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THE MODERN GLADIATOR

WHY THE AMERICAN SUCCEEDSBRUTE STRENGTH


SUPERSEDED BY SCIENTIFIC CLEVERNESS

By ROBERT EDGREN

T HERE was a time when men fought


in the arena armed only with the
cestus, an implement akin to the
brass knuckles used in modern days by foot-
ern wielders of the padded gloves, has sur-
vived the passing of the centuries.
The nearest connecting link is the famous
Greek statue, chiseled in time-defying mar-
pads and other unscrupulous gentry. The ble, known as The Boxer. This affords at
rawhide thongs and strips of lead and brass least a study in character.
that covered the hand made the cestus The Greek boxer, sitting at ease as if
almost as formidable as the Roman short awaiting the beginning of the contest, his
sword. hands encased in the weapons that fulfilled
Under the blazing suns of Italy and Greece, the same functions as our modern boxing
in the great amphitheaters where barbarian gloves, shows the difference be-
captives fought and died to tickle the fancy tween the ancient and
of the populace, boxing, as a sport involv- the modern game in
ing strength and skill and courage, was his features. He
born. That the ancients must have de- has a small head,
veloped a skilful school of with retreating brow
boxing during the period unintelligentbut
in which the cestus was cunning and crafty.
used is certain, but, un- His features bear
fortunately, no rec- marks that are not
ord either of the due to the erosions
styles of fighting or and mutilations of
of the personal at- centuries. Broken
tributes of the nose and battered
boxers, by which forehead show the
we can make work of the cestus.
comparison be- Boxing was a savage
tween the long game in those days.
dead cham- The boxer took the
pions of same risk of losing
Greece and his life as did the
Italy and gladiator who
our mod- fought with
the short
sword or

By permission of the New


Fitzsimmons. York American.

Fitzsimmons Delivers a Right Hook at Close Quarters.


736 The Modern Gladiator
the net and trident. For years, perhaps, he many bumpers, dressed themselves in coats
trained in the gladiatorial schools. Now bearing some resemblances to the tabards of
and then he fought, minor battles. Finally, heralds, rode through the streets, halted at
he became great enough to appear in the some places, and muttered something that
amphitheater at some triumphed fte. From nobody could understand. It was at first
under the dark-vaulted arches he emerged, supposed that they were merely a company
coming half-blinded into the blaze of hot of Prize-Fighters from Hockley in the Hole,
southern sunlight. Around the arena, tread- who had taken this way of advertising their
ing the trampled and dark-stained sand performances with the back sword, sword
upon which former comrades a few minutes and buckler, and the simple falchion.
before had fought and bled and died, he Hockley in the Hole was the great ren-
strutted, to the accompaniment of wild dezvous for all kinds of pugilists and cudgel
music, the fluttering of pennants, the yells players. These fellows patrolled the streets
of the holiday rabble banked brilliant-hued looking for patrons, much as modern fight-
against the sky. Perhaps then he thought ers haunt the offices of fight promoters in
of the savage mutilation or brutal death that order to get matches. A few of them be-
would soon come to him. Perhaps, hardened came so famous that their names are still
in that rough school, he met the thought by-words in the side streets of London. The
with a laugh and turned to feast his ears most notorious, perhaps, was known as
with the plaudits of the crowd. Tiger Ranch, the Bully of Bedford. He
In the boxing-ring of to-day there is little was mixed up in a number of bloody forays
to call to mind the day of the cestus. The and desperate adventures. Although the
time of the broken-nosed, disfigured cham- law never laid him by the heels, it was a
pion of the prize-ring has passed. widely known fact that several of his affairs
There are six champions in America, each had resulted in the death of his opponent.
at the head of his particular weight class. But this wild time was, properly speak-
Each champion fought his way to the top in ing, before the period of prize-fighting.
scores of savage contests, by using all the The first great boxer in England was Figg.
modern skill of up-to-date masters of ring He fought with his hands, and never in-
craft. Not a man of the six carries a mark dulged in sword play or battles with the
to show that he has ever engaged in a battle cudgel. From his time all fights were held
with the padded gloves. There are men who under London Prize-Ring Rules. These
do, but those are the unsuccessful ones, the allowed wrestling, strangling, and almost
fighters who fight in the old-fashioned way, every form of attack, indeed, except la
opposing skill with strength and brute force. savate. Figgs record is lost in the mists of
The modern school of boxing had its be- antiquity, but in the fighting clubs of Lon-
ginning a little over two hundred years ago, don I heard his name mentioned frequently
in England. On the Continent the art of by men who had heard it spoken by their
self-defense with the fists had died out cen- fathers, who before them had learned it in
turies before. In France laws had been made the same manner. Perhaps in two hundred
prohibiting the striking of blows with the years the name of John L. Sullivan will live
hands, while kicking with the feet, la savate, in the same indefinite way.
was allowed. Fighting under London Prize-Ring Rules
In London, in the latter part of the six- was with the bare fists, not a great advance
teenth century, roystering noblemen and from the days of the cestus. Boxing gloves
men of wealth began the custom of carry- relieved the game of much of its brutality.
ing a retinue of bullies, engaged to fight Still, oven fifty years ago, boxing was in a
for their pleasure and to man-handle their crude state. The English had learned one
enemies. The gallant of that day who did thing; to hit straight and get away. Jem
not have a bully or two at his beck and call Mace, the most famous of English heavy-
was out of the fashion. weights, carried this style to Australia.
These fellows were the first prize-fighters. There he established a boxing-school in
But in those days prize-fighting was a connection with a dance hall and a so-called
strenuous occupation. hotel. Many of the men who studied his
On the proclamation of James the Sec- methods there became famous. Among
onds son as King, writes Macaulay, some these the most notable are Dan Creedon,
zealots, who had probably swallowed too Robert Fitzsimmons, Jim Hall, and Young
The Modern Gladiator 737
Griffo. These men are among the most up- The real reason lies in this: In America
to-date and clever boxers in the world. But everything is given up to sharp competi-
it is only fair to say that Mace furnished tion. In England a man is supposed to
them merely with the rudiments of the remain always in the same class. If he is a
game. Each branched off into a peculiar clerk, he is expected to remain a clerk for
style of his own, and each improved greatly the rest of his life, and to improve only in
while fighting in America. capacity. In America every clerk expects
English writers claim that the English at some time to be at least a general man-
style of boxing has traveled around the ager, if not the sole proprietor of the busi-

Jeffries. By permission of the New York American.

Champion Jeffries in His Characteristic Crouching Attitude.

world, passing through Australia, and land- ness. The ring-fighter in London is per-
ing finally in the United States. They ex- fectly content to have a patron who will
plain the fact that every American fighter arrange all his battles and take charge of
of note who has gone to England has easily the proceeds, allowing him a weekly pit-
outclassed the best of the English boxers, tance of a few pounds. He has absolutely
by stating that we have appropriated their no ambition to advance beyond the mixed
original methods, while in England the ale stage; consequently he never originates
em Mace school of boxing has been partly any new trick in the boxing line. It is a
forgotten. well-known axiom that nothing stands still.
738 The Modern Gladiator
Where there is no advancement, there must time the English style of fighting with the
be some retrogression. padded gloves had been closely followed.
The successful American boxer is as much John L. Sullivan was the last champion of
a business man as if he had a law office in the the world who gained and held his position
Park Row Building. Competition is keen. solely through strength, ferocity, and physi-
There are many thousands of professional cal force. It was just about ten years ago
boxers, and if he allows himself to fall be- that John L. Sullivan met James J. Corbett in
hind ever so little in his knowledge of every New Orleans in a battle for the heavyweight
strategical point in boxing he loses his posi- championship of the world. Throughout the
tion in or near the championship class. Northern continent all eyes were turned
Ten years ago saw a complete revolution toward that small, rope-ringed inclosure;
in boxing methods in America. Up to that all ears were turned to hear the thud of the
blow which was to crush the
championship aspirations of the
audacious Californian. In the
East Corbett was little known.
On the pacific Slope he had
achieved a considerable local rep-
utation by several consecutive
victories over Los Choynski, Jake
Kilrain, and Dominick McCaf-
frey, and a sixty-one-round draw
with the mighty Peter Jackson.
As for John L. Sullivan, he was
the popular idol. Before the fight
in New Orleans he had been tour-
ing the country, meeting and
knocking out all comers. A little
story illustrates the style of fight-
ing that made him famous.
In the lumber regions of Ore-
gon there was a giant French-
Canadian, champion of all the
camps. He stood six feet eight
inches tall, and after whipping
all the bullies of various camps
he had achieved such a local
reputation for strength and sav-
agery that not a man in that
part of the country dared to meet
him armed with anything less
convincing than a sawed-off shot-
gun. The town of Astoria was
included in the route laid out
for one of Sullivans triumphant
tours. When the news reached
the citizens of that place, a month
in advance. They immediately
fixed up a scheme calculated to
result in the undoing of the
hitherto invincible champion and
the immediate enlargement of
their own bank accounts. It was
a well-known fact that on all of
his travels Sullivan was accom-
By permission of the New York American. panied by a large number of
John L. Sullivan, the Greatest Fighter of the Old School. sporting gentry, who made it
The Modern Gladiator 739
their business to fleece the local sports
in any kind of a betting proposition that
could be arranged.
The giant lumberman was at once sent
for and put into a course of training well
calculated to improve his natural ability
as a fighter. All of the loose cash in the
lumber camps flowed into Astoria and was
placed in the hands of a committee to be
used for betting purposes.
Sullivan and his followers arrived. Not
anticipating the pleasant surprise that
had been arranged for him, the champion,
his trainers, managers, backers, and camp-
followers had been indulging for weeks
in a flood of champagne.
The eventful night came. The audito-
rium of the opera house, in which Sullivan
was to meet all that chosen to face him
after his usual custom, was jammed to
the doors. In one of the dressing-rooms
the local giant, rained for the moment,
and eager to serve Sullivan as he had all
his rivals in the lumber camps, waited im-
patiently. Sullivan himself was slow in
coming. During the interval of waiting
all of the money offered by the local com-
mittee had been eagerly covered by the
Sullivan following before they had a sus-
picion of the reception that had been pre-
pared for their man. Everything con-
nected with the giant had been kept a
careful secret.
Finally, Sullivan, clad in his fighting
togs, strutted out before the footlights,
and in the deepest of all bass voices, an-
nounced that he was ready to meet all
comers. Beside him stood the selected
officials.
Suddenly, from the concealment of the
wings, strolled out the huge lumberman.
He overtopped Sullivan by a full head.
By permission of the New York American.
Sullivans followers gave a gasp of surprise
James J. Jeffries, Heavyweight Champion of the World.
and dismay. The giant stood waiting. The
officials stepped aside. The word was
given, and the fight was on. The big lumber- and the giant toppled backward, shot head
man started for Sullivan as if he intended to foremost over the footlights, and landed in
annihilate him. Sullivan gave vent to a roar a crumpled heap in the little pit where the
of rage, lowered his head, and moved for- orchestra played. By the superior sudden
ward in a bull-like rush. His mighty right use of savage strength, Sullivan had whipped
arm swept through the air and his padded the terror of the whole Northwest in ten
fist crashed on the lumbermans jaw. That seconds. Incidentally his backers had ac-
blow would have killed any ordinary man. cumulated all of the ready coin within a
The giants head snapped back as if his neck days ride of Astoria. Sullivan retired to his
were broken. His knees bent and shook be- dressing-room, where a case of champagne
neath him. Another terrific swing, another awaited him. An hour later a chop-fallen
thud that could be heard out in the street, giant, stooping to keep from bumping his
740 The Modern Gladiator
hand on the top of the doorway and turn- corner on the run came Sullivan. He made
ing his broad shoulders sideways to get a wild dash at Corbett, swinging both hands,
through, came in to see him. apparently with the intention of punishing
Mr. Sullivan, he said, I want to shake him for his audacity in the first round. Like
your hand. I dont believe youre human. an autumn leaf before the gale, Corbett
After satisfying himself that Sullivan was swept along before the champions attack,
mere flesh and bone, the lumberman be- side-stepping, feinting, ducking Sullivans
came quite friendly. vicious swings, escaping uninjured from
I hope I didnt hurt you, said Sullivan. every difficult situation.
Not at all, said the Frenchman politely. The crowd at the ringside did not like it.
The first time you hit me I saw a French It was above them. They did not realize
cavalryman on horseback, dressed in a red that this day inaugurated the new American
uniform. The next blow I saw a whole regi- style of boxing; that in this battle brute
ment. The next thing I knew I woke up strength was for the last time to be pitted
down in the dressing-room. against skill and scientific cleverness for a
This was the Sullivan that was to fight championship. They jeered and whistled
Corbett in New Orleans. Every day stories and yelled. Corbetts constant retreat before
were printed in the papers all over the Sullivans wild rushes seemed to them an
country about his savage methods of train- evidence of cowardice.
ing. Tales of the raw steaks that were sup- But, in a few rounds, the spectators began
plied to his training table filled columns. His to suspect that the young Californian was
training staff was totally annihilated in every fighting on a system.
latest edition. On the morning of the fight Sullivan began to tire; he was breathing
the telegraph wires were kept hot with a hard, and although he did not change his
story stating that Sullivan had jumped from aggressive tactics, his movements were be-
his bed, had rushed into the gymnasium, coming slower and heavier as the moments
exclaiming, Heres one for Corbett! and flew by. Corbett remained as fresh and as
had burst the heavy pigskin punching-bag fast as ever. A hundred times in those first
with one vicious swing. few rounds his extended left hand had
Down in the Corbett training camp all stabbed and jabbed the mighty Sullivan, and
this time things were going very quietly. still Corbett had escaped without a scratch.
The young Californian, lithe and slim com- None of these jabs had any very damaging
pared to the burly champion, worked stead- effect. Corbett never did have the knock-
ily. Just one year before he had boxed a out blow that has been used in the ring on
four-round exhibition with Sullivan in San 334 different occasions by Robert Fitzsim-
Francisco. In that short twelve minutes he mons. Still, the constant tapping and jar-
had studied every movement that the cham- ring might eventually bring down a man of
pion made as carefully as any college boy iron. Weakened by his own frantic efforts,
ever studied the intricacies of a problem in panting, staggering around the ring, Sulli-
mathematics. Now, he was planning every van became a pitiful object. No one, in all
detail of his battle. of his former fights, had used him so despite-
Even many admirers of the young Cali- fully. Time and again, as the thought en-
fornia boxer thought that he was foolish in tered his dulled brain that the growing burst
agreeing to fight such a man as Sullivan, of cheering at the ringside was now intended
but Corbett had calculated closely every for his opponent, he gathered his failing
chance, and went into the fight absolutely strength for one more furious onslaught.
confident of winning. The day of the battle It was all in vain. At last Sullivan sank
arrived. The two men were in the ring; slowly to his knees. He wore an expres-
the inclosure was packed with an aggrega- sion of dull surprise, like that of the bull in
tion of sporting enthusiasts drawn from all the Spanish arena when the sword of the
parts of the country. A coterie of Califor- matador had sunk its length between his
nians held seats near Corbetts corner; they shoulders. Sullivan was not knocked out, but
had seen their champion tried out in many he was a thoroughly beaten man. Ring craft
a hard-fought contest and they knew of his had proved its superiority to mere muscular
wonderful skill. Still the name and reputa- strength and activity. In a day Corbett had
tion of Sullivan awed even these. a thousand imitators training for bouts in
The brazen gong clanged. Out from his various parts of the country.
The Modern Gladiator 741
Corbett was the greatest exponent of one blow at close quarters rather than retreat
style of boxing. He was so skilful in block- from it.
ing blows and in getting away from an I had a ringside seat when Fitzsimmons
attack that he was very seldom hit in any tore the championship from Corbett in their
contest. At the same time his quickness in famous battle at Carson, Nev. There was
getting away made it impossible for him to a great deal of personal bitterness between
strike a heavy blow. As his blow was land- the men. Corbett trained at Shaws Springs.
ing he was beginning his big retreat. Fitzsim- The fight was on the 17th of March, 1897,
mons is just as great a boxer, but entirely and for a month before that date Corbett
different in his methods. He is always ad- trained as hard as any man ever did for a
vancing. He prefers to block or avoid a conflict in the roped arena. Every day he

Fitzsimmons. By permission of the New


York American.
Fitzsimmons Employs His Famous Shift and Lands a Left Hook.
McCoy. Corbett. By permission of the New York American.
An Incident in the McCoy-Corbett FightMcCoy Side-Steps to Get Out of a Tight Place.

By permission of the New York American.


Resting Between Rounds in the McCoy-Corbett Battle.
Corbett.
By permission of the New York American.
Corbett Blocking With Both Hands Open.

McCoy. Corbett. By permission of the New York American.


McCoy Blocks a Left Swing in His Fight With Corbett.
744 The Modern Gladiator
tired out all his trainers in boxing bouts I went over to see Fitzsimmons work
and long runs over the icy roads. He was (and I have seen him hundreds of times
nervous and high strung. Although he since), and if the man has any nerves, I
affected to despise the pretensions of Fitz- have never been able to discover the fact.
simmons as a boxer, the way he worked He did a great amount of training for his
showed that he realized the danger of going fight with Corbett, but he did it with the
within reach of the Australians freckled fists. cheerfulness and irresponsibility of a school-
Jeffries, the present champion, joined Cor- boy on a vacation. A few days before the
betts training camp on the 1st of March. eventful time, Fitzsimmons came to the
Every day he boxed about six rounds with conclusion that his condition was satisfac-
the champion. Jeffries was a great, lum- tory. He stopped. After that he indulged
bering giant. His enormous muscles were in nothing more strenuous than checkers.
ridged and knotted like those of the an- Fitzsimmons is always a great checker-
cient Greek statues of Hercules. His great player when living in his training camps,
strength did him very little good when he but the most unwise thing that any unfor-
opposed it to Corbetts skill, but his iron tunate boxing partner can do is to win a
jaw could endure almost any blow without game from him. While Fitzsimmons was
being affected. Corbett took advantage of playing checkers and taking easy jaunts
this fact to do most of his hammering on around the country in a light buggy, Cor-
Jeffries. bett, at his training camp, seven miles away
I was standing in the dressing-room one across the sage-brush covered plain, was
day, trying on the gloves preparatory to going wearing his heart out in ten-mile runs on
out for a turn myself, when Jeffries came in. the road.
He had just gone through a round with Cor- A great bowl-shaped arena had been built
bett. He took his jaw between the thumb especially for this fight at Carson. It stood
and forefinger of one huge hand and moved uncovered to the wintry sky. On the morn-
it from side to side with a reflective air. ing of the event the attendants swept the
Whats the matter, Jim? I asked. snow from the platform of the ring; then
Jeffries dropped his hand and turned the day came fine and clear. The hour of
around with a slow smile. noon found both men standing in their
That fellow doesnt hit very hard with corners ready to begin. There was a slight
one punch, he said, but he hit me so delay. Fitzsimmons, in a bright-colored
awful fast that I didnt know but that my bath-robe, strolled leisurely up and down
jaw had cracked between blows. one side of the inclosure. Scowling under
Fitzsimmons is the most business-like the bright sunlight, he tested the ropes of
man when in training that I ever saw. On the the ring, scuffled his shoes on the can-
day of his arrival in Carson, a month before vas covering of the platform, gazed inquir-
the fight, I marched down the main street ingly up toward the sun for a moment, and
of the town, with a large Nevada delegation, then walked slowly back to his corner. He
to see him come in and give him a good never gave Corbett even a glance. In those
sage-brush welcome. few moments he was planning out the bat-
The train stopped. tle that was to win him the worlds cham-
Fitzsimmons was the first man off. Stand- pionship.
ing up to his knees in a snow-drift, he In the opposite corner Corbett sat, nerv-
pulled off his winter overcoat, threw it to ously watching every move that Fitzsim-
a friend, called for his Great Dane, Yarum, mons made.
and, without deigning a look or word in Men at the ringside were running swiftly
answer to the cheers of the crowd, started up and down offering odds on Corbett. A
off, pell-mell, up the street. It was four few men with money to risk on Fitzsimmons
miles out to Cooks Ranch, the place that accommodated them quickly and in silence.
had been selected as Fitzsimmons training Clang! went the bell, its tone clear and
quarters. It was the first day of training, sharp and startling on the wintry air.
but Fitzsimmons ran that four miles with Corbett sprang from his corner with a
the speed and endurance of a Nevada mus- bound. For a full minute the two men cir-
tang, through the deep snow-drifts, merely cled in the middle of the ring, rapidly feint-
stopping now and then to help Yarum out ing, each trying to find out just what tactics
of difficulties. the other would use. Around the bowl-like
The Modern Gladiator 745
arena the crowd huddled down closer on the sky, the wet, smacking thudding of Cor-
the rough plank seats. This was to be a betts ceaseless, tormenting jabs could be
battle of skill and intelligence between two heard. The blood-soaked gloves smeared
of the greatest boxers the world had ever Fitzsimmons face, but through that red
produced. patchwork in the hot sunlight his blue eyes
Still they circled. Suddenly Corbett glinted with a steady glare of determination,
swooped down like a hawk, striking swiftly as cold as the sheen of Greenlands icebergs.
at Fitzsimmons head. A grin from Fitz- After one fierce rally Fitzsimmons slipped
simmons was the only effect produced. down to his knees. The Corbett crowd went
Then came six rounds of the fastest fight- mad. No war whoop of Piute had ever rent
ing I have ever seen in any ring. A thou- that thin air of that high altitude with more
sand times Corbett, with the quickness of fierceness than did the shrill yell of triumph
a cat striking at a mouse, jabbed his left which went up from that arena. Corbett
hand into Fitzsimmons face. Only now and danced nervously about. Fitzsimmons sat
then did the great middleweight succeed calmly on one knee until nine seconds had
in countering effectively. Corbetts Califor- passed. Then he got up, stood unsteadily
nia friends were rushing frantically around for a moment on the same spot, and, as
the ring, jingling handfuls of gold coins, Corbett came in pitilessly to the attack, re-
while his east- treated in stag-
ern backers gering, un-
waved rolls of steady lurches.
greenbacks, It was such a
and both sudden change
shouted rau- from his for-
cously their mer method of
challenges of fighting that it
wagers. Fitz- aroused sus-
simmons picion in Cor-
friends sat betts corner.
silent. Many a fighter
Fitzsimmons had fallen vic-
himself was tim to this
staggering. trick of simu-
He did not lated weakness
seem able on the part of
either to avoid Fitzsimmons.
or block Cor- Keep away
betts blows. f r o m him,
From his neck Jim! cried
to his waist Delaney, one
he was flecked of Corbetts
and spotted seconds, hes
and smeared only fooling.
with the blood That cry may
that flowed or may not
from cut and have cost Cor-
bruised mouth bett the cham-
and nose. pionship. Per-
There was not haps Fitzsim-
a sound at the mons really
ringside. Way w a s o n the
up to the far- point of col-
thest tier, lapse through
where Indians the constant
jarring blows
and cowboys By permission of t he New York American. that he had re-
sat outlined Young Corbett, the Lightweight Champion of America, in
black against Characteristic Fighting Attitude.
ceived. If you
McGovern. Erne. By permission of the New York American.
Terry McGovern, Former Lightweight Champion, in a Bout with Frank Erne.
The Modern Gladiator 747
asked him to-day he would say that Corbett the famous Fitzsimmons shiftand his
never succeeded in hurting him at all. left fist, starting from somewhere near the
The bell rang. The arc that Fitzsimmons hip, plunged at close range into the pit of
described in staggering to his corner in- the champions stomach.
cluded both sides of the square. One min- Then I saw something that I do not want
utes resthis trainers spent it in frantic to see again. For an instant Corbett stood
wavings of towels, wipings with sponges straight, with hands helplessly extended, a
soaked in ice-water, and rapidly whispered glare of hopeless horror in his eyes, Fitz-
words of adviceand the bell rang again. simmons stepped back, laughing. Slowly, as
Like an arrow shot from a cross-bow Fitz- if struggling against the inevitable, Corbett
simmons flashed from his corner and across bent forward, toppled over upon his hands,
the ring. In another second he was driving and rolled upon the canvas covering of the
Corbett helter skelter before him. He had ring. The battle was won. Fitzsimmons, the
intended by that sudden attack to catch middleweight, had taken the worlds heavy-
Corbett off his guard and finish the battle weight championship away from the man
on the instant. But in Corbett he had a who had beaten Sullivan.
man who was nearly his equal in ring craft. Then came a season of triumph for the
The plan failed. It was useless now to pre- former blacksmith. He toured the country
tend weakness, Fitzsimmons changed his as other champions had done before him.
plan of battle, and at once took the aggres- But during the next two years, unknown
sive. Outside the ring the Fitzsimmons to him, Fate was preparing for another
backers came to their feet with a whoop. change. The giant Jeffries had fallen into
Fitzsimmons money, that had been hidden the hands of crafty managers, Tommy Ryan,
away securely in buckskin bags, sprang into by long odds the most clever middleweight
the sunlight. The odds that had been of- boxer that ever donned gloves, had been en-
fered on Corbett suddenly dropped away. gaged to coach him. Many people have said
The men who had been vociferating their that Jeffries victory over Fitzsimmons was
desire to wager upon Corbetts success be- proof that the old style of boxing had come
came dumb. The change that came over in again; that strength was greater than
Corbetts expression was pitiful to see. The skill. It was not. Jeffries victory was really
look of high confidence gave way to ashen the victory of Tommy Ryan. It was the
pallor. In his eyes there was a startled stare reflection of his fighting genius that whipped
of dismay. He had thought the battle all Fitzsimmons. Ryan had studied the two
but over. In his corner he had laughed and men; had made an equation like this: Jeff-
joked with his seconds as his mind pictured ries + X = Fitzsimmons. X was the famous
the triumph that seemed to be already crouch that Ryan invented especially for
within his grasp. But now all was changed. this fight. The crouch made Jeffries as im-
The apparently beaten man, like the myth- pregnable as the rock of Gibraltar, for it
ological Anteus, had come up from his fall safe-guarded him against the terrors of the
stronger than ever. Corbett felt his own Fitzsimmons shift. At the ringside Tommy
strength failing. His confidence in his own Ryan watched the progress of the battle.
superiority deserted him, and from that mo- Between the rounds he told Jeffries just
ment he fought a desperate but a losing what to do next. In the ring he controlled
battle. every movement as completely as Svengali
The end came, as we all know, in the four- controlled the actions of Trilby. Since then
teenth round. Fitzsimmons had been stead- the gigantic champion has become a skilful
ily forcing his way in. Corbett had retreated boxer. He makes up for a certain lack of
from his attack, stabbing with a straight aggressiveness by a quality of patience that
extended left hand to hold him off. Now he enables him to wait for a sure chance to end
was near the ropes, Fitzsimmons zigzagging the conflict with a single blow. In this way
before him to prevent his slipping away to he has added to his score another victory
either side. Corbetts left hand shot out as over Fitzsimmons and one over Corbett.
it had many a time before. But this time There have been a score of champions
something happened. The freckled fighters among the smaller boxers, and each suc-
head rolled to the left, and the blow glanced cessive change in the holding of champion-
harmlessly over his shoulder. In an instant ships has marked the coming of a man with
his right foot had slipped swiftly forward greater skill.