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Saturday, June 16, 2012

1896-06-16 George Dixon D-PTS20 Martin Flaherty [West Newton Street Armory, Boston, MA, USA]

1896-06-17 Morning Boston Journal (Boston, MA) (page 3)
Martin Flaherty and Dixon Quit Even.
Last of Ring Contests in Massachusetts.
Martin Flaherty of Lowell fought Champion George Dixon to a draw in a 20-round bout, in what was the last of public boxing in this State, last night.

The contest took place at the Suffolk Athletic Club's Armory, about 2500 people being present. It was an interesting encounter, and showed that Flaherty is of very tough stock, and could have stayed probably 20 more rounds.

There was a delay owing to a misunderstanding on the weight, as it was claimed that Flaherty was two pounds heavier than the articles called for. There was quite a wrangle, and Flaherty agreed to forfeit the money he posted. The purse will probably be $1400, divided equally between the two men.
Dixon had in his corner Frank Steele, Joe Butler and "The Pickaninny." Behind Flaherty were his brother Joe, "Maffit" Flaherty and a friend.

The West End contingent lost a good sum of money on Dixon, as they wagered that George would win in 10 or 12, or at the most 16 rounds. The betting was 2 to 1.

Flaherty looked heavier and bigger in every way than Dixon. The Lowell boy has improved a great deal, for Dixon did not look or fight as if he had gone back any.

On leading and forcing Dixon would have got the decision, but Jimmy Colville, who was referee, judge very fairly when he declared it a draw, for while Dixon scored a great majority of the blows, yet Flaherty was by no means a whipped man.
From the 16th round Dixon fought at a very fast pace, trying, if possible, to knock his man out.

In the last round Flaherty made a decided stand. Flaherty used his elbow almost all the time, putting it on Dixon whenever the latter led. Dixon's punches were about all for the stomach and Flaherty's short ribs got a merry roasting. Dixon did not use his right once for the jaw, and only a few times for the body, in most instances for the heart region. A few of these were glancing blows.

Flaherty was strong at roughing it, and in mix-up and exchanges used his strength to good advantage. At no time did Dixon seem to have his man measured. He didn't punish him enough for that. Neither were marked a bit. The rounds were about all repetitions of one another, Dixon continually leading for the stomach with a left swing and Flaherty on the defensive.

In the eighth, ninth and tenth Dixon varied this attack by swings for the jaw with the left, and some of these blows on Flaherty's right cheek were powerful and stinging. In the eleventh George went back again to body punching and did not change from those tactics.
The first bout was between Dave Sullivan and Joe Elms (colored), at 112 pounds. This was a rattling set-to. In the first five rounds Sullivan had slightly the best of the argument, but after that it was in favor of Elms by a good deal.

The end came unexpectedly in the tenth round, when Elms was having a sort of a country fair picnic with Sullivan, knocking him all over the ring. Suddenly, in the thickest of the fray, Sullivan pushed out his right.

It caught on Elms's jaw, and down went the black fellow straight on his head. It was a hard blow and on the right spot. Elms got up in about seven seconds, but he was dazed. Referee Colville sent Joe to his corner and called Davey the winner.

Elms scored a knockdown in the eighth round, and had he fought cleverly from that on would have won easily. His defeat came to him from his own fault, for had he used care in the tenth his would have been an easy win.
The second bout had as principals "Spike" Sullivan, brother of young Dave of the preceding bout, and Lewis Sullivan of East Boston. This was to be eight rounds at 126 pounds, both being under 126 pounds.

This was a very odd contest. "Spike" was declared the winner in the second round.

In the first round Lewis did the fighting, and scored all but two of the blows. He was wild, though, and not quite steady enough. In the second round "Spike" did some of his funny maneuvres, which tended to rattle Lewis. The exchanges were lively. "Spike" got Lewis over into his corner and banged him hard several times.

After that Lewis seemed to be out of kilter. Then there was another mix-up in Lewis's corner, and before anybody knew it Lewis was on the floor writhing in agony. It was a curious knockout, and hardly anybody saw the cause. "Spike" jolted a right into the stomach and a left up at the chin. Spike was then and there declared a winner.

1896-06-17 The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, MA) (page 5)
Flaherty Held Dixon Off in Bout.
Colored Man Did Nearly All Leading Right Through.
He Seemed a Bit Off in Mixing It Up.
Lowell Man Weighed Too Much Before Battle.
Long Discussion Before They Went Into the Ring.
George Dixon, the featherweight champion, and Martin Flaherty of Lowell boxed a 20-round draw at the Suffolk club last night. It was the last boxing contest that will be held in this state for a long time, and those who attended saw one of the best shows ever given in this city.

The surprise was Dixon's failure to defeat Flaherty. The colored boxer was the favorite in betting, odds of 100 to 35 being offered with no takers.

From the very start until the last round Dixon did all the leading. Time and again he tried to get his left over on the jaw, but it went too far or Flaherty stopped it. Nevertheless he landed on the wind repeatedly. Flaherty boxed for a draw and he got it. He did not lead more than half a dozen times.

Flaherty depended on his staying powers to pull him through and to wear Dixon down by repeated clinches.

The contest proved that Dixon needs a good rest before he enters the ring again, as the rushes that have made him famous were missing last night. In every round his admirers were expecting he would let himself out, as he generally does, but they were disappointed.

The boxers were to weigh in at 124 pounds yesterday afternoon at 1.30. Dixon got on the scales and they did not move. Flaherty, however, was one and a half pounds over weight. He weighed later on, it is said, at 124 pounds, and his backer refused to pay the forfeit.
This caused a long wrangle, and for a time it seemed as though there would be no contest. However, just before 10 o'clock Dixon entered the ring with his second, Joe Butler, Joe Elms and Frank Steele. He was given a good reception, and Flaherty followed him five minutes later and also received recognition from the spectators. He was attended by his brother Joe, Pat Cahill and Moffitt Flaherty.

It took about 10 minutes to get things ready and they shook hands at 10.10. One minute later the bell rang and they stepped to the center of the ring. For half a minute they circled around looking for an opening, and then Dixon led with his left, but fell short, and they clinched. Dixon got in on the wind with his left and another clinch followed.

Dixon tried again with his left a couple of times, but missed and they clinched. Dixon got in his left on the top of Flaherty's head, as the latter ducked, and they locked again. Flaherty rushed but fell short, and another clinch followed.

Flaherty reached Dixon with a left on the face and then led with his left, but missed. Dixon swung his left, but it was wild and they clinched. In fact every exchange throughout the bout ended in a clinch.

Second round--Both were very cautious and were not taking any chances. Dixon tried with his left but missed. He got in a left on the neck and Flaherty countered on the ribs with his right. Dixon landed a left on the face and they got in close, Flaherty getting in a left on the chest. Dixon missed another left and they clinched. The colored boxer, however, landed some good swings with his left on the neck and body before the round closed.
Third round--Dixon led with his left and fell short, and Flaherty then led but Dixon jumped back out of the way. Dixon got in a left uppercut on the body and landed again on the same place a few seconds later. Both landed on the face together with their lefts, and Dixon then sent his left on the wind, Flaherty countering on the face with his left. Dixon landed on the body and neck with his left, and Flaherty got in a left and right counter on the face and neck. They were clinched when the bell rang.

In the next three rounds Dixon kept up his leading, jumping in at Flaherty, landing his left on the body. Occasionally Dixon would try for the jaw but Flaherty covered that point very well. Clinch followed clinch, and Flaherty sent in several counters on the face when Dixon led.

The seventh round was a little livelier. Flaherty opened by leading, but he fell short. Dixon rushed and they clinched on the ropes. Flaherty then tried roughing it by wrestling, but the referee made him break away. Dixon then jumped in in his old style, and for a time it seemed as if Flaherty would become rattled. He saved himself by clinching and Dixon landed some good left and right swings on the neck and face before the bell rang.

The next round was somewhat lively too. After missing a few times Dixon got in his left on the wind. Soon after they got to close quarters, and both tried to land with right and left. They were too close to do any damage, and it only resulted in a hugging match. After breaking away Dixon rushed in again and Flaherty clinched just as the bell rang.
The next three rounds were a repetition of the early ones, Dixon doing all the leading, Flaherty being content to guard, clinch or counter, all of which he did in good shape.

The 12th round was a little more lively than the preceding three. Both missed lefts for the face and then Flaherty landed with his left and they clinched. This was followed by a mix up on the ropes, both getting in a few right and left punches on the body and head. Dixon then rushed, Flaherty stepped aside and the colored boxer slipped down near the ropes. In a second Flaherty rushed and stood over him, but the referee ordered him away. Dixon was up in a second and he showed Flaherty's admirers it was only an accident by the way he sailed into his opponent. The bell cut short further proceedings.

From that until the last round each round was a repetition, Dixon leading, Flaherty countering each exchange and ending in a clinch.

Several times they roughed it on the ropes but could not get in any telling blows, being too close.
In the last round, after Dixon missed a left swing, Flaherty set his admirers in high glee by rushing, landing a left on the jaw. Dixon then landed his left on the wind, and they landed on the face together with their lefts a moment after. Dixon tried a left for the jaw, but it was too far over, Flaherty countering on the jaw with his left.

Dixon landed on the wind with his left, Flaherty countering on the jaw with his left. They got in close and both exchanged several lefts and rights together on the neck and jaw with honors even. They shook hands and the referee called it a draw.

Two preliminary bouts preceded the main event. Joe Elms, the colored boxer of Chelsea, and Dave Sullivan of South Boston were to box 12 rounds at 112 pounds. They had a good contest, and Elms was having the better of it as it neared the finish, when a right-hand cross counter on the jaw in the 10th round cut short his aspirations to the winner's end of the purse. Mike Sears challenged the winner, and can get backing to meet him for $500.

The second bout was between "Spike" Sullivan, brother of the winner in the first bout, and Lewis Sullivan of East Boston. It only lasted two rounds, "Spike" landing some stiff body punches that sent Lewis down and he was unable to continue.

1896-06-17 The Boston Herald (Boston, MA) (page 12)
Dixon and Flaherty Come Out on Even Terms.
Not Much of a Fight from a Fighting Standpoint.
Flaherty on the Defensive Almost All the Time.
The Weighing-In Gives Rise to a Disagreement.
Sullivan Whips Sullivan, Sullivan Whips Elms.
A draw was the decision of Referee Colville in the glove contest between Champion George Dixon and Martin Flaherty at the Suffolk Athletic Club last evening. This was after they had boxed 20 rounds, none of which could be designated as exciting or particularly interesting. They were altogether too scientific. Flaherty acted almost entirely upon the defensive, occasionally making a break. Neither achieved very much, and taken altogether it was a tame exhibition. Flaherty secures credit for making a draw, only Griffo and Cal McCarthy having been able to do it with Dixon for the distance. Neither was hurt, and they could have gone twice the limit of the journey.

A great kick occurred over the weighing in. Flaherty was overweight on the scales on which he stood with Dixon, but 50 minutes later he weighed under the stipulated 124 pounds on the scales at the club. It is claimed that the first scales were doctored. A lawsuit will result over the $500 forfeit put up by the men for weight.

There were about 2000 people present, and the show did not close until 11:30 P. M.
The opening round was marked by frequent attempts to land by each, with no result. The blows were ducked, and they invariably came to a clinch. Dixon rushed continually in the third, but Flaherty met him about every time with a left glancing blow on the left ear. The next was marked by determined efforts on the part of Dixon to get in, but Flaherty was wary, and had a splendid guard.

The Lowell man rested easy in the fifth, but once tried a right chopper for a knock-out, but it missed. Dixon did all the work, and Flaherty was inclined to use his forearm. Once it was put into Dixon's throat so palpably that the spectators hissed.

In the sixth, Dixon got in his double left blow, stomach and face. Later he got in two lefts on the body. He did all the work, Flaherty being very much on the defensive.

Flaherty did some hot mixing when Dixon came into him in the seventh, and roughed the champion on the ropes. Once he landed a left on the ear, and twice he buried his right in the stomach. It was a pretty "go."

Flaherty slipped down in the 10th, and Dixon generously helped him to his feet. The champion did the forcing, as usual, but some of his blows landed cleanly. In the next, however, Dixon scored two fair left-facers, the first of the night. It was Dixon's round.

The 12th was the hottest up to date. Dixon cut the pace, and Flaherty met it. On a rush, Dixon slipped down, and was helped up by Flaherty. After that came the best punch of all. Flaherty crossed his right over hard, and the blow landed on Dixon's left ear solidly. It was a soaker.

The 15th was full of excitement, for the men fought hard and fast. Flaherty continually used his left forearm on Dixon's throat. Several times he planted right body blows. The little champion didn't seem to mind, but rushed all the time, landing when he could.

Flaherty showed a "mouse" under the left eye in the 16th, in which Dixon did the forcing.

The remainder of the rounds were repetitions of those preceding, and but for the reputation of the men the crowd would have walked out. The 20th and last round ended in a rattling mix on the ropes. A draw was declared, and this seemed to suit everybody.

Joe Elms of Chelsea and Dave Sullivan of South Boston, 112 pounds, 12 rounds.

This was an Indian "scrap," full of tough, rugged work. Elms had the better of it at the start off, but Sullivan got his temper up in the 5th, and fought like a young tiger, but without judgment. Both went down in this round, but Sullivan almost fought himself out.

In the sixth Elms dropped Sullivan to his knees with a right-hand cross. Sullivan got up and went looking for more, although weak. Elms, who was experienced, let the "kid" fight himself out as much as he wanted.

Elms started the ninth at a racing clip, and shook his man from top to bottom twice with right cross-counters. Sullivan withstood them, however, and in a mix-up and a wrestle both went down. The end seemed near for Sullivan, who was weak in his legs.

Elms looked like a sure winner, and in the 10th round he caught Sullivan with a right on the "point," which seemed almost to settle it. But Sullivan was tough and dead game. He closed in, and by one of the luckiest punches in the history of the ring, he got in a short right-arm jolt on the jaw, and Elms fell forward on his face on the floor. Time, 1m. 55s. That settled it.
Lewis Sullivan of East Boston and "Spike" Sullivan of South Boston, 126 pounds, eight rounds.

This was short. Lewis Sullivan went to work at the sound of the gong, and placed a left on the jaw with the first lead. Later, he landed right upper-cuts and it looked as if he was going to have it all his own way.

But in the second round the scene shifted. "Spike" chased his opponent, and, getting him into a corner, flicked him cleverly with a light right upper-cut. Lewis Sullivan fell down, and was declared a loser. The round lasted 1m. 37s.

It was the softest knock-out of the year. The blow was so light that it seemed as if it could not have hurt, and yet it did the business.

1896-06-17 The Lowell Daily Sun (Lowell, MA) (page 1)
Martin Flaherty the Equal of Champion Dixon.
Lowell Man Surprises Even His Admirers.
Either George Dixon has been greatly overrated or Martin Flaherty has been underrated by the followers of the art of boxing in New England for of the 2500 people who visited the grand wind up of boxing in New England at the Suffolk club in Boston last evening a large majority were confident that at least Dixon would outclass Martin while many thought the dusky champion would have a cinch on his Lowell opponent.

Round 1--Flaherty reached the face lightly with the left. A clinch ensued and both roughed. The referee cautioned the men and they proceeded. Dixon's left was stopped and Flaherty made a hard drive on the ribs. Dixon laughed loudly when he landed in the wind and was scored upon with a light right-hand just as the gong rang.

Round 2--Flaherty met Dixon's rush with a sharp uppercut on the breast; Flaherty ducked cleverly from a left swing and shot his right in quickly on the chin. Once more Dixon essayed the left, but was stopped. Dixon rushed Flaherty, clinched and a lot of short arm work was done by both. Dixon's left swing for the body landed on Martin's arm.

Round 3--Flaherty forced Dixon back with a vicious rush and a moment later landed the left lightly on the face. Flaherty landed with a sharp left on the ear. Dixon had not yet landed a clean score. The champion's rushes were met with stiff rights on the ribs, and whatever honors there were perched on the Lowell man's banner.

Round 4--Dixon opened with a long, low swing for the body, but was stopped. Dixon, after some sparring, rushed and swung wide around the neck. Flaherty tried to land the right, but failed to connect. Martin avoided a hot rush by a splendid duck and a moment later they came to close quarters and clinched. Dixon drove hard for the wind with his left, scoring lightly.

Round 5--Both came together with a rush, Flaherty scoring a rib-roaster, Dixon's left reaching the face. Flaherty missed a right chop and a clinch followed. Dixon's right connected with the rib, Flaherty again reaching Dixon's "ten" ear. Toward the end of the round they came together in a clinch, and the Lowell man was censured for sending his forearm across Dixon's throat.

Round 6--Dixon swung for the stomach, pushed Flaherty away and landed his famous "one-two" and wind on face, the men clinching. Dixon scored with the left in the wind, tried to chop and then clinched. Flaherty seemed content to let Dixon do the bulk of the work, and depended on countering to offset the champion's rushes.

Round 7--Dixon jumped from his corner and led with the left, Flaherty working his right up to the chin. Martin rushed Dixon to the ropes, where a hot mix-up took place, but nothing serious occurred. Flaherty a moment later scored lightly twice with the left and received a hard swing in return. Honors even.

Round 8--Both seemed strong and refreshed by the minute's rest. Dixon, as usual, opened with a rush, but Flaherty avoided nicely. In a clinch both fought viciously at short range, and the crowd, not understanding that the men were boxing while one hand was free, shouted disapproval.

Round 9--Dixon tried with the left, Flaherty landing the right lightly in the wind. In a clinch the Lowell man scored with the left. Dixon's swing, just as the bell rang, went wide, and yet there was no winner in sight.

Round 10--Both led lefts and in avoiding Flaherty slipped, his opponent, man-fashion, lifting him up. Flaherty drove the right in the wind. The balance of the round was spent in sparring.

Round 11-Dixon's swing for the body was stopped. Flaherty led with the right, Dixon retreating to the ropes. Dixon scored clearly on the nose with the left a moment later. Flaherty played hard with the right, but neither seemed to do effective work.

Round 12--Flaherty began the round by rushing Dixon to the ropes. A minute followed in which each fired hot shot on the head of his adversary, but bringing no result. Flaherty chopped the champion hard with the right, and when the gong rang both were hard at it in ding-dong fashion.

Round 13--Flaherty met a rush with a light drive on the ribs, Dixon scoring with the left. A clinch and a rally in which honors were even ensued. Once more the gong found the men hard at it. No choice.

Round 14--Flaherty along about the middle of the round scored a double left lead and forced Dixon to the ropes. Beyond this there was nothing of moment done.

Round 15--The gong had hardly been rung when they got together. This round was one of the fastest so far. Dixon rushed, as was his custom, but the sturdy Lowellite met him blow for blow, and the winner was as far away as ever.

Round 16--Flaherty's right went solidly into the wind and Dixon clinched. Dixon landed a left uppercut and light sparring closed the round.

Round 17--Again nothing effective was done in the three minutes. Each worked in his own way to win, but their cleverness offset any damaging effect intended punches could do had they landed.

Round 18--Dixon placed the right in the stomach. Flaherty drove the right viciously for the ribs and forced Dixon back. Infighting followed and closed the round.

Round 19--The work throughout was very even, and there was not an effective blow delivered.

Round 20--Flaherty led the left for the chin and rushed Dixon to the ropes where give-and-take work was indulged in. Dixon slipped into a stiff uppercut and clinched. The bell sounded as the men were fighting terrifically.

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