement that if both men were on their feet at the finish such a verdict would be made. The crowd was much displeased and shouted its derision when leaving the building.

The bout, as originally arranged, was to have been fifteen rounds, but just before the men entered the ring it was decided to cut it to ten rounds, and O'Brien would not fight unless the decision would be a draw if both men were on their feet at the end.

"Rube" Waddell, the Athletics' pitcher, was referee, but his task was comparatively easy because of the agreement between the men. O'Brien had a slight advantage throughout. The negro was handicapped in height and reach, and when pressed hard by O'Brien resorted to clinching.

In the preliminary bouts John Butler knocked out John Johnson in the eighth round, and Harry Snelling beat Tim Harrington in two rounds.

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