For the past 96 years, newspaper reports and record books have included the line Luther McCarthy KO 4 Joe Grim, April 17, 1911.
Grim, of course, was known as the "Iron Man" for the extreme punishment he could withstand. By the time he fought McCarthy, Grim's reputation was firmly established.
Johnny Bos and I have been researching Grim's career for an upcoming project, and this bout kept gnawing at me. Had it in fact happened? How had McCarthy, an inexperienced fighter in just his second pro fight, been able to stop Grim?
So, off to the archives to find a day-after newspaper report. And there it was in the Calgary papers -- McCarthy had indeed met Grim in Calgary, BUT he was not the winner!
The fighters fought the semi-final to a main event between Kid Ash and Billy DeCoursey. DeCoursey won and it wa discovered that a "fake" Kid Ash had appeared and taken a dive.
Then it was MCarthy and Grim in a scheduled ten rounder. McCarthy was woefully inexperienced and slow. He towered over Grim, who weighed 158 to McCarthy's over 200.
The fight went a full 8 rounds, not 4. At the end of the 8th, Grim, his hands at his sides ready to go to his corner, was clocked by a right uppercut which started his nose bleeding profusely. Note, Grim kept his feet even though hit when he wasn't looking!
Now I quote: "Grimm refused to continue after this foul and Jake Fullerton, who was refereeing, should have given the bout to Grimm on a foul, but announced to the crowd that he decided it a draw. This is impossible, however, in an unfinished bout and where deliberate fouls are made te decision is never doubtful. . . . Grimm undoubtedly won on a foul and the crowd was unanimous in this opinion."
I had always suspected that a guy with Grim's experience would be able to hold his own against any fighter with virtually no experience, no matter the size differential. My suspicions led me to the article, and now there you have it!
McCarthy, of course, became a top heavyweight, never really reaching his full potential before his untimely demise in Tommy Burn's barn.