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Re: Me


--- Amen & Hallelluh to this gifted life we are blessed with.


Your gritty struggle is a testament to that gift as much as your seminal devotion to the art of the boxing media that tells it's own compelling story. When I get on a real computer tomorrow, I'll resurrect a few of my faves for this thread.


In the meantime, rest up in meditation for your operation. Don't think much of the medical profession these days, yet they excell in surgery, so you're in good hands...

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Re: Me


Hi guys i just wanted to say hello and say I am still alive and awaiting a date for the cancer op fairy soon. this should remove it for good so at 66 I should be good foe a few years. posting stuff is a prob but will have go


Hey Rob! :wave: Sorry to hear about your cancer but I hope the operation will go well and that you will be free of it soon. :thumb: Good luck!

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Re: Me


--- Circa May 12th, 1913 Rob posted this account of Tom Molineaux vs Tom Cribb, still one of the best ever heavyweight bouts, and this battle of the Toms is a doozy!


Tom Cribb v Molineaux


Tom Cribb v Molineaux




on the announced retirement of John. Gully from the championship he had so recently won, "Bob" Gregson, his sturdy opponent in two battles, put forth a claim to the title. He was matched with "Tom" Cribb as the likeliest opponent, suffering defeat in twenty-three rounds. Cribb was thus elevated to the championship in 1808 and held the title until his voluntary retirement in 1822. Possibly no champion, has ever been such a popular idol as the huge, good natured, clean fighting "Tom" Cribb. He received many testimonials throughout his career of the high regard in which he was held by all followers of the sport and was not so much the champion of England as a national institution.


Two of his hardest battles were fought with "Jem" Belcher,the 'man who never could not learn -what defeat meant. In 1810 he was matched with "Tom" Molineaux. an American negro of great promise. Cribb won the victory after thirty-three hard rounds, and the black demanded another trial. The second fight -was Cribb's last pitched battle, confirming him in his title and in public esteem.


CAPTAIN, BARCLAY entered the tavern where many of the distinguished amateurs and patrons of the sport were to pass the night before the great fight with no less a person than "Tom"' Cribb himself in tow. Shouts greeted their arrival and places were quickly made about the table. Attention centred upon the fresh, lean face and stalwart figure of the champion, who had kept himself out of sight these three months. There had been many rumors as to his condition and this was the first opportunity the fancy had had to size up their truth.

"Why, Tom, man, you've fallen away,'' was the comment of Major Mellish, as he looked the boxer over critically. "Where's your girth? I suppose this is your doing, Barclay, with the' diet and training nonsense you've been dinning in our ears."


"Ay," said the Captain, with a proud smile. "I can say it's my doing. You all know how I've gone a seeking of a docile subject Well, I've found one now and never could have wished a better patient than Cribb. Look at him, will you, gentlemen" Thirteen stone six pounds he weights, and as hard all over as your thick head,Major." "I very much doubt it," replied the Major, shaking that member. "Thirteen stone six “Why,that's near a stone under his weight when he met Molineaux last trip. -Barclay, my good friend, I've a notion he'll be wanting that stone to-morrow. .Most likely you've taken all the poor. fellow's strength away with your "milk and eggs and forty mile walks and sweatings. What of it, Tom? I'll go bail now you're limp as a cat under it all. Plain, easy living, rare beef and good porter - there's the training for any boxer who ever stepped."


"Oh, you'll find me fit enough," laughed Cribb evasively: If these gentlemen wished to dispute over his condition he would have no part in it for there was betting afoot or he was much mistaken. For himself he had never felt better. The eleven -weeks of hard training at Barclay's estate of Ury and in the Highlands had brought him to the keen edge of bodily well being. This was just the kind of discussion that Barclay had hoped for. At a time when systematic training of athletes was almost unknown he had devised and practised a method of his own that had enabled him to achieve notable feats of strength and endurance, such as walking one hundred and ten miles in nineteen hours and throwing a half hundredweight a distance of eight yards. The battle of the morrow was to put his theories to test once for all.


"There's still more to it, Major," he said. ",'When Tom came to my place in July he weighed sixteen stone, not a pound less. A loss of thirty-six pounds and you have the net result." Mellish threw up both hands and appealed to the company. "Then he's a gone man. 1 leave it to any gentleman if a fighter can afford any such sapping of his strength. Barclay, I misdoubt you've done him an ill kindness."


"Are you minded to place any bets on the outcome. Major?" purred the Captain,with a twinkle. "Um-m-m," grumbled Hellish, returning to his inspection of Cribb. "You'll note, Barclay, that your own information, volunteered just now, is an element in the situation."


"Make the most of it," returned Barclay, stoutly. “its every word of it true." "What odds would you offer” asked the Major cautiously. Bets Three to One. "From your confidence I might have demanded them of you," smiled the Captain. "But I'll give you Three to one." "Done, for £3,000," cried Melllsh excitedly. "Done," answered Barclay, and the wager was recorded.


Cribb felt no uneasiness at the size of the obligation assumed on his account by his friend and faithful backer. More than any other he was in a position to testify to the wonders -wrought by Barclay's training- The champion had just completed his thirtieth year. Born near Bristol, the birthplace of so many holders of the title, he had served as a sailor in the navy and had fought his first public battle at the age of twenty four. After a single defeat early in his career at the hands of a minor boxer he had won his way steadily up the pugilistic ladder by a series of notable victories.Unlike Jackson or Gully “Tom” had been no favourite Of fortune. Success had come to him only after He had beaten down all obstacles with his Mighty arms.


Of modest, unassuming nature, Cribb had gradually won a following before he stepped into the championship. No fairer or cleaner fighter ever held the honor. He bad kept his record without, reproach. For The rest he had attained his superiority by Hard work and careful study of the science. No natural boxer like Belcher, he had shown But mediocre ability at the start.he had been Classed as a “slow hitter” and never developed Into a remarkably swift or agile pugilist .His best qualities in the ring were his excellent generalship, his knowledge of the game, his wonderfully sound wind and his rock founded courage.


In another inn of tbe vicinity the challenger. was put up for the night before the big battle. "Tom"' Molineaux bad been a slave on a Virginia plantation, where he was born.Having found refuge in England, he had presented himself as a candidate for pugilistic fame under the auspices of "Bill"' Richmond, another American negro who was well known to followers of the sport as a second and a fighter of merit. Two victories over minor boxers of the day had recommended him as a fitting aspirant to the championship and he had issued a challenge to Cribb.

Cribb. after his second defeat of Belcher, bad practically decided upon retirement. When the ambitious defiance of the negro was presented, however, he had yielded readily to the wishes of his friends. The situation was somewhat similar to that now existing between Jeffries and Johnson. Cribb was called upon to uphold the supremacy of the race in the ring and gave over his private arrangements for a quiet life in retreat to respond to that call. As a newspaper of the day put it:


"Some persons feel alarmed at the bare idea that a black man and a foreigner should seize the championship of England and decorate his sable brow with the hard earned laurels of Cribb. He must, however, have his fair chance. Although “Tom” swears that for the honourof old England “He’ll be dammed if he will relinquish a single sprig except for his life”. Molineaux ,had put up a terrific fight in his first Meeting with the champion and had honestly won his right to a return engagement. The black was a man of great strength and not without science, which he had improved by constant practice since his arrival in England. He was in no way an opponent to be despised, a fact to which the intense interest of the fancy and the almost unprecedented attendance at the second battle amply testified.


The Battlefield.


The scene of action was Thistleton Gap,in the Parish of Wymondham Leicestshire.. Thousand's of fight followers had been gathering from all parts of the country for a week, and on the night before the meeting accommodation was not to be had for twenty miles around. On the morning of September 28,1811 the throngs were on the move long before dawn seeking advantageous places about the ring.


A stage twenty-five feet square was erected in the centre of a large stubble field. To prevent interference from the vast concourse a larger roped arena surrounded the stage.




At twelve o'clock Cribb mounted the stage, followed by his old friend, the former champion, Gully, as second and the veteran "Joe Ward as bottle holder. His appearance was the signal for a thunderous demonstration, which was swept onto Molineaux a few moments later, when he showed himself -in company with "Bill" Richmond, his second and "Bill"' Gibbons as bottle holder. The two fighters tossed up their hats in token of defiance and began to strip to breeches; stockings and pumps. At eighteen minutes past the hour the umpires gave the signal and the boxers stepped forward.


Cribb now gave visual evidence of the benefit of Captain Barclay's training. Five feet ten and a half inches in height, he was a man of ponderous frame, with a natural tendency, to flesh. His present weight of 188 pounds meant that he was all bone and muscle and firm skin, at the exact line between the pink of form and the point of dangerous firmness. He represented the type of the rugged, massive, deliberate exponent of the art. secure in his solid strength and endurance, prepared to give and take the blows of Titans. Molineaux was power carved in ebony. The negro had, never been one to give proper attention to his condition, but the watchers could pick no flaw in him. He too had reduced weight since the last meeting, though certainly not so healthily, and he came to the mark ,at about 155 pounds. His height was five feet eight and quarter inches.His most striking physical characteristic was his remarkable reach, backed by arms of tremendous development.


With gladiators of this kind in the ring there was little chance of a sparring exhibition, and as the two advanced to the handshake there were immediate hostilities.it was known the black was keen for revenge and many looked to see him force the pace from the set to.The opponents fell on guard for an instant and battle was joined with a whirl and a rush.The Negro hammering in for a brief fierce attack against Cribbs cool effective guard.


Cribb Starts Trouble.


Suddenly Cribb went upon the offensive. In the first tentative clash which serves the alert fighter as a clearing and defining of values he bad tasted his superiority, sensed his own great ability and resources once more. He drove in manfully with right and left smashes.The first got home a glancing cut on Molineaux’ body the second was skilfully parried as the black stepped into the opening and sent a large lunge to the champions head.Cribb wavered not at al but drove one , two again at the body.Molineaux was ready for him covered himself and they stood knee to knee in some pretty exchanges.


It was nip and tuck for a full minute with Some of the hardest rallying the two had ever Tried.The crowd paid the Negro the tribute due to His cleverness and good will. He never gave back But stood up at blow for blow with the great Champion.More than that he had just a trifle The better of the session and ripped in a drive To the forehead that all but snapped Cribb of His balance. Cribb acknowledged the hit with A grin. The black was a better boxer than ever And it was a pleasure to mill with such a straight forward stand up opponent. So thought the champion as he came back from the check and waded in with increased speed.


They were fighting at distance for Cribb was Not ready to break to close quarters and Prefered to take his chance with the fists. Molineaux feinted at the body and swept A cut at the head that the champion deftly Warded, countering to the ribs. The black stepped Back at the battering ram drive, but Cribb Followed him sending a neatly aimed straight Arm to the throat that forced Molineaux Over for a clean fall. The champion received The roaring approval that was his due for Bold scientific work, but the prevailing Odds of 3 to 1 were not altered by the Outcome of the round, the Negro being plainly unhurt.


Molineaux opened the second round after the manner of "Dutch Sam," the lightweight marvel and whirl wind fighter of the day, with a bewildering and ferocious attack. Cribb held him off for a moment, but gave ground just in, time to break the force of a wicked smash, to the mouth that drew first crimson.


The negro forced his lead, head held low making his reach count. Cribb backed another step, but stopped there, taking a slam to the ribs and coming back strong with a right hander that found its mark on the chest and checked the African's impetuous advance. Molineaux swung over the champion's guard smoothly and landed hard to the head.


Cribb had now worked himself in to half arm without seeming to have done so deliberately. He foresaw much trouble if he permitted the black to run the fight at a distance with all the advantage of reach. The champion carefully avoided showing his adversary that he had no particular liking for the long exchanges, but cleverly tempted him in closer, taking body punishment willingly to achieve his end. Molineaux's first rush bad worn itself out. but he had plenty' of steam and stopped two wicked hooks to the jaw while getting home some slicing jabs. In another swift exchange the black snaked through a beautiful drive that did execution over Cribb's right eye.


Having whetted the black's appetite for close work by several openings the champion now cautiously put into practice one of his favourite manoeuvres, which was ever a distinctive part of his play. This was milling on the retreat. He gave back slowly, tempting his adversary to extraordinary efforts and exhausting lunges, while watching craftily for his chance and holding his powers in reserve. He found his opening and came back with vigor. But Molineaux, profiting by his previous knowledge of the champion's tactics, ducked under the blow and came to grips.


The wrestle was long and contested with the utmost fierceness, the big fellows stamping and straining from rope's to ropes. Molineaux proved slippery and Cribb could not catch him to advantage, while the black's long arms wound to firm holds. Suddenly the negro threw his weight to the side, tripping cleverly and throwin the champion a heavy fall. It had been evident from the first that the black had few real partisans in the throng, but there was a spontaneous outburst of applause at this exhibition of dexterity. Odds fell to 5 to 4 on Cribb. It was clearly the negro's round.


Molineaux Confident


Cribb opened the third round and forced a stiff rally, losing no time in coining well within the firing line. His right eye was almost useless, but he found that neither aim nor judgment had been impaired. The showing made by Molineaux was no surprise and he had not fallen into the error of underestimating his task. He set to work with perfect, confidence and possession." If he knew anything of signs the black was finding the bottom of his wind, and this was a point upon which Cribb largely counted. With his magnificent equipment and preparation Cribb himself was scarcely breathed. He bided his time, meanwhile seeking to lure the negro with another retreat.


Molineaux merely improved the opportunity to deliver two long range smashes to the face and Cribb bored back hastily. A terrific rally followed, the champion beating down the others guard twice for body blows and taking full receipt about the head. To the spectators the negro had suffered nothing to speak of since the start and there were impatient cries, to the champion to make his mark upon his man. Cribb was in no wise hurried, but launched upon a one, two with irresistible strength. Molineaux turned one aside, but the next, sweeping through unchecked, caught him a "doubler"' over the stomach with resounding force. The blow was enough to have laid out many a more stalwart one on the spot. It sent him spinning across the ring and all but off the stage. By desperate effort ho regained his balance and kept his feet, before Cribb came up with him. To the surprise of the crowd the black lost no time in retaliating with a powerful swing to the ear. As Cribb rushed in confidently Molineaux sprang upon him with renewed vigor, checked the advance and milled back determinedly. He sealed the work he bad begun upon the champion's right eye, ripped to the chin and won back his lost ground.


The champion found that he had counted too much upon his tremendous drive and sought to repeat it but Molineaux blocked and got right and left to the ribs. Cribb retreated drawing the negro to several wrenching misses and landed several times with his left without damage... As he drew off for a swing Molineaux closed with judgment and caught a good hold. The struggle was short and once more the champion went crashing to the stage while the black stood firm and safe.


Cribb was quite as Conscious as any anxious friends in the gathering that he was approaching the crucial moment Of the battle. Molineaux ,as he was willing to admit was his equal and a little more in science, speed and strength. If the black could hold the present pace the issue would almost certainly be in his favor. But Cribb was convinced that he could not hold the pace. At the clinch the black's chest had laboured in utmost distress, and the champion had felt him wince at battering blows. Barclay had told him that this fight would be won on condition alone if all else failed him and he believed in Barclay.


Cribb came to the mark strong and eager at the opening Of the fourth round and led off with right and left in body and head. Molineaux was too quick and bored back slamming through the white man's guard and landing to the face. His persistent high aim had wrought great disfigurement and he continued to center his punishment, about the eyes. They mixed it fiercely neither yielding and both tacking short arm jolts until Cribb once more tried to lure the black into a pursuit. Molineaux stood his ground and shot through two flush hits to the head with the left at long range the last almost closing Cribb's sound eye.. This was the negro's best blow and the champion's followers began to look glum at the ease with which planted it.


But Cribb wasted little uneasiness upon immediate reverses. Either Molineaux was failing fast or he had fought his score of battles to no purpose. While outwardly in bad case, fearfully cut and crimsoned from a score of wounds, the champion had not sacrificed wind, strength or temper. In the next rally the negro showed plainly that he was losing his earlier Steadiness and resolution. He missed a humming left swing and caught a nasty clip to the mouth as he flung up his guard. Instantly he lunged in with both arms, crying Out angrily. The champion improved the chance by coolly planting several telling smashes to the ribs and the black danced back gasping.


Both Like Demons.


Cribb smiled, though the result was somewhat awry and attacked with a ferocity and determination that be had not yet shown. The spurt was well timed to follow Molineaux's first break of weakness. The champion walked in whirling sledge hammer blows upon the black's guard and forcing him back with right and left to the body and right and left to the head. Molineaux outmanoeuvred and threatened by another terrific “doubler" retreated to the ropes Here he made a desperate stand and some of the hardest Fighting of the battle took place. Cribb broke through repeatedly to the ribs,but seemed to make little impression. Molineaux"s drives and swings to the face was masterly, and Crlbb attempting to duck a particularly savage one was hit off his balance by the alert negro. Before he could recover Molineaux had knocked him down with a swift rap under the ear.


Both, men seemed bent upon decisive results from the fifth round. They stepped instantly into a give and take of heavy blows, but Cribb found that the black was still a hardy customer. The negro peppered him with hard right and left smashes to head which Cribb could not avoid. or properly return and the exchange was altogether in favor of the challenger. The champion fought for a body drive, but launched too slowly and came to grief from the black's terrible left once move. The swing caught him under the ear and staggered him while Molineaux shot over a scientific right to the jaw immediately afterward that sent him reeling. As Cribb was falling the negro with wonderful quickness, put in another straight arm to the face.The crowd quickly betrayed its partisanship by howls of disapproval but the umpires, after a discussion decided that the blow was fair, Cribb's hand having been at liberty and not having touched the floor.


As the boxers approached each other for the sixth round the champion felt that his time had come Molineanx’s wonderfully clever work which had won him the advantage in each of the last four rounds, had been accomplished at a killing expense, of wind and strength. The negro's chest and sides were heaving painfully, and his actions, as they fell off guard were those of an exhausted man in deep distress. He lunged right and left, but wildly, and Cribb avoided, countering with a hard hook that the negro parried. They stepped into a rally and Cribb jammed through another of his tremendous body blows. Molineaux fell away like a broken reed, holding his arms across his stomach. Cribb followed and the negro met him half heartedly. The blow bad found him out. For soe minutes the champion vainly tried to find the black, who danced and led him a chase all around the stage. Molineaux seemed unwilling to risk more suffering, capered, hit short and was nil abroad. Then Cribb caught, him, battered him almost at will about the head and floored him with a flush drive to the jaw.


To many the sudden turn in the tide of battle cameAs a surprise. It was exactly what Cribb bad looked for. The question now was one of endurance and the negro had gone the length of his tether. Odds rose to five to one on the champion. Molinennx opened the seventh round in a rage, but he had lost the power to make it dangerous. He reached Cribb's jaw lightly and the champion drove to the throat. Stepping back. Cribb parried rind repeated to the throat. He got in the blow a third time when the negro, charging wildly, wrenched himself off his balance, stumbled and fell.


Molineanx attempted a brief rally at opening of the eighth round, but either could not judge his distance or feared to stop boldly into it. Cribb slammed him about the face, then, rushing in. caught the negro's head under his left arm and battered him until he dropped.


In the words of one of the sporting writers present, it was "Lombard street to a China orange. Moliniux came up for the ninth round staggering and wild. Summoning his failing forces, he made a mad rush, which Cribb met neatly with his left. The blow caught the black in mid career and sent him crashing to the stage with a fractured jaw. Molineaux was Unable to get up and his attendants raised, him with difficulty. At the end of the half minute the black was not yet in shape to continue but Cribb refused to appeal to the umpires, wishing to give his opponent every opportunity.


Finally the courageous negro came weaving to the centre for the tenth round. He attempted to bore in. but fell from weakness. Cribb gave him another long interval, but Molineaux was too far gone. His attendants carried him to the centre for the eleventh round, and he stood there for an instant, weaving and helpless, then fell before a blow was struck. The battle was accorded to Cribb amid thundering cheers, and the champion,as the proof of his condition,danced 'a Scotch reel with Gully abut the stage. The fight, had lasted nineteen minutes ten seconds. Captain Barclay won £10.000 from Mellish and others, but took his chief satisfaction from the establishing of his training theories. Cribb's purse was £400. Before the crowd had dispersed. John Jackson,as was his kindly custom made a collection for the defeated contestant and presented Molineaux with £50.

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Re: Me


--- Also posted on May 12th, 2013, Young Griffo one of the all time boxing characters always a good read. Rob was really kicking up his oats on that date!


Young Griffo

Name: Young Griffo

Career Record: click

Birth Name: Albert Griffiths

Nationality: Australian

Birthplace: Millers Point, Sydney, NSW

Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Born: 1871-01-01

Died: 1927-12-10

Age at Death: 56

Height: 5′ 4″

Reach: 173

Division: Featherweight


• Was the first Australian to win a world title (1890)

Albert Griffiths (aka 'Young Griffo') was "Not known as much of a puncher, but his skill was uncanny. He had wonderful headwork, almost impenetrable defense, dazzling feints, and rapid two-handed methods of attack. The cleverest boxers and hardest punchers were made to look ridiculous when exchanging swats with him. He had a dislike of training and was deemed lazy. There were times he got drunk before a match [such as the Ike Weir and Tommy Tracy bouts]." From the March 6, 1916 Tacoma Daily News, written by Tommy Sullivan.


In 2003, 'Young Griffo' was inducted into the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame.


The Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette

16 April 1896


Didn't Put Young Griffo to Sleep but Scored the Greatest Number of Points

A Fair Sized Crowd Witnessed the Two Bullies Fight Twenty Rounds

Griffo the Heavier., But Both Men Said to Be in Very Good Condition


New York, April 13 —A fair sized crowd gathered at the Empire Athletic club, Maspeth, L. I., to night to witness a twenty-round boxing bout between Young Griffo, of Australia, and Charlie McKeever, of Philadelphia. The curtain raiser was a ten round bout between two colored men, namely, Fred Morris, 'Muldoon's Cyclone," of Newark, and Charley Strong, of Newark. Strong won. McKeever weighed 139 pounds. Griffo looked to be about four pounds heavier. both men were in good condition.

Round one


McKeever led off with a left on the jaw. Griffo got back with a right and left on the head. Griffo landed a left swing on the neck. Griffo sent a hard right on the body. At the sounding of the gong McKeever got his right on the body.

Round two


Griffo led off with a light right on the ribs and light left on the face. McKeever put in two light rights on the body. Griffo placed a light right on the wind and Charley replied with a left.

Round three


McKeever sent a right lightly on the ribs, and Griffo landed two hot lefts on the neck. Griffo toyed with the Philadelphian, then sent a left on the face. He repeated this blow, and McKeever landed lefts on the ear and body.


The fourth and fifth rounds were McKeever's by a large majority; the sixth went to Griffo, and in the seventh honors were about even. The eighth, ninth and tenth rounds showed honors even. In the eleventh round McKeever got in a light left on the head and a good left on the body. He landed right and left on the body and neck without return. Charley put a right hand on the side of Griffo's head and then fought Griffo to the ropes, landing right and left on the body and neck. This was all McKeever's


In the twelfth McKeever landed a left on the body and again on the face. He then sent a right to the body and face, and Griffo sent a left on the head and staggered McKeever. McKeever came back with right and left swings on the body and then landed four left jabs on the face and a right on the body.


Rounds eighteen and nineteen were slow with the advantage slightly in McKeever's favor.


In the twentieth and last round, McKeever landed a left on the face. Griffo swung a left on the head and McKeever got in his right on the head. McKeever followed with a left on the head, and a right on the body. McKeever jabbed a left on the body and a right swing on the head. McKeever landed a left on the face a right on the stomach, which made Griffo back away. McKeever had the greatest number of points to his credit when the gong ended the bout. Amidst a good deal of excitement Referee Hurst decided the Philadelphian man winner



The Fort Wayne Daily News

8 January 1903




Tuckhorn, His Manager, Says , His Reburnished Star Will Fight Any 135-Pound Man In the World. If Young Griffo has really "come back" in the manner reported, he must be put down as the physical wonder of the age. Young Griffo is an Australian pugilist, who has been in this country for a number of years, but who owing to excessive dissipation, has been passed up as a physical wreck and a man who never again would be able to enter the ring. Now comes San Tuckhorn, Griffo's latest manager, with a challenge to fight any 135-pound man in the world. If Tuckhorn’s words came unsupported, they would be taken as nothing more than the idle boast of a promoter seeking notoriety, but they do not lack for confirmation.


Lou Houseman, probably the best posted man on fight matters in Chicago, has this to say of Griffo. " I saw the clever little Australian put through a course of sprouts the other day, and the manner in which he carried himself was astonishing. He appears to be, if anything, faster than he ever was. His loot work, his assault and defense — particularly the latter — are perfect. Men weighing forty pounds more than "the feather” were handled like novices.


Heart Still Sound.


"The boy looks good. His hair has turned a bit gray — small wonder — but his eyes sparkle and his step is light and springy. I saw a certificate from Dr. Davis, who examined Griffo, in which the doctor states positively that the boy's heart is as healthy as any he had ever examined, and that there was not a physical flaw to be found anywhere." Griffo had his first bout in more than two years a couple of weeks ago in Peoria, with Jack Bain. Griffo won easily, and surprised everyone with his great form. That Griffo was as clever a man with his fists as ever entered the ring, there has never been anyone to dispute, but that he would be able to go in and set a fast and furious clip for eight rounds and finish fresh and strong was more than the most hopeful expected.


One of the sporting men who saw this fight said: "Griffo certainly boxed beautifully, as only Griffo can box. His hitting was clean and hard, as Bain can testify to, and if Bain had not tin-canned, but stood up and exchanged blows, he would have been knocked out. I consider Griffo the greatest boxer in the world, and predict, if he works faithfully a couple of months, that the lightweight champions had better look to their laurels.


As Good as the Best.


Referee Lynch said: "I have refereed all the matches that have taken place in Peoria, and I have attended almost all of the big fights and I unhesitatingly say that I consider Griffo the greatest boxer I ever saw: He is the personification of cleverness and aggressiveness, and I think he has a chance with any man of his weight in the world." Young Griffo's real name is Albert Griffiths. He is thirty-two years old. He fought draws with George Dixon, Solly Smith, George Lavigne and many other crack fighters, when these men were at their best. He lost to Jack McAuliffe in a bout in which the great majority thought he had clearly the best of it. Griffo has been in insane ******s on numerous occasions, driven insane by dissipation." He has been picked out of the gutters, has "hoboed" his way, endured privation and has been given up as a "goner" on numerous occasions. Yet here he is, back again. Griffo says he has "cut out the cup that cheers." He probably has made this promise a hundred times, so there is no likelihood that he will adhere to it this time. Yet if he does, the little fellow may yet smooth his path.



The San Antonio Light 18 July 1926

Fights I Can’t Forget

By Tad

America’s Greatest Boxing Authority When Young Griffo Fought Sweeney In a Bar Room

Name: Patsy Sweeney

Career Record: click

Nationality: Irish

Birthplace: Galway

Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire, USA

Born: 1879-03-03

Height: 5′ 7½″


Young Griffo won on a foul in the fourteenth round from Patsy Sweeney, March 6, 1905, in a private fight held in a “hide away” in a busy section of Harlem. It was a ripping fight from start to finish, both taking an awful grueling, and when the unexpected happened every sport in the little room was breaking his neck looking for a knockout. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the boys shook hands and started the ball rolling, but it was a hours wait before things were shaped and ready. At 2 o’clock the little hall, or rather room, was pretty filled with sports and business men from the section, and we waited and waited.


Some thought the delay might cause the cops to get Jerry, but for a change not one had a peek. There was a lookout on the door to the main street where the fight was held, and he only arose once while a cop was beating it down the line. The sports came in one by one, and as there was only about one hundred there the crowd did not gather in bunches, nor act suspiciously. We came through the saloon door, passed the billiard tables in the back room and then walked down the little hall to the arena.


Such an arena as it was too. In one corner was a stove going full blast, in another was a disabled pool table with chairs, boxes and other refuse piled up. The managers of the fighters were in another corner putting up there side bets with the stake holder, and the fighters were behind them putting on their tights and spreading resin on the floor. When all was ready it was discovered that the manager had forgotten the gloves so one of the seconds was sent out with a bucket to get them. He returned after a wait of about ten minutes with a paper covering the gloves in a bucket, and then all the boys took there places, drew a long breath and quieted down as the referee yelled “Let her Go”.


They started to fight from the moment time was called, and it was one long, long clinch until time was called again. Sweeney stayed in close shooting his right over on Griffo’s kidneys with great effect, in return stopping left jolts to the face without wincing. From the first to the fourteenth this style of battle prevailed and it was the roughest hardest 'and fastest go seen in private in this city for many a day. Griffo, who was the cleverer of the pair, stuck in with Patsey in this' manner for seven rounds, until the lump over his kidneys began to bother him. He was weakening under the pummeling, and thought it better to pull away and fight at long range after that. He did, and it looked as though Mr. Sweeney, of Manchester, might flop 'at any moment. Griffo would get in close , slug awhile and then pull away suddenly, letting out with left and right flush to his opponents jaw. Sweeney bounced around like a rubber ball but came in just as gamely as ever.


In the eighth round Griffo staggered Sweeney, cutting his ear and almost dropping him to the floor. It was a bad time for Patsey but he managed to stick it out and come through, strong at the finish. Griffo butted Patsey in the clinches, and Sweeney complained to the referee, but the latter cautioned Griffo and let it go. From the eighth to the eleventh Griffo staggered Patsey quite regularly, keeping away from the heavy body punching as well as he could and making it a long range fight. Sweeney could not get in on the clever Griffo, but followed, him around gamely trying to fight in close. At the finish of this round there, was a hot mix and both fell on the hot stove, knocking it over and spreading the coals over the floor. There was a rush to put the fire out and then the gong rang.


Both were getting weak and tired from the pace, and the fight was one of those bing bang affairs with both grunting an puffing with every blow. Sweeney seemed very weary on the pins, but standing like a tiger slammed Griffo in the same kidney, making him wince with every punch.The fight along like this well into the fourteenth round when suddenly griffo dropped to the floor claiming foul. His seconds jumped up too and yelled like mad. On the other hand there were many who could claim that Sweeney’s blows barely glanced off Griffo, and did not bother him at all.After yelling and hollering for fully five minutes the crowd settled down and then the referee declared Griffo had won. Sweeney’s backers demanded that a doctor examine Griffo, and after a wait of half an hour there was no sign of a foul blow been delivered. He said however that one might have been struck, but at that time no signs were in evidence.


Nebraska State Journal 28August 1928

It Made Them Mad

Unpopular Decision In the McAuliffe – Griffo Mill

American lightweight given the Fight Though Beaten On points

Hot Slugging From Start


Seldom has a limited round contest attracted such a widespread interest as that of tonight at the Seaside athletic club between Jack McAuliffe and Alfred Griffiths, better known as "Young Griffo," the former the lightweight champion of America and the latter the featherweight champion of Australia. Both men are far beyond the weight limit of their respective classes, but this cut no figure tonight, as the men fought at catch weights and the contest was decided on its merits.


The sporting fraternity turned out in a most liberal manner. In addition to the star event of the night the rest of the program was very entertaining. The arena and the building was comfortably filled an hour before the time set for the mill to commence. The most prominent sporting men in the city and vicinity occupied seats in the private boxes surrounding the stage. The racetrack men were there in full force, as McAuliffe is a great favorite with them. The first of the minor boxing contests of the evening was between Connie Sullivan of New York and John Madden of Brooklyn. It was a six round bout at 105 pounds, all of which were in favor of Madden and he was declared the winner.


There was a slight stir when Al O'Brien of Philadelphia and Charles Burns of Cincinnati came upon the stage to prepare for the second bout of the evening. During the first three rounds the men fought like bulldogs. Burns did not make the least attempt at science. In the fourth round Burns knocked O'Brien down, but was rushed to the ropes and badly punished by the Philadelphian.Burns fell to the floor just as the bell rang and was carried to his corner by his seconds They worked vigorously to revive him, but he was practically knocked out and his seconds throw up the sponge.


The Event of the Night.


A short space of time elapsed between the ending of the O'Brien-Burns contest and the commencement of the star event of the evening between Jack McAuliffe and Young Griffo. McAuliffe came upon the stage at 10:15 and was greeted with a storm of applause. His training story was borne out by his seconds having a bottle of champagne in his corner. McAuliffe when stripped looked fully twenty pounds the heavier man. Griffo was only a minute behind McAuliffe in entering the ring.


Round one — Both men appeared in the ring with nothing on but blue trunks.McAuliffe led off and planted his left on Griffo's face. Griffo retaliated, smashing Jack on the jaw. Mac led and was cleverly stopped and Griffo swung his right on Jack's wind. Griffo won the applause of the house by his clever ducking and countering. Jack led and landed a wicked left on Griffo's wind and got a smash on the jaw in return for it, the vast crowd yelling, when the gong sounded.


Round two — McAuliffe led with the left, but the blow was cleverly ducked. McAuliffe rushed and landed a hard right-hander on the body and got a stiff left on the neck. Griffo was much more clever than McAuliffe had expected to find him and his blows were returned with equally good effect. Jack did the bulk of the leading, but Griffo would counter on him every time and honors were pretty evenly divided. In fact, it was seen that McAuliffe had met his equal in every respect, if not his superior.


Round third — Griffo landed a terrific left on Jack's right eye and closed it as tight as a drum. Jack did not seem to be able to find Griffo's head, at which he was continually making play, Griffo, on the contrary, landed when and where he pleased. He hammered with right and left and soon had McAuliffe's nose bleeding. Every time Jack led he was met by Griffo and he appeared as though he wished it was all over. The round ended in Griffo's favor.


Fourth round — McAuliffe led, but fell short and landed on Griffo's arm. The Australian forced the fighting and landed two left-handed blows in rapid succession on McAuliffe's face, sending him over against the ropes, which he was obliged to grasp to keep from falling.


Round five — Jack led with his left, but Griffo ducked and swung an ugly uppercut on Jack's jaw. They clinched and in a rally he landed right and left on Jack's jaw in rapid succession.

Round six — McAuliffe rushed Griffo and landed his left, with but little effect. Griffo drove his right into McAuliffe's ribs with telling effect and smashed him on the mouth with the left. Once McAuliffe tried his rushing tactics, but the blows he delivered seemed to have but little or no effect.


Seventh round — Griffo feinted and landed his left on Jack's wind and a moment later landed right and left on Jack's face. Jack rushed and was met by a straight left from Griffo. Griffo smashed Jack on the jaw several times and it looked like all day for him.


Round eight - McAuliffe tried to rally in this round, but he was farming his face out as a punching bag for the Australian. There was scarcely a mark on Griffo, while Jack looked decidedly the worse for wear.


Round nine — The round opened with a rush. Jack sent a corking hot one on Griffo's jaw. It was hammer and tongs all over the ring. Griffo began to hug to avoid punishment. Jack- made play for his wind .but he had waited too long, he appeared to have gained some of his old time form and went at Griffo savagely.


Round ten — The crowd began to leave the building before this began. McAuliffe opened hostilities by planting his right on Griffo's stomach. The fighting in this round was of the fiercest nature, but desperate an McAuliffe was he could not regain his lost laurels. Pandemonium reigned when the announcement was made that the referee had decided McAulitfe the winner. They hissed and groaned until the building fairly trembled and all hands yelled "Griffo." When McAuliffe left the stage they hissed and groaned at him all the way back to his dressing room and yelled "Robber, robber." It was unquestionably the most barefaced decision that has ever been given at a boxing contest in this vicinity.


The entire assemblage was highly indignant, and the police had to come to the front and clear the room. Griffo made a speech from the stage and said he would fight McAuliffe to a finish at any time he desired to fight. The crowd hung around the outside of the building yelling "Griffo."

It was his fight beyond a doubt.


San Antonio Daily Light 4 June 1900



Dawson Labored All in Vain For Him.

He Threw Away Ten Thousand Dollars by Taking One Drink of Sherry

Not Long Since. . .


"What do you think of a glass of Sherry that cost $10,000 ?' said George Dawson one day recently, says the N.Y. Telegraph. "Not a cask or a barrel, But just one little glass—an ordinary drink, such as-a man would take over a bar. Well, I know an incident of that kind. Strange as it may seem, there is a young man in Chicago today who not more than a mouth ago paid $10,000 for cue glass of sherry wine. It was young Griffo. Of course, he didn't pass the money over in one bunch when he took the drink, but he might as well have done so, for he is out of pocket fully that much that I know of, and thousands of dollars besides. but it isn't a long story and I'll let my friend Whitbeck tell it." John is the manager of George Williams' restaurant and a personal friend of Dawson's. When he was asked for the story he said:


"I think Dawson rather underestimates the amount that .Griffo paid for that one glass of sherry, but, then, Dawson is conservative, and likes to he on the safe side, even, when talking about prize fighers. It was like this: When Griffo came to life the second time and demonstrated by his bouts at the Chicago Athletic association that he was still a premier in his class, Dawson, who had his business interests in charge, was deluged with offers of matches for him. Not hard fights, but easy exhibitions with a sparring partner, and guaranteed purses ranging from $300 to $1,000. Every athletic club of note in the country wanted him.


"The peculiar conditions under which Griffo entered the ring made a big advertisement for him, and letters and telegrams poured in from all parts of the country. Right after his appearance with Young Kenny at Tattersall's engagements had been booked for the time up to the end of April which would have netted him $10,000, and there was a chance for a lot of profitable dates between them. Then some fool friend of Griffo's insisted on his taking a glass of sherry, and it was all off.


"All the sporting fraternity knows how he went to pieces, and how Dawson, in disgust, had to cancel all the $10,000 worth of engagements. No pugilist, aside from a heavyweight champion, ever had such an opportunity to reap such a golden harvest. These $10,000 engagements were only a beginning. If he had kept sober, Griffo would have virtually coined money for two or three years to come. "But, to my friend, the most interesting part of the Griffo story is that relating to the experience of Dawson in trying to give him a new lease of life. It has been widely stated that Fitzsimmons was the man who induced Dawson to take Griffo out of the ****** at Dunning and give him a trial. This is not true. Fitzsimmons had nothing to do with it. Sometime last fall a veterinary surgeon — a man of high standing in his country came here from Australia on a visit .He is a devotee of the pugilistic art, and knew Dawson, Fitzsimmons and Griffo in the antipodes.


"Naturally he hunted up Dawson and renewed their acquaintance. In talking over old times he inquired for Griffo, and when told that he was hopelessly insane and in an ******, he asked Dawson lo go with him and see the famous boxer. They went to Dunning and talked with Griffo, both of them coming away with the strong belief that Griffo was not so badly of as the doctors said. Later Dawson made another trip to Dunning, when Griffo, who appeared rational and in sound mind, said:


" For Heaven's sake get me out of here. I'm not crazy, but I will be if I'm kept here with this mob of lunatics much longer.”


Dawson was impressed with Griffo's statement, and having a warm spot in his heart for the boy, made arrangements to take him out .To secure his release a bond of $3,000 to indemnify the county for any damages the alleged crazy man might do while at liberty was demanded. Dawson and a friend of his, a business man with whom Dawson boards, signed the bond and Griffo was discharged. At that time George Connors was training the Carlisle Indian team at Carlisle, Pa., and Griffo was sent there to get in shape. The managers of the team became dissatisfied because Connors gave so much time to Griffo, and released him out of a $1,200 position. This was the beginning count of a list of troubles. Connors came back to Chicago, bringing Griffo with him. 'It will never do to turn him loose here in Chicago,' said Dawson. 'What the boy wants is the kindly restraint and influence of a home. He's been a waif all his life, and perhaps a home will have a good effect on him.


"So Griffo, the Dunning outcast, was taken into the private circle of the business man's home, and coddled and petted and cared for by the family. Why, that man's wife — a woman of social standing — even took Griffo to the theatre with her. It was distasteful to her, but she thought itmight make him understand that he had friends if he would behave himself. Everything went well for a time. He got two or three profitable engagements through Dawson's influence, and had several hundred dollars to his credit. Not a dollar was taken out of his earnings except for actual expenses. Dawson and his business friend were encouraged, and began to think that they had really reformed the Australian pugilist.


"But suddenly they were rudely undeceived. One day, just after a profitable engagement had been made for Griffo's second, appearance at Tattersalls he turned up missing. The levee was hunted over but no trace of him could be found. Late that night hackman who know where Dawson lived drove up to the house with the information that Griffo was making a ruction in a south side saloon. It was then after midnight, but Dawson and his friend dressed, went to the extreme south side and found the fighter in a wild stale of intoxication.


He objected to going home and they had to make him by force. At the house they had to remove his clothes by main force, and even then he refused to got to bed, declaring he would go down town in his night gown. Finally, in despair Dawson and his friend gave him back his clothes and told him to get out of the house and keep out.


"The next morning Griffo was heard from at the Harrison street station, abjectly contrite. Dawson was appealed to take him out, but said it would be no good. It seems, however, that the clever showing made in the ring by the Australian had pleased a number of the older members of the C. A. 'A. and these men requested as A personal favor that Dawson make one more trial to reform the outcast.George Dawson was never known to stand out very long against any charitable movement so, persuaded against his will, he went to Harrison street and secured Griffo's release. It was then he heard the story of that fatal l glass of sherry.


"'Blime me bloody heyes “ said Griffo “Hime a bloody, bloomin fool. Gawge, and if you'll take me out this time I'll never touch another bloody drop.”


"George took him out and inside of a week he was out on a debauch again. It would take a page to tell all the tricks he played on Dawson and the latter's friend, at whose house he had been sheltered. One day, for instance, he went down early in the morning and drew $23. Two hours later he showed up decidedly drunk and minus his overcoat. An effort was made to induce him to go home and sober up, when he surprised his backers with a request for car fare. He had spent every cent of the $25 in two hours and pawned his overcoat beside. "I never put in such a time in my Life said Dawson, “and I do not want any more of it.”


"When it was decided that Griffo was beyond redemption, and that it was idle to waste time on him, Dawson had $400 to his credit. What to do with his money was a conundrum. To give it to Griffo was like throwing it in a sewer. At the same time neither Dawson nor his friend wanted lo keep It. They had not taken a cent from him for their work in his behalf, and didn't want any pay. But there was George Connors, who had lost $1,200 position through trying to train the degenerate fighter. 'Whose more entitled to the money than Connors?' queried Dawson. “Nobody on earth," said his friends, and the $400 was turned over to Connors.


"Griffo is a degenerate of the worst type. It is absolutely impossible to keep him in a respectable condition. Given $500 tonight he will be broke tomorrow, and no inducement, not even the guarantee of $10,000 for twenty minutes work with the gloves would make him forego a drinking bout with the lowest of levee characters. I wouldn't go through what George Dawson has for all the money a sober Griffo could earn, and that's a big pile.


"One of the most pathetic incidents in Griffo's career was the receipt of a letter, when he was too drunk to appreciate its worth, from Johnson, of Sydney, New South Wales, the man who taught the fighter how to spar. This letter was written just after the reformation had reached Australia, and no words from a. mother to her son could have been more loving or solicitous. Johnson, in homely, but burning language, besought Griffo to tread the straight and narrow path, told him how all his old time friends were rejoicing over the good news concerning him and admonished him to remain under the guardianship of George Dawson, who was his 'best and truest friend.' "

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