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Sunday, February 23, 2014

1912-02-23 Mike Gibbons W-KO2 Willie Lewis [Empire Athletic Club, New York, NY, USA]

1912-02-24 New-York Tribune (New York, NY) (page 5)
Knocked Out by Gibbons in Second Round of Bout.

Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul middleweight, knocked out Willie Lewis, of this city, in the second round of a ten-round bout at the Empire Athletic Club last night. One minute and twenty-five seconds had elapsed in the second round when Gibbons whipped over left and right hooks to the point of the chin and Lewis fell, to box no more for the night.

The bout was one sided from start to finish, and Lewis was never in the hunt. He landed about four punches, and was fortunate to last out the first round, as seven seconds before the end he was knocked down and saved from defeat then and there by the bell.

Gibbons went at his man at the start in a manner that forecasted the summary ending that followed. Stepping up briskly, he circled about, and, feinting Lewis into kinks, hit him when and where he pleased. Lewis, clever as he is, looked like an untried schoolboy, and was thoroughly afraid of the man before him. In an effort to take a chance he went in close, but Gibbons handled him like a child. His efforts at infighting were smothered, while Gibbons ripped solid counters home at pleasure.

1912-02-24 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) (page S3)
Willie Lewis is in the Down and Out Club. The clever fighter from the Gas House district hit the toboggan slide at the Empire Athletic Club in Manhattan last night, and still is on his way to oblivion. Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul middleweight, started Willie along the road. It did not take Mike very long to bid Willie "bon voyage." After one minute had elapsed in the second round, Mike tapped Willie with his right on the point of the latter's jaw, and Willie peacefully passed away. So ended the second lesson, the first having been read at the Fairmont Athletic Club in the Bronx a month or two ago.

Lewis never had a lookin during the encounter. His first knockout at the hands of Gibbons had left the former afraid of the clever fighter from St. Paul, and as a result, Willie wanted to keep well out of the road of Master Gibbons. The St. Paul man kept after the New Yorker and dropped Willie in the first round for the full count. However, the bell saved Lewis and he was able to get to his corner for a minute's rest. Hardly had the second period started than Gibbons sent over his right and Lewis dropped dead to the world. Not waiting to hear the count, Gibbons reached down and helped Referee Tone carry Lewis to his corner. It took a good two minutes to bring Lewis back to the land of the living.

1912-02-24 The Evening Telegram (New York, NY) (page 6)
Gibbons Makes Short Work of "Willie" Lewis in Ring
Western Boxer Knocks Out the New York Pugilist in the Second Round.
Wide Open Swings Are Quickly Taken Advantage of by the Winner of Bout.
By Ed. Cole.

It took one round and one minute and twenty-five seconds of the succeeding round for "Mike" Gibbons, of St. Paul, to knock out "Willie" Lewis, of New York, at the Empire Club last night. But for the very friendly bell Lewis would have passed up the fight in the first round, as he was down and the count was going on when the gong sounded to cease hostilities. He came up for the second round in fairly good condition and tried his best to get a swinging right to the young man from St. Paul. But it was a sorry attempt, and after Gibbons pumped a few left jabs into Lewis' face and hooked a short right to his jaw he went down, and everybody, about three thousand lovers of the boxing art, donned their wraps and went home.

That Gibbons is a master of the art of boxing he demonstrated last night without a question of doubt. He showed that he lacks nothing. He knows everything that was ever known in the art of self-defence. In the last three months he has developed what appeared to be lacking in his early fights in this city--a knockout punch. This he has proved he possesses twice within a month by knocking out Cashman and Lewis.

In regard to his cleverness, both with his hands and his footwork, old timers at the boxing game compare him with the one great boxer of the old days, "Jack" Dempsey, "the Nonpareil," who mastered opponents in the most artistic way until he met "Bob" Fitzsimmons. A fighter never leaves a positive record on the books that can prove decisively which is the better man unless they meet, hence it is only a matter of opinion whether Gibbons or the late and much thought of "Jack" Dempsey was the greater fighter.
Gibbons a Phenomenon.

One thing is positive, however, Gibbons is not only phenomenally clever, but he has a snappy punch with either hand that will bring an opponent to the mat. This is something that Dempsey never boasted of. That is the one addition to Gibbons' stock of ability that will possibly give the impression that Gibbons would have proved Dempsey's master had he lived in the days of "the Nonpareil."

That Gibbons is headed for the middleweight championship is assured, and he is loaded to the muzzle with all kinds of shot. He intends to have another meeting with "Jack" Denning some time in April, and if he is in as good condition as he was last night it is only a question how long Denning will be able to stand his punishment. After that there is but one other fence for him to climb, the "Eddie" McGoorty obstacle, and the latter will no doubt prove the hardest proposition he has had to deal with.

Last night's contest needs little description. It was lopsided throughout. That Lewis' intention was to bring Gibbons to earth by a right swing was evident before a minute of the first round had elapsed. Lewis jumped into action immediately he left his chair. He shot his left out and Gibbons dodged it and in return for the attempt Gibbons hooked up his right and followed in one, two succession with his left. Lewis then tried another right swing, but Gibbons just backed away as cleverly as a batter gets away from an inshoot.

Gibbons drew Lewis into a right swing and then sidestepped a trifle and as Lewis floundered from the force of his swing Gibbons hooked him on the point of the chin and passed the left over on him as his head bobbed up from the force of the uppercut. Then with a short stinging right, again on the point of the chin, Lewis toppled over in bad shape. The referee started to count him out but the gong sounded and Lewis was helped to his corner.
The Last of Lewis.

No sooner had the second round been called than Lewis made another effort with his powerful right hand, but it met atmosphere and not Gibbons. That was about the last thing Lewis did in the fighting line, for Gibbons smashed him with right and left, upper cut him and jabbed him. Lewis covered up with both hands, but the storm of gloves that bounced off him caused him to wobble about like a beheaded chicken. Then Gibbons waited for a couple of seconds and Lewis opened his gloves to see where Gibbons was. He didn't have time to locate him, for "Mike" shot his left into his face and hooked up his right to the jaw with the accuracy of a rifleman locating bull's eyes. Another right and left to the jaw and the story is told.

At the ringside Gibbons tipped the beam at 151 pounds and Lewis at 149½ pounds. To-day Gibbons leaves for St. Paul to see his wife, who expects to present a young middleweight to her husband in the near future. After that event he may return here to meet Denning and probably a local boxer in Bridgeport, Conn. He and his manager, "Ed" Reddy, will then take a trip to the coast in search of middleweight game.

1912-02-24 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 4)
Lewis Cries When He Realizes Mike Gibbons Has Knocked Him Out
Local Fighter Quickly Disposed Of in Second Round by St. Paul Fistic Artist.
Three thousand fight fans witnessed the bout between Mike Gibbons of St. Paul and Willie Lewis of this city at the Empire A. C., and after it was over these same three thousand persons left Manhattan Casino proclaiming the Westerner one of the greatest fighters for his weight they have ever seen in action. This high compliment was tendered to Gibbons for the easy and graceful way in which he knocked out Lewis in the second round, after about one minute of fighting, with a terrific right hand swing on the jaw.

Gibbons would have accomplished the feat in the first round had it not been for the clang of the bell, which sounded while Willie was groggy on his feet after having got up from the floor in a helpless condition from a heavy blow on the chin.

Up to the time Gibbons put in the punch that stowed Lewis away the Western "phenom" had given an exhibition of cleverness, ring generalship and clean and terrific hitting which are seldom seen in bouts at the local clubs.

Gibbons fought an entirely different battle from those which he put up in his previous six contests here. Instead of doing a lot of unnecessary feinting, sidestepping and ducking, as he did in these other bouts, Gibbons just walked out of his corner and with his guard high he cut loose at Lewis in a way that showed he was out to win as quickly as possible or lose out himself in the attempt.

After jabbing Lewis a few times in the face Gibbons let fly an overhand left hand swing, which nailed him flush on the cheekbone. The moment the blow landed Lewis's legs began to wobble, and as he started to stagger Gibbons dealt him left and right hand swings on the jaw. These blows dazed Willie completely, and he began to rush at Gibbons, letting fly with a right swing. Gibbons saw the punch coming and, stepping back, let the blow fall short and then countered beautifully with two straight jabs into Lewis's face, sending his head back.

By this time Lewis was bewildered, and Gibbons, seeing he had him at his mercy, hooked a left swing to the jaw which sent him reeling. As quick as a flash Gibbons drove in a right uppercut, dropping Lewis to the floor.

After Referee Tone had counted six, Lewis staggered to his feet. He was very shaky, while both hands hung at his side. Gibbons was just about to put over the finishing punch when the bell rang, causing Referee Tone to go between the men.

When the second round started Gibbons waded right into Lewis by jabbing him hard in the nose with a straight left. Willie then threw over a left hand swing to Gibbons's jaw, which seemed to rile him, for he let go three stiff jabs to Willie's face and then crossed his right to his jaw, sending him to the floor on his back.

With the exception of a slight turn of his head and the raising of his right leg, Lewis did not move, and was counted out. At the fatal count of ten the referee and Gibbons bent down and picking Lewis up carried him to his corner. After he recovered consciousness Lewis, broken-hearted over his defeat, put his head on his glove and began to cry. He was still crying when he was escorted from the ring by his seconds.

Gibbons Best Man I Ever Met, Says Lewis in Adieu to Ring.
By Willie Lewis.

I think Gibbons is a wonderful fighter. He is not only clever and shifty, but he can certainly deliver a terrific blow. Before my fight with him this time I was confident he could not punch. I know different now, for he proved to my satisfaction that he is one of the hardest punchers in the business. I have fought middleweights, light heavyweights and heavyweights, both in this country, England and France, but none of them hit me so hard as Gibbons. I wish to state right now that I am through with the fighting game forever. I have fought my last fight. I took on this bout with Gibbons to find out if I was still there or all in. I am satisfied now that I am all in, and that is the reason why I have retired from the game. I have been fighting for thirteen years next June and I think it's about time for me to quit. I intend to pay strict attention to my cafe in the future and forget the past. I wish Gibbons the best of luck and hope to see him middleweight champion in a year or so.

1912-02-24 The New York Herald (New York, NY) (page 11)
Gibbons Knocks Out Lewis
St. Paul Middleweight Puts Local Man Away in Second Round at Empire A.C.
Beaten into a state of utter helplessness and knocked out in the second round, "Willie" Lewis made a sorry showing against "Mike" Gibbons, the St. Paul middleweight, in the Empire Athletic Club ring last night. Gibbons did not allow Lewis to land a single clean blow, but went after him from the opening gong and battered him down in impressive fashion.

The crowd of five thousand that jammed the hall got an excellent idea of what was coming when Gibbons hammered Lewis down in the first round. Had not the bell come to the local man's relief just as he arose it is highly probable that he would have been saved the necessity of going into the second session. Gibbons took matters coolly, doing the execution in a businesslike way with right and left uppercuts, jabs and smashing jolts to the body. Lewis attempted several left hooks, but he was wild and the St. Paul boxer stepped inside the swings with straight lefts to the head. Gibbons landed half a dozen right uppercuts and left jabs and Lewis hit the boards. As he got up, wavering, the gong sounded.

The second round went just 1m. 25s. Gibbons repeated his programme of the previous round, and finally knocked Lewis out with a ripping left to the jaw. The Minnesota boxer's hair was not even mussed, and he failed to get any perspiration up. In the second bout in the city Gibbons easily defeated Lewis in ten rounds. "Willie" clamored for another chance, and he got it with a vengeance. Gibbons entered the ring weighing 151 pounds and Lewis scaled at 149½.

In the preliminaries "Eddie" McFarland, the Oklahoma lightweight, made a fair showing against "Kid" Alberts, the latter winning on points. "Willie" Chandler stopped "Young Terry" Martin, a negro, in five rounds. "Battling" Reddy and "Phillie" Carmine went six rounds to a fast draw.

1912-02-24 The New York Press (New York, NY) (page 7)
St. Paul Fighter Lands Haymaker with Ease.
New Yorker, Unable to Put Up Defense, Takes a Count Soon After Start.
There's another wreck on the track. Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul Limited, booming along at a mile a minute clip, crashed into Willie Lewis of the Gashouse district at the Empire A. C. of Harlem last night. All that was left of Lewis was the pieces. The once great welterweight was a mere toy in the hands of Glittering Gibbons. Willie's light went out in the second round. After dropping the former pride of the Parisian boulevards toward the end of the first round, the bell coming to Willie's rescue and postponing is enforced sleep, Mike caused the swan song to be sung over McKetrick's roustabout before the second round was half over. Mike sent a snappy right hook to the jaw and the tottering Lewis dropped like a log. Willie fell on his face, unconsciously tried to pull himself up and rolled over on his back while Referee Dan Tone tolled the full drone of the doleful decimal. Lewis was carried to his corner. Two minutes afterward he was revived and led weeping from the ring.

The beginning of the end came in the first two minutes of fighting. About the middle of the first round Gibbons hooked a hard left to the jaw. The punch rocked Lewis from head to toe, and but for his falling into a clinch he would have been floored. Gibbons fought himself free and shot rapid-fire lefts and rights to Lewis's head and body. For a few seconds Lewis weathered the gale. Then "crash!" and he was driven to the boards from a one-two punch, a straight left and a crossing right. Willie arose at the count of five. The fog was still in his eyes and he walked blindly in without offering to protect himself. Gibbons shook the staggering Lewis with stiff punches to head and body, but just when Willie was ready to fall the bell came to his rescue.

Lewis, staggering to his corner, was showered with water by his seconds. He was weak and groggy, however, when he came up for the second round. Mike went right in to finish him. For a few seconds Willie tried to block the lightning punches that Gibbons shot in from all angles. Gibbons, however, picked out the holes in his armor, and drove home shot after shot. Lewis threw discretion to the winds and waded in with his guard down, risking all on one good healthy swing. It was Gibbons, however, that landed the haymaker. He sent three lightning left jabs and a terrific right to the body. Another left jab and a vicious right uppercut followed. Then the terrible crossing right and--it all was over but the count.

Though defeated Lewis was not disgraced, and he went down to defeat like a man. It was another case of the pitcher going once too often to the well. A great fighter in his day, Lewis's stamina and vitality were sapped by loose training that often amounted to excesses. He was but a shell of his former fighting self. In fact, he has been living on his reputation since he was beaten to a pulp and knocked out by Frank Klaus a year ago. His ring generalship and courage have carried him through several tough battles since then, but it only was a question when some good, fast, hard-hitting man would come along and "bust" the bubble.

Gibbons entered the ring at 9.55 p. m., accompanied by his manager, Eddie Reddy, and a retinue of handlers. Lewis followed a minute afterward. Danny McKetrick and Joe Jeanette looked out after things in Lewis's corner. It was announced the men had weighed in, as agreed, at 147 pounds at 3 p. m. The announcer said the ringside weights of the men were: Gibbons, 151 pounds; Lewis, 149½. While the men were donning the gloves Jess Smith, Johnny Dundee, Tommy Coleman and Knock Out Brown were introduced, and a collection was taken up in behalf of the widow of Connie Schmidt, the Jersey fighter who was killed by a freight train last week. The McMahon brothers donated $50 and those around the ringside contributed generously, several hundred dollars being taken up.

The gong rang a few seconds before 10 p. m. Lewis lead with a light left to the face, Mike coming back with a snappy left and a right-hand uppercut to the face. The punch hurt Lewis. Gibbons shot a left to the jaw and Willie, returning the compliment, fell into a clinch. Lewis hooked a right to the jaw on the break and, quick as a flash, Mike planted a left and right to the face. Gibbons stepped back and then leaped in with a crossing right labeled "knock out." The punch missed the mark, grazing the jaw. Lewis shot a left to the face and tried the right for the jaw, but was blocked. Mike then began peppering Lewis with straight lefts. Gibbons shot in his punches with the speed of a bullet, and Lewis could not block or duck them. Willie got wild and missed a hard left swing. Lewis landed a right to the jaw, and then Gibbons hooked a vicious left to Willie's mouth. The punch shook Lewis from head to heel, and he fell into a clinch. Mike fought himself free and hooked a left and right to the jaw. Again Gibbons sent the left and right to the jaw, following with a right cross. Lewis was sent to the boards. He got up at the count of five. Gibbons tried hard to finish him. Lewis, though groggy, was set to receive the punches. Mike was showering him with stiff lefts and rights, and Willie was staggering when the bell came to his rescue.

Lewis had trouble getting to his corner. It looked as if he would fall before he could get to his chair. Frantic work by his seconds brought him up for the second round. Mike opened the round with a left to the face. Lewis missed a right and clinched. Mike shot a right to the body and hooked the left to the face. Gibbons reached the face with a straight left and crossing right. Willie reached the body with a right, and Mike sunk a left and right in Willie's mid-section.

Three times Mike jabbed Lewis in the face. By this time Lewis was almost in. He dropped his guard and tried to land one good, solid punch. Gibbons stepped in and placed a right to the body. He jabbed the face and uppercut the jaw with his right. Suddenly Gibbons crossed his right flush to the jaw. Good night.

1912-02-24 The New York Times (New York, NY) (page 12)
St. Paul Man Has New Yorker Staggering Around Ring in Empire A. C. Fight.
Willie Lewis had his chance last night at the Empire Athletic Club to prove that his recent defeat by Mike Gibbons was a fluke, and the St. Paul whirlwind brushed the erstwhile king of welterweights into dreamland in less than five minutes. A right to the jaw was the finishing punch and it did the trick so effectively that Lewis was still in the land of dreams when Gibbons carried him to his corner. The knockout arrived less than two minutes after the second round began.

From the bell which started the rival battlers on their way until Gibbons dropped Lewis to the canvas for the full count, there was nothing to the bout except Gibbons. Lewis, noted for his feinting ability and all-around boxing cleverness, was as powerless before the St. Paul boy as a novice, and during the five minutes he failed to land a single effective punch on Gibbons. Mike simply toyed with the New Yorker, feinted until Willie was dizzy, stepped out of the paths of Lewis's punches without apparent effort, and penetrated Lewis's guard with his terrific punches as often as he desired. It was evident before the first round was half completed that Lewis was in for the trimming of his life. He took almost as much punishment as could be crowded into such a short space of time.

Before the bout was ten seconds old Gibbons had jolted Lewis's head back with two lefts and a right. Within a minute he had Willie staggering around the ring, and before the bell sounded Gibbons dropped Lewis with a terrific right uppercut after staggering him with a left swing. Lewis regained his feet at the count of five, and the bell sounded just in time to save him from a knockout.

Gibbons went in to make a quick finish of the bout in the second round, and succeeded. He was landing often on Willie's jaw with either hand, and Lewis was unable to stop the shower of blows. His right eye was swollen and his face was very red from the punishment already received. A series of rights and lefts soon had Lewis groggy, and Gibbons shot out that terrible right with enough power to end the bout. Lewis did not move a muscle while Referee Tone tolled off the fatal ten, and Gibbons helped Willie's seconds to carry him to his corner.

1912-02-24 The Standard Union (Brooklyn, NY) (page 8)
Mike Gibbons, the St. Paul scrapper, to-day laid claim to the welterweight championship of the world, following his decisive victory last night over Willie Lewis, at the Empire A. C., of Harlem. Mike declared that he had been vindicated by knocking out the New York boy who claimed that Gibbons' recent decision over him was a fluke.

"I said I would put him away in a hurry, and I made good," was Gibbons' comment to-day.

A ring victory was never more decisive. In the first round Gibbons put over a crashing blow which would have ended the battle had not the bell rung while Lewis was lying helpless on the floor. In the second round the St. Paul wonder duplicated, but this time the bell did not come to the rescue.

1912-02-24 The Sun (New York, NY) (page 11)
Gibbons Does the Trick in Second Round at Empire A. C.

Willie Lewis, the local welterweight who once claimed the world's championship, was knocked out cold in the second round by Mike Gibbons of St. Paul at the Empire A. C. in Harlem Casino last night. Lewis was no match for the wonderful Western boxer. He could not land his heavy swings and also found it impossible to defend himself when Gibbons went after him. Gibbons outboxed, outfeinted and outslugged Lewis from start to finish.

Just before the first round ended Lewis was floored with a heavy right hand hook to the jaw. He was just getting on his pins when the bell rang. Gibbons cut out fancy business in the second round and made a punching bag of the Bowery boy.

He hit Lewis from every angle, putting so much power into his punches that a knockout was inevitable. A left hook on the chin finally put Lewis away in such a manner that he was dead to the world when the tenth second was counted.

Attracted by Gibbons, one of the largest crowds ever housed by the club gathered at the ringside, and by the time the preliminaries were at an end there were few empty seats in the big casino. The ringside weights were: Gibbons, 151; Lewis, 149½. Dan Tone was referee.

First Round--As Lewis tore in Gibbons landed a hook with each hand and made the local man break ground. Gibbons danced around his man with great foot work, jabbing him with lefts and sending over a terrific right to the ear. Lewis blocked for a moment and then, rushing in, he received more hooks in the face. Gibbons feinted beautifully, after which he shot a left to the jaw. Lewis's swings were short, and again Gibbons jabbed him in the face. Lewis tore in with a right on the neck, whereupon Gibbons cut loose with a blinding volley of punches. A right put Lewis down, and he staggered up just as the bell rang. Gibbons had the round.

Second Round--Lewis missed a hard blow with the right and Gibbons stepped in with hooks and upper cuts that made Lewis reel. The latter rushed and Gibbons sidestepped him. Again Lewis rushed and this time Gibbons landed a fierce right hook under the chin. Lewis tottered, but instinctively threw up his hands. Gibbons drove in body blows underneath his guard and then, shifting with a left hand upper cut, he reached the point of the jaw. It was a terrific wallop and Lewis's legs bent under him. He sank to the floor in a heap and after being counted out he was literally carried to his corner, where he soon revived. It was an easy victory for Gibbons.