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Articles of 2006

When Ted Jamieson Fought Harry Greb

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When Ted Jamieson died on September 18, 1969, his obituary in The Milwaukee Journal noted that he had been U.S. amateur light heavyweight champion, had fought Gene Tunney and Tommy Gibbons, and had a long career as a boxing referee.

But not mentioned at all was the highlight of the local boxer's ring career: When Jamieson knocked out Harry Greb in the first round.

Don't rupture yourself rushing to look it up in the record book. What you'll find is that Jamieson and the man many consider the most vicious and fearsome fighter in ring history met twice in late 1920. Their first fight was a 10-round no-decision contest. Three weeks later, Greb stopped Jamieson in six rounds.

But to his dying day Jamieson insisted that in the first fight he had the great Greb on the canvas for more than 10 seconds in the opening round.

The circumstances of the fight make it conceivable that Jamieson was correct, and should have been credited with one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

Born in Scotland, Ted Jamieson was three years old when he moved with his parents to Milwaukee in 1898. He won the Amateur Athletic Association 175-pound title in 1917, beating John Gaddi and breaking his right hand in the process. That same month, the United States entered World War I, and 19-year-old Jamieson enlisted in the U.S. Army the following July. He was sent to Camp MacArthur, in Waco, Texas, where he fought another Wisconsinite, Sailor Glenn Clickner, for the 32nd Division light heavyweight title. The latter was a pro, but there was no differentiation in military competition. “He knocked me down 11 times in the sixth and seventh rounds before the bout was stopped,” Jamieson recollected years later. “I was up and down so often I thought I was a bouncing rubber ball.”

Eventually sent to France, Jamieson had several fights overseas. At Pershing Stadium in Paris, he lost a 10-round decision to U.S. Marine and future world heavyweight champion Gene Tunney on April 26, 1919, for the 175-pound championship of the American Expeditionary Forces. In his autobiography, “A Man Must Fight,” Tunney recalled Jamieson as “a fairly clever, good-hitting, canny fighter,” and said of their fight, “Had I not decided to throw my right hand regardless of pain, as well as the left, I would have lost the decision. The contest was rather even up to the tenth round, when I knocked him down with a left hook.”

When he turned pro after the war, Jamieson’s first fight was a 10-round main event in Milwaukee against Caveman Bob Moha, veteran of over 100 pro bouts. “Many are of the opinion that Ted should have selected someone a trifle more green for his pro debut,” noted the Milwaukee Sentinel. “Moha knows about as much about the game as any mauler engaged in the profession.” But Jamieson was undaunted stepping through the ropes at the Empress Theater on January 10, 1920. For one thing, reported the Sentinel, he had on the boxing shoes that Jack Dempsey wore when Dempsey knocked out Jess Willard for the heavyweight title the previous July 4. “Jamieson was presented with the ‘steppers’ shortly after the struggle and as Ted is one of these ‘you can never tell’ fellows he thinks the leathers will aid him in taking the Caveman’s measure…”

But it was the leather Jamieson made Moha eat that impressed observers of the fight. A “superb exhibition of bull-like fighting,” said The Milwaukee Journal of Jamieson’s effort. The paper called the bout a draw and predicted a bright future for Jamieson.

Jamieson won several bouts over the ensuing couple months, and then was knocked out by Bob Martin (who’d won the AEF heavyweight title, and outweighed Jamieson by 28 pounds) in six rounds. Jamieson went down 13 times, and impressed the spectators by getting up every time.

After he won a newspaper decision over Bob Roper on June 17, 1920, Jamieson spent the summer as a lifeguard on a Milwaukee beach.

On Thursday, August 26, both The Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel reported that Jamieson had departed for Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was scheduled to fight heavyweight Chuck Wiggins the next night.

That fight never happened, and on Saturday morning the Sentinel reported that Jamieson was fighting that night instead. But not Wiggins. “The Grand Rapids promoter has substituted Harry Griet,” wrote Chet Koeppel. “We never heard of a fighter by that name. It is not Harry Greb, as we imagined when informed of the change. Greb is now at Benton Harbor (Michigan) assisting Jack Dempsey in his training for his bout with Billy Miske of St. Paul on Labor Day.”

It was, in fact, Greb, regarded as one of the best middleweights in the world, with almost 200 professional bouts on his resume. Jamieson had nine.

It’s safe to assume that Greb filled in for Wiggins as a favor to promoter E.W. Dickerson, who was sports editor of the newspaper in Grand Rapids and also served as referee of the bout. Greb later claimed that he was told in his dressing room before the fight, “The house is small. Take things easy – Jamieson is a green boy.”

After the opening bell it was Greb who looked pretty green when Jamieson whacked him with a right to the chops that knocked “The Human Windmill” to the canvas for the first time since Joe Chip had done it six years earlier. According to The Milwaukee Journal, Greb was down for a five count; the Milwaukee Sentinel said it was four.

Jamieson’s version was that Dickerson, almost as stupefied by the knockdown as Greb, didn’t even start counting until four or five seconds had passed. That was corroborated in The Milwaukee Journal of September 16, which reported that “Milwaukee fans who attended the Michigan bout aver that Jamieson probably would have recorded a KO over Greb had the referee started the fatal count as Greb collided with the boards. The knockdown came so suddenly and proved such a surprise that the third gent in the enclosure permitted about five seconds to elapse before uttering ‘one.’”

In any event, when Greb got up the fight continued. According to the Sentinel’s Chet Koeppel, “For the next two rounds Ted battered Greb around the ring. After the third round, Greb fought like a demon, using all his ring generalship, and he just barely managed to even up matters.”

Journal boxing writer Tom Andrews quoted from the Grand Rapids Herald:

“Jamieson was not conceded any chance to hold Greb even, but he did more and the Pittsburgher was lucky to get a draw. It was 100 to 1 against Ted, but the way he slammed Harry in the first was a shame. The knockdown made Greb see stars and had he not been in the best of shape he would not have responded at the call of 10.”

This much is certain: Greb was royally pissed. He took it out first on heavyweight champion Dempsey, whacking Jack around the ring in their headline-making sparring sessions. “Dempsey could do little with the speedy light heavyweight, while Greb seemed to be able to hit Dempsey almost at will,” reported the Sentinel on September 2. “Time and again, Greb made the champion miss with his famous right and left hooks to the head and countered with heavy swings to the head and body. Greb was a veritable whirlwind.”

Dempsey KO’d Miske in three (“Everybody agreed that Harry would have been a more suitable opponent for Dempsey” wrote Koeppel) and on September 10, Greb signed to fight Jamieson again on the 22nd. His manager, Jimmy Mason, turned down other good matches to get Jamieson again because Greb demanded another shot at the man his own manager said “gave Harry the battle of his life at Grand Rapids.”

The rematch was in Milwaukee, and the morning of the fight Greb was standing outside his hotel with Journal boxing writer Sam Levy. They spotted Jamieson taking a walk. “He’d better do a lot of walking,” growled Greb ominously. “He’ll need it. Tonight he will be doomed.”

In his account of the fight the next day, Levy wrote: “From the first bell to the last, the visiting giant killer mauled, punched and smiled, much to Jamieson’s chagrin … At no time was there any doubt as to who would win.”

The Milwaukee fighter quit after the sixth round, claiming an injury to his right thumb. A subsequent x-ray disclosed a fracture, but an editorial in the Sentinel on September 26 nailed it: “…While a broken thumb served as a plausible excuse for stopping the fight, the fact is that with full possession of all his members Jamieson could not have whipped his opponent with the added prestige of a sledge hammer.”

While losing to Harry Greb was hardly a disgrace, Milwaukee boxing fans resented Jamieson’s surrender and he was never again popular in his own hometown. Jamieson got a draw with ancient Sam Langford, and while the record book says he lost to Tiger Flowers, who beat Greb for the middleweight title in 1926, at least one newspaper account says Jamieson won. He quit boxing in 1925 after consecutive stoppages by Tommy Gibbons and Young Stribling.

For 28 years, Jamieson was a top referee in Milwaukee. That ended after he was booed out of the ring after stopping a 1953 fight between heavyweights Dan Bucceroni and Wes Bascom sooner than the fans thought he should have. Jamieson turned in his referee’s license and spent the rest of his working days manning the cash register at his downtown restaurant. “This thing,” he told a reporter, “sounds a lot better than boos, so I’ll just stay behind it.”

Jamieson was 74 when he died, taking to his grave the answers to two confounding questions: Who was “Harry Griet?” And, whatever happened to Jack Dempsey’s shoes?

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to allAfrica.com, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

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There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9

Featherweight

Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10

Flyweight

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

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LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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