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Saturday, June 18, 2011

1903-06-18 Joe Walcott D-PTS20 Young Peter Jackson [Balanee Box, Portland, OR, USA]

1903-06-19 Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR) (page 11)
Joe Walcott Escapes Losing His Title.
Young Peter Jackson Makes a Game Try for Welterweight Championship, but Lacks a Knockout Punch.
Joe Walcott, the world's champion welterweight, came nearer losing his title in his battle last night with Young Peter Jackson than he has since he gained the title. For 20 rounds both men fought one of the fiercest and gamest battles ever seen in Portland, and while Referee Jim Neil called the fight a draw at the end of the 20 rounds, the last five rounds were largely in favor of Jackson.

The fight was for the welterweight championship of the world, and if Al Herford, Peter's manager, had his way, and the fight had gone 25 rounds instead of 20, there would have been a new welterweight champion this morning. Walcott fought his usual clever and masterful battle. During the earlier rounds his ducking, leading, blocking and ring generalship made Peter look as slow as a carthorse compared with him. But Peter was fighting under instructions, which were "bore in all the time; take what's coming, but always keep covered." And how closely he followed these instructions showed as the battle waged. And it was a battle, for round after round the two black pugilists clashed, smashed and walloped each other until it looked as if both fighters would fall from sheer exhaustion. But they did not. At the sound of the gong, which brought them to their feet, Joe and Peter were at each other, with Walcott ripping rights and lefts to the body and head and Jackson jabbing a straight left to the face, and then in the clinches working both hands like pistons on a donkey-engine.

Fighters Go a Fast Pace.

Not a one of that great crowd present, after Peter and Joe got mixing it, ever dreamed that the fight would go to the limit. It seemed, at the pace they were fighting after Walcott had sent Jackson to the canvas in the second round with a right swing that nipped Peter on the cauliflower ear, that one or the other of the boxers must take a peep into pugilistic dreamland, where the fighter, like in a dream, wakes to half-consciousness to hear his master receiving the plaudits and cheers of the crowd. But the fight grew faster and faster as the great bell over in the official timekeeper's corner tolled off the rounds. And with each round Jackson began to unlimber. He seemed to grow stronger. He straightened out of his smothered pose and started after the champion and kept after him until he had Walcott holding in the clinches in the last two rounds. As Jackson grew strong, Walcott, while he lost none of his skill at ducking, his blows seemed to lack steam, and his judgment of distance became less accurate. It was Jackson's straight left that kept reaching Walcott's face that was beating the champion. He realized it as well as the crowd, which, during the earlier stages of the fight, was with the Black Demon from Boston. But when Jackson's stinging left repeatedly found lodgment against Walcott's jaw and face, his right smashing into Joe's wind, or ripping an upper cut which sent Walcott's head back with a snap, the tide of favor turned, until in the 18th round the crowd was yelling like mad and howling, "Jackson! Jackson!" Jackson tried manfully to deliver what the crowd wanted--a knockout punch--and it was only because of Walcott's ability to stall that saved him.

Walcott Grows Serious.

Of course, Walcott doesn't think he was anywhere near beaten. His seconds share his opinion, but it was noticed that the laugh was no longer tripping merrily from the lips of the Barbadoes Wonder. There was no longer the ready jibe and witticism; instead, the black from Boston was serious--as serious as a miser counting his hoarded wealth. The yawn and the assumed air of sleepiness had also disappeared, and on his ebon face there was an expression of anxiety and consternation. He was fighting to save his title, and no longer to hear the laugh of the crowd. All this time Jackson, like a mole working under ground, was wearing his antagonist down. In the 19th round a series of lefts to the face, and a number of herculean uppercuts had the champion wobbling and rocking like an old-fashioned cradle. At that Walcott was at all times dangerous, and, although badly weakened, there was a knockout punch lingering in those brown arms. Jackson knew this, and he never became careless; in fact, all through the rough journey both men fought hard, but carefully.

There was the usual delay in getting the men in the ring, and even after they were in the arena there was a short parley about the number of rounds. Herford wanted the men to fight 25 rounds, but Walcott would not consent, and they finally settled on 20 rounds. The men were brought to the center of the ring and introduced. Dixie Kid was introduced, and offered to fight any man in the world at 145 pounds. Jackson and Billie Woods are matched, and the fight will be pulled off in San Francisco.


Snailham's Seconds Throw Up the Sponge--Ah Wing Boxes.

The crowd as usual was on hand early and as the hour for starting the mill rolled around there were the usual calls for the fighters, Ah Wing and Ed Wiley. At 8:45 Ah Wing with his queue stuck in the rear of his tights, was first to show. The crowd yelled him a loud welcome, and the cousin of Wu Ting Fang smiled in return. Wiley is Wing's sparring partner, and the round exhibition pleased the crowd hugely. The Chinese was clever and demonstrated that he knew something of the boxing game. In the third round both boxers gave a fine exhibition of light slugging. In the fourth and last round Wiley allowed the chink to wallop him and gave a show how the knock-out is delivered.

It was 9 o'clock when Mike Memsic, followed by his seconds, entered the ring. Dick Memsic, his brother, and Joe Cotton were in his corner. Snailham followed shortly and he was looked after by Fred Newhouse and Mike Sullivan. Billie McClain, Dixie Kid's manager, officiated as referee. The boys were a trim-looking pair and looked to be in fine condition. It was Dick's initial appearance and he showed himself a bit of a master of the game. Snailham had only a right that he tried frequently, and missed just as often, for the wind. Memsic's straight left jab soon had the Californian in distress. In the second round Memsic used both hands effectively and just before the bell Memsic sent Snailham down with a right to the jaw. Just as he got to his feet the gong sounded.

Memsic tried to finish the battle in the third round, but his blows, while they punished greatly, lacked steam. Snailham was the gamest kid that has boxed in Portland for days. He gave away at least five pounds and certainly was a glutton for punishment. The crowd liked the Bay City kid's gameness and cheered him roundly when he landed a stiff punch. Snailham came back strong in the sixth round, and he had a shade the better of the argument. Snailham's ankle went to the bad early and he limped painfully, but in spite of this and the beating he got he kept coming back for more until about one minute and a half of the ninth round, when his seconds threw up the sponge. His ankle as much as anything helped make him quit. The fight was awarded to Memsic, who is a good, clever boy.

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