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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, November 29, 1912, Image 9

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Wolgast Loses the Championship to Young San Franciscan in the Sixteenth Round
Referee Griffin Warns Him • He Per
sists, and Ritchie Gets Decision
. Willie Ritchie, known in private life as Geary Steffen, brought
the lightweight championship of the world home to San Francisco
yesterday afternoon in the arena at Daly City when Ad Wolgast,
the title holder, fouled him twice
in the sixteenth round. The
champion hit the challenger below
the belt on two occasions after he
had been knocked down with a
right swing to the jaw. He was
duly warned by Referee Tim Griffin,
but he cast discretion to the winds
and took a desperate chance—and it
cost him his much coveted crown.
The spectacular finish came after one
of the most desperate struggles that
San Francisco ever has known. Both
fighters gave an exhibition of every
thing in the Queensberry code. They
boxed, slugged, fouled and roughed it.
Ritchie won because he had youth and
strength. A few of hie well placed
punches to the body took the steam
out of the champion, demonstrating be
yonfi the question of a doubt that Ad
never recovered from his operation for ' t
Hats off to the newly crowned light
weight king for his gameness! Hats
off to his'manager,'Billy Nolan, who
took the desperate chance of matching
him in the face of overwhelming odds!
Hats off to the city of, San Francisco
for landing the king of the light
weight division for the first time in her
Ritchie fought a battle that ought to
win him undying fame in the prize
ring. He came back and made the
champion back up after the latter
neemed to have him under complete
submission. He met Wolgasts tvery
rush fairly and squarely. He took-the
champion's hardest wallops and rallied,
and finally found his weak spot and
scientifically heat him do.wn.
This in brief is the £tory of the pass
ing of the lightweig-ht title from the
man who held it for nearly three years
to the' man who up to a year ago was
only an ordinary San Francisco four
rounder. The wisest of them were
willing to bet their bank rolls on the
champion at ridiculous odds. Only the
outsiders—those who knew Ritchie
well and trusted him—thought he had ,
a chance.
The boy won his title fairly and
squareljv Every fair minded man in
the vast crowd will admit this. Natu
rally enough, the vanquished gladiator
and his heart broken manager will
make a cry of unfairness and Jobbery
and the like, but wails long since
have been drowned by the joyful
shouts of the victorious Ritchie boost
ers, who were everywhere to* be seen
last evening.
It was either man's battle when the j
gong sounded the start of the sixteenth
and final round. The rivals were weak
and weary, worn and heavy eyed. Wol
gast, taking a desperate chance, rushed
at Ritchie and they went into a clinch.
They broke, and Wolgast put a right
and a left to the jaw, but the blows
did not seem to carry sufficient force
behind them, for Ritchie shook his
head, rallied and tore right after the
Measuring his man "with his well
trained though almost closed right eye,
the native son ewung a vicious right
hand swing direct from the ground.- It
landed fairly and squarely on the
jaw of the title holder, who tottered
for a second and then, keeled over,
right in his own corner.
The crowd was on its feet in an in
"Measure him!' , "Put him out: , '
"Bring home tl»e championship!" "Take
car* of yourself, Willie:" were some of
the-yells--of advlee from the half crazed
Slowly the champion , rose at the
count of three. Hi a eyes looked glazed
and his feet tottered beneath him. The
brandy stimulant which had been given
him a couple of minute* before seemed
to have lost its effect. His stamina had
vanished, and he knew that hie only
chance waa that of the desperado, -so
he took it.
Blindly rushing at Ritchie. the
champion ewungr rights and lefts for
the head in vain endeavor to bring
over a winning haymaker, but his
judgment of distance was- bad. He
could not rally nor come to the bat as"
he used to in his palmy days before
the surgeon's knife got the better of
In the meantime Ritchie, weak and
I worn from 15 rounds of the hardest
i fighting he ever knew, tried to set him
eelf for the final wallop. He wanted
to land his favorite right hand cross,
but the strength was not there. As
the champion lunged wildly around the
ring, the challenger attempted time
after time to put over the finishing
blow—but there was no steam behind
it. When he varied with lefts to the
head, the crowd moaned and groaned.
Still lashing out both hands, Wolgast
continued to bore in. Ritchie turned
him around and beat him to the ropes
near \ln own corner with right and
left hand to the Jaw. They had
no steam behind them, otherwise the
California lad would have won the
title on a knockout.
They clinched and struggled near the
center of the ring and were tugging
away when Wolgast * shot a left rip
which hit Ritchie below the belt. Ref
eree Jim frriffln saw this foul blow and
warned the champion, even before
Ritchie registered his complaint. The
crowd in the meantime was in an up
"If you do that again I'll disqualify
you!" roared' Griffin as he "broke the
fighters apart.
Wolgast paid no heed to the warn
ing, coming right back with a punch
J that was almost a duplicate of the one
ihe was cautioned for delivering a few
seconds before. This mistake gave
Ritchie the championship.
Without an instant's hesitation. Ref
eree Griffin stepped in between the men
and raised Ritchie's right "hand as a
token of victory.
Wild scenes followed. Staid, straight
laced business men grasped the hands
of preliminary fighters, and milHon
..aires congratulated ring hangereon out
of joy and delight. Hats went sky
ward and mad shouts filled the air. It
was an event never to be forgotten, a
ringside scene tha* wJlj linger ever- in
the minds of those fortunate enough
to have witnessed it.
Special policemen, constables and
deputy sheriffs were swept aside lay
the Ritchie admirers as they stormed
the ring. All was confusion. A regu
lar bedlam reigned. The conquering
hero was surrounded by hundred of
well wishers with hands extended.
Manager Nolan and the various seconds
had to fight for fully 10 minutes be
fore they could carry fhe victor away
on their back.s.
The vanquished fighter vanished as if
by magic. Two minutes after he had
delivered the foul blow he was safely
stowed away in hie dressing room, sur
rounded .by Manager Joneg and a few
of his most intimate friends. The thou
sands of othefs had forgotten about
him. Their thoughts were /or the-new
king of the lightweight division.
The bell started the wonderful battle
Continued on Page 10, Column 4 I
Ad Wolgast on his haunches {left) as a result of the effective fight hand swing.that Ritchie landed in the sixteenth round. The other picture shows
Wolgast boring in for the body in the previous round, with Ritchie planting a hard right hand.blow.to the jaw.
What the Principals Had to Say of the Outcome
Blow by Blow, the Tale
Of the Acquisition
Of a Crown
following is the condensed story of
yesterday's lightweight championship
battle by rounds:;;;.;.! r;.~ ; r :;-> V V..3T-J,
. ; HOITND 1
':-'i Ritchie, with tbe * men fighting Hose, scored i
several 1 ttm?t> ', to ! the heed and 7» face S before I the
champion $ essayed \' the ; V offensive. They € mixed
, fiercely In, a , neutral corner and f the Ca'llfornlan
scored first blood a* a reenlt of a succession of
sonrt arm" blows to * toe ' mouth - WoJpast ♦ spat
■ blood si as he took v bis seat. It was Ritchie's
round. _ ~.',.- %-\." v ' '
■'-■ , " , ''' ■ "'" ' ROUND 3 , * - :v ■_»*'•''
' -Wolgast opened the ■ round ; : with va ' rush, breath
ing ? heavily. Tbe ♦? champion ~k«u>t >wcl! 'SI under
cover '' and, after " indulging i Ritclffe •; wtth several'
lefts 1 ami i rights to the i i*w. drove two I wicked I
■ rights to . be; jaw and J a 1 left uppercut * over the i
1 heart. Kltrnie broke ground affd looked worried.
Wolgast, . spitting blood, drore two tolling
lefts *to tbe " etomach < and winked sat bis ? seconds.
The C round t- ended •* with d.e*p#rate 'x' infighting.
Ritchie excelling Wolgast a shade. r;- , .
-•■' Wolgast tore \ In, i hot outside Vof, •a V powerful j
left Ito the stomach his * Mows . Were t poorly direct
ed, whlcb elicited corument from tbe spectators.
Wolgattt drove'two ; wicked rights to f the stomach
and a right to tbe mouth, starting a ; thin stream
of bleed. Wolgast almoKt >«ent Mx man through
the ropes wfth a i tremendous rb/ht to the Jaw. Jmt j
RJtcnie fought back w4tb such flerrenrsK that it |
■ looked jas if the \ champion would " twrciimh. The
. he!l ended ton sesslou ? with ,' ; both f : men • bleeding
from the mouth, Etch. *'},-. 1■ ■ '■ .. •
\.t'y.' ''■''-*■ ■ ROUND 4 '.-' . ' , "/
Hoth fighters swmerf cajjej-. , Shoulder to
I nbouJder • tlier exchanged right inpercate *to the
I jaw. the champion's punches baring jby I far the
1 greater f power t behind them. Ritcble , drove the
! champion j against the 1 rnpes. landing several
! snftppy 3 f*per». He t shook > 5 Wolgast i. with k, two
i heavy drives over, the .heart. and the ' '•wildcat ,,
i stood in ! his owt corner and covered up. Ritchie
had the advantage and the s crowd cheered him
lustily. J 7 ' - v- . .■ - -
r .:j/*.v;r; BOUND & ;;,,.; ... ..,
: t After a rally *t. thp ropes they exchanged hard
1 lefts f. to the Jaw t and j> some 1 clever bloc-king ion
tbe part *of both J men brought >. cheer* t from the
" crowd. W<slgast *, then i chopped p. a , wicked i rigftt !
,to the. ja-w and quick as a flash shot liis left to i
! the Jaw. 7 A right crow almost > sent 1 Ritchie fto
; his 5 haunches, and J the e.bamplqn f followed M this i
with two tremendous body punches and a right '
that all but closed the Californian'e right eye |
Jlt was tbe best round of the light up sto this
; stage and ; decidedly in ( favor jof i Wolgaet. p«|^
Wolgast fonplit with great cv', end took
'no fbences .with tbe shifty Jocsl boxej. He
kept j at ! & j safe | distance ; and \ landed | several J solid
lefts overßitcbtes damaged right «ye. At close
range } the champion hammered i* ty. at the i body,
landing I several telling i wallop*, one reaching i the
pit •of g> the stomach * with r great I force. ; Ritchie
i fought { back $ gamely, $ but |hk I t-.-.ttin* f power w»s
' deficient » and s the champion H took | his « corner grin
ning broadly with the honors much llβ • his favor *
. . ROUND 7 -:-; - v 3i&5S3
Wolgast rushed in and planted : hie rlebt
soltdly to the Jaw. It made Willie wince per
ceptibly. Wolgaet began to talk to Ritchie' aa
they busied ? thwiselvee ;at eJoee range, s the cham
pion whipping 1 several punches to • the Jaw and
; body that all * but floored /ftetCallfomliin/mßitctiie
appeared l • bit gro.Sy at thle J stage and took i bl«
__ -„" "■ ■ :;: r- ■:"•■-:':', --• - -.- •
Blows in Groin Did
Their Work—Almost
Wolgast struck me low twice.
After he bit nn> the first time,
Referee Orlflln cautioned him
that be was hittlnx low—-but
Wolgast paid no attention to him,
aa be »truck me the second time
in tbe groin. I did not go down
immediately* «■ I ««» afraid that
Wolgast would get me. Then my
leg stiffened on me and I felt In
tense pain ia the groin. Whether
these blows were struck inten
tionally or not T can not ear.
Tbe people outside of the ring
>vould he the best Judges.
The fight was a bard one, aad
Wolgast really gave me a
tousber fight than I expected. He
was a much better fighter than
when I fought him before.
I wan nevrr in real danger,
though around the twelfth round
my hands seemed to go dead on
inc. I believe it was the result
of bitting Wolgast'* hard head.
Tbe blow that pat htm down nir
a straight right to the jaw.
s*at unsteadily. Wolff set's round hy a wide mar
gin, Ritchie having scarcely landed a blow of
Ritchie ceroe up with a sick smile and the
champion immediately bu»led himself with short
range blows to the face. The champion's de
fence was virtually Impenetrable anil time and
i again Ritchie's blows went for naught. Wolga»t
i landed a half doeen clouts to "the body and Jaw
J and scampered to his corner the acme of coofl-
I ilence. Wolgaafs round.
Ritchie's right eye was entirely closed..a« he
came up to meet the cJsanijMoa'e never-falling
rtwb. The champion chased hie man about the
riog <*nd, after blocking Ritchie's many attempts,
drove fearful rights and lefts to the stomach,
punishing hie man severely. There was no stop
ping him, and the wonder was that the, Califor
ulan weathered the gale. Made desperate.
Ritchie swapped punches, lending several hard
right ewinga en the face. It wu Wolg»st*s
round, however. _
They fought close together, Wolgaat doleg con
siderable execution oo the lody with left and
right uppercuts delivered at close quftrter*.
Ritchie bat&ed back with surprising vim and
tilted the champion's head with atrjiight left and
right pnncbee. Wolgast here loet bia potac and
altcbic hammered Win unceasingly with right
and left swinge to the Jew. which only the clang]
How the Champion Was
Weakened by Blows
Of San Franciscan
of the bell stemmed. The irowd was on Its feet
as Wolgast went to bis corner looking much the
worse for wear. It was Ritchie's best effort and
be had the honors of the round.
Encouraged by the s-bouts of his partisans.
Ritchie took the battle to the champion and a
vicious" rally followed in mtdring, Wolgaet swing
ing wildly and Ritchie landing sereral straight
right punches to tbe Jaw. Ritchie appeared to
gain strength aDd they mixed it again In tbe
center of the ring, Ritchie planting solid rights
aad Jpfts to tbe face as Wolgast ewuug wildly,
seeking to land a telling punch. Again it was
Ritchie's round and the champion, bad slowed up
Wolgast, after some iufighting. chopped a wick
ed right to the eye and followed it with a left
drlce to the etomach. Ritchie, however, retaliat
ed with straight rights to rhe face and rushed
the champion about the ring. Ritchie drove his
right to tbe etomach and followed It with a
eerie* of face punches. Wolgast "finally flung hie
•left solidly on the point of the chin, but Ritchie
never faltered and weDt coolly to his chair. Round
Fighting head to bead, they exchanged face
blows. Wolgaefs delivery being wild. Both ap
peared surprisingly strong, considering the fast
pace, and each seemed willing to force the fight
ing. After a siege of inconsequential milling
Wolgast fought hie man to Ibe ropes and the Bell
ended an uninteresting and even round.
The round opened fiercely in the center of the
ring, both missing constantly. Wolgaet forced
tbe Califcmi.ia against the ropes, planting two
good rights to the stomach and a left over the
closed eye. Ritchie i-tvntered with a rain of
light right stomach lmm-bcs. Wolgast shot a
natty straight left to tbe ik>s*\ sending Ritchie's
bead back v foot. He then x I most closed Riteb
le's good eye. a hard right t<. that member ac
counting for it. WolgaetV by a shade.
Ritchie was able to see from ono eye only as
he squared off. He angered the champion by
shooting a wicked left to thf pit of the stom
ach and both battled.lneffe«tually at close rauge.
They clinched constantly in this round and the j
referee was forced to pry them apart. Ritchie
«et the spectators to cheering again by landing
a volley of lefts to the stomacb attd cJearly out
boxed the champion. Wolgast closed the round
with a bard drive to the stomach. Wolgast had
been given a taste of whisky during each round
Ritchie suddenly drove his right to tbe jaw
with terrific force and Wolgast went totterleg
against the ropes. A moment later the Califor
oian sent the champion to the fl<ior with a right
similarly applied and Wolgast came up reeling.
Again Ritchie's right shot oat and Wolgast was
sent against tbe ropes. Ritchie, however, lacked
power to put lit a finishing blow. The best Wo).
gast could do wee to close In, stalling all the
while, bis eyes glased. With the men locked.
Wolgaet brought his left up from his side and
struck Ritchie low. The blow was clearly dis
cernible and the crowd yelled ita protest. Ref
eree Griffin grasped Wolgast saylug. "Do that
again and I'll disqualify you." He had ecarcely
finished when Wolgast duplicated the punch,
agrain catching Ritchie below the belt. Griffin
stopped the one test and prompt!/ awarded the
• fight to Ritchie. '
Reese and Campbell Go to a Draw, While
Lanum Puts Hassen to Sleep
this city. The bout went the full distance, and was declared a draw by the
referee, Doctor Koenigstein. Campbell had a shade, but his advantage was
not decisive enough to get the laurels. In the opening round Campbell
started off as if he was going to polish his man off in quick time. The bell
had hardly brought the men to the center of the ring when Campbell
whipped over a right hand blow to the jaw, which sent Reese reeling back
ward. He was groggy, and Campbell followed up his advantage by landing
another right to the jaw, which sent Reese to the mat. The latter was in
bad shape, -but he was game. He.
backed away from his opponent, while \
Campbell tried hard to land decisive-'
Iy. He seemed unable to land the
finishing blow. Reese managed to
last the round out. Reese came back !
strong In the second round. He landed j
a low blow on Campbell, but the latter :
was partly at fault, as he was up In
the air when the blow was struck. The !
second round belonged to Reese. Camp- |
bell seemed to be affected by the low \
Reese continued to lead in the third :
round. He forced the battle and lande-l I
a hard right ta Campbell's jaw which;
sent the latter down. Campbell was i
plainly groggy, but he was game and \
managed to stall the round through, i
The fourth round was slow and neither ;
fighter had an apparent edge.
Campbell had a shade in the fifth i
round and the sixth belonged to him I
by a decisive margin. He used his left |
hand to advantage in this round and i
kept tilting Reese's head back with j
straight stabs.
The opening bout on * the card t
brought together Young Lanum and
Willie Hassen. The bout was scheduled
for four rounds, but Lanum cut it |
short by landing a haymaker on Has- ;
sen's jaw in the second round which i
sent the latter to the land of dreams. }
The bout was full of action while it j
lasted, but Lanum had a wicked kick |
and when it landed the bout was over.
|t was quite a spell between the time '
the last preliminary was finished and
the . time the principals for the big
scrap entered the ring. At least It
seemed that way to the crowd, which
was keyed up to "concert pitch."
At 2:38 o'clock Ritchie's party was
seen making its way dowu the renter
isle to ,the ring. Billy Nolan, clad in
a red sweater vest, led the procession,
closely followed by Ritchie, who re
sembled an Inmate of a hammam
Continued on Page 10, Column c
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