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Welcome to 12th Edition of the Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Saturday, 6th October 2007

The Warren Tribune

27 July 1928

Tunney Easily Retains His Crown

Pummels Heeney To Win By Technical Knockout In 11th

Round Of Championship Bout

Gene Tunney is secure in his niche today among the great fighters of history. A rebuilt Tunney, a Tunney with a punch,sledged his way to victory last night over Tom Heeney, as stout hearted a boxer as ever waged a hopeless fight. Referee Eddie Forbes stopped the bout after two minutes and 52 seconds of the eleventh round. Heeney was limp against the ropes and Tunney was measuring him up for a knockout. It would have been the first time in his career that the count of ten had been tolled over the challenger.

Heeney said he would carry the fight to Tunney and he did. Always he was lunging forward, flailing with his pudgy arms and taking two blows to land one. Heeney had only one punch, a lopping right to the head. Invariably he telegraphed it five seconds before it came across, by jockeying his legs into position and dropping his shoulder. When the punch finally arrived Tunney was not there.

The champion apparently tossed the first round away deliberately to sound cut his man. He was the Tunney of Philadelphia and Chicago, a faultless boxer who drove in a blow at long range and retreated before his opponent could recover.

Tunney Shows Punch

The change came in the third round. They were in a clinch when Tunney rested his head on Heeney's shoulder for a second and smiled wistfully as his eyes roamed across the vacant seats. When the bell rang for the fourth round Tunney had become a puncher.

Heeney came charging out of his corner, his granite jaw stuck out to invite a right cross. Tunney aimed for the jaw and swung, Heeney ducked and the blow caught him on the nose. Blood trickled out, and for the first time the challenger stood still instead of lunging forward. Then in he came and his slow right slipped harmlessly off Tunney's shoulder.

From then on Tunney never ran away. He stood still as Heeney came at him, mixing his rights to the head with murderous ]abs to the body All through the fourth and fifth rounds the champion vas driving his right into Heeney's heart.

Eye Closed In Eighth

By the eighth round Heeney's left eye was closed and his face was smeared with blood. But he kept coming in, a gory Cyclops  looking for the two-eyed man who was pecking away at his eye and his heart.

The climax came in the tenth round. They met in the center of the ring where Tunney found the wobbling Heeney an easy mark for a lightning one-two punch that drove the challenger to the ropes. Tom slumped down into a half crouch, his, his arms crossed over his chest. His chin sagged. Then the scholar got the better of the fighter. For three seconds he stood there with his arms at his side, gazing at Heeney with a perplexed look on his face. A Dempsey would have been swarming over his man and driving in blows. But to Tunney the polishing off of Heeney was an unpleasant job. Someone at the ringside shouted.

"Get in there, Gene."

Tunney came to life, spun Heeney into an upright position with a left to the chest and stepped in with his right fist ready. Cooly, almost mathematically, he marked his target and sent the blow across like a rocket. That punch travelled three feet, but it knocked Heeney three yards. The challenger bounced on the canvas and rolled over once to land sprawled out on his back His eyes were glassy and he was gulping for breath Tunney stepped toward a neutral corner only to be stopped by the bell.

As Heeney came out of his corner for the next round, he automatically started that ceaseless lunging forward He had only a vague idea where Tunney was, and his sole thought was to keep plodding ahead until he found him. Heeney does not carry a reverse gear.

Referee Stops Bout

His first knowledge of where Tunney was came when he felt a familiar jolt at his heart, followed instantly by a sledge-hammer blow against his jaw. Heeney probably will never know how he managed to last out the last round. His arms were loose at his side and he was taking it on the chin, head and body when the referee stopped the bout. The only trouble with Heeney last night was that he was outclassed. He met a faster, harder-hitting and craftier man, and the only thing he had to offer in return was his great, stout heart and a will to win. Tunney was never in danger.

Round One

Heeney came over to the champions corner to take a hard right on the chin Heeney landed a stiff right. The challenger rushed Tunney into a corner and landed two blows to the body. Tunney opened up with both fists to the head, but Heeney kept boring in. Tunney locked Heeney's arms in a clinch. The champion shot over a right to the jaw. Heeney landed a right and they clinched. Standing toe to toe the men traded blows to the head on even terms. Tunney landed a left to the body and a right to the jaw. The challenger hooked left to jaw, Tunney landed left to body but took four punches to the head in return. The champion shot a straight to the jaw, jarring Heeney Tunney met Heeney coming in with straight left. Heeney landed both fists to the head, making the champion dance away They were sparring in  mid-ring at the bell. Round even.

Round Two

The champion came out slowly and led with a light left. They exchanged rights and clinched. With his back to the ropes Tunney sent Heeney back on his heels with lefts and rights to the head. Heeney kept moving forward but was taking a lot of punches to the head. They clinched. Tunney landed a stiff light to the jaw. They exchanged punches to the head. As Heeney moved in Tunney shot over a left to the head. A right to the mouth opened a slight cut on the challengers upper lip. Tunney brought up a terrific left uppercut but did not stop the game challenger who returned blow for blow. Tunneys round.

Round Three

Tunney landed a left and right to the jaw and they clinched. Heeney landed a light left. Tunney put a hard right to the jaw. In a clinch Tunney shot his left like a trip-hammer to the body. Heeney jarred Tunney with a right to the face and the champion backed away Tunney landed light left to face. Tunney began to rely on his left jab. He backed away from Heeney almost to the ropes. Heeney landed still left uppercut. Heeney almost floored Tunney with a left to jaw. Ripping both fists to head Tunney had to dance away. Heeney again rocked Tunney with a right to jaw Tunney started the blood flowing from Heeney's nose with left jabs Heeney put terrific left to body They were punching each other about the head at the bell and Gene said something as he went to his corner Heeney's round.

Round Four

They came out cautiously and Tunney backed away when Tom feinted with his right. Heneey landed a right and left to the face and took a left to the body in return. Tunney put left to the face and opened a small cut under the challenger's chin. Tunney shook Heeney with a left hook. Heeney drove a one-two punch to Gene's head. Tunney landed hard right to jaw and made the challenger clinch. Tunney put left to body and they clinched. Heeney landed two left lefts to the head. Gene scored with hard right to body. Tunney landed hard left to body. Heeney rushed the champion and made Gene back away. Challenger was bleeding from nose and a cut under the chin but was fighting viciously. Heeney drove the champion to the ropes with a flurry of body punches and was outfighting Gene at the bell. Heeney’s face was covered in blood as he went to his corner. Tunney’s round.

Round Five

Blood streamed from the challenger's nose as they came out. Tunney landed two light lefts to the head. Always moving forward, Heeney landed half a dozen punches to the head and body. Gene shot hard light to the stomach. The champion missed a right to the head and they clinched, Tunney put left to the face. Heeney missed with both hands. Gene landed

left to body. They clinched and came out of it very slowly. Tunney staggeded Tom with hard right to body. Heeney put left to body, Heeney landed long left to ear as Gene danced away. Tunney missed with both hands as the challenger landed a right to the chin. Tunney half-fioored Heeney with left and right to body but Tom was up without a count. The challenger appeared to be in a bad way but continued to fight viciously. Heeney landed a right at the bell. Tunney's round.

Round Six

Heeney grazed the champion's body with a right. The champion landed a right under the heart. Heeney put a right to head. They exchanged blows to the head and clinched Heeney landed hard left to body and the champion backed off. Gene landed left and rights to the body. Heeney backed the champion to the ropes and took a left to body and right to head for his efforts. Gene was jabbing away at the head with both fists and cutting the challenger up badly. They clinched, Heeney landed a right to body and they fell into clinch. The challenger appeared to be a bit groggy as he missed a left to the chin. Gene shook Tom with hard left to jaw. The champion was fighting a superb battle and wearing the challenger down. They were in a light scrimmage in Henney's corner at the bell. Tunney's round.

                                                                                          Nevada State Journal

18 December 1952

New Champion Batters Loser

Over Full 15 Round Route


ST. LOUIS, Mo, Dec. 17.

Archie Moore, 36-year-old  of San Diego, Calif, gave Joey Maxim a thorough battering tonight and wrested the world light heavyweight championship from him on a unanimous 15-round decision before 12,610 in the arena here.- Moore, who had been the scourge of the 175-pound division for nearly a decade without getting a title shot, made the most of his opportunity tonight in a fight that set a new Missouri gate record of $89,487.

 Moore, wearing a wee mustachio and a small goatee, bulled Cleveland Joey to the ropes in nearly every round and there gave Joey a terrific battering again and again. Archie drove him to the ropes three or four times in every round.

Absorbs Blows

Maxim  was streaming Mood from gashes on both cheeks and from a cut at the corner of his left eye when the fight was finished. Although 30-year-old Maxim suffered a bad beating, he amazed the crowd by his ability to absorb staggering blows to body and head and then try to fight back.

At 36, Moore was the second oldest man to win the title in the 49 year history of the light-heavy division. Bob Fitzsimmons won it at 41 on November 25, 1903, when he took a 20 round decision over George Gardner  at San Francisco. Only the year before Bob had lost the heavyweight title to Jim Jefferies

Challenger Explosive

Referee Harry Kessler scored tonight's bout surprisingly close after taking the fourth round away from Moore  on a foul for two low blows. Kessler gave Moore 76 points and Maxim, 72. However, the judges saw it more lop-sidedly. Howard Hess registered 82 for Moore and 58 for Maxim. Fred Cornell favored Archie 87 points to 63. On a round-by-round basis, the United Press favored Moore, 12-2-1.

' Maxim, making his third defense of the crown he won from England's Freddie Mills on January 24, 1950, made his best showings in the third and sixth sessions. However, in most of the other rounds, the action showed a champion going down to defeat because he had a poor right hand whereas his challenger was explosive with both fists. A crocked elbow, resulting from an old break, prevents Maxim from throwing good, straight rights

Maxim, an upright boxer but a weak hitter, tried to keep the bobbing and weaving challenger Moore at a distance with left jabs. But Moore marched in and "rode Joey like a horse."

He forced the Cleveland Italian about the ring, always aiming for the ropes, where he could bend Joey back and rock him with lefts and rights to the head. During the forcing process, Moore battered Maxim's body until it was almost as red as his blood stained white trunks.

Moore, favored at 8-5, has a return-bout contract for a defense against Maxim in 60 days. But whether the thoroughly beaten Maxim would demand the return was a question. His wounds certainly will not permit a return in 60 days.

If Maxim does not demand the return, Moore may defend against Randy Turpin of England, former middleweight king. That defense would be at the end of six-months, permitting Dusky Moore to pick up some money in Argentina fighting non-title bouts.

Although the bout was one-sided, the closing sessions. The fans appeared to enjoy it and to be delighted with the victory of Moore, who was born in Toledo, O., but who launched his professional career in St. Louis 16 years ago.

The gate of $89,486 broke the former Missouri record of $56,907 attracted at St. Louis on January 16,1950, by the Willie Pep-Charley Riley featherweight fight. Promoter Emory Jones, the St. Louis representative of the International Boxing Club, was delighted with the receipts of. the seventh title fight In St. Louis history.

Moore, who was evaded by previous champions Gus Lesnevich and Freddie Mills,, and who didn't get the shot at Maxim until the New  York commission forced the fight,  Will  be stepping into the footprints of some great light-heavy champions in the past. They include Fitzsimmons, Jack Dillon, Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, Battling Siki, Paul Berlenbach and Tommy Loughran.

In the dressing room, Maxim said he hadn't fought since his last defense against Sugar Ray Robinson on June 25, and that the nearly six months' lay-off was too long. "I needed this fight under my belt tonight," he said. "I'll be in much better condition for my return with Moore. Sure I want it.' Moore said, "I made up in 15 rounds what I had missed in 16 years."

Maxim suffered a beating tonight, but he was well rewarded with a guarantee of $100,000. Moore will receive 10 per cent of the net" proceeds which will include $50,000 from television and radio. Moore was favored at 8-5 after many fluctuations in the wagering during the past 24 hours.

Superstitious boxers

It is often said that pugilists, like gamblers and sailors, are superstitious. The coloured boxers are particularly so for some of them have been known to back out of a contest at the last moment because they ran up against a bad omen. Big Jack Johnson who is matched to fight Tommy Burns never enters the ring before hiding a rabbit’s foot in the colours he wears around his waist.

Joe Gans always put a lucky pocket silver piece, which he won in his first mill, in his belt just as he climbed into the ring. Joe Walcott once a giant killer never failed to have a miniature horseshoe tucked away in his breech coat.

John L Sullivan in all his battles wore a pair of green trunks, in the belt of which was a talisman which his mother gave him when he first entered the professional arena. Game Jack Dempsey, the Nonpareil would not agree to tackle the easiest kind of a match unless he had on his famous black tights in which he had won some sixty battles. But the tights lost their charm the night that Fitzsimmons knocked Dempsey out and also broke his heart.

Charley Mitchell the former, the former English champion, had a mortal fear of meeting a cross eyed woman on the day or night of a fistic encounter in which he engaged. (The image comes to mind of friends of his opponent searching the streets and propositioning any cross eyed woman the came across to come and have real up close and personal encounter with poor old  Eye Eye what’s up Charley ).

He always insisted that such a woman meant sure defeat. The night he was to meet Sullivan for the second time in Madison Square Garden Mitchell met a cross eyed red haired woman in Fifth Avenue and almost collapsed. He dashed back around the corner crossing his fingers several times. Sullivan as it turned out was in no condition to go to the Garden and there was no fight.

“It was that infernal cross eyed woman that queered the whole show” exclaimed Mitchell as he left the Garden. In disgust, for he believed that he had John L out of shape and was ready to beat the big fellow down and out.

When Jack McAuliffe was lightweight champion he always wore a pair of dark blue trunks. One night they were partially burned in a small fire at McAuliffes home and he was heartbroken. At last he decided to have what was left of the trunks made into a new pair which he wore in his memorable battles with Jem Carney, Young Griffo and Billy Myer the Streator Cyclone.

Bob Fitzsimmons is a believer in dreams. Long before he won the championship from Corbett at Carson City he predicted the victory. He said he had a dream in which he won decisively ..Fitz has since declared that he never won a fight without first having a lucky dream. Fitz also had what he said was a lucky charm that protected him from injury. It was the tip of a kangaroos ear and the Cornishman wore it beneath his belt in all his ring battles.

There are a great many pugilists who refuse to sign articles or agreements to fight on a Friday, “ Hangman’s Day” they call it. Among them are Tommy Burns, Jimmy Britt, Abe Attell, Billy Mellody, Dick Hyland, Kid Goodman, Sailor Burke, Packey McFarland, Owen Moran, Bill Papke, Hugo Kelly and Battling Nelson.

Some fighters are superstitious in regard to “Jonah” seconds. They dodge the handlers who have been behind losers. Some seconds seem to have a streak of bad luck and as a result they find it a difficult matter to get a job behind a good man. In some cases inexperienced seconds are preferred to “Jonah’s” John L Sullivan seldom acted as an adviser that his man did not lose. He was behind Dempsey when Fitz beat him; behind Mike Cleary when Mitchell bested him; with Joe Lannon when he was defeated by George Godfrey; with the late Spider Weir when he was knocked out by Australian Billy Murphy; and behind Peter Maher when Fitz put him away the first time in New Orleans. Sullivan like many fighters is a poor picker of winners.

Tommy Burns liked nothing better than to find a horseshoe when training for a battle. The horseshoe has made a hit with other pugs who usually nail one over .

Meeting a funeral is always regarded a Meeting a funeral is always regarded as a direful thing by pugilists.  Sullivan met a funeral the day he was beaten by Corbett at New Orleans and he said then and there that he would meet his Waterloo. Other boxers are superstitious about lucky and unlucky corners in the ring. Some of them always try to enter the ring first so that  they can secure what they believe is the “lucky chair”. It was often been the case that in a dispute over the favourite corner the matter has been settled by the turn of a coin 







IN one respect the most remarkable fight in the whole history of the Prize-Ring was an unimportant affair, so far as title or money goes, between Jack Lane, commonly known as “Hammer," and Yankee Sullivan, an East-End Londoner born of Irish parents who had emigrated to America. Lane in training weighed 10 stone 10 Ib. He was twenty-six years of age, and hitherto his most considerable battles had been with Owen Swift, whom he beat; and a black man who had taken the celebrated name of Molyneux, and who had beaten him. Sullivan was quite unknown in England. He fought at 11 stone 6 Ib., and had stipulated that Lane should not exceed 11 stone. The match was for 50 a side, and took place at Crookham Common, on February 2nd, 1841.

Both the men were in perfect condition. Lane was confident and smiling, Sullivan fiercely serious, as befitted a stranger with his career before him. Very little time was wasted in maneuvering. They came to the scratch, and Sullivan led immediately with his left. Lane guarded the blow and sent in left and right in quick succession, both being stopped. They were boxing well and cleanly, and there was not a penny to choose between them. The ground had been covered with snow which had been perfunctorily swept from the ring itself, but a thaw had set in and the grass was very wet. The first round ended by Lane slipping down.

In the next round Sullivan was in less of a hurry to begin, and waited to see what his opponent would do, and, when Lane hit, stopped him. They met in a rally and exchanged blows equally and Lane slipped down again.

The third round began with a couple of hard lefts from either side, one on Lane's mouth and the other catching Sullivan under the eye. They fought for a minute or so, but Sullivan's blows were very poor, for he hit with his open hand. Then Lane dashed in and threw his arms round his antagonist and fell, his right arm striking the ground under Sullivan's head. He at once felt a considerable shock. Something had happened, but he didn't dare say even to himself, let alone his seconds, what it was. He went casually to his corner. Both men were now considerably marked. Lane hit out with his left with less confidence than in the last round, and Sullivan stopped the blow, countering quickly on the mouth. In a rally it was noticed that Lane was guarding as well as hitting with his left, and he did it with remarkable precision. Sullivan aimed a tremendous upper-cut, and Lane jumped back from it, slipping down again as he did so, but rising again at once and going to his corner laughing.

The fifth round was short and equal. At the end Lane closed and threw his man. He came up laughing for the sixth and hit out vigorously. It was going to be all right, he said to himself. No one had seen anything odd yet, and he felt that he was Sullivan's master. He feinted with his left and sent in a very light right on his man's nose and then quickly sent out the left again. Then Sullivan set his teeth and forced Lane to a corner, and a hard rally began in which Lane hit with both hands. He tried a harder right this time and Sullivan stopped the blow with the point of his elbow. Then at last Lane winced and gave ground. The pain had not been so bad hitherto, but the impact of his antagonist's sharp elbow on his forearm was agonizing. But he was not going to show that he was hurt before he must. He went in again and plugged away at the body with the left. But his right hand dropped to his side, and it was at last plain to the spectators that he had hurt it. But he went to the attack again and again with his left, until Sullivan grabbed hold of it, and closing, threw Lane and fell on him.

What had happened was a rare accident and would have caused nine out of ten men to give in at once and without disgrace. At the end of the third round, as said, Lane threw Sullivan and they came down together with great force, their combined weight falling on Lane's arm, which was beneath his opponent's head. That fractured the radius, or outer bone of the forearm. At first Lane felt a severe shock, and guessed what had happened, but the pain was not severe until in the sixth round he hit with his right. But when, hitting hard, the blow was stopped by Sullivan's elbow, the pain was exquisite, and his forearm, already swollen, became too painful to hold up. The spectators, and no doubt Sullivan as well, did not know how serious the accident was, but it was patent that Lane had suffered some injury, and Sullivan's friends cheered him on to take advantage of it. Now Lane reckoned to himself that he knew more boxing and could hit harder than his opponent, and that if he could only do it quick enough he could thrash him with one hand. So he went in and smashed Sullivan's face with his left, drawing blood. Blow after blow he sent home much too swiftly for Sullivan to stop, and his cheek and eyebrow were dreadfully cut. Again the American's supporters yelled to him to fight.

"He's only got one arm. Goin go in!"

they shouted. And he accordingly went after Lane, who could only retreat, hitting as he went. Sullivan tried to close, and then Lane slipped down. His backers, seeing, as they imagined, nothing else for it, gathered in Lane's corner and declared that he must give in. Lane laughed the suggestion to scorn. He could beat Sullivan with one hand, he retorted, and utterly refused to throw up the sponge. At the call of time he was laughing again and went straight for his man. This time Sullivan was quicker to guard, and it was some little time before Lane succeeded in landing a blow. The American, to his undying shame, aimed a furious blow at the broken arm. Fortunately he missed, and Lane countered heavily on the body. Then, without moving his feet, he lifted his left twice to the face and hit with all his strength. Sullivan was nearly dazed, and, becoming flustered, missed his own blows, and Lane went down again.

It should be said here that though there was plenty of excuse for his course of action, Lane did continually, after his accident, hit and go down to avoid punishment. The referee, who was Ned Painter, the pugilist, should have been much stricter. A rule is a rule, however much sympathy the breaker of it receives and deserves.

The ninth and tenth rounds found Lane hitting furiously and Sullivan almost maddened with pain. His supporters claimed a foul at the end of the latter round on account of Lane's going down to avoid a blow, but it was not then, or subsequently, allowed.

And so the fight went on, Lane hitting and hitting again with tremendous power, Sullivan getting much the worst of it, each round ending by Lane's slipping down directly he saw danger. The sympathy of the onlookers was naturally with the injured man, than whom a gamer never went into the ring. In the fourteenth round Sullivan was getting wild, and Lane's heart was high with hope. He drew away, and the American came floundering at him, only to add his own weight to a dreadful straight blow on the eye which knocked him down.

In the sixteenth round Sullivan was almost blind of one eye, but Lane's hitting was now less accurate. The tremendous exertion of hitting with one hand, to say nothing of the pain in his useless right arm and the effort to protect it from further injury, was now telling on him. He missed one blow, and Sullivan, who had been given some oakum on his hands in order that they should remain shut, sent in a terrible right which knocked Lane down. In the next round Lane was hitting again, but got the worst of it. But his courage never faltered, and he came up with all the ardour of a well-trained and unhurt man beginning a battle. Again Sullivan landed heavily and knocked him down. Lane was now bleeding severely from a cut on his eyebrow. And then quite suddenly he weakened. He was looking white and worn out when he came up for the nineteenth round. He hit with a certain amount of vigour still, but could not stop the counter, and Sullivan, hitting him once more on the cut on his brow, knocked him down again. At that, since, though much damaged, Sullivan was evidently strong still and quite steady on his legs, Lane's backers gave in on his behalf. This amazing fight had lasted for thirty-four minutes.

As with Jem Belcher, after his second fight with Tom Cribb, Hammer Lane's chief concern was for his friends and backers who had put their faith in him. After this he did not fight again until 1850, when he had grown stiff and slow, and though Tom Davis, his opponent on that occasion, took over an hour to beat him, he did so decisively.