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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1911-05-30 Johnny Kilbane ND12 Jimmy Walsh [Auditorium, Canton, OH, USA]

1911-05-31 The Evening Repository (Canton, OH) (page 6)
Crowd Hisses Fighters When They Spend Time In Fiddling; Neither Has Much On Other
Boston Scrapper Appears Willing To Make It A Battle, But Cleveland Adversary Keeps Dancing Away And Shows Foot-Work, Not Fist-Work.
If the Kilbane-Walsh and Dunn-Lemaster bouts at the Auditorium Tuesday night had been reversed in the order given the small crowd of fight fans would have departed with better tastes in their mouths. As it was the Dunn-Lemaster curtain raiser created an appetite which the Kilbane-Walsh go failed to appease.

The two men might have been placed in the ring with their hands tied behind their backs and the bout probably would have been as interesting as it was, for the major portion of the activities were devoted to footwork. It was a liberal education in fancy stepping, the ballet dancers having nothing on these prancers of the squared circle. A small crowd of the faithful looked on with amazement and wondered why the boxers didn't land a clean smash once in a while. They are still wondering.

The gladiators at the finish stepped from the ring without a mark. Not a drop of gore was drawn, though Kilbane did emit a drop or so in the last round, but whether it came from forced breathing or whether he pushed his nose to Walsh's glove is a question.

"For points only" correctly describes the affair. Most any 15-year-old lad could easily have assimilated every blow struck and felt "bully". It was the most affable affair ever seen hereabouts.

Many expected to see Kilbane "put something over" in accordance with his advance information. A little on the K. O. order would have had the soothing effect on the crowd. Some of Johnny's press agent stuff of his battle with Rivers had preceded him and the fans were expectant, but those wallops which stopped and dazed and mystified the terrible Mexican must have been left on the Pacific coast. Many in the crowd believed that the protest of the churches to Mayor Turnbull had the effect of slowing down the affair.

At any rate Kilbane was content with doing fancy stunts about Walsh like a Comanche chief and Walsh is no novice with his feet, either--so it was a grand display of the possibilities of pedal pugilism. Walsh, however, set himself right with the crowd by making an attempt to fight.

When the men were not dancing about out of range of each other, they were in loving embrace, pushing their gloves in each other's faces and occasionally Kilbane would tap Walsh in the stomach. The crowd couldn't see these gentle taps and it's doubtful if Walsh felt them. The crowd would hiss and Referee Kelly would insist, "Gentlemen, we're doing the best we can." Some fan would yell "rotten," and another deluge of hisses would roll down over the ring. The boxers would respond with a clinch and Kelly would work hard to separate them.

On several occasions in the breakaway, Kilbane put a right hook to Walsh's head and the crowd showed its disapproval. Kelly explained, "The men must protect themselves in the clinches."

Considering that both men were on their feet and going fast at the finish and that no telling blows were struck, also the fact that Walsh was aggressive in spite of Kilbane's superior cleverness, it would not be the usual ring procedure to call the bout anything but a draw.


Round 1--With the gong the men met in the middle of the ring. They didn't go through the formality of shaking hands. For about thirty seconds they feinted and fiddled about neither leading or landing. Walsh tapped Kilbane lightly with a left and in the clinch that followed Kilbane pushed his left to the chin. They broke and again dropped into a clinch when neither could land. Kilbane lead for head but blow was blocked. The round ended with the men dancing about.

Round 2--They danced some more and then Walsh put a light left to head but Kilbane was backing away and no damage resulted. The men embraced each other and in the break Kilbane missed a left hook, but succeeded in putting a straight left to face. They clinched and Kilbane put two light lefts to face. The round was a repetition of clinches.

Round 3--The round was appropriately opened with a clinch, which were more and more becoming hugging matches. Kilbane did some infighting and showed speed. It was evident that Johnny had it on the ex-bantam weight champion at the infighting game. Walsh put his left to the head and in the clinch that followed Kilbane used left successfully on Walsh's jaw. They were pushes instead of punches. Kelly was the hardest working man in the ring.

Round 4--Kilbane as an opener put a snappy left jab to the face. Walsh continued to force the fighting but couldn't successfully penetrate Kilbane's defense. Kilbane did some rapid fighting landing lefts and rights in clinch and Walsh broke ground. It was Kilbane's round.

Round 5--Kilbane put his left to the chin and in the break that followed the clinch sent his right to the head. Walsh landed a hard left to the head and the men clinched. "Quit wrestling," admonished Kelly. Kilbane pushed his left to Walsh's head and in the break hooked Jimmy on the head with his right.

Round 6--The feature of this period was the hissing of the crowd, which showed its disapproval of the tactics of the combatants. The fighters were clinched half the time and the remainder was utilized by Kelly in getting them apart. In the final break Kilbane managed to get in his customary right hook to the head, but there was no steam behind the blow.

Round 7--The hissing had the desired effect, and Kilbane started the round actively. "I thought you were going to knock him out," yelled one of the spectators to Kilbane. Walsh landed a left to the head and in the clinch Kilbane landed left and right to body. Kilbane worked his left overtime but the blows lacked steam. In this round Kilbane landed three light blows to Walsh's one. Kilbane's round.

Round 8--The men were in a clinch before they got started and both missed right swings. Kilbane showed greater cleverness in the clinching and succeeded in tapping Walsh frequently.

Round 9--The men exchanged lefts and rights and clinched. The crowd became boisterous and Kelly told it to keep quiet that he would do the best he could. Someone yelled "Stop it," but there was nothing to stop. Walsh managed to find a resting place for a right swing alongside Kilbane's neck. Kilbane countered with a stiff left which rocked Walsh's head slightly. Walsh rushed and a clinch resulted.

Round 10--Kilbane put Walsh's head back with a straight left and Walsh rushed. Kilbane put a hard right to Walsh's wind and followed it with left to face. Walsh rushed, and the round ended with the men's shoulders together.

Round 11--Walsh stuck his left in Kilbane's face twice in succession and also landed left and right in a clinch. Johnny tapped Jimmy on the face getting under his guard, a fancy stunt practiced by all amateurs. Kilbane put his left to the face and Walsh rushed into a clinch.

Round 12--Walsh put light left and right to head and Kilbane caught Jimmy on the neck. Walsh rushed and Kilbane met the onslaught half way and proceeded to push Walsh through the ropes. Walsh then pushed Kilbane to the ropes and the men clinched. Kelly to the rescue. Walsh rushed and the gong relieved the crowd of further distress.

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