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Sunday, May 8, 2011

1899-05-08 Joe Walcott W-TKO10 Charley Johnson [Ariel Athletic Club, Athens, PA, USA]

1899-05-09 The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) (page 4)
Makes a Game Stand Against Walcott and Takes a Fierce Gruelling
Sadly Out of Condition, He Is Unable to Withstand the Terrific Onslaughts of the Black
Charley Johnson quit in the eleventh round of what was to have been a fifteen-round go with Joe Walcott, at the Ariel Club, at Athens, last night, and yet there was not a person in the house who would have questioned either his gameness or the wisdom of his action. It is not extravagant to say that he withstood more downright punishment--punishment that the effects of which will probably make themselves manifest later on--than any boxer who has performed here in years. There was not a moment of the time from the time the men shook hands until the close of the bout, that Johnson had a chance to win. Except in willingness, he did not appear to be in the same class as Walcott. The latter took the initiative and was the aggressor throughout. He ripped his left into Johnson's short ribs with fearful effect, and in the rushes, which were numerous, he landed the same left about Johnson's dial, and on more than one occasion had him on the edge of Queer street. In every tactic of the game the black manifested that he was Johnson's master.

* * *

In the first four rounds Johnson made a fairly good showing, which conveyed the impression that he was playing a waiting game, and that he might furnish a surprise party to the "Barbados Demon" later on. But the surprise party never materialized. In the eighth round Johnson did start to mix it up, but he soon desisted. Walcott, fighting with the ferocity that sobriquet implies, rushed Johnson to the ropes, and with two swinging left handers about the face sent him to the floor, where he stayed the limit. Walcott caught him with a hard right on the jaw, but on the next attempt missed him. If that punch had landed the fight would have ended there and then.

* * *

Johnson was perceptibly groggy when he came up for the ninth round, but he managed to stay through the next two rounds, notwithstanding the punishment which he was compelled to stand without being able to give anything in return. In the eleventh Walcott started to rush matters from the sound of the gong. Landing that terrible left of his on the wind, he brought a right across on the jaw, and Johnson went to the floor. He struggled to his feet. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak, and realizing that it was useless to continue, he turned to Referee Fogarty, and said that he was all out. When Johnson walked off the stage, after having been brought around by his seconds, he was given a round of applause for his gameness.

* * *

The preliminary was between Sam Bolan, of New York, and Harry Warren, of this city. The local boy was strong, game and willing, but was outclassed in science by the New Yorker, who is another colored protege of Tom O'Rourke's. He made a good, game fight, but in the ninth round he was punched into retirement. Taking it altogether, it was a rattling good show--one that will be sure to act as a plugger for those which may follow it.

1899-05-09 The Philadelphia Record (Philadelphia, PA) (page 11)
Negro Makes the White Man Quit in the Tenth Round.
Sam Bolan Knocks Out Harry Warren in Nine Rounds in a One-Sided Contest at the Ariel Club Opening.
Joe Walcott, the Barbadoes negro, made Charley Johnson, of this city, quit in the tenth round of what was to have been a 15-round fight at the Ariel Athletic Club, Athens, Delaware County, last evening. Johnson was knocked down and badly dazed in the eighth round, but gamely got up as Referee Fogarty counted "nine," and stood Walcott off in spite of his fierce efforts to land a decisive blow. Johnson fought wholly on the defensive from start to finish, forcing the negro to do most of the work. This is not Johnson's usual style of battle, but his poor condition evidently prompted him to take no chances. Walcott was in fine shape, his black skin shining like polished mahogany and standing out in strong contrast to the sickly white of Johnson's complexion.

Walcott went at Johnson in the first round like a whirlwind, forcing him to the ropes and hammering away at him with left and right, as though bent on winning the fight in record time. Johnson blocked the blows as best he could, but was finally sent to his knees under the ropes. He was up in a second, and the balance of the round was not so fast. Walcott in every clinch proved that he was the stronger man of the two, and when infighting was resorted to proved himself also the faster boxer. Johnson got home with one on the colored man's mouth, however, which started the blood.

Johnson landed his first clean blow in the second round, when he met Walcott flush in the face with his left. It was the sort of a "heel" blow for which Johnson is famous, being delivered with the open glove. Walcott landed one on Johnson's kidneys which did him no good, and then the balance of the round was spent in cautious work, Walcott feeling for an opening, while it was evident that Johnson was willing to wait all night, if necessary.

Nothing occurred in the third round. In the fourth Walcott landed a left in the face--the second of a double blow, and also pushed Johnson so far over the ropes that Charley's right leg slipped off the platform, skinning his shin.

Walcott fought hard in the fifth, but could not get close to Johnson, always finding Charley's left sticking out to head him off. Joe cut loose with some stiff left-hand swings and also crossed Johnson with his right, but the blows never landed just right, Charley stopping all he could not block or duck. Johnson got back with one pretty good punch, but was strongly on the defensive.

In the seventh Walcott tried to uppercut Johnson, but was blocked. Then he went to work on Johnson's ribs and beat a tattoo that Charley will remember for many a day. That vicious right which has put to sleep so many aspirants for pugilistic fame was again and again driven into the white man's body as only Walcott can drive it, and whenever Charley forgot to watch out the same wicked right shot up to the face. Johnson took the blows gamely and stopped all he could.

But this sort of work aroused Johnson's ire, and he came up for the eighth round looking mad. That was what Walcott wanted, and about the second time Johnson met Joe in a rally he got a left in the face that dazed him, and a fraction of a second later went down from a right on the jaw.

Johnson was down nine seconds and was groggy when he got up, but he staved off Walcott's rushed for about a minute, and then the bell gave him a minute's rest.

The ninth was uneventful, but in the tenth the hard work and lack of condition began to tell, and after making a last effort to fight back, Johnson sank down as though exhausted, and when he got up said to Referee Fogarty: "I can't go no farther."

"Do you want to quit?" said Fogarty.

"What's the use. I'm all beat up," said Johnson, and with that Walcott was declared the winner. He was clearly the better man.

The preliminary was a ten-round bout between Sam Bolan of New York, and Harry Warren (Nathan Strauss), of Philadelphia, the men weighing about 130 pounds each. Bolan is an experienced fighter, while Warren is not only new to the business, being quite young, but is wofully deficient in knowledge of the game. His splendid condition kept him in the right for eight rounds, but he was knocked out in the ninth, after once being down long enough for the referee to count ten.

Warren stopped most of Bolan's blows with his face, but gamely came back for more for round after round--and got it, too. Warren made the mistake of fighting wholly for the head, when body blows would have been much more effective.

The New Yorkers outclassed the local men in each contest, and won comparatively easy victories. About 900 spectators were present, in spite of the stormy weather.

It was announced that Joe Butler and Ed Dunkhorst would box fifteen rounds in the Ariel Club arena on May 22.

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