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Number 14

 

 

The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 2- No 14      24th  June ,  2008

 

robert.snell1@ntlworld.com

The Continuing story of Battling Nelson

 

 A few days later I happened into Billings, Montana, one of the greatest little sporting towns in the west. Tony Minder, proprietor of the Topic theater, engaged me to box my old rival, Charley Berry, from Hoodoville Milwaukee three nights at $200 per night, in four-round exhibition bouts. A few days later I visited Minot, North Dakota. At that time there was an installation of the Elks Lodge there, and they being a sporty lot, and being aroused over my appearance there, suggested a boxing match. Clarence H. Parker, a personal friend of mine as well as a prominent member of the Elks, was on the arrangement committee and approached me as to boxing an exhibition for the entertainment of the Elks, with Mark Nelson, to which I readily consented. We boxed four spirited round on October 26th, for which I received $250 and expenses.

After the exhibition, I was invited as a guest of Clarence Parker to attend a deer hunt to be held at Charles Hewets' camp at Stroud on the Missouri river, about fifteen miles from Williston, N. D. I spent a pleasant week with Parker and friends and we bagged eighteen deer and coyote. Of the lot I bagged two nice bucks and a coyote.

So ends my career of 1907.

I arrived in the lucky Mormon state at Ogden, Utah, where I fought Jack Clifford on January I3th, I succeeded in knocking him out cleanly in the fifth round. Being idle practically for a year's time, my fighting blood was up and I went in at the start determined to go right after the championship. Clifford never was a world beater, although he proved a stumbling block for many, and many a near champion. He had knocked out several opponents, breaking two of their jaws and was dubbed "Jack the Jaw-breaker."

We fought before the Twin City Athletic Club, which was under the management of William Guiney, the fight taking place in the Grand Opera House. I knocked him out with a right uppercut to the jaw. When he went down he lay limp as a rag for several seconds, after Referee Abe Pollack had tolled off the fatal ten seconds. The last round is given here in detail as sent over the Associated Press wire:

"Round 5 Nelson rushed across the ring to Clifford's corner where Jack swung a hard right landing on Nelson's ear. Nelson waiting to land a knockout steadied himself, pushed Clifford back with a straight left. Clifford's nose bleeding. He clinched and held on. Nelson braced himself, shot a right uppercut which landed on Clifford's jaw which dropped him to the floor.

Bat landed with such force the blow could be heard in the gallery.The fight critics at the ringside stated that Nelson showed faster and to better advantage than in any of his recent battles.

BAT GOES TO LOS ANGELES TO MEET THE JOKE UNHOLZ.

After knocking out Jack Clifford I boarded the Los Angeles Limited due for Los Angeles, where I was billed to meet one Rudolph (Boer?) UNHOLZ. We met on February 4th before Tom McCarey's club in a ten round bout, which in my opinion resembled a hundred yard sprint, more than a regular boxing bout. For ten rounds Rudolph was content with racing from one side of the ring to the other with me in hot pursuit. Of all the fighters I have ever met Unholz is without a doubt the biggest joke of them all. On one occasion when the

Joke Unholz turned his back and ran across the ring I playfully kicked him with the side of my shoe. It was a laugh.Owing to the boxing laws there, we were compelled to fight ten rounds to a no decision verdict. This deprived me of a well earned victory.Within a month after the time I had met the joke of the prize ring Unholz in a ten session sprint I again met my old rival Jimmy Britt for the fourth and last time.I was determined to fight each and every month, and meet all the minor lights and force the public to make Gans tie up with me. I met Britt on March 3d at McCarey's club.

I held the upper hand during the contest and in the sixth round floored Britt, and the bell was the sweetest kind of music in his ears. From the sixth round on to the finish it was a case of Britt stall and run away as best he could and as he is the champion staller of the world he managed to last the ten sessions. Of course, Referee Charlie Eyton was not allowed to give a decision under the rules.

At the ringside were quite a few out-of-town sport writers, and each and every one, including the Los Angeles critics, was of an unanimous opinion except W. W. Naughton of San Francisco, Cal., who was sent there for his paper the San Francisco Examiner. This is where H. M. Walker, sporting editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, won my admiration by writing the fight just as he saw it "Nelson Wins From Here to Hegewisch and Back." His story appeared on the same pages that appeared W. W. Naughton's story "Britt Wins Easy."