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Newspaper Page Text
tribute to his wonderful clever
ness. Ritchie fell into the fighting
game by accident. As a kid he had
been taught to box by his brother,
a member of an athletic club. He
had no intention of being a pro
fessional fighter, boxing was all
that the boys in the-neighborhood
did in their spare moments the
neighborhood that produced Abe
Attell, Jimmy Britt, Frankie Neil,
and Monte Attell, Eddie Hanlon
and many lesser lights in the pug
After a few months, impressed
by the showing made by other
boys who had graduated from his
district into the professional
ranks, Willie suddenly decided to
try himself otit in a real contest.
Without giving the matter much
thought he approached a pro
motor on a fight day.and asked to
be put on.
"No chance, kid," said the pro-motor.-
"This card is full, and be
sides, who are you?"
Now, Willie's dad didn't think
much of the fight' game, so he
"My name's Willie Richard-
"Come around tonight," said
the promotor, "and if one of the
hoys fails to show up I'll give
you a chance."
Willie was on the job and was
substituted for a boy who failed
to show up. He won by a knock
out in the second round. The an
nouncer did not get the assumed
name of "Willie, Richardson"
right and introduced- the, little
has stuck to him ever' since and "
which is now known throughout
the boxing world.
Ritchie's second fight wtih Jim
Davis. In the first round Davis
swung a terrific left to Willie's
right cheekbone. A few second
later the right side of Ritchie's
face looked like a huge ball paint
ed blue. Despite the-pain and the
handicap of one closed eye, Willie
managed to get a draw.
When he arrived home that
night "dad" was sitting on the
front steps with stick in his.
"Where ha,ve you been and"
where did you get that face?" was
In fear of a real licking, Willie
blurted out. "I fell off a wagon,
paw, honest I did." And he got
away with it.
Ritchie had about 40 fights
and has never .been knocked out.
Only four decisions have been re
corded against him. Charley
Reilly outpointed him-in a four .
round go when he,was new at the
game, but Willie later gave Reilly
Frankie Burns of Oakland also
was given a decision over him
early in his career. One of the
other decisions against him was
secured by Matty Baldwin, but it '
was in Ritchie's first 20 round
fight and he did not know how
to get over the route.
' The fourth decision against
him was won by Freddie Welsh,
whom he fought to a" standstill
for 20 rounds without a minute's
training a.nd after a nigrht's travel
,. 1 5 "Wuli.'..! - 'i