The Boxing Biographies Newsletter
Volume 7 No 7 – 29th June , 2011
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Name: Mike Donovan
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: 1918-03-24 (Age:70)
Nationality: US American
Height: 5′ 8″ / 173cm
Boxing Record: click
After his active boxing career ended, he became a boxing instructor at the New York Athletic Club.
He taught United States President Teddy Roosevelt and his sons how to box.
- Also said to have been 73-years-old when he died.
- His will indicated that his last name was actually O'Donovan.
- His silver championship belt was bequeathed to his son, Arthur Donovan, who was in the 105th Field Artillery at Spartanburg, North Carolina, at the time.
- His also had a daughter, Katherine, and another son, Henry.
THE ROOSEVELT THAT I KNOW - TEN YEARS OF BOXING WITH THE
PRESIDENT AND OTHER MEMORIES OF FAMOUS FIGHTING MEN
BY MIKE DONOVAN
EX-CHAMPION MIDDLEWEIGHT OF AMERICA AND
BOXING-MASTER OF THE NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB
THE ROOSEVELT THAT I KNOW
ALL the world knows Theodore Roosevelt, the statesman; the man who turned the light on the corporate highwaymen. He has made the "Big Stick" respected. But the "Big Stick" must be guided by law, not so the fist; wherever you see a head hit it is the fighting rule ; a word and a blow, but the blow first the reverse of legal practice.
In the following pages I propose to describe Theodore Roosevelt, the fighter, untrammelled by legal restriction ; the lover of fistic encounter, as I know him; the man of brawn and muscle, with a genuine fighting spirit and the courage of two ordinary men to sustain its promise. I intend further to describe his methods of attack and defence, and to note the analogy between the spirit he exhibits in boxing and that which has urged him on in those political encounters which have made him famous.
A succession of glove-fights with him, covering a period of more than ten years, in which we have met as man to man, where it was give and take, with no restrictions, gives me the right to speak authoritatively, and I wish to say here that, whether or not he was champion of his class in college, about which there has been some discussion in the press, it is admitted that he was an able fighting man then, ready to take his medicine and try again. I can say that he is the same man now a man who asks no favours, cool in a fight, determined, aggressive, consumed with the purpose to overcome resistance, to win; a glutton for punishment, as the ring phrase goes. It is no exaggeration when I say that, in some mix-ups with him, I have been compelled to resort to all the arts and devices that have come to me from years of serious fighting, often to slug right and left to save myself.
I have noted his career in politics, seen him go for the mark there with the same pertinacity that he shows when boxing. Resistance, discomfiture, hard knocks in one domain as in the other serve only to make him keener, to whet his appetite for the fray. Had he come- to the prize-ring, instead of to the political arena, it is my conviction he would have been successful. The man is a born fighter; it's in his blood. There are some who are easily diverted from their purpose, some who go impetuously forward with dash and spirit which will not be denied, but once the attack seems hopeless they hesitate and fly panic-stricken in hopeless disorder. A few only remain; these, with conviction imbedded in their very souls, cannot be stayed, even though they themselves would will it. They go tumultuously forward, even to the death.