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Thursday, November 28, 2013

1911-11-28 Mike Gibbons ND10 Willie Lewis [Fairmont Athletic Club, Bronx, NY, USA]

1911-11-29 New-York Tribune (New York, NY) (page 5)
Battered from Pillar to Post in Savage Bout with Gibbons.

Willie Lewis practically was eliminated from the ranks of the contenders for the welterweight championship when Mike Gibbons, of St. Paul, beat him decisively in a ten-round bout at the Fairmont Athletic Club, The Bronx, last night. Lewis never had a chance after the first round, and, after escaping a knockout in the second, was lucky to last the limit. Even his most partisan admirers were forced to admit that Lewis was beaten by a better man. One of the oldtime Fairmont crowds witnessed the bout, and fully 2,500 persons were packed in the hall.

Gibbons made good all the statements which preceded him out of the West. He was, indeed, a large edition of "Packey" McFarland, but with a more vicious punch. He boxed fairly at all times, and met the questionable tactics of Lewis with furious rallies.

Confronted by a clever boxer, Gibbons feinted and boxed Lewis into kinks. He hit short and straight to the mark. The punch travelled only a few inches, but it carried crushing force behind it, and time and again Lewis reeled from the impact. Toward the end of the battle Lewis became desperate, but as his efforts grew wilder he played right into the hands of his opponent, who countered him with both hands almost at will.

Lewis was game. He took a licking which would have made many a man take the count, but he stuck to his guns gamely. At times he resorted to elbowing, but these were few and far between.

The second round narrowly escaped being the last for Lewis. Willie opened fire with a blow to the head, but the St. Paul lad ripped a smashing right uppercut to the chin and Lewis rocked under it. Gibbons then leaped in with a left to the face, and when a shift fooled the East Side boy into dropping his guard the former crashed a right to the jaw. Lewis staggered and his arms dropped. Like a flash Gibbons landed again, and Lewis dropped across the lower rope and rolled over on his back to the canvas. At the count of seven he recovered and arose, and although Gibbons battered him from pillar to post Lewis lasted out the round. The St. Paul man was wild in placing his blows, else he would have scored a knockout.

Lewis also bordered on a knockout in the eighth round, when a heavy fire of solid smashes to the jaw and body had him rocking, but the Western lad was unable to drive in the finishing punch to the vital spot. He outboxed Lewis, who tried swing after swing with the desperate hope of a beaten man to turn the tide of battle in a single punch. His efforts were fruitless, for Gibbons was cool and clever, and either swayed back or stepped in and countered.

1911-11-29 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page S1)
Mike Gibbons came pretty near living up to all that was said of him when he easily won from Willie Lewis last night at the Fairmont A. C. Gibbons is known as a hard hitter, and he dropped Willie for the count of seven in the second round. The Westerner had also been touted as a clever boxer. He proved it when he had no trouble in outpointing Willie, who is one of the most scientific of the present crop of middleweights and has always depended upon his skill more than upon his strength.

1911-11-29 The Evening Telegram (New York, NY) (page 8)
"Mike" Gibbons Beats "Willie" Lewis, Winning Welterweight Crown
St. Paul Boy Just Played with Lewis and Nearly Had Him Out in Second.
"Willie" Lewis gave the welterweight championship crown to "Mike" Gibbons, of St. Paul, last night at the Fairmont Athletic Club. "Willie" didn't want to do it. In fact, he did the best--and his best was very poor--to keep the honor for himself. But "Mike" Gibbons took it without so much as saying if you please. It was the easiest thing that the St. Paul boy has experienced in his ring career, easier than taking pennies from an infant in arms. He made "Willie" look like a novice long before the gong sounded at the end of the tenth round--just fooled with and laughed at the New York champion.

It took Mr. Gibbons just one round to figure out Mr. Lewis. After that it was easy. The issue was never in doubt. He outpunched him and outpointed him at will. In the second "Willie" came within an ace of going out. Gibbons ended a fast exchange of blows by hooking over a hard right. It caught Lewis flush on the point of the jaw and sent him flat on his back, with his head outside of the ropes. Every one of the big crowd of fans present thought it was the finish of Mr. Lewis. Referee Joh stood over him counting off the seconds. "Willie," dazed and stunned, crawled slowly to his feet and managed to get up just before the fatal ten.
Lewis Weak at Finish.

Then Gibbons tore into him and gave him an awful beating, but he was over anxious and could not send in the finish punch. He hit Lewis at will. The New York boy, dazed, staggered about the ring under the rain of blows. Once he stuck out his chin and let Gibbons smash him two or three times. But, strange to relate, Gibbons couldn't do it. He was nervous, excited by the uproar in the house, and the bell found Lewis on his legs, but very groggy. The "fans" were disappointed in Gibbons. They could not understand it.

There was very little real fighting for the next three rounds. Lewis forced matters, but his punches, chiefly a left jab, had no effect on Gibbons. Lewis, who had the first by a good margin, also had the third by a shade on points. Gibbons made little if any effort. The New York boy also had the fourth. All that Gibbons did in these two rounds was to feint and jump about the ring. Occasionally he put one over, but he was not fighting or making any pretense of it.
Gibbons Shows Form.

But in the fifth he opened up, and before the round was ended proved to the crowd that he was Lewis' master at every stage of the game. Both exchanged blows at the opening. Then Gibbons started to do some fast and fancy left hand jabbing, landing repeatedly, beating Lewis to the lead all the time. The New York boy rushed and was met with a hard right uppercut to the face. He put over a left jab, and in return Gibbons rocked him with hard rights and lefts to the head. Lewis covered up to avoid punishment. In a breakaway he hooked over a left. It was Gibbons' round by a big margin.

Lewis opened the sixth with a left jab, following it up by three more. They clinched, and in the break "Willie" whipped over a right hook. Gibbons laughed at him. It made Lewis mad and wild. Then Mr. Gibbons took a hand and made "Willie" look like a preliminary boy. It was his round. So was the seventh and eighth. Honors were about even in the ninth, though Gibbons' blows were more telling.

The tenth round opened slowly, both boys hugging and clinching. Gibbons had the better of this rough work. Then things began to happen--that is, happen to Lewis. Gibbons let out a few links and jabbed, hooked and punched Lewis all over the ring, receiving hardly one in return.
Lewis Takes Count.

It looked for a few seconds as if Lewis would go down and out, but he stuck it out to the end. It was Gibbons' round by a mile. The welterweight championship went with the bout. Both boys weighed in at 145 pounds at three o'clock. Lewis looked heavier than the St. Paul lad when they came together and had the advantage in height and reach. Both were in excellent condition.

Gibbons made a good impression on the local fans. It was his first appearance in the East. He is clever both in defence and offence, and has a good punch. It was the general impression that he would have put Lewis out before the end had he forced matters. In this he was a disappointment. He contented himself with outpointing Lewis. Gibbons came out of the battle without a mark and was apparently as fresh as when he started. Lewis, on the contrary, showed the marks of the bout in a badly bruised and cut face.

Gibbons meets Walter Coffey next week at the Fairmont in the star bout.

In a rattling good six round semi-final "Kid" Harmann had the better of "Mike" Clancy. The latter appeared in the first preliminary and made his opponent, "Frankie" Pappa, quit in the second round.

1911-11-29 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 6)
Mike Gibbons, Classiest Fighter Seen Here, Easily Beats Up Willie Lewis
Local Championship Aspirant Luckily Weathers Pugilistic Gale After Being Almost Put Away in Second Round.

Willie Lewis, whose sole ambition always has been to win the welterweight championship of the world, had said ambition completely shattered at the Fairmont A. C. last night. Willie met Mike Gibbons, the crack welterweight of St. Paul, in a ten round bout and what Gibbons did to him in those ten sessions of fighting is sad to relate.

Not in many a day has Lewis been so completely outclassed by a man of his own weight. To size up the bout in a few words, Lewis never had a look in after the first two minutes of fighting in the opening round. If he were not a great ring general he would have been knocked out.

As it was, Willie had a narrow escape in the second round, for Gibbons dropped him with a short, snappy right hand swing to the jaw, his neck hitting the lower rope. This saved his head from striking the floor, otherwise he might have been rendered unconscious.

Although badly dazed from the punch, Lewis staggered to his feet at the count of eight and luckily managed to last the round out despite the fact that Gibbons landed numerous right and left hand swings to the jaw.


It was after this round that Gibbons started in to display his wonderful skill as a boxer and fighter, and the way in which he feinted Willie into knots and landed on him not only surprised Lewis's followers, but was also a revelation to the admirers of Gibbons.

Any time that Gibbons wanted to get in a punch he did so without the slightest exertion, and there were times that he scored three or four blows without a return. At infighting Gibbons also outclassed Lewis, sending in short, choppy rights to his jaw and stomach. After the fourth round Lewis seemed to lose heart, for some of the wild swings not only went wide of their mark, but also showed that Willie was badly bewildered.

Several times during the latter part of the battle Lewis took a chance at mixing with Gibbons, but his efforts were useless, for while he succeeded in getting in some jabs and swings, the latter stood toe to toe with him and gave him some wicked blows, which caused his face to swell and drew the claret from his mouth.


In the last round Gibbons tried to put Lewis away. He jabbed Willie several times and sent his head back with a right swing on the chin. Lewis fought back hard, but Gibbons kept sending in his blows with much speed, and at the bell Willie was in bad shape.

Although Gibbons won by a big margin, it must be admitted that he is not much of a puncher. He showed this by failing to put Lewis out, although he landed enough blows to do so.

Gibbons is a clever two-handed boxer, hits short and straight to the mark, blocks excellently, takes advantage of all openings and is a fine ring general. However, he does entirely too much fancy stepping. In many of the rounds he indulged in this when there was no need of it.

As for Lewis, he is not the fighter he was a few years ago. He has lost his punch and cleverness.

1911-11-29 The New York Herald (New York, NY) (page 14)
"Willie" Lewis' claim to the welterweight title was pounded out of his grasp at the Fairmont Athletic Club last night when he was decisively beaten by "Mike" Gibbons, of St. Paul. In the second round a right swing to the jaw almost finished him. Flat on his back, mouth wide open, scarcely moving a muscle, Lewis looked so far gone that the large crowd began a rush for the exits. By a superhuman effort he managed to get to his knees at the count of eight and totter to his feet just in time. Gibbons battered him from post to post, but Lewis hung on and saved himself, reeling to his corner at the bell. Thereafter, Lewis, although fighting desperately, could do nothing better than last the limit of ten rounds.

After the first few minutes spent in solving Lewis' style, Gibbons had everything his own way. Throughout the entire thirty minutes of milling Lewis, always regarded as a clever boxer, scarcely landed a dozen blows. Gibbons, on his toes all the time, dancing, shifting, jabbing, feinting, had Lewis completely bewildered. Lewis tried to win by chance blows, but Gibbons blocked them all with his gloves and elbows, dealing out punishment that had Lewis groggy time and again.

Lewis surprised the crowd by his ability to assimilate the punishment, particularly after the stormy second round. In the last two rounds he was fighting in a dazed condition all the time.

1911-11-29 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 12)
New York Welterweight Floored for the Count in the Second Round.
Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul welterweight, had his first real Eastern test last night when he fought Willie Lewis of New York at the Fairmont A. C., and the Westerner more than made good. Lewis, who claims the welterweight title, and who can usually be relied upon to hold his own or do better against any boxer of his weight, looked at times like a novice against Gibbons, and when the final bell sounded the local boy was so far behind that there was not the least doubt as to superiority.

It was announced that the pair weighed in at 145 pounds at 3 o'clock. While there is some dispute regarding its ownership, Lewis has been generally accredited as the best of the 145-pounder and better than many middleweights, in which class he fought until recently. In the second round Lewis walked into a terrific short right swing by Gibbons and went to the canvas as if shot. For five seconds he laid on his back with his head dangling over the lower ropes, his arms and legs being motionless. Then he slowly pulled himself together and was barely able to stand up as Referee Billy Joh counted ten. Gibbons tore in to end the battle but Lewis was able to stall and avoid punishment well enough to finish the round.

At every stage of the game Lewis was outclassed. He has always shown through his wonderful cleverness his ability to feint an opponent into knots. Last night he was as far outclassed in cleverness as he has been accustomed to show up slower opponents. Gibbons at times appeared only to toy with Lewis. He sent his jabs through Lewis's guard without any apparent effort, and his peculiar defense so puzzled Lewis that the New Yorker was unable to do any damage. Gibbons has a peculiar motion in approaching an opponent, and it so bewildered Lewis last night that he often stood still and let Gibbons walk in. Besides making a big hit by his cleverness, Gibbons went into popular favor early by his manners in the ring. His work was always clean. He never lost his temper and he had a smile that Lewis could not shake off. On two or three occasions when Lewis began to rough it Gibbons did nothing more than cut loose and show how fast he could fight, never resorting to rough work.

The opening round for the most part was made up of feinting by both men. Neither showed any great desire to mix matters and few good blows were struck. Lewis got in bad with the crowd early by hitting on the breakaway and using his elbow in breaking from a clinch. Each handed out about four hard wallops and the round ended with honors even.

After getting over two or three hard wallops early in the second, Lewis got in the path of a terrific right-hand uppercut, and it shook him from head to foot. A few seconds later Gibbons handed out a similar punch, and he went to the canvas on his back, his head resting on the lower rope. It seemed that he was knocked out for good, but he opened his eyes at the count of five and slowly pulled himself together, barely regaining his feet at the count of nine. For a full minute Lewis did nothing more than stagger around the ring and protect himself from Gibbons's blows. The latter tore in to put an end to the battle, but was unable to do so. The minute's rest did Lewis a world of good, and he was greatly refreshed when he came to the centre of the ring. Lewis was cautious and was very careful to keep away from Gibbons's swings. He jabbed with his left, but very lightly. The round was even.

In the fourth the action was not as fast as in the third. It was feint, feint, feint, and then more of the same work. Gibbons did not show the tendency to lead that his earlier work would lead one to expect, and Lewis was still fighting a wary, cautious battle. The round showed little in favor of either, as no work of any consequence was done.

The fifth showed plenty of work. Gibbons jabbed Lewis repeatedly and also sent over some hard rights which hurt Lewis. Acting on orders from his corner to cut loose and take a chance, Lewis continued to rush in and try to get over a staggering punch, but Gibbons was always out of the way when the punches went by. He usually shot over a stiff right to Lewis's jaw, and he jabbed him at will throughout the round. It was Gibbons's round by a big margin.

In the sixth, Gibbons continued to show to advantage. In fact, he seemed to simply toy with Lewis. The greater part of the round was spent in jabbing to Lewis's head, and three or four times he cut loose with a shower of blows that shook Lewis up. In the open fighting, and also in the infighting, Gibbons had a big lead over his opponent.

The seventh round was on the same order as the sixth, but Gibbons's lead was less pronounced. It was a succession of light jabs and two good slugging sessions, and at each Gibbons had a shade the better of the game.

The eighth was all Gibbons's. He did more effective work in getting over his punches than in any other round. He did not score a knockdown as in the second round, but he landed much oftener and his punches had enough steam to shake Lewis and hurt him considerably. Lewis was still rushing in and swinging in the hope of getting over a knockout, but Gibbons was as good in taking punishment as he was handing it out.

In the ninth the pair indulged in some rapid-fire exchanges, with the honors for the round in favor of Gibbons. About the middle of the round Lewis showed his best work of the bout, and in one rapid exchange he had a bit the better of the fighting, but during the remainder of the round Gibbons showed the same superiority in both infighting and long range work. The round belonged to Gibbons.

In the tenth it appeared as if Lewis was due for another trip to the canvas. He got in the way of one right hand swing which jarred him to his toes, and he could not check a shower of rights and lefts which followed in quick succession. But the veteran was able to take them all without going down. Gibbons was strong at both styles of fighting, and he finished up the victory with plenty to spare. He went to his corner at the close of the bout without a mark on his face. Lewis's face was badly swollen from the shower of blows which he had to take during the ten rounds.

1911-11-29 The Standard Union (Brooklyn, NY) (page 6)
Mike Gibbons of St. Paul to-day is hailed as the recognized welterweight champion. His victory last night over Willie Lewis, one of the strongest contenders for the title, was so clean-cut that all the critics to-day award him the palm. Gibbons sent Lewis down for the count of seven in the second round and thereafter simply toyed with his opponent and permitted him to stay the limit.

1911-11-29 The Sun (New York, NY) (page 7)
St. Paul Welterweight Easily Outpoints Champion Willie Lewis.

Mike Gibbons of St. Paul, who came here several weeks ago practically unknown, proved at the Fairmont A. C. last night that he has a strong claim on the welterweight championship of the world. Gibbons in a ten round bout easily disposed of Willie Lewis of this city, who entered the ring with the prestige of having defeated the American and English champions in this class.

Lewis never had a lookin. In the second round he came within an ace of being knocked out. Gibbons, who is a great boxer and a solid puncher, put him down in that round with a right hook on the jaw. Lewis lay partially on the ropes for five seconds, apparently dead to the world, but he managed to struggle up at the count of eight and then stayed to the bell.

After that Gibbons, confident of success, was satisfied to outpoint the New Yorker. He went about his task with remarkable skill. He was so fast and clever that Lewis could not land his terrific swings, while Gibbons seemed able to send home the punches whenever he pleased. Lewis tried all styles of fighting but the result was the same. Gibbons knew too much for him and so easily outclassed him that there wasn't a doubt as to which was the better man.

Gibbons is a legitimate welterweight, but he is willing to take on heavier opponents and after his victory he was matched to box ten rounds with Walter Coffey of California at the Fairmont A. C. next Tuesday night.

The bout attracted a crowd that filled every nook and corner of the building. More than 2,500 fans smoked cigars until the air was stifling and the club managers had to open all the windows in the low roof. The men weighed in at 145 pounds at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. When they climbed into the ring, more than seven hours later, each had taken on several pounds. William Joh was the referee as usual.

First Round--Lewis was the first to lead, his left being short. Gibbons, working in and out swiftly, shot a left to the ear. Gibbons blocked a rush and stepping in the put left and right on the head. Gibbons did some great feinting, Lewis throwing up his guard and using his feet. Lewis then tried a left that was stopped. Gibbons jabbed him twice in the nose with a speedy left. Gibbons also landed several body blows and had the round on clean points.

Second Round--Lewis's left fell short and he ran into a clinch. At close range both landed rib roasters. A quick left hand jab drew the blood from Lewis's mouth, the latter rushing in for a mix, in which Gibbons sent home a heavy right hook to the jaw. At long range Gibbons shot another right to the eye that staggered Lewis. Still another right knocked Lewis down for the count of eight. When he got up Gibbons tore in for a knockout and rained all kinds of terrific punches on the New Yorker's head and body. But the latter in weak condition staggered through to the gong.

Third Round--Lewis met a rush with a left to the body. Gibbons stepped away from several hard swings and feinted Lewis into knots. Dashing in with a left, he put Lewis on the ropes and shook him with a right hand swing on the neck. Gibbons scored points with clean left hand jabs until Lewis decided to mix it. Then both landed heavy swings on the head, Lewis being the first to clinch. Gibbons landed more sharp lefts in such a manner that Lewis was puzzled when the bell sounded.

Fourth Round--Gibbons stepped away from a rush and laughed. He made Lewis miss a couple of swings and then did some great blocking. After that Gibbons stepped in with hard left hook under the jaw and Lewis backed away. Gibbons was so skilful that he blocked and countered continually and had the round by a wide margin.

Fifth Round--Gibbons opened with a solid left squarely on the jaw. He repeated the blow and made Lewis's nose bleed. Gibbons blocked a dangerous swing and peppered Lewis's face with dazzling left handers. Lewis covered up as he tried to get closer, Gibbons bolting him in the stomach with short uppercuts. Gibbons blocked a right for the jaw and sent a hard right hook to the neck. Lewis tried to mix, but Gibbons's defence was superb and he remained unhurt. It was Gibbons's round.

Sixth Round--Lewis missed a left, but he landed another on the neck. They clinched roughly, and on the break Gibbons showed fast footwork as he danced in and out landing quick blows that Lewis couldn't block. As Lewis missed again and again Gibbons smothered him with rapid jabs. Lewis took the defensive and saved himself by clinching. In a rapid exchange Gibbons staggered his man just as time was up. Gibbons's round.

Seventh Round--Gibbons stopped a left and then poured in several hot jabs to Lewis's mouth and nose. Lewis swung wildly, Gibbons getting away nicely and then jumping back with more hard punches in the face. Lewis mixed it fiercely, but he was outpunched and outboxed. Gibbons wore a broad grin as he drove in smashes and made Lewis look like a greenhorn. Gibbons easily had the round.

Eighth Round--Lewis missed several desperate swings and received more cutting jabs in the face. Gibbons blocked a wild rush and ducked a fierce swing. Lewis landed a hard left on the ear, but when he tried to follow it up Gibbons wasn't within reach. Then Gibbons stepped in with half a dozen short punches on the jaw, Lewis clinching. Lewis rallied with another wild attack, but he couldn't land an effective blow. Gibbons punched Lewis's face until it was crimson. Gibbons's round.

Ninth Round--Gibbons made his man miss several times before he shot in the usual fast lefts. Lewis rallied and mixed it with terrific power. He landed several swings on the head but Gibbons stood up and traded punches with him until Willie began to clinch. Gibbons in that rally showed both stamina and cool headedness, for he came back later with an attack that drew the claret from Lewis's nose. A right hand hook jarred Lewis and a left in the mouth made him see stars, yet he rushed blindly until time was up. Gibbons's round.

Tenth Round--Lewis rushed into a hard mix. Gibbons feinted a moment and followed with lefts in the face and rights in the body. Lewis was slow but full of fight and kept mixing it. Gibbons blocked many blows but landed himself with plenty of steam. He shot a right to the jaw and ducked a quick return. Then he made Lewis reel with a right on the jaw, but the latter tore in for more. Gibbons finished in splendid style and was an impressive winner.