Name: Tod Morgan
Birth Name: Albert Morgan Pilkington
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Seattle, Washington, USA
Birthplace: Dungeness, Washington, USA
Age at Death: 50
Height: 5′ 7½″
Division: Super Featherweight
Trainer: Spider Roach
Managers: Fred Morgan, Frank Churchill
Photo: Morgan with his father/manager Fred.
According to the April 7, 1927 Spokane Spokesman-Review, Tod Morgan was born in Dungeness, WA--which is adjacent to Sequim. (Dungeness is now a ghost town.)
Per an August 19, 1923 Seattle Daily Times newspaper article, Morgan's first bout occurred in Concrete, Washington. His second occurred at Anacortes, Washington, and his opponent was Pete Moe. He then headed south to California with his step-father Fred Morgan, who had been born in Oregon. That article also states Morgan's record, at that August 1923 date, to be 68 total bouts so far, losing three, and having never been knocked out. (On December 17, 1925, the Associated Press reported that Morgan, who was in San Francisco at the time, had settled the "hometown question" by proclaiming Seattle, Washington, as his official hometown--saying that he had lived there longer than anywhere else. Tod once had sold newspapers on the streets of Seattle.)
After they arrived in Eureka, California, Fred put his son in boxing merely as a means of getting some strength into his body. According to the April 3, 1929 Seattle Daily Times, Fred began training Tod in the backroom of the Hoffman House in Vallejo, a soft-drink parlor and lunch room (this was during Prohibition). Fred had no intention of his son ever becoming a professional fighter, let alone a world champion. But Tod liked it so much that he began boxing professionally. On April 6, 1927, local newspapers reported that Fred Morgan had been found dead in a motor boat near Port Angeles, Washington. It was believed that a leak in the boat's exhaust pipe resulted in his death while he had slept. Tod took a break from boxing during this period.
On February 15, 1929, in Seattle, Tod Morgan adopted Billie, the four-year-old son of Mrs. Morgan (formerly of Arcata, California).
According to the December 24, 1942Portland Oregonian, Morgan served in the Australian Army, fighting in Africa. He later returned to the United States and worked as a referee and a bellboy in hotels before he became ill in 1953 and died. He was survived by his widow, Grace, and his mother, Ms. Minta Pilkington of Reno, Neveda.
21 April 1925
“Pa” and Tod Morgan To Go Fishing
Kaplan Is Not a Fish, But Vallejo Boy Is Angling .For Him.
By, BOB SHAND.
Jim Stevens, the State Athletic Commission's representative for Solano county and Vallejo's keenest fight fan, will head a big delegation ofVallejo citizens to Oakland tomorrow night to see Tod Morgan tangle with Stewart McLean at the Auditorium. The fans of the navy yard town think more of little Tod than they used to think of Sailor Petroskey, Sailor Grande and other noted battlers who got their start at Flosden arena.
That historic structure was torn down many years ago, but Jack Brereton kept the game going when he started hostilities among the four rounders at the Airdrome. The best boy developed by Brereton was Morgan, and Vallejo claims Tod as her very own.
GOT BIG CHANCE HERE.
After winning a flock of fights from, good boys in the navy yard town, Henry F. Stahl, newspaper proprietor and postmaster, thought the kid was entitled to a bout in the big city and he asked the writer to see how Tommy Simpson felt about It.
"I know you hear of many country 'phenoms,'," wrote Stahl, "and most of them fade away, but this Morgan boy is a real fighter and the Oakland fans will certainly fall for him. See if you can get Simpson to put him on." The proposition was put to the local promoter and Tod got a spot on a four-round card. He was an instantaneous hit. That was more than three years ago and the lad has been winning ever since.
Fighting and fishing are Morgan's favorite sports. After a hard campaign in the ring he heads for the mountains and spends several weeks fooling fish with carefully concealed hooks. In this way he builds himself up and comes back to the ring in prime condition. Tod is managed by his father, Fred Morgan, who is just as keen a fisherman as his son. The pair know every mountain stream in California and Oregon and they never fail to return from their trips with limits of big ones.
WANTS TO MEET KAPLAN.
Morgan's ambition is to meet Kid Kaplan for the featherweight title and if he ever gets a "shot" at the champion Vallejo will go broke if he loses. McLean and Tod met in a four round bout a year ago; Morgan taking the decision. Since that time both have improved a great deal. Over the ten round route the rival managers feel that their boys will do better. Tomorrow night will, tell the tale.
In addition to the main event there will be five four-round bouts on the card this week. Maxie Rosenbloom, a clever middleweight from New York, will tangle with Tiger Payne. The latter licked Vic Morrison in his last start Nobe Cerevantes and Ad Cadena, two newcomers, will make their debut. Other bouts are: Billy Gibbs vs. Kid Williams; Al Crisp vs. Georgie Lee; Georgie Etcell vs. Dave Au.
10 June 1925
Morgan Better Than Last Program Here
Tod Morgan will have more stamina tonight when he meets Joe Gorman in the ten-round main event at the Auditorium than he had the night they gave Stewart McLean a draw with him. Fred Morgan, who handles Tod's financial and fistic affairs, says the lad has picked up a bit of weight since his last appearance here, and that he will be able to stand a hot pace.
According to Morgan snr. Tod was a sick little gent the night he met McLean, having just been released from an hospital. At that, Tod swarmed all over the St. Paul boy In the early rounds, but tired towards the end. Since that time Tod has been in the mountains recuperating, and he is back in championship form again.
Gorman will surprise tonight if he wins over Morgan and takes the Pacific coast championship, but Joe is quite confident. He has boxed a draw with Tod, and thinks he knows enough about his style to at least hold him even. In his gymnasium work the Oakland boy has showed a considerable amount of stuff, and the chances are he will be in there at the finish. However, Morgan is much the better boxer, is faster and a better hitter, and he is naturally favored to win.
Solano and Napa counties will be represented at the ringside tonight. The Vallejo and Napa fans have combined to charter a special boat to take them across the straits after the scrap, and at least 200 customers from Tod's home town will be there to root for him. Tom Stevens, Jimmy O'Hara, Henry Stahl,- Eddie Longdon, Frank Lee and several others have arranged parties.
12 Jan 1926
Morgan Shows Class Against Gym helpers
Junior Lightweight KingSteps Six Fast Rounds For
Athens Club Members
Tod Morgan looks and acts like a champion. Frankie Bray and Sammy Cross Trill say so. They, Frankie and Sammy, essayed to spar with the world's Junior lightweight champion before a goodly number of Athens club members in the gym of the Clay street club yesterday and received nothing but socks for their pains and pains for their socks.
Morgan, who meets Stewart McLean in the main event of Tommy Simpson's boxing show in the Oakland Auditorium tomorrow evening, was making his first appearance in an Oakland gym since he won the synthetic lightweight laurels from Mike Ballerino seveial months ago.
RUINS PUNCHING BAG.
Tod went about his work of displaying his championship wares In a very serious frame of mind. First he knocked the punching off its swivel and on to the of an Athenian who was close enough to see the whites of Tod's eyes but was afraid to shoot , The bag punching had to be abandoned when it was found there was not a piece of rope in the place strong enough to hold the bag under Tod's battering.
After the customary warming up exercises, including rope skipping and shadow boxing, Tod stepped three rounds around Frankie Bray, a welterweight or something. Frankie proved to be a good catcher and Tod demonstrated that he, like his opponent McLean, carries plenty of dust in his right hand. His left has always been recognized as potential punishment.
It is hardly exaggerating the case to say Bray only hit Morgan once in the three rounds That once was a wild overhand swing that caught Morgan on the nose and tickled him almost to the point of sneezing. Morgan parried all of Bray's leads and, on occasion stepped in with his rapier-like left to tattoo the Bray phiz or battered in with his right. Sammy Cross proved to be a little faster than Bray and he didn't catch so many. However, he didn’t land any oftener than his predecessor had.
MORGAN IS CLEVER.
Morgan is going to prove mean entertainment for McLean. It is acknowledged the latter carrier the knockout potion in his right It may now be acknowledged again that Morgan, in addition to a dynamite left has a right hand of no mean proportions. Those two tools coupled with his ability to protect himself at all limes may prove too much for McLean.
Last Thursday night in Portland Morgan cut Sammy Compagno down to size in eight rounds. Sammy's seconds tossed in the towel after the San Francisco boy had been floored several times during the encounter. Now Compagno never was and never will be a contender for anything, but he likes to fight and is hard to knock out. His record is as long as the route across the estuary since the Webster street bridge was knocked out, and it contains very few knockouts. Compagno is merely cited here as an example of the handiwork Morgan is capable of.
DENIES MARRIAGE RUMOR.
Tod emphatically denied the rumor he has married. He further declared he is not contemplating matrimony. "Why should I get married?" he countered in reply to the question. Not knowing the answer nobody told him. Morgan said he weighed 129 ¾ against Compagno last Thursday night and expected to enter the ring tomorrow night weighing about 129 ½ . When he toppled Ballerino he weighed 128.
The Bee, Danville VA
6 Sept 1934
Mickey Walker and Tony Canzoneri, down in the mouth after their recent disastrous experiences, ought to hop a boat for Australia. Perhaps they will after reading this story of Tod Morgan, a worn warrior who was down, but who came up again in the land down under. Morgan fought his last fight in this country at White Center, a Seattle suburb, a little more than a year ago. His cut was $14. Then he went to Vancouver, B. C., to promote, and flopped. Morgan was stone broke for a spell. He lived with Doc Snell, a former feather, in Seattle. He didn't even have carfare down town. The outlook was dismal. Certainly he must be through at 31 and after 14 years of ring toil.
Morgan no doubt was thinking of that when he bumped, into Ben Tracy, an Australian boxer authorized by the Rushcutters Bay stadium, promoters, of Sydney, to recruit talent.
It was last December that Tracy shipped Morgan to the Antipodes, the veteran taking the trip to be assured groceries for the winter.
Morgan the Killer
Morgan drew with Nel Tarleton, the Briton, and ran second to a pair of home guards'. He then won a bout or two, before Joe Ghnouly, young St Louis lightweight, once more made him an. appropriate case for retirement. But Morgan obtained another chance. He finished Jimmy Kelso, an Australian who previously had outgalloped him in eight rounds, and belted, out Tommy John of England in the first frame.
"Pretty well all the accepted principles of fighting, and longevity in pugilism, have been calmly battered into smithereens by Morgan," writes W. F. Corbett, Sydney's widely known cauliflower critic.
Another scribe called his performance against Kelso "one of the greatest exhibitions of forceful and accurate punching since Eugene Criqui beat the Filipino, Dencio Cabanela.
Morgan reversed his usual form and became the "killer," although, I suppose, the blokes over there aren't any too hard to "Kill"
Maybe It's the Climate
Anyway, from the depths of despair, Old Man Morgan, as they refer to him. again hit the golden trail. While the honor may be dubious, he's called the saviour of the game in Australia. He's glorified in public print. Crowds follow him down the street, kids anxious to touch his clothes, and all that sort of thing. Yes sir. there's Tod Morgan, who made a sizeable fortune defending the synthetic Junior lightweight crown oftener than anyone ever did, grabbing another stake after all these years.
Yes sir there's Morgan, who lost his phoney crown by being knocked kicking by Benny Bass at Madison Square Garden five years ago in a bout that was looked upon obliquely, coming up from has-been alley into the brilliance of another nations athletic limelight.
It might be the climate. You’ll recall that Billy Shade became a pretty fair fighter when he invaded Australia, and others have taken new leases on life in that faraway land. And if you find out for certain that the Australian climate returns youth to the aging in any respect, please telegraph me collect.