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Kid Williams


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Kid" Williams



If "Kid" Williams hadn't been a, little " snitcher " it's a pretty safe bet that the Baltimore boy would not occupy the formidable position of moat promising candidate for a pugilistic title in the game today. Also it is equally certain Bantamweight Champion Johnny Coulon would be enjoying more restful nights than have been his lot in the last few months.


Williams confesses to being a " snitcher " with considerable show of pride, for he declares that it was " snitching " that made him a professional fighter. He never took a fling at the amateur end of the sport He vented his snitching proclivities on the man who is his manager, and by so doing got his start in the game, although at that time there was promise of nothing more than a good licking for him.


Williams tells the story of his start in this way:


" I was a newsboy in Baltimore when I ran into Sammy Harris, who had a boxing club known as the American Athletic club. Harris also was matchmaker for the Eureka club, operated by Al Herford, but I did not have any idea who he was. I saw him coming along Baltimore street and I grabbed him as he went by a corner, for the news kids weren't overlooking any chances to make a sale. Harris produced a half dollar, which was the smallest he had, and I gave him a

paper and no change. He made an awful holler for the change, but I ' snitched ' It and did the little disappearing act around the corner.


" It was a tough game battling the other kids to the sales, and I figured that I could make big business out of snitching, and so I went in for It. Harris never got over being short changed, and he laid a trap to gain revenge. He decided to kid me along and make me believe I could fight, and so he came along the street past my stand every day for a while, ' fixing ' a trimming for me.

" Finally one day he came to me and asked me if I didn't want to try my hand in a preliminary show he was staging at the American A. A. Of course, I grabbed the bait and said, ' Sure.' So I went along with Harris, for the bout was to take place the next night.


The first thing Harris did was to take me to a restaurant and feed me pie and coffee. He kept up this swell diet, which is fine stuff with reverse English for a fighter, until the next day, and then, when he thought I was primed for an awful licking and revenge for the ' snitching ' stunt he sent me into the ring against ' Chappy ' Farran, who was one of the best boys in Baltimore. Farran gave me a fierce beating for three rounds, adorning my features with cauliflower ears and

other things, but I finally knocked him out in the fourth round. It was the toughest light

I have ever had, and I don't want any more like it.


" It was that bout that made me a fighter, for Harris saw that I could fight and he took me under his managerial wing and started to teach me some of the finer points of the game, for at that time I knew nothing but slugging with both hands,"


Williams, whose right name is John Gutenko is a Dane, having been born in Copenhagen on Dec. B, 1893. He was 6 years old when he was brought to this country by his parents, with three brothers and four sisters. They immediately settled in Baltimore. He went to the grade school for a few years, and while in school he showed his liking for the fighting game by licking the other kids. His school battles didn't compare with those which followed when he became a newsboy.


When Williams was 16 years old he went to work in the stereotyping department of one of the newspapers at night, while in the daytime he sold newspapers on the street. He kept up the fighting stuff with the other newsies until Harris picked him up. When Harris "discovered" him he secured "Young" Brltt, also a Baltimore boxer, to help instruct Williams. Britt did a lot to make a clever boxer out of a right swinger, for today Williams best hand is his left. Rugged of build and powerful for his size, the Baltimore " kid " is the picture of the ideal fighter. He has the fighting face, made more prominent by a square jaw, denoting determination.


He was once possessed of the idea, that he would take up stereotyping as a profession, but since entering pugilism he has come to the conclusion that he has greater talent for fighting than for stereotyping. He does not claim to know everything in the world about fighting, in fact he is modest and prefers to allow his talkative little manager to act as his mouthpiece. One of the important things his manager always likes to dwell on as evidencing the great advancement of Williams is that he now eats with a knife and fork and holds his teacup between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. The manager adds that when he first met the " kid " he certainly could handle a piece of pie with the naked hands in marvelous fashion.


There is one bantamweight in the world who stands between Williams and the world's championship, and that Is Johnny Coulon of Chicago, but while he is waiting for the chance at the title the Baltimore "kid " is raking in all the shekels possible. The Gutenko home In Baltimore is one evidence of the kid's ring prowess, which shows that he has been prosperous. " Kid " Williams bought the home for his folks, for he is one of the kind who is good to them. He keeps close to the fireside with father, mother, and brothers and sisters. In addition to the family home there is a snug little bank account in the name of John Gutenko.


The parents of the Baltimore boy are not particularly opposed to his selection of a profession, for they think he is the most wonderful little battler in the world. His sister Bertha, who is 15 years old, always is at ringside when he battles in a Baltimore ring. She is a pugilistic rooter of the first water, and one of the first things that "Kid" Williams does when he enters the ring is to scan the crowd to find out where she is sitting. While the fight is progressing he never takes his eyes off his opponent, but at the same time two cauliflower ears are listening to the encouragement which his sister always gives by yelling "Go get him, Kid."


Champion Johnny Coulon is sick and there is no one in the world who has a more earnest hope that he may soon recover than " Kid " Williams. There's a reason.

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