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Thursday, May 5, 2011

1914-05-05 Mike Gibbons ND10 Johnny Howard [Broadway Sporting Club, Brooklyn, NY, USA]

1914-05-06 New-York Tribune (New York, NY) (page 11)
St. Paul Boxer Bests Howard in Fast Ten Rounds at Broadway Club.

Mike Gibbons, rated by many as the best middleweight in the ring to-day, defeated Johnny Howard, of Bayonne, in ten rounds of boxing at the Broadway Sporting Club, of Brooklyn, last night. The victory of the St. Paul man was clear cut and decisive.

In six of the ten rounds Gibbons unquestionably had the better of the exchanges, and in those periods where Howard held forth it was on sufferance only. There were three such rounds, while another, the eighth, was so slow that neither could be credited with any advantage.

Howard was defeated, but he has little cause to hang his head. There was never a moment in which he had the power to urge his muscles into action that he refused to stand right in the battle light and make Gibbons fight for every inch of ground. He landed many a stinging punch, and in the third round made Mike run to cover with a right hand hook on the chin which carried a world of power behind it.

The effect was momentary, however, and Mike soon cut loose with a volley of wicked smashes from both hands which swept all before it. Howard in turn was forced to retreat, but that retreat was covered by spirited fighting all the way.

There were several times when it seemed that Howard must certainly go down to decisive defeat. In the fourth round Gibbons brought into play his speed and power. For a moment he fiddled and feinted around and then, priming Howard with a left to the chin, leaped in with a crushing right on the tip of the chin.

The Jersey lad's knees sagged and he gasped for breath. Like a bolt of lightning Gibbons went at him, swirling gloves that carried disaster in every stroke. Many landed, and with crushing force both on head and body, but with rare courage Howard stayed on his feet. Then his brain cleared and he backed away to safety.

Howard's sun set with that round. The gruelling that he had taken robbed his muscles of their snap and brought him down to Mike's size. His punches were no longer shot to the mark, but rather started in sections. They carried little power, and Gibbons, after deliberately taking a few, was satisfied that he had the situation well in hand.

Gibbons boxed with all his wizard-like skill, and the situation demanded that he use it. Howard was not at all impressed by mere names and personalities. He is devoid of imagination. Furthermore, he has an idea that he can whip any man in the world, and desired to prove his belief. There were times when his speed made Gibbons miss punches by wide margins, and Mike's right glove swished through the smoke laded atmosphere more often than a New York crowd has ever seen it do before.

Howard weighed 160½ pounds, while Gibbons balanced the beam at 152 pounds.

1914-05-06 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page 10)
Beats Johnny Howard of Bayonne at the Broadway Sporting Club.
St. Paul "Lizard" Promises to "Look Fierce" in Future Fights.
Mike Gibbons beat Johnny Howard of Bayonne in a ten-round bout last night at the Broadway Sporting Club. The job was not so easy as Mike would have liked, for he found Howard a robust, tough proposition, who kept boring in with astonishing disregard for the best shots that Gibbons had in his magazine.

There was no doubt of the clear victory of the St. Paul man. He led in every round but one. He established a lead early in the game, and increased it, whenever he thought it necessary in order to keep the crowd in good humor. There was a lot of booing along the middle of the fight, because it was apparent that Mike was inclined to loaf.

Howard has nothing to be ashamed of in his showing. He knew what he was up against, and fought persistently, although with an amount of caution. Save for a few fleeting moments, Howard kept his right hand glued to his side as a guard against a knockout wallop from his opponent. He made his fight with his left, with which he kept reaching for the elusive Mike. On one occasion he backed Gibbons into a corner and while Mike stood perfectly motionless Howard pumped right and left into his man.

The blows landed on the St. Paul boxer like rain on a tin roof. Howard's friends shrieked in frenzied excitement, and many of them thought he had Gibbons all but out. In the midst of the fusillade Gibbons glanced around to his seconds and calmly winked. Then it was apparent that Howard's blows were mostly landing on Gibbons' glove and his right shoulder, lifted high to protect his chin.

The next round Gibbons made Howard pay dearly for his amusement, for he whipped over right after right, with all the sting of a 3-inch rapid-fire gun, and Howard's head bobbed under each shot.

There was all the difference in the world between the boxing of the men. Howard's left was delivered with a pushing movement, which Gibbons discovered in thirty seconds had no punishment in it. Consequently Mike thrilled the crowd by a display of his marvelous skill. Standing perfectly still, he would let Howard pop at him. Shifting his head a trifle to the right or left, he would let Howard's punches slip past his intellectual brow. Again he would catch them on his hunched shoulder. Howard was powerless to hurt him.

Considering that Howard outweighed Gibbons by nearly 10 pounds, the weights were 152 for Mike and 160½ for Howard, and that the Bayonne man was in the pink of condition, Gibbons' fight ought to have satisfied his friends. Howard picked up a lot of information during the ten rounds that ought to stand him in good stead.

"I fought very badly," said Gibbons in his dressing room after the fight. "I must have looked like an old woman, the way I missed them. Yes, Howard is a good boy. He's as strong as a bear, and a husky boy.

"Yes, I hit him just as hard as I hit McAllister, but I caught McAllister just right. This boy has a way of dropping his chin that made me hit him high. If I could have got him a trifle lower on one of three or four blows, there would have been some music.

"I think I will have to stop smiling in the ring. It makes them think that I am not trying. I am going to look fierce hereafter. Say, that announcer introduced me as the St. Paul 'Lizard,' meaning wizard, I suppose."

The big feature of the night was the farcical fighting of a creature introduced as "Mike" Cummings. He looked and acted as though he had just escaped from a girl boarding school. "Mike" towered about two feet over his opponent, "Young" Riceman. He delivered all his blows at a distance of six feet from Riceman. He danced up and down, with sudden and inexplicable back shifts poking out his arms as though armed with pistols, and all without coming within a foot of Riceman. The latter pounded the fake pugilist for a round and a half, when the referee stopped the slaughter.

Johnnie Shea was badly battered by John Freeman; Young Allen beat Pete Howard and Jimmie Rennan won from Sailor Dick Hayes.

1914-05-06 The Sun (New York, NY) (page 9)
Gibbons Outclasses Howard.

Mike Gibbons of St. Paul did not have to work very hard to beat Johnny Howard of Bayonne in a ten round bout at the Broadway Sporting Club, Brooklyn, last night. Howard, who tipped the beam at 160½, 8½ pounds more than Gibbons, had the better of only one round, the third, and then only because Gibbons didn't try.

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