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Number 17

The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 1- No 17                            26th  November 2007

 

The Titusville Herald 17 July 1928

TOM LOUGHRAN RETAINS CROWN IN CLOSE BOUT

Wins Decision Over Pete Latzo  by Margin of One Round.

CHALLENGER STAGES  RALLY AT FINISH

Miner Rushes Champ Through

Battle, But Winner Is Too

Clever For Him.

 

By EDWARD J. NEIL

Associated Press Sports Writer

WILKES-BARRE, July 16.—While rain hovered in the sky and seats and the ring alike sogged under an early downfall, pudgy Pete Latzo. pride of this anthracite mining center, battled with all the viciousness and pride of a kid fighting in his own back yard but in vain—tonight for Tommy Loughran's  light heavyweight championship.

Game as his stand was, furious as his gallant attack, the brown skinned youth was forced to bow for the second time this season to the mastery of the Philadelphian.

By the narrowest of margins was one of the most vicious skirmishes of the. outdoor season decided in Loughran's favor after ten rounds of the kind of milling that had even the spectators, bitter partisans in this all- Pennsylvania struggle, fighting among themselves. The Associated Press score card gave Loughran five rounds with four for the challenger and one even.

"Battled Champ Two Months Ago

A little over two months ago, Latzo. once the welterweight champion, but now grown to a full-fledged light heavyweight, battled Loughran on almost as even terms in a 15-round go in Brooklyn. .And tonight, as then, the  gameness and plunging, two-fisted attack of the challenger carne within an ace of stripping Loughran of his crown.

Remembering that fight and hoping for the best, the miners who trooped to Scranton two years ago to see Peter, then a lithe 147-pounder, batter Mickey Walker's welterweight crown into the shape of his own head, flocked out tonight to honor the former breaker boy and cheer him to victory. But with honor in  his  grasp and Loughran fading before him in the third and fourth rounds, Pete found that he had wasted too much strength in his rushing assault.

Loughran Takes Fresh Hold

Then it was that Loughran took a fresh hold, and stabbed out the decision over his closest rival in the 175- pound division. Rallying in the middle rounds, Tommy boxed his way to enough of  an advantage to hold Pete off again when he stormed the championship citadel with a final desperate rally in the last two rounds.

Boxing as cleverly as he ever has, Loughran had. Latzo  totally at sea in the first round. Again in the second, the champion, boxing like a well-oiled machine, poured a flood of gloves into Pete's face that had the miner constantly gnawing the leather of his left hand.

But the one trait that seems to rise in every fight--to threaten Loughran's perfect boxing technique—inability to defend himself properly on the ropes caught Tommy in the fourth. Pete. game and rushing every second, stormed the champion to the ropes and in a-moment the .entire complexion of the battle was changed. Ripping rights and lefts to the head staggered Tommy as Latzo pinned him to the hempen barriers and poured a storm of leather into the champion's head and body. .Loughran came away with a streak of blood crossing his right eyebrow. Within another round Latzo’s vicious attack had opened a broad cut there and blood streamed into the champions eyes and down his face.

Here the strength Latzo had been  saving for just a moment failed him. He allowed the titleholder to steal the show with stabbing lefts as Tommy danced backward around the ring, eyes foggy, brain a bit numb, but instinct, still controlling his fists. Before Latzo could gain control again the opportunity was lost and Pete's second chance of winning his second crown went aglimmering. '

It mattered little that Latzo, after letting the next three rounds drift to Tommy with the eighth even, rallied in the final two sessions, whaled into Loughran with new vigor and again cut his eye and cheek. The effort was too long delayed. The champion had retained his title by the margin of a single round and the coal