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Newsletter Vol 5 No 11


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The Boxing Biographies Newsletter

Volume 5 – No 11 25th Dec , 2009



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Is there anything the matter -with Jim Jeffries?

This question has been asked thousands of times during the last ten days and no satisfactory answer has been given.


To settle the question one way or another The World offered to send a high-class, expert New York physician to examine Jeffries. For some unaccountable reason Trainer Delaney refused to permit this examination, but yesterday Delaney permitted a local general practitioner to look Jeffries over.

Jeffries was said by the examiner, Dr. P. F. Coleman, to be in perfect physical condition.


An examination by an expert would have ended all discussion.

As the question now stands there are many who will still be doubtful as to the champion's real condition.


Unless Jim Jeffries Is in Perfect Physical Condition, Donovan Believes

that the Champion. Will Lose His Pugilistic Crown,


I have just seen Sharkey do his morning’s which he comes back tanned up, healthy work, winding up with five rounds with Bob Armstrong, and I don't hesitate to say that he is in condition to fight for the whole world.


You often hear of a man being in great athletic condition, yet when you look at him he seems pale and drawn. Sharkey looks as healthy as a farmer's boy. There is nothing drawn or haggard about him. He jumps and prances at his work as if it was fun. He appears to have vitality to throw away. He doesn't seem at all like a man who has been through a long period of hard work, but like a man who has been away on a pleasant hunting trip, from which he comes back tanned up, healthy and strong as a horse. Sharkey's skin has a healthy color, and his eyes are bright as stars.


It may be that Sharkey has had rheumatism years or months ago. I know nothing about that; but one thing is certain — there isn't a sign of rheumatism about him to-day. He is as supple and quick as if he was on springs. He is as fast on his legs as any clever feather-weight. Anybody who thinks Sharkey isn't a clever boxer will be surprised when he sees him fight.


Sharkey Is Very Clever.




I know there is a general opinion that he is not clever. That is because people do not give him credit for what he really does. His footwork is fast. He isn't afraid of a punch or two. He dashes in, protecting himself well even in his rush, then cuts loose both hands with terrible speed. He is chain-lightning at infighting.


He is able to throw the whole weight of his body into a short jolt that will knock out any man it lands on. Like all short men going against a tall antagonist, Sharkey will have to depend chiefly on hitting at short range. This isn't as showy as long range-fighting, but it is just as effective. I think that any man who will mix it up with Sharkey will be sorry for it, For he is one of the hardest half-arm hitters I ever saw.


I speak especially of Sharkey's fast and hard infighting because that will be a great feature of Friday night's championship battle. Jeffries is not only very tall ( 6 feet 1 against Sharkey's feet 8 feet 8 ½ ) but his defense is very good.


He has a long straight left that Fitzsimmons couldn't get inside of. Can Sharkey get inside of it , I don't pretend to say. I am sure of this much - that Sharkey's footwork is as fast as a sprinter's; that he is able to guard himself well while rushing in, and that once up close to a man he can do tremendous damage.


Bob Armstrong is as tall as Jeffries and has just about as long a reach, yet Sharkey got in on him when he liked. I don’t write this to compare Armstrong with Jeffries, but to show what Sharkey can do against a big man 6 inches taller than himself and twenty pounds heavier. Tom can block as well as anybody. He isn't afraid of a blow. He is just the kind of a man to make short-range fighting very effective. He loses no time at getting at his man, stepping up close to him, no matter how fast he may break ground or how well he may block.






Sharkey Fair and Game.



It used to be reported from San Francisco that Sharkey was a rough, foul fighter. This I never believed. Above everything else Sharkey is a game man. A game man isn't a foul hitter. All who have seen Sharkey fight in the East know that he does not use foul tactics.


He simply goes close and batters his man to pieces with both hands. The fact is he was too fast at infighting for them on the Pacific Coast, and they didn't like a little roughing, although It was strictly within the rules; hence the undeserved bad name they gave him .


Fighting for the championship is not like a parlor set-to. Watch Sharkey on Friday night, and you'll see one of the greatest infighters that ever got into the ring. He has wonderful strength, and he can throw It all into a short punch.


Sharkey has improved every time he has fought. He was pretty good when he fought Maher, better when he fought Corbett, and still better when he met McCoy, although said to be hampered then by a slight touch of rheumatism.


He has kept right on doing better in every fight. To-day in his boxing he displayed more quickness and a better knowledge of the game than ever before. I don't predict that he will fight for the championship as fast as he sparred with his partner; but I will say this — Sharkey will fight faster on Friday night than he ever fought before. His headwork has improved as well as his footwork. His defense is clever. He can block as well as anybody I ever saw. And he also knows how to defend himself by punching his antagonist.


Sharkey Is Confident.


I never met a man more confident of victory than Sharkey, and I have seen many a man on his way to the ring. There is no brag or bluster about him either. In disposition he is good-natured and big-hearted. There isn't a mean streak in him. Anybody who can read a face can tell by the expression of Sharkey's eyes that he is a kindly man, without any malice. He has a merry twinkle in his eyes, and you can’t be with him five minutes without learning that he has the true Irish sense of humor. His good. nature makes training work easy for him.


At the same time there is nothing easygoing about Sharkey in the ring. I watched the expression of his face when he fought Corbett, Maher and McCoy, and I never saw a wickeder look on a man's face than his, not even on Sullivan's in his palmy days — and every one knows that look. Sharkey is the kind of man who would crush his antagonist in a contest, and then nurse him afterward and help him up on his feet.


Sharkey is very close-knit. His strength is well put together. He can control it well, put it all into a blow. Jeffries has no advantage over him in strength. In fact, I think Sharkey is the stronger man of the two for his weight. The height of Jeffries won't be so great a handicap to Sharkey as people think. Of course, length of reach is generally a great factor in a fight. It will be a great factor in this Battle, too. All I want to point out is that Sharkey is clever and strong enough to get to a big man. Whether he'll get to Jeffries or not we shall soon see.


I don't want to be understood to say that Sharkey is sure to win as I did say of Jeffries when he fought Fitzsimmons. But I do say that if Jeffries whips Sharkey he will have to fight harder than he ever fought before, for Sharkey no doubt is one of the hardest pieces of humanity that ever went into the ring.


Can Stand an Awful Blow.


There is no man in the ring to-day who can stand as hard a blow and come back as strong from It as Sharkey, Peter Maher stood close to him and shot up his terrible right in a hard jolt that caught Sharkey on the point of the chin and sent him flying through the air. Sharkey struck the floor on the end of his spine, bounced up like a football, laughed and rushed at Maher as if nothing at all had happened. Every one knows how hard Peter can hit, and that was one of his best punches.


So far as any man can tell, the blow didn't even jar Sharkey. His action proved another thing – that Tom is a thoroughly game man. Courage is always the most essential quality in a fighting man. This statement may sound unnecessary; yet some men have done pretty well in the ring without much courage. One of the best things about Friday night's battle is that both Sharkey and Jeffries are men of thorough gameness.


To sum up the observations upon Sharkey he has strength, skill, courage, endurance - all the qualities that go to make up an ideal fighting man. His hands are strong and sound. He has led a temperate life. If he should happen to be knocked down he can get up and keep on fighting. He will surely give a good account of himself in the ring.










To the Editor of The World:


The fight is over, and I am still champion. I have beaten the man who next to myself is the greatest natural fighter in the world, I won fairly, and from the moment I entered the ring I knew I was the Sailor's master. The long, monotonous work through which I went in my six weeks of training has had its effect, and the knowledge, that I stand now the greatest fighter in the world and the undisputed champion is well worth the pain and trouble and worry that it cost me. I had no fear when I entered the ring. As I sat in my corner and looked, at Sharkey, with his huge chest, bulging muscles and massive strength, showing in every line of his form, it merely inspired in me a desire to win from a man who looked as if he might 'be fit to fight for his



There was no terror there for me, however, for I had only to cast my eye on my own chest, arms and legs and see evidences of even greater strength and power. I believe I would have put him out before the limit, but the heat from those lights almost overcame me. At times it seemed to be a ball of fire on my head, but I came through all right at last. This was the hardest fight I ever had, and I never expect to go through such an experience again, for I believe I learned enough in this fight to knock out any man alive. Sharkey was game and awfully strong, but there was not a minute of the time that I did not get the best of it. I want to take a good long rest and defend the championship against all comers.


I expected when I went into the ring to win in seven or eight rounds. After that time had passed I felt sure I would win before the twentieth. About the eighteenth round I decided that I would go the limit, and, knockout or no knockout, 1 knew I had done the work and that the decision should be mine.




Champion of the World.







To the Editor of The World:


I was robbed. That is the story in a nutshell. I fought from the beginning to the end and according to my count and those of my seconds I had the beat of It for twenty-one rounds. Jeffries did the best work at the very last, that I know as well us any one, but how Mr. Siler figured him out the better up to the twentieth Is beyond me. I said all along that I would not get a fair show with Siler, and to-night's experience proves that I am not a very bad prophet.


I fought as I expected to. I decided to be the aggressor and put it all over Jeffries from the Jump. This I did, and the spectators showed their appreciation of my work by applauding loudly and frequently. I certainly punished him as much as he punished me, and a good deal more. In the mutter of blows landed I outdid him three to one.


This is the second time Jeffries has been awarded the decision, over me, and I ask for a return match under a man who knows his business and will decide fairly. I will fight him for any amount and will post the money immediately. I am certainly not satisfied, and I know that the public is not either.





Ex- Champion of the World.



Here is Sharkey, the first in the ring at 10 o'clock, sitting in the southwest corner, the corner that Tom O'Rourke says is the luckiest one in the ring. Two electric fans hang in midair over his head cooling him off. He needs them under the fierce electric lights. They are as hot as the mouth of a blast furnace.


The Sailor looks well - trained to the minute. Jeffries comes not a minute behind him. They shake hands, both smiling. I wish I could hear what they are saying to each other. They scorn very cordial. Why shouldn't they be? Their engagement is purely a professional one, just as friendly as the engagement of two lawyers who meet in court to fight for all they are worth. That is all these men are doing, fighting for a victory that means everything in the world for them. There is no malice about It.




Did you ever see two such big men in the ring before? I don’t believe that in all the history of the ring two men of that size ever faced each other. As they walk to d corners it is seen that they are both as quick and easy in their movements as a couple of feather weights, Jeffries d« as black and bristly as a big bear. He looks like the other products of California — big, strong and husky. He is a typical Californian just as much a peculiar product of the soil as the big pears, big peaches and gigantic redwood trees.


Sharkey is the most remarkable Irishman I ever saw. Champion Dan Donnelly would be a child in his hands. He has a front like a bull buffalo. His high, protruding check-bones and the flare of his cheeks as they turn outward to his enormous jaws give him the look of an armored battle-ship coming at you





The Irishman is a cheerful fellow. He regards a fight as a bit of diversion. I never met a man that had such an appetite for hard punches. The more you give

him the more he laughs and runs in. He is a queer man to fight. He comes at you with a grin on his face and at the same time fire enough in his eyes to burn a hole right through you.


See how he smiles as ho looks around and recognizes his friends in the crowd and bows to them. See him smile at Jeffries, too. He's doing that for two reasons —

just, to show the big fellow that there is no ill feeling and at the same time to make It plain that 'he's not any more afraid of him. than he is of a schoolboy.




Jeff isn't smiling as much as Sharkey, because he is a fellow of a quieter nature. He is not, like the Irishman, In the ring because he regards fighting as the finest amusement on the face o£ the earth, but because he knows he can fight better than any other living man and he wants to keep the championship and the money that goes with it.


Look at his enormous shoulder and back muscles, and his big, black hairy forearms and you will see where he gets his terrific hitting power. His legs are big enough to carry him fast and far. He looks a little bit thin to me, as if he were trained a little bit too fine.


But then this may simply be the result of the long period of hard work he Has gone through, longer than any he ever went through before. He is only twenty-four years, a pretty young boy to be champion of the world. He is muscled like a very heavy racehorse — long-limbed, heavy and big-bodied.




What a contrast Sharkey is if it were not for his great bulk you would call him a pony alongside a big race-horse. Sharkey is pony built, with a lot of extra weight added, and he knows how to use every ounce of it. There is a funny thing; they are already fighting with their eyes; That's a big part of the game, you know. Sharkey is grinning confidently and turning his gleaming blue eyes on the Californian like a pair of search-lights.


The big Californian from his corner meets Sharkey's gleaming look with a stare of sullen defiance. These men are fine types of the perfect fighter — Sharkey, the gay and smiling Irishman, who enjoys punching better than eating, and Jeffries, the .sturdy, dogged Californian, who would have to be beaten into insensibility before you could stop him.

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