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Saturday, May 21, 2011

1921-05-20 Harry Greb D-PTS15 Jeff Smith [Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, LA, USA]

1921-05-21 New Orleans Item (New Orleans, LA) (page 6)
Smith Demonstrates To Greb
What Puzzle He Is To Others
Referee Wambsgans Can't Pick Winner Between Greb's Leading, But Missing, and Jeff's Cleaner Punching


Referee Al Wambsgans would have been hard put to pick a winner between Harry Greb and Jeff Smith in their 15-rounder at the Louisiana Auditorium Friday night so he chose the easier and more satisfactory way, calling it a draw.

Doubtless the bulk of opinion was that Greb won, because he was the aggressor in the majority of rounds. Smith plainly excelled in the number of hard, clean blows.

Greb's Own Eccentric Style Baffles Mr. Greb

It was not the spectacular fight that Greb's usually is because Smith, having met Harry some five or six times, had the eccentric Pittsburgher figured to a fine point and in some rounds he completely frustrated Greb's efforts to pull the circus stuff that makes him at once a puzzle and a marvel to both opponents and spectators.

In the early rounds Smith boxed Greb at Greb's own style and at times he out-Grebed Greb in that, while he let Greb lead, he repeatedly got in a good straight, stiff punch while Harry was missing.

Confronted by a mimic of himself Harry was at a loss for Greb never before had fought Greb. He now knows how much of an enigma he is to his opponents. If he kissed the canvas in his well known manner of bringing up a punch from the submarine depths Smith also kissed it; if he danced Smith danced; if he clinched Smith clinched, and let it be said that in the clinches Smith was pretty much to the mustard for he tied Greb so effectually that he could hardly do a thing while his own shorter arms frequently got in short, stiff hooks that might have told on a weaker specimen than the Pittsburger.

Both Show Marks Early in Vicious Tug-o-War

But if the bout was not as spectacular as some of the fans expected to see, it was no less interesting for the very reason that Smith was so successful in foiling Greb at his own game, and it was also vicious enough for the most blood-thirsty ringsider.

There was so much close fighting of the tugging and wrestling kind, Smith being an even match for Greb in strength, that both got their marks early. Greb was first to bleed from a slightly torn ear, then Smith's left eye began to redden and later on it puffed out so that his backers feared it might close altogether, especially as Greb made it a target for his overhand rights--or howsoever he lands his right, which was his only weapon of account in this combat. Greb sustained a slight cut over his prominent cheek-bone, and once there was a little trickle from either his nose or his mouth, but he came out of the battle less cut up than his opponent.

Smith Wins Early Rounds

Weights of the pair were announced as 161½ for Smith and 165 for Greb. Both were in great shape and they went right to it when the bell sent them together. Smith made Greb look like a novice in the first round by ducking all of Harry's leads and countering effectively to the body. The Jersey boy also won the second and third rounds and got in some pretty nice hooks to the side and stomach.

There was a lot of tugging in the fourth. Greb got over a couple of jabs in this round for the first time and evened it up.

The fifth was a big Smith round in which he again outboxed Greb at Harry's own style, not only making Greb miss but hooking hard to the body at least three times.

There was a lot of wrestling in the sixth, when both men showed remarkable knowledge of catch-as-catch-can holds. Smith did the cleaner punching.

Greb Begins in Seventh

The seventh was Greb's first round. He scored a number of times with his right hand and had Smith's left eye red and puffing. Smith connected with another good left hook.

The eighth was a good slugging match with Greb having a decided advantage.

Smith's eye bled considerably in the ninth and Greb won this round by a big margin.

The tenth was an even round though Smith did the better punching. Jeff's eye bled continually after Greb landed on it a couple of times. Jeff shook Greb up with a corking right cross to the point of the jaw.

Smith won the eleventh with three or four good clean punches with both left and right.

The twelfth went to Greb, who got in two or three good rights after Smith had scored first by catching him with an uppercut as Harry went in.

Greb continued to score with his right hand in the thirteenth and won the round and he had a slight margin in the fourteenth in which there was plenty of mixing.

Strong Finish for Both

It appeared that if Referee Wambsgans was going to name a winner the fifteenth would decide it. Both fighters evidently realized this for they both made a grand finish. Smith had Greb a little on the run in this round but Harry was hitting all the time and perhaps landing a few more punches.

The consensus of opinion seemed to be that Greb had a slight lead but that Smith would have had better than an even chance had they gone the five additional rounds that Smith wanted to go.


Colletti And Burns Win

Pascal Colletti, former Southern A. A. U. bantamweight champion, and his rival of amateur days, Bill Doclar, both figured in the preliminary battles to the Greb-Smith contest at the Louisiana auditorium, Friday night and both were winner.

Colletti defeated Mike Russo who has a good bit more experience than the average preliminary battler hereabouts. Doclar outslugged an Italian with the ring name of Young Corbett.

All the preliminaries furnished good speed. Young Secara gave Al Pisa a good trouncing, while Chick Burns won from Mike Frisco in a slugfest.

A crowd of more than 6,500 saw the auditorium bouts and the receipts were in the neighborhood of $12,000. The crowd was well handled both by the promoters, commissioners and police. Corporal Lenine was in charge of the police squad.

1921-05-21 New Orleans States (New Orleans, LA) (page 10)
Smith, Lucky As Well As Clever, Is Given Draw By Wambsgans
Repeated Clinching and Holding by Smith Marred Contest; Fighters Add 'Nother Draw to Long List.


Jeff Smith fought the first and last minute of the fifteenth round last night at the Louisiana Auditorium. Jeff was clever, extremely so, and incidentally, lucky. In return for his "turning on the juice," Referee Wambsgans gave him a draw decision with Harry Greb.

Wambsgans, if anything, was evidently in a charitable frame of mind. There was no demonstration against his decision. The $12,000 worth of spectators accepted it as a matter of fact, something which usually happens when two clever fellows get together in the ring.

The contest which promised so much, didn't produce the goods. From a standpoint of fighting, Greb did all of the work. He could have drawn worse than a draw as easily as he received the 50-50 decision.

The most important angle in connection with the Smith-Greb affair, is that Smith doesn't need twenty rounds to knock the Pittsburg mauler off his feet. Smith should ask for twenty years, and maybe the privilege of using a six-shooter.

Greb Only Fighter.

Greb did all of the fighting. He was the aggressor from start to finish. He fought in and out of the clinches. Smith was on the defense strictly until the first and last minute of the final round. Maybe Smith has a peculiar style of fighting. He is undoubtedly a clever boxer. His ducking of the punches Greb aimed from every possible angle, at least gave the spectators an idea what naturally must come when clever men meet.

The first six rounds, the fourth excepted, were devoted almost exclusively to holding and wrestling. Neither of the men seemed to muss each other up. Greb began fighting a little in the fourth, and the seventh found him going at top speed, which he continued until the tenth, winning every round by a comfortable margin. From the thirteenth to the final going, Harry, if anything, outfought Smith. It is no great wonder that the Pittsburg mauler and his manager shouted: "Never Again!"

There were no knockdowns during the contest nor the slightest semblance of one. Greb fought the same type of battle that he introduced Happy Littleton to a few weeks ago. His efforts--to some of the spectators and Smith's manager, were regarded clownish, but they seemed of the type to give the fans a run for their money.

Had Greb fought the same type of contest at any time during the fifteen rounds that Smith resorted to there probably would have been splendid assistance rendered the occupants of the gallery seats from those at the ringside in the cry of "Fake!" which came quite frequently from the upper tier.

Smith's most valuable asset during the entire contest was an occasional right hand punch to the body and holding on. Greb fought all he knew how. Naturally, Referee Wambsgans' decision was a disappointment to the Pittsburger. Still, it was a battle in which two men who have fought so often and know the style of each other so well, that is at least compared favorably with some of the other 50-50 melees in which they have engaged.

1921-05-21 The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) (page 14)


Youth and the stamina to assimilate terrific punishment, which permits him when he is hurt badly to act as if he isn't hurt, earned Harry Greb of Pittsburg a draw in the opinion of Referee Al Wambsgans with Jeff Smith in their fifteen-round match at the Louisiana Auditorium last night.

While the fight was not a really great scrap, it was well worth seeing and was thoroughly enjoyed by 6300 fans who paid $11,900 to get into the auditorium.

Greb was a disappointment. Against "Happy" Littleton here several weeks ago Greb, taking advantage of Littleton's limited experience and especially Littleton's greenness with unsportsmanlike tricks of the trade, looked like a champion--a world beater.

But at times last night, pitted against a man who was his superior at everything except holding, wrestling, clowning and stamina, Greb looked like a dub.

And it was evident, at the end of the fight why Greb in the first place did not care particularly about fighting Smith and in the second place why Greb did not want to go any further than he had to. Under the terrific body punching of Smith, Greb fast was sagging at the end and showed it in spite of his acting and also in spite of his phenomenal endurance and constitution.

In Smith local boxing fans saw a real master fighter. On occasions Greb, by employing crude, slam-bang methods which no true boxer ever would expect from an opponent, seemed to bewilder Smith. But those at the ringside could have seen Smith's contemptuous smile as he knocked off four out of five of the blows Greb showered on him--blows which to spectators sitting a few rows back undoubtedly seemed to land.

But Greb must be credited for his acting and his ability to stand up under heavy punching. And, as has been said, in those rounds where he galloped in on Smith like a wild horse, Smith could find little time to do anything but block, and Greb consequently earned the rounds by good margins.

When it came down to clean punches and sportsmanlike fighting, however, the difference between Smith and Greb was the same as the difference between night and day. Class stood out in Smith; luck and burlesque characterized Greb.

It was because of the many punches Smith missed; the many clean and hard punches Smith landed and the fact that Greb continually held while trying to make it seem Smith was holding, that the writer thought Smith earned the decision. Our tab of the fight by rounds gave Smith a big majority.

Greb, himself, seemed to sense he would become unpopular in the fighting if he resorted to his clownish jumping about. He laid off of it until he found himself compelled to turn the tide of battle, as Smith stepped out and took the first four rounds from him.

It was after that that Greb began to hold, wrapping his right arm about Smith's left and holding like a vice, the while keeping Smith's gloved left behind his back to make it appear Smith was holding. Once, too, Greb got a strangle hold about Smith's bull neck and the man from New Jersey smiled disgustedly as Greb crushed in in an attempt to choke his man.

There were times, too, during the fight when Greb butted and one of his blows with his head opened a wicked gash over Smith's left eye. Greb did not win any friends by devoting all his attack after that to Smith's wounded eye. Not many had seen Greb butt Smith, but Referee Wambsgans had, and he warned Greb twice about it.

Towards the end of the fight, there were times when the blood trickled from the cut above Smith's eye affected his sight, and Greb always pressed such advantages to the limit.

Landing several wild swings and locking Smith effectively in the clinches so Smith could not get in much effective work, Greb earned the fifth round, but Smith came right back and took the sixth by a wide margin.

Greb then got the jump on him, and for the next four rounds tore in so fast and furiously Smith found little or no time to hit back. But the eleventh found Smith again master of the situation for the session, while in the twelfth he battered Greb about the ring and won by a big margin.

Greb took the thirteenth by storm. Smith lined him up in the fourteenth, however, and had slightly the better of a hard-fought round, while in the fifteenth, a real sensational windup, was about even.

Smith seemed as fresh as a daisy at the end, while Greb's knees were sagging and he seemed to be getting his breath in gasps. He stopped left hooks and right uppercuts to the body, however, which would have put many another man to the mat. Smith also connected solidly with Greb's on occasions, though Greb's jaw is a bobbing, elusive target.

Greb's best punch was a right cross to the jaw, which he managed to land time and again cleanly. It was the only clean punch he could land on Smith. His left swings, which seemed to land, found their marks mostly on Smith's protecting elbow, or banged harmlessly against Smith's gloves as, with an eagle eye, Smith stood coolly and picked them off as fast as Greb showered them.

Referee Wambsgans decision seemed to be a popular one. Greb was hissed time and again for holding and snatching Smith about the ring.

While the attendance did not nearly reach the point of congestion it did at the Greb-Littleton fight, the big arena was comfortably filled by the time the first preliminary went into the ring. The crowd appeared much smaller than it really was while streaming in because of the fact it was so well handled.

No sporting event held here in recent years was more smoothly conducted than last night's show. There was not one hitch, either in the admission, the program or the exit.

And the preliminaries furnished one of the best periods of entertainment seen at any recent boxing show.

The first preliminary was a four-rounder between Young Corbett and Young Doclar, the latter getting the decision after a slam-bang and evenly balanced match.

Young Secara outfought Al Pisa in all four rounds of the next prelim and won the decision. Al didn't much cotton to the rough stuff and held on for dear life the last two rounds, as he was given plenty of roughing.

In the third prelim, Chick Burns won over Mike Frisco in a four-round scrap in which the two lads fought each other out of the ropes and in again and battled like two Kilkenny cats.

Pascal Colletti, the former Southern amateur bantamweight champion, easily outpointed Mike Russo in the fourth and last preliminary. The two boys at times were hissed for the lack of interest. Both are light punchers and each inclined to protect himself a little too much.

However, all four matches showed the result of excellent matching and conscientious training upon the part of each principal.

Fight by Rounds

ROUND ONE--Smith, watching carefully, stepped in and hooked a left to the body. He then jabbed to the nose with a left. Greb missed an overhand right and Smith put a right uppercut to the body. Smith blocked cleverly and ducked several as Greb danced about. Greb put a right across to the jaw. They clinched, both holding hard, and Greb had the better of the blows that were landed. At the end of the round they both feinted each other into knots without a blow being landed. It was Smith's round.

ROUND TWO--They clinched and Smith put a hard right to the body. Smith ducked and made Greb miss half a dozen left and right swings. Greb danced about, Smith carefully watching for an opportunity to sock in a punch. Greb hardly stood still, however, and held tightly, being wary of Smith's terrific left to the body. It was another Smith round.

ROUND THREE--Smith walked right in, covered, and put a hard right to the body. Greb missed an overhand right. Smith hooked a left to the jaw. Greb jumped into a clinch and landed a few light blows, having the better of it. Greb jumped back and then in again with a right cross to the jaw. Greb missed. Smith hooked a left to the head in a clinch and split Greb's left eye. Smith's.

ROUND FOUR--Greb rushed in, but missed and looked ludicrous. Smith spun him around in a clinch and smashed a terrific right to the body as Greb came in again. Greb held hard. After the break Greb came right back, swinging rights and lefts, but Smith blocked and crushed. Smith put two heavy rights to the jaw. Greb landed a right to the jaw while backing away. Smith's round.

ROUND FIVE--Smith backed him to the ropes and landed a heavy left to the belly. Greb grabbed him and choked him with his arm. Smith rushed him with a hard left to the body. Greb scored two left swings to the head. Greb landed a right to the ear. Slightly Greb's.

ROUND SIX--Smith stepped in with a left to the body. It was a smashing punch and Greb held. Smith blocked an attack and hooked a hard right to the body. Greb landed a left swing to the jaw. Greb worked his right to the back of Smith's neck in a clinch. Smith blocked a right and left. Smith put a hard right to the body. Smith lifted him with a right uppercut to the body. It was all Smith's.

ROUND SEVEN--Greb missed a right and left but tore in with a volley of rights and lefts and got several through Smith's guard to the head. Greb scored with a right cross and quickly rushed in. He opened a small cut on Smith's right eye with a left. Greb showered a fusilade on Smith's arms and glove and Smith smiles, though a few blows got through. Greb shifted, landing an overhand right and left. Smith calmly watched and waited and just before the bell rang shook Greb with a left to the jaw. It was all Greb's.

ROUND EIGHT--Greb rushed and landed a left swing. Greb missed a right and left. Smith covered as Greb put a right to the body. Greb then rocked his head and protecting arms with rights and lefts and carried Smith to the ropes before a fusilade of blows, most of which Smith cleverly blocked. Greb kept tearing in, and he appeared to be having the fight all his own way, but he wasn't hurting Smith at all, as was subsequently proved. It was another Greb round.

ROUND NINE--Greb landed two rights to the jaw. They held each other's poised gloves like fencers and feinted for openings. Greb shot a hard right downward to the ear as Smith ducked. Greb got behind him and swung two lefts, Smith blocking them both. Greb tore in and butted Smith in the left eye with his head, splitting Smith's eye. The referee warned Greb. Greb landed a right at the bell. Smith seemed perfectly at ease and unhurt, but it was another big Greb round.

ROUND TEN--Greb missed. Smith shook him with a right to the jaw. Greb landed a right uppercut and then shot a hard right to Smith's bleeding eye. Smith sunk a hard left to the body and came back with a left to the nose. Greb landed two left swings to the head and missed a right. Slightly Greb.

ROUND ELEVEN--Smith landed a terrific right to the body. Greb seemed hurt. He came back and feinted, Smith rocking him with a left to the jaw. Smith blocked rights and lefts and shot a short right to the jaw, knocking Greb back. Greb shot a right to the eye. Greb worked both hands to the head as Smith covered. Smith's.

ROUND TWELVE--Smith shot a right uppercut to the body. Smith then swung a terrific right to the face. Greb fought back hard and landed a right to the jaw. In a fast exchange, Smith, covering and blocking at the same time, ripped a right to the body. Smith jabbed to the face. Greb rushed into a clinch and held. Coming out Smith lifted him from the floor with a right uppercut to the body. All Smith.

ROUND THIRTEEN--Greb landed a right cross. Smith smashed a left to the body. Greb rushed and Smith landed a right uppercut to the body. Greb hooked a left coming in. Greb backed off and danced in wildly, showering rights and lefts on Smith's arms and gloves. It was slightly Greb's round.

ROUND FOURTEEN--Smith landed a right to the body. They both missed. Greb put a hard right to the jaw. Greb hooked a left to the head. Smith buried a left to the body and hooked a wicked left to the jaw. Smith rocked him with a left to the face and hurled him on the ropes with a right to the heart. Smith's round.

ROUND FIFTEEN--They went at it hammer and tongs. Greb got the jump and banged away with rights and lefts. Smith held up his arms to block, but Greb got in several blows. Smith straightened him up with a terrific right. Greb's knees sagged, but he tore right in and landed a right and left to the head. Smith hooked a hard left to the body and Greb landed a right cross. Greb made a grandstand finish the last half minute and the round was fairly even.

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