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THE FALL of "JACK" BROUGHTON
Tit* IRST Battle for the Worlds Championship, far > 1 Which Jeffries and Johnson Fight Next July , Was fine nf the Greatest in the History) of the Rin<3 * -*\\ /Ci T had best see "Jack" OlacK," isaia Cap- tain Cleveland. with a grin. "He has your g name fighting for breath." B rough ton turned, frowning. "What has the butcher to say of me?" he demanded. "That he's a better man than ever you were," said Cleveland. *'lle"s over there at the rail with a court of his hangerson, and to hear him he's beaten you •: \u25a0 - \u25a0 \u25a0 ' 30 times within the hour." V ' ,''>"'\u25a0 liroujhton made a gesture of impatience. "From all accounts he's a rare plucked one at -the talking. Let's : ; ee how he will talk with me to listen." ~He shouldered a May through the throng in the direction indicated It was a day of racing at Hounslow and the course \u25a0 *-. :-.•\u25a0'- ' "'" ' HjLMJ IMJP'U IIWE "'ft.T I .'* 'WIBP 'gllW'l v£ was lined by the thousands come from London for the day's sport. Gentility and commonalty were mingled, on the preen, gold lace hobnobbing with fustian.' Broughton himself, for many years the undisputed champion of the "science of self-defense," had arrived in company with the duke of Cumberland, he of Cul loden, his friend and patron. It was that distinguished sportsman that Captain Cleveland now sought out. lie found him standing near his coach. . "There's good game afoot, your highness,'' said Cleveland, eagerly. "What would you say to a match between Broughton and Slack, the butcher?" "Now that was well thought of," said Duke William, warmly. "This fellow Slack is a hardy and courageous fighter. I know of no one, save only George Taylor, so likely to give Broughton a close brush. Have they \u25a0'They are together now,"' chuckled. Cleveland, "thoush what will come of it is not sure as yet. By great coed luck I wns near the rail when I heard - \u25a0 ------ ': - .-'- \u25a0\u25a0' Slack bawling lire and thunder, among his friends, you* .may ke sure. He miscalled Broughton and I hastened to c!<; our champion ihc good service of an informer. Yo«i !-;tk>v. hoxv quick he is to stand upon his name and "Good." said the duke. "Slack should find backers \u25a0__\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0• -,;-. - :i" he is minded to enter the ring." \u25a0 •Me will, ' cnsv.er.?' Cleveland. "He has quite a following at Slaughter's. Your highness will have no trcuble finding tairers for your money, though the The iluke rubbed his hands cheerfully. "Rare sport 2nd a big wager, Cleveland. What more can we ask? And for other reasons we should be glad to soo Broughton put to it. He has had no serious contender the^e many years and the man was growing insuffer able with his grumbling and his humors. This should " He has a very small opinion of Slack," said Cleve land, ""the more so that the butcher was but recently "And a hard, clean fight it was," nodded the duke. "Slack 23 promising and will mill until he can not lift "You have no doubt of Broughton's superiority?" "What doubt could I have? Broughton has beaten Taylor and Taylor whipped Slack. Broughton is invincible. The butcher is a slogging hitter, of good bottom and courage. I have scon him stand up with Dan Smith, the Suffolk champion, for a long hour when he was weaving on his legs and his second ready to cry the word, and he won in the end. But he can not stand to Broughton." IJrouchton Like an Ox "Your highness is undoubtedly right," said Cleve land, "though Slack's youth and strength will make him a worthy fceman. Here comes Broughton now, with battle in his eye." The great boxer was shouldering his way through the crowd toward his royal patron, wnom he saluted as he came up. He was a man of tremendous build, mighty limbs and erect pose, just under six feet in height and a figure of note in any gathering. Origin ally a Thames waterman, he had practiced the "manly art of foil play, back sword, cudgeling and boxing" since the days of Fig, the first great public fighter. From 1743, seven years before, his amphitheater in Oxford road had been the acknowledged center of pugilism, where he managed the best matches of the time and taught the young bloods of the town the pamos in which he was unchallenged master. Broughton's following was numerous and aristo cratic, and since the failure of George Taylor's rival establishment he had enjoyed uninterrupted pros perity. The duke of Cumberland had taken him under his special protection and the pugilist had accom panied his royal friend during a tour of the continent. Through the same benefactor Broughton had been made a yeoman of the guard and had attained recog nition in court circles. In appearance the champion was graceful and of great symmetry. His expression w&3 frank and engaging, manly and dignified. His light eyes were remarkably keen and contributed no little to the impression of confidence and command felt by all who came in contact with him. "Well. Jack." said the duke, "Cleveland tells me you have met the butcher. What did you make with iiim?'' . "Little encjli," said Broughton, with the blunt, straightforward manner he adopted toward all, gentle |j«j simple. "It sticks in my head that this Slack Is * *v>wtrjL" Til warrant he is none." cried the duke. "But wliat passed between you?" "I found him crowing among his chickens. He was making free of me, that I was old and fat with high living and had lost my bottom and could not stand up like a man. I should have clouted the rogue on the spot save for having in mind the sport I could give your highness and the greater pleasure of milling him soundly. "'What's this you've tot to say to me?' J said, and ifala a nanu en hi? shoulder. He spun around where he stood and his'jaw fell aAvay.-I was hot. *A uci-ue whip is what "you need to teach- you manners,' I said. He twisted away, but -some of those about him began to murmur and he faced again. ' "'Will you fight?' I asked him. , He grumbled, 'Aye, "'Then hold your tongue between- your teeth come the time to misname the maji who beats you,' I told him, the surly dog." \u25a0• "You did well, Jack," said the duke. "You will fight him in your amphitheater?" . "Two weeks hence," said Broughton, "unless on sober thought he takes to his heels. To hold him I put up the whole house as purse. If I can not thrash him I will tiave no'loser's sweets to. hold my stqmach, with him fresh from a beating by Georgie Taylor. He has friends to back him, £200 he says; I covered that as a side. Is your highness minded to venture on me?" \u25a0 . '. "Every farthing I can find \a taker for," nn^vcrod the duke enthusiastically. \u25a0 Dels on -the Battle Captain Cleveland was watching the champion keenly. "Two weeks is none too long in which to lote some of the weight on fliat great body of yours, Broughton," he said. The boxer flushed. "Slack will find me light and heavy enough, and you, too, Captain^Cleveland., if you care to wager on the butcher's chances." Cleveland held his peace, but he was not convinced. Broughton, to a careful eye, was a trifle too portly for fast work in company with a vigorous youngster "like Slack. It was evident, moreover, that the champion despised his adversary" and would make no efforts to bring himself to condition. The captain promised him self to have a look at Slack before lie risked money on the outcome. Oq. April 10, 1750, the day before that set for the battle. Broushton sent one of his supporters to the inn where Slack had put up. The messenger carried 10 guineas which he presented to the pugilist, explaining that-Broughton desired to clinch the arrangement'be yond any possible doubt. "Does hs think I shall fail to be there, then?" asked Slack, pocketing the coins. , \u25a0> "He feared you might draw out," said the envoy. "Tell hi:n I keep his money to bet against him," said Slack. . "And let him *»>t easy. Jack Brough ton will have cause to know that I am knee to knee with him." Slack, who was then at the height of his powers, had been a butcher in Norwich. He had fought a. straight series of victories through the provinces 'and had come to London in the preceding January, to try his fortune ( with the members of the, notable group that gathered about Broughton. His first trial had ended in defeat at. the hands of George Taylor after a desperate contest. -\u25a0'\u25a0... ' He was fully three inches shorter than Broughton; though his weight was nearly equal to Bhe champion's in his prime. His build was rather compact than graceful, whh thick ankles and wrists and extraor dinary width of chest. He had learned the various blows and methods of guarding as first devised by Broughton, but had developed a style of his own, being remarniibly agile and quick of eye. 1t was said of him that he never gave back in a rally and that he stood ready to meet a knockout blow if he "could not stop it, rather than jump cut of range. For .ill Broughton's scornof him Slack had not the slightest streak of the coward. He had stood up to Taylor until flesh and bone could do not more. After that crushing defeat? with his star checked and falter ing in its upward course, the butcher had determined upon a plan that testified both to his shrewdness and to his undeterred ambition. Beaten by Taylor, he aspired to obtain a match with the conqueror of Tay lor and snatch the laurels from the father of the sci ence. His behavior had been directed to that end, and Broughton's fear of hi 3 withdrawal amused him mightily. At 9 o'clock of Wednesday morning the doors of Broughton's amphitheater were thrown open to the swarm of men and boys that had gathered in Oxford road. These early comers were the spectators of the pit. The champions were not to meet until noon, and the wealthier patrons of the sport never arrived until shortly" before that time. In the center of the amphitheater stood the stage, or ring, 25 feet square, and raised some five feet from the ground. The space about thiswas the pit. At the sides, roofed over, were the boxes, and above them was a gallery. The stage and pit were open to the air. Some 3,000 spectators could be accommodated within the walls. \u25a0 . \u25a0 \u25a0 Tlio Gladiators The duke of Cumberland was among the first to appear in the boxes, and as acquaintances began to arrive his betting tablets were in requisition.- He looked upon any wager on Slack as found money and gave 5 and 6" to 1 with great willingness. .His alacrity did not meet with its proper response, however, since the company generally felt that the relative chances of the adversaries could be better judged after a "round or two. Broughton's retirement and Slack's rather obscure record left little room for judgment. Captain Cleveland was on hand early, but ventured no money though the duke made him several tempting offers. • A few minutes before noon there was a. commotion in the crowd and the combatants, each ; followed by his feecond,, entered the amphitheater from the retir ing rooms. They mounted the ladder to the stage, and clambering over the rails, chose their corners. The pit greeted them with roars of applause, 'the boxes and gallery with handclapping and bravos as they stood bowing. t ' Two finer gladiators never faced : each other than these, one the man who had established the^unda-^ mental rules and principles of fistic combat, and the other the younger pupil of his school, who had. come to dispute pre-eminence with the veteran. They were. stripped to the waist, with light, belted breeches and pumps. They wore no gloves or bandages upon their, hands, for'"mufilers" were paraphernalia of the;game considered proper only to tyros and exquisites; . Broughton, albeit showing some of the effects of soft living, had lost none of his impressiveness or ease, His muscles, to the discerning eye,' might have seemed to run a trifle too smoothly and pi umplyV his shoulders to have lost some of their squareness,,but hisrnassive arms held aX = great a promise of tremendous blows as ever, he held his head as high and stepped as; firmly. To the crowd that .cheered him. he was , the peerless : - \u25a0 \u25a0 : \u25a0 TT" — JACK SLACK From a Bust by \u25a0 Sivier Reproduced from "Thf His , torj of British Boxiaj" Broughton, the man of national, renown, : favorite of princes: and of fortune. Slack won. his reception through his modest bearing, clean appearance and the ; reputation gained by his plucky showing against, Taylor. His skin was pink and firm with youth and health, the muscles rippling and cording With every movement. He turned away quickly to his corner. As the uproar died one of his enthusiastic supporters, a member of his own former calling, shouted a final admonition: "Hit 'un a slack 'un, Jack Slack!" This was meant as a subtly flattering allusion to the butcher's smash ing right swing, which had brought his name into the vernacular of the time. Slack smiled and held up his hantTir. deprecation of . the laughter and cheers that followed the sally.- S Major Legrange and Mr. John Dudley were selected respectivqlj 1 ; by , Broughton and Slack from among *the occupants ;of. the boxes 'as their umpires. These gen tlemen, did not enter the ring, "since under Broughton's rules the stage was sacred to combatants and seconds during a- battle. , They took up their position in the same box and compared watches \u25a0 for the purpose of timing half minutes between rounds allowed to the boxers in which to take their positions after a fall. The preliminaries having been observed the men stepped forward and the amphitheater fell suddenly silent. They moved with dignity toward the center of the ring. On the flooring was chalked a square of a yard and each man, keeping watchful eyes upon the other, placed one foot at his side of the square. The Desperate Fight The contrasting styles of, the two boxers were im mediately apparent as they shook hands and stretched out their arms in readiness for "the setto. Slack's po sition was poorly calculated for shifty tactics, which it was 'never his custom to rely upon. He stood up right, with the weight upon the v ; broad of his feet, which; were but slightly separated.; From this atti tude he could step forward with his body behind his ami, but could not yield readily. With his right fist he guarded the pit of. his stomach, his left was ad vanced at the level of his mouth. : Broughton's pose was more easy and graceful. His stood on springy knees, well balanced for hitting and getting away, a practice that he had first introduced into the downright hammering of the early game. His fists were held forward and before his, chest, his head well up and back. His superiority in weight, height and'posture over his opponent was clear to every fol lower of the sport. Slack waited for the veteran to open the contest, and Broughton; slashing out suddenly, sent his right home on his opponent's : chin. Instantly the silence with which the spectators" had; awaited the first clash was broken by a * wave of applause, and as Slack ripped in three ineffective blows the shouting swelled in volume. Slack's unwillingness to dodge or shift gave^ Broughton v a chance to get in a battering jab to the face and the ; butcher staggered back, his right cheek cut wide open. Broughton followed up his ad vantage and closed with his "adversary. For a breath they struggled, each trying for a cross buttock, when Broughton forced the' other from his feet, landing uppermost in the fall. * \u25a0 The seconds hurried from their corners, each assist ing his man to rise, encouraging him, blowing a spray of water into his eyes and ears and seating him on his knee. Broughton was without a scratch, but Slack's face was raw. Both men were fresh and lively when they approached their marks for 'the second' round. Broughton's friends were jubilant, the duke of Cumberland leading the cheers. The \u25a0 duke 'offered S to 1, but bettors were scarce,: waiting for further proof of Slack's ability. Cleveland had not booked a single wager. \u25a0 On being! set, for tlieinext round, Slack became sud denly the aggressor. / He .rushed in with one of his terrific right smashes, taking the check that Broughton launched at him. The veteran stepped back easily, catching the ; "slack 'un" on his arm and countering with; his dreaded lunge tinder the ; left ear. Slack would not be denied and closed, but Broughton, slip ping from ; his • hold, hurled him to the floor withTa \u25a0 clean, resounding blow on the chest. The; butcher; picked" himself up nimbly and retired to sit upon the knee of ; his second. There was no doubt left in the minds of; the Broughton contingent that s the : veteran was . the better i man and the match a'.: final triumph*; for the master. " Slack's ' partisans shouted disapproval of his showing andhis vociferous: fellowy tradesman was forward with advice. : "Bung. hisipeepers!; Bung his peepers!" he howled. :^ Slack only- smiled/and: Captain Clevelao/V; who kept* The Beaten Champion Sank With a Groan a careful watch upon him, could see that the man was scarcely breathed for all the -rough handling he had been through. Broughton, on the other hand, found his second's knee a welcome resting place and was puffing with his exertions. At the lapse of the half minute the boxers came to the center for the third round. Slack seemed less willing to take his chance of Broughton's formidable blows and .closed almost immediately. The veteran thrust his thigh over for a cross buttock, but the butcher eluded it and they fell together, Slack again underneath. At the fourth round the butcher wasted even less time in bringing about a fall. Cleveland, ever alert, began to understand. Slack's hard condi tion gave him little to fear from the struggle at close 1 quarters and the crash to the stage. Broughton, on the other hand, was safer when on his feet and at long range, plainly trying to avoid the falls and to knock down his opponent while keeping his own feet. , The fifth and sixth rounds were fought almost with a blow, Slack slipping in to a hold and Broughton unable to avoid him. The sixth round ended with a desperate wrestle,*: in which the veteran landed heavily upon the butcher. Slack required his second's aid in rising. "Hung His -Peepers!" The men had been fighting for eight minutes and bets were now flying s fast among the spectators. VThe duke had placed several minor wages, but was anx iously seeking some one who would take him for a heavy sum. "Ten to one on Broughton!" he cried; "ten to one!" Captain Cleveland was at his elbow. VHow much will your highness venture?" he asked. The; duke opened his tablets. "Ten .thousand "Done," answered Cleveland carelessly, and made his note of the transaction. Slack, sitting on his sec ond's knee, heard the offer of the duke, which imme diately became the ruling price among all the specta tors, in pit and boxes. "Jemmy," said' the butcher, turning to his second with a grin, "take the 10 guineas that Broughton sent and back me with them at the odds." The sec ond nodded, and, calling one of his friends near the stage, gave him the commission. i Broughton's broad chest was rising and falling with deep, rapid breaths as the men came together for the seventh round. Slack, though he had suffered in the last fall, seemed to have no trouble with his wind : and advanced 'smiling. Again the strong lunged parti san in the- pit yelled his injunction: "Bung his peepers! Bung his peepers!" ' Slack open the round with a swift one, two at the head. The second blow ripped the veteran's ear, but before the .butcher could recover Broughton had smashed in his stomach blow, with which he had ended many, a contest. It caught Slack fairly in the body and dropped him to his knees like a sack. .He was all abroad for an instant and leaned heavily upon his second in retiring to the corner, but a whiff of spray braced him. To those who knew Broughton it was a matter for wonder that the butcher recovered from that deadly blow so. quickly. They had looked to see him collapse, and when he sprang up ready for the next round they began to have more respect for the' sturdy youngster. At the eighth round Slack returned once to his earlier tactics of closing. He got past Broughton's guard at the cost of a stunning clip on the neck, and catching him fairly, whirled him with a mighty effort and-sent him spinning on his back. It was a clean, 'masterly fall, and the amphitheater thundered with the' spontaneous roar of approval, in which the sup porters of Broughton joined as heartily as others. For . the, first time the younger man had clearly proved his right . to be in the ring with the master and had won ; the. ad vantage ofTa round by skillful tactics. Brough ton was in some distress as he rose and sought his corner. ":L; VWheri they came forward for the next round The San Francisco Sunday CalJ • JACK BROUCHTON From a Painting S>7 Frank Hayraan. R. A. nepKxfcJwd froa *TT»e BJ» torj ot British Borlas" Broughton made a determined effort to land the stomach punch again. Slack clubbed tho blow aslda with his left arm, and in the opening leaped In. plant- Ing a terrific smash between the eyea. Broughtoa wa3 shaken and now it was he who closed and sought a fall. He was on top in the crash. In the tenth and eleventh rounds It was still the veteran who rushed quickly for a fall and his friend 9 began to wonder. Not so Cleveland, who had noted the sledge hammer blow between the eyes and the anxiety with which the veteran's second treated him. At the twelfth "round Broughton walked forward un steadily, and instead of aiming a blow at his man or trying a clean grip he reached out his arms as if feel ing for his adversary. The butcher began to rain face and body blows at will and Broughton gave back, apparently confused. A murmur of uneasiness ran among the spectators. The duke of Cumberland, fol lowing his favorite's moves in alarm, 'shouted through the quiet that had fallen: "What's the matter with you, Broughton? You can't fight, you're beat!" The veteran was milling desperately, but at random, while the butcher landed almost at will. At the re mark of the duke Broughton answered: "I can't see my man, your highness; I'm blind, not beat. Only let 'me see my man and he shall not gain tho day yet." And through the excitement that greeted hi 3 words came the triumphant yell of Slack's confrere. "He's bunged his peepers." With a desperate lunge Broughton came to close quarters with the butcher and brought him to the floor, ending a round that had all but defeated him. End of the Mill The effect of Slack's terrible blow was apparent ar; the veteran was aided to his corner. Hi 3 flesh, soft ened, through easy ways of life, had puffed and swollen and his eyes were completely closed. The second washed and sprayed his face repeatedly, but to no purpose. The champion was blinded. The butcher had indeed "bunged his peepers." But the master was not ready to admit himself beaten. At the calling of time he got up from his sec ond's knee, refusing guidance and walked forward. It was plain to all. however, that he eonld not find the mark alone, and his second had to spring to his assistance and lead him to his place. There the mighty champion of 100 battles raised hi 3 head proudly, lifted the huge fists that had brought so many stout opponents low and struck out undaunted, still hopeful of wresting the victory that had been his so often. . Slack was merciful and contented himself with wearing out the remaining strength of his adversary. He easily avoided Broughton's wild rushes and none of the swinging blows reached him. He closed in at the first opportunity and bore Broughton heavily to the floor. It was clear that the battle could not last much longer. Once more the gallant Broughton insisted upon groping to the center of the ring and once mora he summoned his waning strength for the struggle. He panted for breath. His face and body were bathed from a dozen cuts and covered with painful bruises. But he sprang in with lifted fists, forgetful of the terrific punishment, urged by his indomitable spirit. For an instant Slack saw himself threatened. He^ drew his right hand to his breast and lashed out with the "chopper,"' a side swing from the elbow. The back of his fist caught the champion under the jaw, lifting htm from his feet and hurling him headlong. Broughtou's second tried to lift him, but the beaten champion sank back with a groan. The umpires solemnly counted the half minutes and at the expira tion of the time. Broughton still being unable to toe the line, declared Jack Slack the victor. In the cheers that greeted the new master of the sport as he stood proudly erect two did not join. One was the duke of Cumberland, who wa3 silent through bitterness, and the other was Captain Cleveland, who held his tongue from policy. The duke, for all his sporting inclination, was not the best loser in the "I've been sold," he declared, angrily, as he watchec the attendants working over the prostrate form o? tb« conquered man. "Brougnton never fought so poor a battle before." "If you will pardon me. your highness," said Cleveland, gravely, "this was certainly the bravest and in some ways the best fight he ever made. He yielded not to youth in Slack but to age in himself. His defeat has gained him only fresh laurels and we should rather salute and honor him for hfs rare cour age than condemn him for his fair defeat." Slack waited until Broughton was able to stand and then shook hands with him with a few manly words More than £600 had been taken in at the doors andVf this sum fell to the winner/ In addition he carried away with him the 100 guineas that he had won with the 10 given him by Broughton as an inducement asainst evadins the conflict.