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Friday, April 22, 2011

1904-04-22 Jack Johnson W-KO20 Sam McVea [Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, CA, USA]

1904-04-23 The Daily Californian (Bakersfield, CA) (page 3)
Oxnard Pugilist Helped to Corner at End of Twentieth Round of Wretched Battle.
At Mechanics' Pavilion last night Jack Johnson knocked out Sam McVey in the twentieth round after a one-sided contest. It was Johnson's fight throughout and he would probably have won the decision in any event. McVey managed to struggle on until almost the end of the twentieth round when he went down before Johnson's blows and had to be carried to his corner. He was clearly inferior to Johnson throughout the battle. Before the fight it was announced that the winner would challenge Champion Jim Jeffries.

The main event was preceded by two preliminaries between Frank Fields and Arthur Williams and Fred Landers and Jack Dougherty. The first was won by Fields and the second by Landers.

Dick Sullivan refereed the preliminaries and Eddie Graney the main event.

A full report of the battle by rounds was received at the Louvre and a large crowd assembled there to read the returns. Before the fight there were a number of McVey backers in town but as the fight progressed it was seen that the Oxnard fighter was no match for Johnson. There was little or no money bet on the result and the fight was clearly very poor and uninteresting exhibition from start to finish and few believe that Champion Jeffries will consider for an instant any challenge from the winner, especially as he has positively declared that he will not fight any negro.

Johnson fought at 190 and McVey at 207.

1904-04-23 The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA) (page 11)
Spectators Applaud Satirically the Feeble Efforts of the Colored Gladiators and Then Silently Retire From the Scene of the Alleged Battle---McVey Shows No Qualifications as a Boxer
Twenty seconds before the close of the twentieth round in their fight in Mechanics' Pavilion last night Jack Johnson knocked out Sam McVey. This brought to a close one of the poorest fights ever seen in this city. It marked the first exhibition of the Shasta Club, which butted into the boxing same here only to give it a decided setback.

For a time the spectators applauded satirically the feeble swings and jabs of the boxers. Then they jeered the alleged gladiators, and finally many of them made their way out of the building, leaving a small proportion of the attendance to sit out each tiresome round.

McVey proved possessed of but one quality necessary in the make-up of a fighter. He could and did take a lot of punishment without flinching. Beyond this he did nothing. For round after round he did not land a blow on the elusive Johnson, and his mighty right arm, with its ridges of thews and sinews, might as well have been strapped to his side for all the use he made of it.


He did not land an effective blow throughout the fight, Johnson never giving him an opportunity to get set. With all his strength and ruggedness, he showed no signs of aggressiveness, and will never make a fighter.

Johnson showed all the cleverness for which he is noted. He landed an incredible number of blows on McVey's head, but he never followed up his advantage. He had his opponent in distress several times, but he refused to take a chance and backed away out of danger. All sorts of remarks were directed at the boxers, but the one that brought down the house was uttered by some one at the ringside, who said: "Cease this brutality." As hardly a good blow had been struck for ten rounds the humor of the remark pleased the weary spectators.


The sudden end of the contest proved a surprise. There had been but little work done from the twelfth to the nineteenth round. In the latter Johnson took a chance and staggered McVey with rights and lefts to the head. McVey was nearly out, the principal damage being done him by a hard left to the body. When he came up for the last round his head had hardly cleared and Johnson went at him again.

He landed repeatedly to the head of the Oxnard man, and then scored quickly with a right and left to the jaw. The force of the blows turned McVey completely around and he fell a huge, limp mass, face downward on the paddock floor. He lay there breathing heavily until he had been counted out, when his seconds assisted him to his corner.

The attendance was small, the receipts of the gallery being only $850. Joe Walcott and the Dixie Kid, who are to fight at Colma next Friday night, were introduced by Billy Jordan.


Johnson started in the first round as though he had made up his mind to win decisively. He was after McVey at once with right and left to the head and knocked the Oxnard man down with a clean left to the jaw. He caught McVey coming in and slightly off his balance. This was near the end of the round. Johnson went after him again in the second round, sending in rights and lefts with great regularity. McVey seemed to shake up Johnson early in the third round with a right to the body and then missed some wild swings to the head. Johnson landed two hard rights to the body in the fourth round. Johnson varied the fifth round by trying first for the head and then for the body.

Johnson staggered McVey in the sixth round with a right to the head, but the bell stopped proceedings before he could do any further damage.

The fight slowed down to a snail's pace in the seventh and eighth rounds and the crowd yelled to "throw them out." Johnson livened things up in the ninth round, staggering McVey with a right to the head. Most of the fighting done during the evening was in this round. Johnson wrestled McVey down in the tenth round and kept up his piston rod left.

Johnson was busy in the eleventh round but did little damage. In the twelfth he had McVey groggy again, but let him come to. There was no fighting from this point on to the nineteenth and twentieth rounds.

In the preliminaries, Frank Fields stopped Arthur Williams in the fifth round. Williams was knocked down and lost track of the count, although he was able to go on. Fred Landers knocked out Jack Dougherty in the fourth round with a right to the jaw. In the second round Dougherty was sent down for the count of seven. He then knocked Landers down twice, both boxers staggering about the ring in a dazed condition. The gong saved Dougherty in the third round, but in the fourth he retired.

Eddie Graney refereed the main fight.

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