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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

1912-05-31 Mike Gibbons W-PTS10 Willie Brennan [Victor Athletic Club, Cleveland, OH, USA]

1912-06-01 Cleveland Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH) (page 7)
Gives Buffalo Lad Terrible Ten-Round Trimming, Knocks Him Down in Eighth, but Can't Put Him Out.

Mike Gibbons, wearing eight-ounce gloves, treated Knock-Out Brennan of Buffalo to a terrible punching at the Victor Athletic club last night. The bout went the limit--ten rounds, but the defeat pained the Buffalo Dutchman more than a clean knock-out. Gibbons won all the way, of course, but Brennan gave him a much better fight than was expected of him by many. He took his gruelling gamely. At times he seemed to be completely used up from the St. Paul man's heavy bombardment, but he managed to keep his feet in every round but the eighth, when he sank with a thud to a sitting position after running into Mike's short right cross, delivered on the nose.

Gibbons is all that he is touted to be, the revelation of the century. He thoroughly knows his trade and is master of all its crooks and points. He has a quick, jerky foot motion which enables him to keep out of danger and his retreat and sidestep are lightning-like. His jab is cutting and is used with excellent time and judgment. At inside work he is a wonder. He lets his opponent do the holding and he works himself loose in every clinch, hitting sharply with either hand. A right uppercut to the stomach was his mainstay last night at short range. All his blows were snappy, with body behind them and they traveled a very short distance. His feinting was done with arms, shoulders and feet.

Brennan came into the ring with a plaster over his left eye. Before the first round was over the eye was bleeding and his lips also. The plaster, however, stayed on until the fifth session, when a right hook sent it flying through the air.

Brennan is Aggressor at Start of Battle.

Brennan dove right after the western boy from the start, but most of his blows were neatly blocked. Gibbons crowded him and forced him to keep hitting, while Mike confined his hitting to light taps and a playful loop and uppercut taps to the stomach in the clinches. Gibbons gave the crowd an idea of his footwork in the opening round, stepping lightly away from long swings, plying a meek little jab as Brennan races after him. K. O. meant to do things all right enough, but from the second until the fifth he did not let all the juice into his punches, except when crowded hard. Probably he didn't care to incur Mike's ire.
* * * * *
In the second session Gibbons did considerable feinting, playfully rapping a short left hook against Brennan's jaw when the K. O. made a lead. He took several blows on the neck and face just for the sake of making the bout look good. None of the blows carried full power, because Mike was keeping Brennan off his balance and catching his gloves. He laid himself open, however. But K. O. failed to connect solidly. The Buffalo man made up his mind in this round that he had no chance to win, and during the next three rounds he held off to prolong the affair as much as possible.

With each succeeding round after the first Gibbons placed more power behind his blows. He did it gradually. All the while he was playing with his man and exhibiting his great science. On the average of five times to a round Brennan connected with various kinds of blows.

Soon after the bell sounded the beginning of the sixth Gibbons warned Brennan.

"You've got to fight now," said he.

A few seconds prior to this comment Referee Kelly had demanded of the fighters that they quit stalling. But they were not stalling, although the crowd thought so. Obviously the crowd and referee expected too much of the welterweight champion. Well, he cut loose in the sixth and at the close of the chapter Brennan was weak. Gibbons tried for a clean K. O. Drawing Brennan into a right swing, he rammed his own right to the jaw after Brennan had missed. Brennan was shaken up several times, but managed to evade the fatal wallop.

In the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth rounds Gibbons apparently endeavored to lift Brennan into dreamland. He fought hard in spells, but did not completely let himself go. If he had the Buffalo lad could not have withstood the mauling he would have received. Mike, however, wanted to end the bout with one punch. He threw in stunning jabs in an effort to place Brennan for his right hand cross, or he played for a counter, but K. O. managed to stall, hang on, duck and otherwise stick it through. He fought back at intervals and occasionally landed a good punch, but he generally got his cover up after letting a rap go.

He was taking a fearful ramming. Gibbons' uppercuts to the stomach could be heard throughout the rink. His jabs often had Brennan groggy. When Gibbons went to his corner after the seventh, he told Manager Eddie Reddy that he didn't think he could knock out the tough fellow from Buffalo.

"I hit him my hardest in that last round, and flush on the chin, but he stood up under it."

In the eighth K. O. took a seater after missing a right-hand punch and running abaft a swift right counter.

In the ninth and tenth Gibbons exerted all his ring strategy to pull Brennan into an opening for the dream blow and he accomplished this frequently, but Brennan took all he sent and smiled, although he went to his corner groggy. He went the limit, though, and I'll bet he's happy because of it, but it was tough going for five rounds.

Earl Williams and Willie Driscoll fought a sensational ten-round semi-final. Williams got the decision from Referee Hinkel and earned it. He jabbed Driscoll continually in every round and inflicted much punishment, but Driscoll stuck firmly to his task and kept after Earl. He was strong and the beating didn't weaken him greatly. In the tenth round he made a hurricane finish and the spectators shouted for a draw, but Willie had started too late.

Kid Wolf and Porter Root fought a hard ten-round draw in the preliminary. It was a good go. Wolf was wilder than ever before and Root did the best boxing of his life. From the seventh to the tenth Wolf fought tigerishly and evened up the margin Root had gained earlier, but he could not overcome it because his blows missed the mark with great frequency.

1912-06-01 The Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, OH) (page 8)
St. Paul Star Outclasses Rival Throughout Ten-Round Bout.
Kid Wolfe vs. Porter Root, 10 rounds, draw.
Earl Williams got decision over Willie Driscoll, 10 rounds.
Mike Gibbons won decision over K. O. Brennan, 10 rounds.
Official timekeeper, Mike Lavin.
Announcer, Paul Sullivan.
Referee in preliminaries, M. J. Hinkel.
Referee in Gibbons-Brennan bout, Walter C. Kelly, sporting editor Leader.

Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul sensation, gave Knockout Brennan a scientific lacing in their ten-round bout at the Victor A. C. last night. Gibbons had everything that a boxing champion could wish for in the way of equipment. He proved to be the fistic wonder that we had been expecting to see, although he was working under wraps in a greater number of the rounds. He plainly did not desire to stop Brennan, and entered the ring evidently with the intention of merely outpointing the Buffalonian, for in the early rounds Gibbons' blows were light, although at times sent in with fair speed.

Later on, after the referee had called for more spirited work, Mike began to steam up and shoot them in with more earnestness. He sent fusillades from every known angle to Brennan's jaws and body from long range, and at infighting he proved the greatest ever seen in Cleveland. He has the best idea of close range boxing of any fighter since the days when Terry McGovern used to knock out the boys in two and three rounds.

Gibbons never holds, but while the other fellow does so Mike keeps both fists busy, pumping them in from various angles. And when he cares to make them good these blows are stingers.

Brennan's Bad Eye.

Brennan entered the ring with a gash over his left eye, and on it he wore a piece of gauze bandage. Gibbons evidently did not like to land upon the damaged eye, but along about the time when he was urged to go in and put some "pep" into his boxing, he forgot about the eye and the bandage was sent flying out among the spectators. A moment later three of Brennan's false teeth followed.

Gibbons proved to be wonderfully fast and skillful. He feinted his man into knots and countered so sharply when Brennan missed or came short that he rocked Brennan's head repeatedly. In my opinion Gibbons could have knocked out his man had he desired to do so. But he is evidently like Packey McFarland, and some others, satisfied to go along and win on points. He landed one right uppercut on Brennan's jaw last night which lifted him clear off his feet, and when he came down the K. O. boy tripped over Gibbons' feet and sat down hard upon the floor. He got up instantly and resumed boxing, but Mike was indulgent and made no attempt to go after him for decisive results.

Brennan was a disappointment in a way, although he fought with more finish than usual. He sacrificed his bulldog aggressiveness, however, for the clever stuff, and the blows that he did manage to land upon Gibbons were lacking in force. He was completely outclassed by the skillful St. Paul boy, who charitably refrained from trying to end the battle, as it appeared to many he might have done, in the early stages.

Brennan was at times bewildered and swung wildly as Mike feinted. Of course, when he missed Gibbons peppered him. Mike used a neat right uppercut that did not travel many inches, but it was a beauty when he let it go at anything like top speed.

Mike's Mistake.

Personally, I believe Gibbons made a mistake in not having gone after his man more determinedly in the early rounds, for no matter how good a reputation a fighter may have he loses prestige the moment the fans get to suspect that he is not giving them his best efforts.

Brennan had no business in the ring with his damaged eye, and it is not at all improbable that it was on that account that Gibbons played so gently with him in the first few rounds. In justice to Mike, however, it must be admitted he did go after his man later on and gave him a severe drubbing. And Brennan, who has always been noted as a dangerous fighter, was as harmless as a kitten before Gibbons.

The attendance was not so large as had been expected, there being less than 2,000 persons present. However, what they lacked in numbers they made up by noise. Part of the crowd stirred up such a commotion when Referee Matt Hinkel gave a decision to Earl Williams over Willie Driscoll that Captain Rowlands threatened to clear the hall and refuse to permit any more boxing for the evening, if the noise was not discontinued at once. The fans subsided. Otherwise the best of order prevailed and the bouts were very well conducted.

Among the fistic celebrities at the ringside were Champion Johnny Kilbane, Jimmy Dunn, Tommy Gavigan, Paddy Lavin, Charley Murray, of the Buffalo A. A., and Hugh Ross, from Buffalo; John Griffith, Sr., Akron; Paul Kohler, Tommy Kilbane, the Brock brothers, Dave Lannan, Cheeks Ginsburg, Dr. Kva and many others.

Root Gets a Draw.

In the curtain-raiser Kid Wolfe and Porter Root boxed ten fast rounds to a draw.

Wolfe began with a series of lefts straight to body and face. Root countered neatly with left jabs to face, and an occasional right uppercut to body.

As the bout progressed Root improved. He did some clever jabbing and uppercutting.

Wolfe proved stronger in the close range work and his blows had more steam behind them. Both were willing enough to mix it.

In the ninth round Wolfe made a desperate spurt, and rocked Porter several times with uppercuts. Root landed three good ones in a rally.

In the tenth, after Wolfe jabbed the face, Root drove two rights across to jaw. Wolfe tore in and they swapped a score of double-barreled shots to face and body.

A sensational mixup closed the round.

Decision Unpopular.

In the semi-windup Referee Matt Hinkel awarded Earl Williams of this ???? ???? (missing) of Milwaukee after a fast ten-round bout.

Driscoll forced the fight all the way but he missed many times. He also blocked many blows.

Driscoll began crowding at the start. Earl shot two lefts to face and made Willie miss twice. Driscoll blocked two lefts and cornered Earl at the ropes, landing right and left hard to body. Earl put left to face and right to body, and Driscoll drove left to body and right to jaw.

Williams began the second with jab to face. Driscoll crowded and, shifting, drove terrific left to body. Both blocked lefts and Driscoll covering up well, forced Earl about the ring, blocking his several jabs.

In the third Willie rushed Earl to the ropes and they swapped body biffs. Earl jabbed face and Willie swung right to head. More crowding and dancing followed.

In the fourth Driscoll swung right to neck and Earl jabbed face. Driscoll missed several times and continued to bore in. Earl danced away and jabbed but Willie blocked most of them.

In the fifth Driscoll landed low on body and as Earl was protesting Driscoll drove a hard right to jaw. Williams went after him and sent half a dozen stingers to face. Willie continued to crowd a la Wolgast.

In the sixth Driscoll crossed a stunning right to jaw and forced Earl to a corner where Willie bombarded the body. They exchanged lefts and Driscoll fell as he missed with a swing.

Driscoll began the seventh with right swing to the shoulder. He then missed and Earl slammed two hard smashes to the face. In a mixup Willie peppered the body and Earl staggered him twice.

The eighth found both tired but willing. Same old tactics. Willie finally cornered his man and drove two to body. He missed and Earl slugged him hard with both hands to face. This was repeated. Willie smiled in a surprised way.

In the ninth Driscoll rushed desperately, missed five times, and then put three lefts to Earl's jaw. Earl sent right to body and they mixed.

In the tenth Driscoll tried hard for a decisive blow but Williams was too wary. Driscoll kept rushing and he got in some hard blows to body. Earl jabbed some and they mixed.

Referee Hinkle awarded Williams the decision and a series of cheers and hoots went up.

Battle by Rounds.

It was shortly after 10 o'clock when Brennan entered the ring. He was accompanied by his manager, Al Smith, and two other members of the great Smith family, Herman and Tommy. Gibbons came a moment later, attended by Manager Eddie Reddy, Joe Hartman and J. McDonald.

Round 1--They sparred. Brennan sent light left to face. Mike feinted. They clinched. Both played body at close quarters. Gibbons cut Brennan's lip with left to mouth. Brennan missed swing to face. Brennan missed swing and slipped to floor. Just as round closed Gibbons opened cut over Brennan's eye. Brennan did all the leading, but Mike beat him to the punch.

Round 2.--Gibbons blocked right to face. Gibbons played left to body. Brennan sent two light lefts to face. Mike starts claret from K. O.'s bad eye. They sparred for an opening. Mike put left to bad eye, and sent left jab to mouth. Brennan sent left to jaw at close range. Gibbons puts both hands to stomach.

Round 3.--Brennan missed left to face. Gibbons tapped left to face and then hooked right to jaw. Mike sent short right to ribs. Mike played left to injured optic and then hooked left to nose, starting the claret. Mike missed with left. Brennan rushed. Mike punched off the plaster over K. O.'s eye. Brennan rushed but Mike sidestepped. Brennan tried hard, but seldom landed cleanly.

Round Four--Brennan led with left and missed. They clinched. Brennan rushed, took stiff uppercut to chin and right to heart. They exchanged lefts to face. Mike blocked left to face. Mike sent left to face and followed with a one-two to jaw. Mike sent left to jaw and took left to face. In a clinch Gibbons sent hard left and right to stomach. Brennan rushed and missed left swing.

Round Five--Mike drove left to face. Brennan led with left, but Mike beat him to the punch. Mike sent left and right to face. They clinched. Brennan sent left to face and Mike uppercut to jaw. Mike sent light left to face. Brennan missed left swing and Mike sent right to face. Mike shot left to face and right to ribs.

Mike was taking it easy at this stage.

Round 6--They exchanged rights and lefts. Brennan sent left to face. Mike jabbed left to jaw twice without return. Referee Kelly told them they must stop fooling and do some real boxing. Mike, following left to face, put left and right to body. Brennan led right and Mike shot hard right to body. Mike sent hard right to face and left to mouth. Brennan appears very tired.

Round 7--Mike drove left to face. Brennan backed away and missed right to face. Mike sent left to heart. Brennan was completely outclassed. Mike shot left to jaw and repeated. Gibbons sent left and right to jaw. Brennan was just about finished.

Round 8--They sparred. Brennan backed away. Mike sent left to jaw and right to face. Brennan put right back-hand swing to face. Gibbons missed right uppercut to jaw. In clinch Brennan tripped and went to mat. He immediately went into a clinch and hung on. Mike played left and right to face.

Round 9--Brennan backed away. They clinched. Brennan shot right and left to jaw. Gibbons uppercut to face. Brennan missed left jab and took left and right to face. Brennan put left to heart and right to face. Mike swung left to body. Brennan hung on. He missed right swing and Mike put hard left to face. Mike jabbed left and right to face as the gong sounded.

Round 10--Brennan missed left. He fought like a tiger, swinging wildly. He sent right to jaw. Mike sent left jab to face. Brennan rushed Mike, who put left to face and repeated. Brennan hung on. They exchanged lefts to neck. Brennan shot left to face. He missed left to wind. Gibbons uppercut to face and sent left and right to body. Brennan backed away and was covered up as the gong ended battle.

Referee W. C. Kelly immediately awarded decision to Gibbons.