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SEPTEMBER 10, 1905

Jimmy Britt and Battling Nelson


Battling Gave James Edward Britt
His in the 18th Round


Game of Give and Take Witnessed by More Than
_ Ten Thousand People - The Long-Disputed
_ Supremacy No Longer in Balance - Nelson
_ Right There With the Goods From First Tap
_ of the Gong

[By Associated Press]

_ San Francisco, Cal. Sept, 9. - In a
fight that had many novel features,
Battling Nelson, of Chicago, knocked
out Jimmy Britt, of San Francisco, at
Colma, this afternoon. The end came
in the eighteenth round and was a
fairly won victory. The suroundings,
the crowd, the bitterness of the men
toward each other, the uncertainty as
to whether there would be a fight at
all up to within a quarter of an hour
before the fight actually began, to-
gether with the cleverness and the
endurance displayed by the two box-
ers, made the fight one of the great in-
terest to followers of fighting.
_ It was the success of a strong, en-
during fighter against a clever, cool
man. From the first, until Referee
Graney finished the count of ten sec-
onds, Nelson forced the fighting.
Though suffering many bruising blows
on the face and body, and being at
times very tired, Nelson never gave
ground. he came back after every at-
tack by Britt, always ready to exchange
blows. For the rushing, forcing, per-
sistent tactics of Nelson, Britt could
find no effective counter. The Califor-
nian tried every blow known to him
to stop his tireless opponent. In every
way Britt failed, although he punished
Nelson severely, knocking him down
once and staggering him several times.
_ Only once, in the third round, did it
appear to those close enough to judge
the tide of battle, that Britt might win.
In this round Britt reached the most
vulnerable spot on Nelson's muscled
body, the stomach, with two terrific
right-hand blows, that carried pun-
ishment. Nelson faltered for a mo-
ment and doubled over. Quickly turn-
ing his attention to Nelson's face,
Britt sent a terrible right cross that
dropped the Dane to his knees.
_There was a shout from Britt's sup-
porters, but Nelson got up before the
timer could reach the count of two.
The call for the time of the succeeding
round found Nelson fresh. Nelson
was always the first to begin rounds,
though not always the first to land a
blow. Time after time he would glide
along after Britt, much after the style
of Fitzsimmons, never clever on his
feet, but always seeking to shorten
the distance between his opponent and
himself. Tireless persistence and dis-
regard of physical punishment char-
acterized Nelson's fighting through-
_ Britt fought gamely at all times, but
after his spurt in the third, the Cali-
fornia fighter weakened, perceptably, to
those seated close to the ring side. Britt
had used all his strength, all his clev-
erness and all his blows in the third
and he had failed to achieve a knock-
out. Britt appeared to realize as he
took his corner after the fourth round
that he was unable to hurt his oppo-
nent. Nelson also seemed to reach this
decision at the same time and subse-
quently took Britt's blows with more
confidence and without flinching. Ex-
cept in spots, these rounds were all
pretty much alike.
_ Nelson always forcing, Britt always
giving ground; Britt trying to keep
Nelson at the end of his snappy left
hand and the Dane using every means
to get inside the circumference of the
Californian's hands. Whenever Nel-
son broke down the defense or ac-
cepted the blows aimed at him, he
would hammer away at the body, al-
ways coming out of a clinch swing-
ing at the jaw. The agreement of the
two men to break at the call of the
referee and the referee's interpreta-
tion of the rules and their strict en-
forcement, seemed to be in Nelson's
_ Graney told the men before the fight
that they must break at his command,
and he carried out his intention. The
refereeing was successful, according to
popular opinion.
_ In the fifth Britt held and advantage,
staggering Nelson with a series of
blows and making a desperate effort to
win. This was the first round in which
both threw aside all knowledge of box-
ing and exchanged viciously, each
hoping to end the fight with one blind-
ing delivered lucky blow. Both were
bleeding at the close of this round, but
Nelson was the stronger. It did not
seem possible that a fight could be
much fiercer than the fifth, but the
succeeding period of three minutes
brought the vast crowd to its feet and
kept it there throughput the round.
_ The fighters slugged each other
ceaselessly. Both were bleeding and
weary, but always game. In the last
minut of the sixth Nelson suddenly
took the lead, annd getting Britt in a
corner, beat him about the body and
face until he went weaving about the
ring vainly trying to protect himself.
_Britt took a terrific beating about
the body, unable for a time to block
Nelson's blows; but, in a flash, Britt
took a brace. He set himself in the
middle of the ring and met Nelson
with two punishing swings to the
face. Nelson halted and Britt leaped
forward. He slugged and swung in
one last desperate effort, but again the
gong ended the round, like the prev-
ious critical, at an opportune time for
_ In the eighth Nelson had Britt in
trouble, staggering the Californian with
a left and driving him to the ropes.
Britt's seconds were in a frenzy, shout-
ing all sorts of orders. Above all was
the voice of "Spider" Kelly, who shout-
ed; "Cover up, Jimmy!" Jimmy obeyed
and probably saved himself from going
down in this round. After the eighth
Britt appeared to tire fast. The pace
was slower and in Nelson's favor.
_ In the tenth and eleventh Nelson con-
tinued to wear out Britt, In the twelfth
Britt rallied suddenly and battered
Nelson for two minutes. Nelson covered
his jaw and took most of the blows on
the nose, ear, or stomach. Britt wore
himself out and finished the round
tired. It became evident to Britt's sec-
onds after the twelfth that their man
was being beaten. They sought to bols-
ter his wavering confidence with cheer-
ful remarks, but Britt appeared to
realize that he was beaten.
_ In the thirteenth Britt took a beat-
ing with gameness. The fourteenth
was the most exiting one. Nelson,
knowing Britt was tiring fast, had
before him determination to end
the battle. In five seconds he had
Britt staggering, his guard lowered
and all but out. Time and again
Nelson planted left hand blows on
Britt's face driving him against the
ropes. Over-eagerness on Nelson's
part prolonged the fight beyond this
round. Seeing his brother beaten
down, Willie Britt shouted: "Swing
Jimmy, swing!" Setting himself to
meet Nelson, Britt swung his right
hand with all the strength in his body.
_ The blow landed and Nelson was
not only stopped, but seemed to give
gound. Britt pressed the advantage
and, with his feet set far apart to
steady himself, once more he met
Nelson with full arm swings, finally
forcing the Dane to clinch. The gong
sounded while they were standing
head to head, slashing at each other
with both hands.
_ The crowd arose and cheered the
desperate struggle in the fourteenth
round compelled both men to show up
in the next two rounds, and no de-
cisive work was done by either, though
Nelson showed more strength when-
ever they came to a clinch. The sev-
enteenth was Nelson's by a good mar-
_ The eighteenth proved the end for
Britt. A detailed account of that
round, which lasted about two min-
utes, shows little difference from the
preceding rounds. Britt was tired,
but seemed willing. Nelson forced him
about the ring and gave many body
blows, always boring in. He cornered
Britt and drove him against the ropes.
Britt squirmed out and sent in a ter-
rific left to the stomach that appeared
to hurt Nelson. Nelson covered his
body and Britt swung for his face.

_ [up to a half hour after midnight this
morning the Associated Press was unable
to supply the Telegram with a full ac-
count of the fight, stating earlier the
story was "delayed by wire trouble
west." - Editor Telegram.]


Scenes and Incidents In and About
The Arena

_ Ringside, Colma, Sept. 9 - The
scenes just outside the high fence
around the arena before the beginning
of the fight had all the appearances
of a frontier mining camp or the im-
mediate vicinity of a circus. Taking
advantage of the fact that they were
outside the city and county of San
Francisco, and across the border line
of San Maeto county, gambling sharps
operated games of infinite variety, As
is usual at the great sporting events
there was a crowd of hangers on out-
side as large as the inside, and these
freely played the games. Thousands
of dollars changed hands. On many
of the roulette and faro tables hun-
dreds of dollars were stacked in coin
in plain view of the crowds. Many
games were conducted by women, who
reaped a rich harvest.
_ Almost every available automobile
in San Francisco had been engaged to
bring sporting men to the ringside.
Improvised garages outside the arena
were filled with machines. Several
taaly-ho parties lent a spectacular
feature to the scene. Large delegations
of ring followers came from all the
large cities and numerous eastern
points. There was no disorder. The
main portion of the crowd did not be-
gin to arrive until 1 o'clock when they
poured through the gates. The ushers
became confused and the asiles were
badly congested. The first question
asked was:
_ "Who will be the referee?"
_ When they found that question was
still unsettled, the sentiment was free-
ly expressed that there "would be a
fight or a shooting scrape." The un-
certainty practically brought betting to
a standstill. The pool room concession
had prepared to handle the big crowd
of betters, but no business was done,
although odds of 10 to 6 were offered,
Britt being the favorite. As the hour
set for the fight approached the crowd
became restless and nervous, many
standing upon the seats. A score of
women came in with escorts, each one
being cheered. Nolan still persisted
in his refusal to bringNelson into the
ring until a referee satisfactory to
himself should be selected, and at 1:15
p.m. the uncertainty was as great as
ever. After the boxers weighed in at
Corbett's in San Francisco this fore-
noon, they got into autos with their re-
spective managers and trainers and
started for Colma. A chill wind car-
ried a heavy fog in from the ocean and
the men appeared thoroughly chilled.
_ J.J. Jeffries came through the
gates to the arena at 1:20 and took a
seat at the ring side. He was cheered
by the crowd, but paid no attention to
the demonstration. Jeffries said he
was on hand to act, as he had been
chosen by the fighters and the club.
He knew nothing about what they
intended to do aside from that, he
said. Nelson's father came up to Jeff
and told him that he wanted the re-
tired champion to act as referee. Jeff
declared he did not want to referee.
At 1:30 Nolan left the arena and de-
clared he would not return until the
question was settled. Seated in a box
close to the ring side were Mrs. James
J. Jeffries and Mrs. William Delaney,
with escorts. Promptly at 1:30, the
hour scheduled for the fighters to ap-
pear, the crowd sent up a shout,
"Sit down," and kept it up until all
seat-holders were in their places. At
1:40, Manager Coffroth came into the
ring and called Willis Britt up and
told him to bring Jimmy in. "I have
told Nolan that I would give him unti
2 o'clock to produce Nelson. Your
contract calls for the men to be in the
ring at 1:30 p.m. If Nelson is not on
hand at 2 p.m. I will call for the for-
_ "Why don't you provide a dressing
room?" said Nolan. "You have a
room," said Coffroth. Immediately
Nolan went out. Britt came into the
ring at 1:53, accompanied by his
seconds, "Spider" Kelly, Sam Berger
and "Tiv" Kreling. Britt selected the
southwest corner. He was fully dress-
ed, wearing a long overcoat over a
thick sweater and trousers. As soon
as Britt got into the ring, Manager
Coffroth sent word to Nelson that
Brritt was on hand and ordered Nelson
to appear immediatly. There was no
sign of him, however, and after a
while Willie Britt demanded that Nel-
son be produced at once, adding: "I'm
not going to keep my man here all
day. That fellow Nelson was to be
here at 1:30. It is now after 2 o'clock
and he had better show up here soon
if there's going to be a fight."
_ "It's pretty tough," said Coffroth, "to
get up against this situation ahter six
months work getting this match, and
perfecting all arrangements, to say
nothing of the expense I have been put


_ At 2:10 Jeffries came into the ring.
It was said at that time that Nelson
absolutely refused to appear. Billy Jor-
dan then made this announcement:
_ "Gentlemen: Mr. Nelson refuses to
come into the ring unless they select
a man other than Jim Jeffries for re-
_ A great chorus of jeers and cries
had interrupted him.
_ "Mr. Britt," continued Jordan, "will
not stand for anyone other than Jeff-
ries. Now, gentlemen, three rousing
cheers for the undefeated champion of
the world, J.J. Jeffries."
_ Three cheers were given. After a
long wrangle, it was announced that
Jeffries had retired from the field, and
Graney was selected. The announce-
ment that the referee question had been
settled caused a change in the betting
and many wagers were made, Britt
being the favorite at 10 to 6. At 2:33
Nelson appeared. On his way down he
was greeted with jeering and hooting.
He was accompanied by Harry Foley,
Martin Murphy, Billy Nolan and Fred


_ Nelson was introduced as the "hard-
est nut to crack in the lightweight
class, "Battling Nelson." This intro-
duction was cooly received. Britt was
then introduced as the "pride of Cali-
fornia" and he was loudly cheered.
Challenges flew thick and fast. Eddie
Hanlon, Jimmy Gardner, Aurello
Hererra and Willie Fitzgerald were
some of those who want to meet the
winner. An announcement that came
as a surprise was that Graney declar-
ed all bets off on the contest. The mov-
ing picture machines were started as
soon as Nelson entered the ring.
Graney explained with reference to his
declaring bets off, that it only applied
to bets made previous to his selection
and acceptance as referee; that all
others could stand.


After a Day of Wrangling the Mill
Finally Starts

_ Graney called the men to the cen-
ter and gave them instructions. "You
boys are going to fight under the
Marquis of Queensberry rules," he
said. "My interpretation of these
rules is that there must be no holding.
I don't want to put my hands on you.
When I say break, I want you to
break without any unnecessary de-
lay." The men shook hands, strip-
ped quickly and the ring was cleared.
Britt wore red trunks, trimmed with
the national colors. Nelson had on
pale green trunks with a pink belt.
At 2:47 the word was given and the
fight was on.





5 ft. 7 inches
133 pounds
67 inches
15 inches
34 1/2 inches
37 inches
25 inches
12 inches
11 1/2 inches
7 3/4 inches
20 inches
14 inches
7 inches

chest normal
chest expanded

5 ft 6 inches
133 pounds
65 1/2 inches
15 inches
35 1/2 inches
38 inches
28 inches
12 inches
10 1/2 inches
7 inches
19 1/2 inches
13 inches
7 inches


_ If there is any doubt of the extent
of interest manifested in the Nelson-
Britt fight of yesterday afternoon, just
ask the girls who manipulate the
electric fluid carring wires at either
of the local exchanges. Churchmen
managed to scrape up a personal or
two to telephone the Telegram and
incidentally asked how the fight came
off. Others inquired because their
neighbors wanted to know.
_ In fact, the Telegram plugs at both
centrals were badly disfigured during
the evening, but the men behind the
guns in the editorial sanctum looked
pleasant and obliged all who called.
There was a good deal of humor in it
anyway and it was good for the ear-
ache to listen to the involuntary ut-
terances of those who secured the in
_ Some merely grunted; others gave
vent to joyous exclaimations and not a
few expressed disappointment. There
were the usual number of "I-told-you-
sos." Ninety-nine out of a hundred
would "thank you" before hanging up
the receiver. The "number-please"
girls say that many who called the
Telegram, immediately also, called
either one or the other of the evening
papers, but the bells rang to empty
rooms. The telephone calls for in-
formation began to come in before
2 o'clock in the afternoon. When the
real result was announced about 7
p.m., many doubted the correctness
of the report and there was a clamor
for more news and detail.
_ Not all pretend to be sportively
inclined, yet there are few who are
not anxious to learn the result of
tests of strength, endurance and phys-
ical science. Perhaps, they don't ap-
prove of the game and wouldn't at-
tend a fighting match if they had the
opportunity, but they want to know
how it came out. The Telegram was
glad to give its friends all the infor-
mation in its possession. It always is.

Elmira Telegram Newspaper
SEPTMEBER 10, 1905

Weather Guess

Thompson Autopsy

Referee Graney
(Elmira Telegram on August 16, 1903)

Historic boxing newspapers and articles.