View Full Version : Boxing Writers

06-09-2006, 01:20 PM
I posted this to thje research forum, but thought I would try here too:

1. In your opinion, who were the best boxing writers from 1895 to 1910, and for which papers did they write?

2. The names and newspapers of boxing writers who covered the Johnson-Jeffries fight?


06-09-2006, 01:47 PM
Welcome to the board, Ray! Unfortunately I don't know the answer to your question but I'm sure somebody here does. You'll get a reply soon.



Roberto Aqui
06-09-2006, 10:37 PM
I posted this to thje research forum, but thought I would try here too:

1. In your opinion, who were the best boxing writers from 1895 to 1910, and for which papers did they write?

2. The names and newspapers of boxing writers who covered the Johnson-Jeffries fight?


According to popular myth, Nat Fleischer was around for the latter part of the Jeffries era and start of the Johnson era. However, when you do the math, you realize he was just a mid teen cub reporter at best and that any observations he had need be tempered by the sheer lack of maturity and experience in the day.

06-10-2006, 12:28 PM
Actually before Ring magazine, there was a publication called the Police Gazette. They keep track of weight classes and champions in those classes. The editor/owner of the PG was Richard K Fox. They also gave out championship belts. Fox also promoted fights in the late 1800's. Than there was a guy by the name of John Fitzpatrick who was known as the boxing expert of the Morning Telegraph of New York.
All this info is in An Illustrated History of Boxing, p. 62-63. ~Sam

06-10-2006, 01:08 PM
I use to have a really good list of newspapers from every state, but I don't know what I did with it. Philadelphia and New York had several really good boxing writers during that time and T.S. Andrews, who published the yearly record books around that time, wrote for a Wisconsin newspaper, I think Milwaukee Free Press...Bob Edgren I think was syndicated throughout the United States, George Siler was a referee and a good writer for the Chicago Tribune, Bat Masterson wrote boxing for Colorado papers. Along with Richard Fox, Sam Austin wrote for the Police Gazette as well. I canít really think of the names off the top of my head, but Iíll try to track down some of the better boxing writers of that era, which those I already mentioned would be on the list, and Iíll post what I come up with.

Here are a few papers of the era that would be good to read through:

New York
New York Evening Journal
New York Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
New York Herald
New York Tribune

Philadelphia Bulletin
Philadelphia Inqurier
Philadelphia Public Ledger
Philadelphia Record
Philadelphia Evening Item
Philadelphia Press

06-10-2006, 02:36 PM
Not certain here---but I think Bob Edgren was also a sports cartoonist and for a while served on the California State Athletic Commission. It could also be that Shand was a writer who doubled as a referee in the SŚn Francisco area. After a controversial decision he had handed out, he retired in disgust, circa 1925.

hap navarro

06-10-2006, 03:38 PM

-:- The Brighter Side -:-By DAMON RUNYON

Intei national News service
Miss Hainet Glen chides us gently for occasionally speaking in this
column of the manly art of scrambling ears, otherwise boxing She
says there are so many other much more interestting things that we
might discuss that it is a pitty, to waste space on the gladiators She
is! probably right, but look at the distinguished company were are in

Take Homer. now Homer was always writing about boxing He was
almost the Hype Igoe of his day We think Hype is just about the
greatest boxing writer around in these times He writes for the New
York Journal and American. His "Leather Socking Tales' are little
classics of the manly art and he thinks no other fighter that ever
lived was fit to tie Stanley Ketchel's shoe laces.

Homer could sling more fancy language than Hype when it came
to covering a fight, but he did not tell the story any better One of
Homers best efforts was his report of the great battle between Epeios
and Euryalos, in which the latter got a good shellacking, as you may
vaguely recall from your Iliad he also wrote stirringly in the Odyssey
of the slugging of Iius by Odysses

You gather that when Od got through with Iius the latter was in
a state similar to that of the redoubtable Tony Galento after Joe
Louis had pelted him awhile. Iius was what Hype Igoe would call
busted up. Plato was another writer who frequently touched on boxing
so what was good enough for Homer and Plato ought to be good
enough foi a smalle like us.

Plato, by the way, used boxing as an argument for preparedness —
"surely, if we were boxers,we would have been learning to fignt
many many days x x x and shall the warriors of our city who are
destined when occasion calls to enter the greatest of all contests and
fight for their lives and their country and their property and the
whole city, be worse prepared than boxers "

Of course Plato would have been pretty much discouraged with boxer s
as an object lesson in preparedness if he had seen Mickey Walker
or Harry Greb or Smacksie Maxie Rosenbloom in their championship
days prepare for battle Those boys seemed to feel that standing under
an electnc fan a while agitated their muscles sufficiently for all

We do not suppose Lucilius ever saw Smacksie Maxie. but for some
reason his observations to Olympicus, a professional boxer, somehow
brings Smacksie Maxie to mind —' having such a mug, Olympicus
go not to a fountain nor look into any transparent water, for you like
Narciccus, seeing your face clearly will die, hating yourself."

Lucilius was downright pesimistic about the way boxing scuffed up
the faces of the boys He told Stratophon. a boxer. that he had become
after boxing four hours, not only unrecognizable to dogs but to the
city. He remarked to Apollophanes that he could go on boxing without
fear because even if he got smacked around the head he could not cause
any more scars than he already possessed

Virgil, Maitial. Statius and Pausanius got plenty of boxing into the
stuff So did Aristotle Theocritus wrote of the pier 6 affair between
Polydeuces and Amycus ' Quick gushed the black blood from the
gaping temple while Polydeuces smote the giant's mouth with his
left and his close-set teeth rattled And still he punished his face with
quick-repeated blows? till the cheeks were fairly pounded '

Now You know what that sounds like That sounds like the
time Jack Dempsey hewed the hulk of Jess Willard, the old Pottawatomie
pounder, to the canvass at Toledo. We guarantee that Jess
cheeks were fairly pounded that day. Incidentally, Polydeuces slipped
a terrific right hander aimed at his head and nailed Amycus with a
smash to the head, to start his man going, which is just what Dempsey
did to Willard
Victor Hugo. George Borrow, Samuel Johnson, William Makepeace
Thackeray, Arnold Bennett, J B. Priestly, Sir Conan Doyle,
Thomas Moore, Lord Byron, Donn Byrne. William Hazhtt, O. Henry,
Richard Steele and Hundreds of other celebrated writers have written
at length of the manly art Thackeray tore off a long poem on
the fight between John C. Heenan, the American, and Tom Sayers, of
England. Samuel Johnson was practically an expert and liked to sit
around with the lads and fan about boxing.

It is just a personal opinion, but we think the best fiction story on
boxing in the English language is Conan Doyle's "Rodney Stone " It is
a story of. the old English prizering when the fighting was done with
bare knuckles The best fiction story of the modem game is perhaps Ernest
Hemingway s 'Fifty Grand," although Jack London wrote some

We hope we have established our case with Miss Hainet Glen, and in
closing we want to return briefly to Lucilius and quote a line that could
be applied to some exponents of the manly art that we have seen but

' His competitors set up here the status of Apis, the boxer, for he
never hurt anyone."

06-10-2006, 04:08 PM
Robert W. Edgren,
Cartoonist Dies
MONTEREY, Sept. 11.—CU.fi>—Funeral
services were being arranged today for Robert W. Edgren, noted
cartoonist and sports Writer, died Saturday night after a long
illness. Edgren, 65, entered newspaper work in San Francisco following his
graduation from the University of California in 1895, where, as
weight thrower, he had been member of the first American Olympic Games Committee.
After working with the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco
Examiner, Edgren joined the New York Journal as political cartoonist.
In 1904, Edgren became the New York Evening World sports editor.
He returned to California after the world war to continue his syndicate
His widow, Mrs. Helen Maude Edgren,
and his son, Robert Edgren,
Jr., survive him.

Robert Edgren Jr also went on to be a sports writer and cartoonist . Much in the style of Ripley . His father also did a little boxing often sparring with the champions of his time while at training camps . Back 1897 Bob Edgren Sr went to Corbett's camp to box with Corbett and also in the capicty of a newspaper man and artist . He reported that Jeffries had knocked out Jim corbett in a closed door secert training session . Every one else there said it never happend . Corbett and Edgren had a long standing fued after that .

06-10-2006, 04:26 PM
Bat Masterson came to N.Y. in 1902 he became sports editor and columnist
for the N.Y. MORING TELEGRAPH . Bat died in 1921 of a heart attack while at his type writer . Bat Materson is also the great grandfather of Robert Ballard
who discoverd the wreck of the TITANIC in 1985

I read it said but cant remember were, Bat hated talking about the old Dodge days once he got to N.Y. . From artist renderings I have seen you would not even know he was an old cowboy . Looked like he had been there his whole life . But I also read that he hated boxers and gave them a rough time in the press . I like to read some of his articles if anyone has some .


06-13-2006, 12:49 PM
I may have stumbled across the answer to my own question. Last evening, I was browsing through my copy of Nat Fleischer's "50 Years at Ringside," which I hadn't pulled off the shelf in several years. I discovered that he devotes a whole chapter to boxing writers from the John L. Sullivan era forward.

I appreciate the help from everyone who responded.

06-13-2006, 01:42 PM

Hey how about giving us the list


06-14-2006, 12:24 AM
jack london is the name i always hear in regards to writers associated with this fight.

06-14-2006, 03:29 AM
The San Francisco Chronicle had an incrediable amount of
coverage on the bout between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries,
truly the biggest fight ever before Jack Dempsey came along.
As I recall, a poll was taken among boxing writers who were
present for the bout.

- Chuck Johnston

06-14-2006, 10:09 AM
Hi Chuck: I will check the Chronicle.

Hi Igoe: The chapter is 20 pages long and loaded with names and anecdotes. I am not sure how I would pass it along. However, some of the names he listed for the era (1892-1910) about which I am researching are: TAD, Bill Naughton, Ed Smith, Charley Van Loan, Hugh Fullerton, George Siler, Macon McCormack, Bat Masterson, Charley Mathison, Sam Austin and George Touhey. He also mentions Hype Igoe, Bill McGeehan and Rube Goldberg. The problem is - with a couple of exceptions - he doesn't mention the newspapers with which these gentlemen were associated. So, I would appreciate if any of you could pass along which newspapers these writers were associated.

Thanks to all of you who responded to my question!

09-12-2006, 07:37 AM
On the phillyboxinghistory.com web-site in the non-boxers section is a list of some of Philadelphia's top boxing writers. Included in the 1890's to 1910's period are Dick Kain of the RECORD, Billy Rocap of the PUBLIC LEDGER, Lou Jaffe of the EVENING PUBLIC LEDGER and Walter Schlicter of the EVENING ITEM.