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robert.snell1@ntlworld.com

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The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 6 – No 5   18th August ,  2010

 

IN THE DAYS OF REAL FIGHTING

BEGINNING today, the Journal-Gazette with the  New York World will

print a series of ring stories, written by Robert Edgren,  under the title

of "IN THE DAYS OF REAL FIGHTING."

This series will deal with famous ring contests, some of which will stir up memories of the old sport and be of interest to the fight followers of the present day.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

26 September 1915

This is the story of two of the greatest fighting men of fifteen years ago, matched to fight twenty rounds tor a purse that amounted to about 3 per cent, of the money paid  Mike Gibbons and Packey McFarland for their skilful ten round exhibition. It is a story of a fight that was a fight — a fight in which each of the principals, without the slightest timidity over loss oŁ reputation or prestige, went in to win with a knockout.

Incidentally, it is the story of the quickest knockout ever known in the ring.Fifteen years ago, in New York city and in other parts of the country where ring sport was popular, fighting men were always ready to fight and to risk everything in the hope of winning. Fighting was more of a sport than a business then.

Long bouts were the rule and in every bout there was a decision. Many referees were opposed to calling any bout a draw, preferring to give an outright decision when either man had the slightest advantage. The result was that fighters gave the best they had. There was little stalling. And in spite of the general idea to-day that skilful boxing doesn't go with hard fighting, there were twenty clever and skillful boxers for every one developed under our spiritless no-decision system.

Both Men Had Great Ring Record

The men were Matty Matthews, destined a few months later to become welterweight champion of the world by knocking out the great Mysterious Billy Smith, and Kid McPartland, one of the greatest lightweights of his day. In the year 1900,  when the match was made. Matty Matthews had been fighting five years, and had defeated many of the best men in the country.He was a tall rangy fellow, formally a truckman, powerful, game and possessing a wicked punch. Among the famous ones he had beaten were Stanton Abbott, George Kerwin. Mike Leonard, Austin Gibbons, Tom Broderick, Owen Ziegler, Otto Sieloff, Eddie Connolly. Bobby Dobbs and Kid Carter. Incidentally he had fought Kid McPartland a twenty-round draw in 1898, and a six-round draw in 1899.

McPartland began fighting a year before Matthews, and developed almost at once into a remarkably skilful boxer. His skill never interfered with his knockout punch, which he put over often. Among his victims by knockout or decision, were Bob Farrell. Jack Burge, George McFadden, Jimmy Potts, Stanton Abbott Jimmy Handler. Tommy Butler, Tommy Ryan, Spike Sullivan, Otto Sieloff, Tommy McCune, Tom Tracey, Owen Ziegler and Jack Daly.A list of men famous fifteen years ago.

He also fought the then invincible Kid Lavigne, losing the decision in twenty five rounds, and fought Joe Wallcott to an eight-round draw. McPartland had one of the most remarkable records ever made in the ring, no decisive defeat being marked against him until after five years, during which he met scores of the best men in his class.