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Monday, April 25, 2011

1916-04-24 Jack Britton W-PTS20 Ted Kid Lewis [Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, LA, USA]

1916-04-25 The Daily States (New Orleans, LA) (page 13)
Morgan's Protege Employs Left-Hand Punch To Make English Opponent Resemble a Novice; Lewis Was Doomed Pug Throughout


Jack Britton won the welterweight championship of the world Monday night at the Louisiana Auditorium. To defeat Ted Lewis, of England Britton employed one hand--his left, which he turned from a jab to a hook or shot it straight from the shoulder. From start to finish, Lewis was a doomed pug, and when the final gong sounded, the British fighter strolled to his corner dejectedly as Referee Burke hoisted Britton's fist amid an outburst of applause.

For a championship contest, the Britton-Lewis mill was perhaps the poorest staged hereabouts in the past eight years. It was not a fistic encounter by any manner of means. Lewis was next to helpless trying to break through Britton's guard, and at times the Englishman looked like a novice in front of a master boxer.

If a high-class boxing lesson--one of the type that Freddie Welsh or Abe Attell could furnish a fifth-rater in their prime can ever be repeated, Lewis certainly received it from Britton. Lewis had two of the twenty frames, Britton a dozen and six were even. Lewis did not show a blow that could be taken seriously. His jabs fell short most of the time and his swings resembled a piece of paper in a cyclone.

No knockdowns were recorded. Lewis, however, was dropped to his knee in the seventh, Britton turning and walking across the ring as his opponent came up apparently dazed and rushed into a clinch. Time and again Britton put Lewis on his heels with a straight left that landed perhaps as often as an expert marksmen hits a target.

Britton Very Clever; Good Ring General.

Britton made a grand fight from a scientific standpoint. He invariably forced Lewis into leads and countered. Britton induced Lewis to fight the style he fancies most, which made the mill look very ragged in spots and were it not for the fact that a ring title was at stake might have resulted in the spectators laughing the Englishman out of the ring.

If Lewis fought his best fight against Britton, he is no more entitled to claim a ring title than yours truly. He should have been equipped with a half dozen machine guns, as his blows not only seemed to lack steam, but fell so short of their mark at times that the crowd decided early Britton would be satisfied to provide a boxing lesson and let it go at that, all of which goes to show that as a speculator, Dan-Yell Morgan will have to wait considerable time before he picks up another soft wager and he is reputed to have cashed.

Lewis made a desperate bid to even up the contest in the last three rounds. At the urgent solicitation from his manager, Ted cut loose right and left hand swings a mile a minute. Britton, however, simply threw up his guard and blocked most of the blows. When Lewis tired a trifle, Jack stepped in and shot left after left to the face, one time hitting the Englishman a half dozen times without drawing a return.

The first four rounds were even, neither man showing a disposition to fight. Britton, however, seemed the coolest and better ring general of the pair. Every time Lewis started a lead, Jack's left shot out and frequently beat his opponent to the punch. It was noticeable early in the fight that Britton used only his left, many of the spectators contending that it would be curtains for the British when Jack unhooked his starboard blow.

Lewis showed to advantage in the fifth when he started leaping something on the order of Johnny Dundee. He threw rights and lefts into Britton's face and hooked his right to the body. Lewis' blows came so fast that Jack couldn't get his left going until the round was almost over, with Jack doing a retreat. In this period, Lewis missed a beautiful pivot which would probably have ended the scrap.

Britton started taking the lead in the sixth and from this time until the fourteenth, hit Lewis when and where he pleased, but seemed content to raise a pair of knobs on Lewis' cheek bone that resembled a watermelon.

The seventh was a great round for Britton. He shot a left to the mouth and added two more to the chin.

Britton then shot a straight left to the chin and a right to the heart. Lewis dropped to his knees and Britton walked across the ring. Lewis stopped a half dozen more blows before the gong ended.

The eighth, too, was interesting. In this round a rally started near the gong and continued for several seconds, Referee Burke parting the men. Britton had Lewis in a corner and copped him with heavy rights to the jaw and mind.

The ninth found Britton stabbing Lewis at will, the Englishman missing almost every counter. In the tenth, Britton peppered Lewis' face at will. Towards the end of the round they traded blows and at the gong, Ted clipped Britton on the jaw and sent him reeling across the ring.

Britton’s defense became perfect as the fight progressed. Lewis was wild in the eleventh and repeatedly ran into blows, the twelfth and thirteenth went to Jack by wide margins, while Lewis took the fourteenth.

Britton was easily best in the fifteenth and in the next frame chopped Lewis on the jaw and sent him back on his heels. The Englishman wore a sickly smile, rarely evading a blow. The seventeenth and eighteenth went to Britton, while the nineteenth was even.

Lewis started the twentieth like a cyclone. He threw his arms in the air for almost a minute without hitting Britton when Jack suddenly stepped in and started pumping his left to the face. Britton used his right, too, probably more so in this period than throughout the other nineteenth rounds.

1916-04-25 The New Orleans Item (New Orleans, LA) (page 10)
English Marvel Meets His Master In Clever Chicagoan
Welterweight Division Can Now Be Placed on Equal Footing With Other Classes if Packey McFarland Will Come Out and Meet Old Rival

(By Will Hamilton.)

About six years ago Jack Britton came to New Orleans an unknown and fought Ray Bronson. The fans didn't like his style and hissed the bout, which took place in the long-defunct little Royal A. C. Bronson won. When it was over only two men raised a voice in defense of the stranger from Chicago. One was Ray Bronson, the other was the referee--Dr. Wallace Wood. I believe it was.

Bronson, knowing that the bout had not been satisfactory as one to look at, made this little speech from the ring:

"Gentlemen, this fellow is the hardest man to hit I ever boxed in my life."

The referee made this remark:

"Britton's style is peculiar--something to which we are not accustomed. But he is very clever. Make no mistake about that. He is awkwardly clever."

The next time Britton came to New Orleans it was to thwart the lightweight championship contender, Charlie White, with his "peculiar cleverness" and a great left jab which he had perfected in the meantime.

And his third visit was to make good his claim to the welterweight championship over Ted Lewis, a modern Fitzsimmons who is rated one of the best fighters England has produced in a decade.


Lewis Tried to Do Dorr a Favor by Sitting Jack Britton in His Lap

Remy Dor, manager of Pete Herman, was one of the biggest individual bettors on Jack Britton Monday night and he won for himself and friend a "good chunk," but he narrowly escaped disaster in the tenth inning.

Ted Lewis evidently was wise to Remy's betting, or else he simply wanted to get revenge on Dorr for his verbal jabs from the ringside. So when Jack let loose a jab after the bell rang ending the tenth round Ted let loose a right-hand wallop that landed flush on Britton's jaw and sent him whirling against the ropes right in front of Remy, who held up his hands evidently in fear that the ropes were going to break.

"He wanted to sit your favorite in your lap," was a wag's remark to the rooting Remy.


Is a Great Boxing Treat.

Britton has outgrown his "awkwardness," but a style that is purely typical of Britton remains. His exhibition of jabbing, parrying, shifting and pulling from punches and his impenetrable shoulder defense against a right-hand blow Monday night will long be remembered as one of the best boxing treats of years in a New Orleans ring.

Though not the two-handed fighter that Lewis is, Britton is nonetheless a champion. He is so proficient in other things that he finds the use of his right-hand on the offensive seldom called for. It is a mistake to suppose that Britton is only a good defensive boxer. Time and again he forced the fighting and had the Englishman on the run.

How Class Has Gone Back.

The lack of a representative boxing audience to see so important a battle as this shows how far into the background the welterweight division has shrunk through lack of competition. There hasn't been a bona fide welterweight champion in years, and many of the welters have been the black sheep of pugilism.

But in the ring last night were two boxers who would have stood on an equal footing with the best men of their weight of any ring period--two who, in probably every particular, were as great as any lightweight champion since the heyday of Joe Gans.

First Title Bout in Years.

This was the first 20-round decision fight, with the welter title hanging in the balance, in many years, and it is just possible that it will pave the way to a type of contention in this class which will eventually put the division on the same plane with the others. Even the bantams have tripled Monday night's attendance in New Orleans.

Britton's victory probably will draw Packey McFarland, one of the most popular boxers in the country, from retirement. This would make boxing fans everywhere sit up and take notice of the 145-pound division.


Was 1st Decision Ted Lewis Lost in 29 Fights

Ted Lewis hadn't lost a decision since arriving in America until Monday night when he was defeated by Jack Britton.

Lewis came to America the latter part of 1914. He has had about 25 fights since arriving on American soil. The majority were no-decision bouts, but seven or eight were for decisions and Lewis won all of these besides getting the newspaper decisions in a large majority of the no-decision bouts. He has scored two knockouts in this country.

It was the first decision he had lost in the last 29 fights. He lost a 20-round decision to Herb McCoy in Australia in July 1914, after having defeated McCoy in May of the same year.

1916-04-25 The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) (page 9)
Jack Britton, welterweight champion of the world.

That is the way Danny Morgan's fighting Irishman may sign his letters from now on if the decision of Referee Dick Burke, given at the conclusion of Jack's twenty-round battle with Ted Lewis, of England, last night at the New Louisiana Auditorium, holds good for the announcement made before the contest started.

Billed as a world's championship bout, and justly so, according to the opinion of the majority of sport writers of this country, Britton showed so much superiority over his English opponent in practically all of the twenty rounds of the contest that no room for doubt was left as to who was the better man.

Britton won from the first gong to the last. Lewis, according to the viewpoint from the west side of the ring, had but one round, the nineteenth, coming to him, and a couple of them in which an even break seems about the correct verdict. Otherwise he played second fiddle to the Chicago boy.


It was one of the greatest exhibitions of boxing, offensive and defensive, ever seen in New Orleans. This is written from the Britton side of it. It was a contest between two fine boxers, both of whom can fight. With this class of men it is usually claimed that they are boxers alone, but the records of each show that they both have the "kick" that goes with the fighting man and though there was not a knockout last night, nor even a knock down, it was simply owing to the fact that both were clever enough to block the "hay-makers" that were tried.

Never were two athletes in better physical condition than were the two last night. Britton, who has been seen in the ring here several times, looked to be stronger than in any of his previous contests. He was a little heavier, too, but if anything he was faster, shiftier than ever.

Lewis has boxed here only once before. This was with Harry Stone, whom he defeated in a twenty-round go at Tommy Burns' arena about seven weeks ago. According to his manager, Lewis was not at his best then, having just been through a hard siege of battles. But Jimmie declared that he was at his best last night, he having rested since that time. If he was, then his best is far from being good enough to beat Jack Britton over the Marathon distance.

Britton's cleverness in every department, his boxing skill, his countering and ring generalship, all were brought into play against Lewis, and each stood him in good stead. Lewis entered the ring with the avowed intention of keeping after Britton from first to last. He tried this at first. It did not work. His leads missed their mark and Britton's counters counted. Then he changed his tactics. He would allow Jack to do the leading. Jack did. He led and his leads found their mark.


It would not do. Lewis changed again. He started swinging. Occasionally some of his wild ones found their mark. More often they did not, but in the nineteenth round, when he had about given up all hope of winning any other way, he tried the old "hay-maker" swing and he landed two or three hard. Once he staggered Jack with a stiff one but before he could untrack himself, Britton had charged and driven a half-dozen hard right and left punches to the body.

In this same nineteenth, Britton seemed tired. The Lewis camp noted this and all hands kept up a running fire of comment on it. It was an attempted "goat-getting" stunt, pure and simple. But all the same Jack did look mighty tired.

Then came the twentieth, and Britton showed just how tired he really was by tearing into Lewis after they had shaken hands and pummelling the Englishman all over the ring to a wide decision on the round and the contest.

It was a very clean contest as far as the tactics of the combatants were concerned. Twice Lewis slipped to his knees and both times Britton walked clear away from him so that he could arise and set himself again in good order. Jack was cheered both times.

From beginning to end, one round was so much like the other that it would be hard to describe all of them without becoming tiresome by repetition.

It was a lead, counter, jab, get away and slam to the body. Occasionally there were clinches, usually clean breaks, with some infighting but none of the regulation hitting and holding. When there was close work it was fast and hard and Britton, in this department, showed his superiority to Lewis as he did in all of the others.


In the estimation of the writer, the nineteenth round went to Lewis, the second and eighteenth were even, and all of the rest went to Britton.

The attendance was small, considering the class of the contest, the big arena seeming to be hardly a third filled, but those who were on hand were treated to one of the greatest boxing contests ever seen here. It seemed to be the general verdict that "it was the greatest one-sided bout on record."

Kid Gomez forced Young Nelson to take a high dive among the electric light bugs in the first round of the semi-final, while Eddie Burns trounced "Hesitation" Bronson and Jonas Robertson walloped Young Britton in the other preliminaries.

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