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Sunday, June 12, 2011

1916-06-12 Benny Leonard ND10 Johnny Dundee [Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA]

1916-06-13 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 12)
Italian Lightweight Outpoints Harlem Boxer at Madison Square Garden.

A crowd of 6,000 persons at Madison Square Garden last night saw Johnny Dundee, the Italian lightweight, win a close decision over Benny Leonard, the popular Harlem boxer. This was not the first meeting of this pair of boxers, anxious for a crack at Freddie Welsh's lightweight laurels, but it outshone any of their previous exhibitions. The clever Leonard, with a more complete knowledge of the finer points of the game, at times made Dundee miss and flounder when the latter would lunge at him. Dundee, on the other hand, although frequently met with a left-hand jab, alternated occasionally with a right-hand uppercut, was constantly coming at his opponent, and several times during the ten rounds forced Benny to retreat under fire.

The boxers set a fast pace from the tap of the opening gong, and the result was a bout which teemed with action. There was little clinching and stalling. Even when the boys were locked in each other's arms they both tried desperately to fight their way out of the mix-ups. The pace began to tell on Leonard toward the close of the exhibition, while Dundee appeared as fresh as when he entered the ring. At the final bell Dundee showed more aggressiveness than his opponent.

The Italian boxer was the first to enter the ring. The clambered up the short flight of steps to his corner at 10:15. He weighed 127 pounds.

For several minutes after the bronzed Italian had entered the roped inclosure the applause continued. Leonard followed his rival by about five minutes, and, although he also received a big ovation, it was plainly evident that it was a Dundee crowd, and the little Italian justified the confidence placed in him by his admirers. Leonard weighed 136 pounds.

As soon as the bell started the contest Leonard leaped out of his corner and began hooking and jabbing with his left to the face with lightning-like motions. The Harlemite had great speed, and Dundee's attempts fell short or went wide of their mark. Near the end of the session the Italian boxer rushed Benny to the ropes, and there tried industriously with swings for the stomach, but Leonard blocked well and used his left hand fast with an uppercut for the chin, which kept Dundee's head bobbing.

The same conditions prevailed in the second round, Dundee coming at his opponent with leads for the face or stomach, alternately, but the elusive Leonard evaded most of the Italian's leads and countered cleverly himself when Dundee left a suitable opening with stiff right and left hand swings to the face.

Dundee assimilated many blows without any signs of punishment, and always came back willingly. Before the bell he managed to connect with several good left-hand hooks to the side of Leonard's head.

There was no variation in the third session, Dundee leaving his corner with his usual rush, and sending his first blow, after feinting, home to the stomach. Twice, as the round progressed, Dundee, in his eagerness to land effectively, hit his opponent rather low, and upon Leonard's complaint Referee Brown censured the Italian.

Dundee showed to advantage in the fourth session, and, notwithstanding the fact that he was met with Leonard's snappy jabs to the face, he came in constantly and landed effectively on the Harlem boy with choppy blows to the face. In the fifth round Dundee again scored with a left hook, which had force behind it, and Leonard appeared somewhat shaken up. Dundee carried off the honors in the sixth session, and before the bell sounded had Leonard bleeding slightly from a cut over the left eye. In the seventh Dundee showed to advantage with his aggressiveness. The eighth round was even; the ninth went to Leonard. The tenth round was a whirlwind affair and found both men boxing fast. Dundee, with what seemed like superior strength, carried off the honors, and his aggressiveness won him the victory by a close margin.

1916-06-13 The Sun (New York, NY) (page 10)
Dundee Fights Hard All the Way, but Harlem Boy Outpoints Him.
Benny Leonard spent one of the busiest evenings of his young life at Madison Square Garden last night, when Johnny Dundee made him hustle all the way to get in a victory on points by the slightest sort of margin. Dundee made it a hot fight instead of a pretty little boxing match by continually throwing his fists Leonard's way.

The little Italian deserves all the credit for giving the crowd its money's worth, for Leonard was content simply to fight off the Italian's attacks. Dundee's assault was directed so poorly, however, that nearly all his punches hit the air, whereas the Harlem youngster had the range most of the way.

In Leonard's favor or maybe against him was the fact that he outweighed Dundee nine pounds. Tipping the beam at 136, he was a welterweight instead of a lightweight. He was stronger than in the past but lacked his usual speed. In many cases he would poke his left out firmly and let Dundee run into it for a good jolt.

As is stylish, the bout began with an even round. Dundee took the second and third, Leonard the next two, Dundee two more and Leonard evened it by winning the eighth and ninth. The tenth, barely in Leonard's favor, swung the balance. At no time did either gain a really decided lead, so well matched were they, and one who is not a stickler for detail might have found good argument for a draw decision. "Wouldn't this be a peach if it could go on for twenty rounds," said a ringster near the end. That was the consensus of the crowd which voiced its satisfaction with what it saw.

Dundee First in Ring.

Dundee was the first of the principals to enter the ring. He got a good hand until he looked around and selected the southeast corner; but it was nothing to the ovation Leonard received when he clambered through the ropes. There was a cowbell brigade, and somebody blew blasts on a bugle. The Harlemite's weight was announced as 136 pounds and Dundee's as 127. Bill Brown acted as referee.

The preliminary fiddling of the first round was over quickly. Both seemed bent on making it a fight instead of a boxing match. Leonard landed oftener than Dundee, both at long range and in close, with the exception of one brief rally near the end, when Dundee flailed Benny in a corner and thereby evened the session.

Dundee forced it in the second. He ran perhaps a full mile altogether, part of it toward Leonard and part around him. The young Hebrew connected a bit more, but the Italian's wild swings had a little more power in them and gave him the round.

A lot of clinching marred the early part of the third session, Dundee seeming to be the chief offender. Repeated cautions from Billy Brown made them open up and they travelled at a hot clip to the end of the round, which was another one for Dundee. Leonard seemed to be conserving his strength for later on.

Benny sent home three lusty uppercuts to start the fourth round and then directed his energies to making Dundee miss, which the latter did gracefully by a foot each time. Leonard during the rest of the period had a little the better of it.

Leonard Boxes Cleverly.

Clever infighting was shown by Leonard in the fifth. Dundee was glad to clinch every time they got together. The round was about a standoff outside of the close work.

A swing drew blood from a cut over Leonard's left eye in the sixth. Dundee, encouraged by the sight, pressed forward more vigorously than ever. He played the old trick of bouncing back off the ropes and Benny fell for it several times.

Dundee remained the aggressor in the seventh and excelled by a slight margin, Leonard again furnishing little action.

Leonard's left transacted a lot of business in the eighth and he also got home an occasional right swing that carried a sting. Dundee was growing tired. He moved about just as much, but accuracy was lacking.

Benny kept within range throughout the ninth session and made his superior judgment of distance count in dozens of lefts that reached the goal. He made a monkey of Dundee, who could not land a single solid blow, and toward the close the Italian looked rather worried.

They shot in alternate rights and lefts to open the tenth. Leonard got Dundee in a clinch and bombarded him with left hand uppercuts. The round was the usual red hot finisher, with Leonard having only the slightest edge.

Leonard did not have to be saving of his hands and strength for use against Freddy Welsh next Friday night, for the simple and sufficient reason that he is not going to meet Welsh next Friday night. It was announced last night that this bout is off. Some followers of the game go so far as to say it never was on. No reason was given for the announced cancellation.

Al Chung, supposed to be from Pekin, China, met Harry Thomas of England in the semi-final. The squat Briton outclassed his Celestial foe and knocked him out in the third round with a pair of right handers to the jaw. The novelty of an Oriental in the ring was apparently something of an attraction, for practically all the crowd was seated when the contest began. Altogether the attendance was nearly 8,000, the biggest crowd the Garden has held since Jess Willard licked Frank Moran.

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