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Monday, July 16, 2012

1915-07-16 Sam Langford W-TKO1 Jack Thompson [National Athletic Club, Denver, CO, USA]

1915-07-17 The Denver Post (Denver, CO) (page 6)
Joe Woodman's Bone-Crushing Tar Baby Uses 32 Seconds of His Valuable Time in Leading Jack Thompson of Denver to a Delicate Lacing at the National Athletic Club--Two Thousand Fans See Langford in Brief Action
Jack Thompson Lasts Thirty-Two Seconds With Joe Woodman's Fighting Wonder--Left Hook Puts Dream Sign on Local Dusky Glove Wielder.
WINNER--Samuel Langford, the Boston Tar Baby.
TIME OF FIGHT--Thity-two seconds.
THE PUNCH THOMPSON CAUGHT--Left hook to jaw, traveling about four inches.
SCENE--National Athletic club.
REFEREE--T. J. McDonnell.
NUMBER OF CLEAN BLOWS STRUCK--Langford, 3, Thompson, 1.
FIGHT STOPPED--When Thompson's seconds threw towel in ring after knockdown.

The Black Bulwark crouched slightly. Beneath his skin of night the huge muscles played rhythmically, like the loosely knotted flesh of a jaguar gathering for the spring. One arm warded off a left swing, wheeled by another man of dark hide.

Scarcely had the blow been blocked when a writhing mass of sinew crumpled to the canvas-covered floor. A left hook had turned the trick. Half a minute had elapsed since they first met man to man. Two seconds later a new towel fluttered over the ropes. The black hulk left the ring and the cheering crowd caught a flash of his teeth as he smiled. The other man--well, he stumbled, staggered to his corner, whipped and dazed.

That was all!

Who can describe a flash of lightning! Who can tell you "when" and "where" and "what" when a bolt from the clouds rends a tree that has stood a moment before, strong, perfect and straight--a blow that scatters a score of years or more at your feet?

Sudden Ending of Fight Dazes Startled Fans.

The blow that felled Jack Thompson last night at the National Athletic club came so suddenly, so swiftly, so remarkably perfect, that had anyone other than Sam Langford, the bone crusher, sent it home, many would have cried "Fake!"

Sam Langford calls it his "Pumphandle punch." It drew water to Thompson's eyes. For fully ten seconds after it had found its mark not a sound went up from the crowd. It had come so unexpectedly. It had crept in so ruinously. It was as if the gorilla-chested black man had struck every one in the audience between the eyes. But when the new towel sailed over the arena ropes the mass cheered. However, they would have preferred seeing the combat go further. It was too quick, was this Langford method of ending the fray.

Langford entered the ring at ten minutes past 9. He wore his customary green kimono. Thompson entered immediately after and the fighters examined the tape on one another's hands.

Referee T. J. McDonnell was introduced after the fans had greeted each fighter with cheers and whistles. There were nearly 2,000 persons who sat numbly as the gong rang, for that same good-natured, gentlemanly Langford is a terrible thing to see crossing the ring to meet the enemy.

Tar Baby Forces His Man to Start Backing.

They touched gloves. Langford feinted, his shoulders swinging slightly from side to side and his forearms raised against his biceps, his thumbs flicking his nose (one of his ring habits).

Thompson backed, expecting a blow. Then Thompson, following out instructions of his seconds to "get close and hold 'im tight," worked to close range, meanwhile trying to land with his right. Langford blocked two attempts to the ear.

Langford pushed Thompson away easily. Thompson towered above the broad-shouldered "Tham," who worked a right cross on Thompson's neck. It stung Thompson, but did no apparent damage. Thompson led with his left. Langford quickly blocked it and in doing so brought his own left into action, snapping his famous hook to Thompson's chin. The blow couldn't have traveled more than four or five inches. It was delivered without apparent effort.

Thompson flopped, face downward, like a man who had been clubbed on the back of his head. He tossed spasmodically and crawled in paralyzed strides four feet from the spot which had caught his fall. He barely reached his feet at the count of ten. He was unconscious even then, his fighting instinct alone pulling him upright.

Langford Refrained From Rough Tactics.

Langford could have put him down again, but was afraid of hurting him, he afterwards said in his dressing room. Thompson reeled against the ropes on the footlights side of the ring, his arms almost dangling and his belly uncovered. Instead of delivering a cruel whip to the stomach, Langford, gentleman and sportsman that he is, hit Jack flush in the body with his right, declining to use his full power in doing so. At this juncture, Thompson's seconds threw in the towel and the fight was over. Thompson half tumbled thru the ropes.

Langford made approximately $1,000 in those 32 seconds of fighting.

"I'm awful glad they threw in that towel," said Sam as he was being rubbed down by his trainer, Kid Goodman. "When he was hanging on the ropes I could have struck him a terrible blow, but I was afraid of killing him, and I know the people out here want to see the game run on a clean basis.

"I could have let him stay a round or two and boxed with him, but I was paid to come here and fight and I merely did my duty. If I had let him go with me, the people would have said I was stalling. They paid to see me fight and I did all I could. And you never can tell about these fights. It looked easy to knock this boy out, but he was a tough fellow and if I had let him stay, he might have walloped me a few, for he can hit and is by no means a dub. A lot of good men have been knocked out in a round, and our little bout tonight can't be knocked because it lasted only half a minute.

Tham Likes Denver and Fans Hereabouts.

"The people of Denver are most mighty fine persons. They have treated me like a gentleman and some time soon I hope to return to fight any man in the world here. I know I will please them for I like them one and all. I like the air here. Some fighters have said the altitude bothers them here but the only way it bothered me was to give me a terrible big appetite."

In the four round preliminary, Kid Estes, with a rugged system of administering punishment, stowed away Young Mandot of New Orleans in the first round. The semi-windup brought Young Hanlon and Wallace Preston together in a scheduled eight round bout. Hanlon lowered Preston's colors in the third round. Preston showed gameness and also hit hard, but could not stand up under the batterings of Hanlon.

The Langford-Thompson fight was to have gone fifteen rounds. Battling Wells, who meets Jack Torres at the National Athletic club in a fifteen-round go July 30 was introduced.

1915-07-17 Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO) (page 8)
Boston Tar Baby Makes New World's Record for Quietus
DENVER, July 16.--Sam Langford, Boston negro heavyweight, knocked out Jack Thompson, a local negro boxer, in the first 30 seconds of their scheduled 15-round bout here tonight. A short right punch to the jaw, preceded by a left poke to the face, sent Thompson down for the count.

In disposing of Thompson in what is considered nearly record time, Langford exceeded his previous fast when he knocked out Matt Dewey at Cheyenne, Wyo., in a bout five years ago in less than two minutes. At that time the Boston heavyweight explained that he "had to catch a train."

After tonight's bout, he explained to those about him that he would not leave here until tomorrow, adding:

"If I had been in a hurry, I think I could have broken the world's knockout record."

Thompson was rushed off his guard at the tap of the gong and did not succeed in landing a blow.