View Full Version : Stanley Ketchel vs Sam Langford(New York Times Report)

07-20-2009, 09:52 PM

09-14-2011, 02:08 PM
Great find, that was a great read.......... enjoyed it immensely. It sounds like it was a hell of a fight, and sounds like Langford edged the fight. Also the other fight with Abe Attell's brother is a bonus.

09-15-2011, 04:51 PM
Great find, that was a great read.......... enjoyed it immensely. It sounds like it was a hell of a fight, and sounds like Langford edged the fight. Also the other fight with Abe Attell's brother is a bonus.

Langford carried Ketchel so he could get a return fight for the actual title. Unfortunately Ketchel was shot and killed two months later.

09-16-2011, 11:40 AM
Langford carried Ketchel so he could get a return fight for the actual title. Unfortunately Ketchel was shot and killed two months later.
Or did Ketchel carry Langford so he could beat him in a match that mattered ??? .................................................. . LOL..LOL..... just kidding.

09-16-2011, 02:31 PM
Or did Ketchel carry Langford so he could beat him in a match that mattered ??? .................................................. . LOL..LOL..... just kidding.

I thought you will love this:-

The Philadelphia Record – Headline “Langford Bests Stanley Ketchel, Boxing Entirely on the Defensive the Black Man Landed Most Blows – White Boy Made Fight – Forcing the Contest in Every Round and Was Well Winded at Finish”:

“Fighting cautiously and continually on the defensive, Sam Langford, colored, had the better of Stanley Ketchel, white, in a six round bout at the National Athletic Club last evening before a crowded house that netted about $20,000, the big end of which went to the white man. Ketchel forced the fight in nearly every round, and had the better of the third and fifth rounds in which Langford did little but block. Also to Stanley should go whatever honors were gained in the first round, for there, as during nearly every instand of the fight, the white boy was forcing. But he usually forced in vain, for the black’s guard was well nigh invulnerable. There was really nothing done in the first round, however, since boty men were intent on feeling the other fellow out. The second and fourth rounds were Langford’s, and so was the sixth, in which Ketchel cut loose with all the visciousness for which he is noted, only to find that Langford, strong, clever and cool, could stop his blows and occasionally shoot a straight left to the face that came with double force since it caught Ketchel coming in.

(Paragraph titled ‘Langford Did Not Try His Best’) – Just what Langford could have done to Ketchel last night, had he cut loose, can only be surmised, but he surely did not try his best to gain a decisive victory last evening, apparently being well content to block and counter and wait to gather the persimmon that he must surely feel is his, in a longer and better paying contest on the Pacific Coast.

It must not be forgotten, however, that Langford, by fighting continually on the defensive, had a great advantage and it must also be remembered that had Ketchel fought in the same manner every round would have been just as uninteresting as was the first. Ketchel made the fight from start to finish and deserves credit for it. Langford played safe and blocked and countered and did it so skillfully that he easily outpointed the white man. Had Sam cut loose with a few leads on his own account he might not have been able to avoid so many of Ketchel’s hard and well delivered blows.

(Paragraph titled ‘First Blood for Ketchel) – Langford spit blood from a slight cut on the lip before the first round was half over, but that was about all the damage that was done him. The claret was started from Ketchel’s nose late in the fourth round and from that time on he bled profusely. There was no semblence of a knockdown, although Langford slipped to his knees just before the bell in the fifth round. Ketchel nearly fought himself out in trying to get to Langford in the final round, but Sam blocked every effort and occasionally shot out that straight left to the face, about the only blow he used during the contest. His right was always busy blocking, and he never attempted to follow up any of the openings that presented themselves.

By so doing he saved a lot of trouble for himself, for Ketchel on several occasions let go a right swing that would have felled an ox had Langford run into one of them trying to stop Ketchel.

Some of the spectators seemed to think that Ketchel, having forced the fighting, should be given credit for a victory, but it is difficult to see how that could honestly be done since a great majority of his blows did not land.

They reported that when the men met in the center of the ring prior to the start of the contest to shake hands that Ketchel did not look to be too well trained and appeared nervous and worried. Ketchel wore red trunks and Sam pea green.

Highlights by round:
Round 2 – Sam staggered Ketchel with a left in the face and they came into a clinch. At one point Ketchel butted Sam in the head and Sam returned the compliment. There was some hissing and the referee warned the men to stop it.

Round 3- Sam utilized an uppercut to catch Ketchel as he would come in close. The bell rang to end the round and each tried to land afterwards, to seperated by the referee.

Round 4 – Ketchel again did the leading but his blows did no damage. They had a lively rally, fighting all over the ring. It was in Langford’s favor, as he blocked most of Ketchel’s blows, while occasionally getting in some hard raps himself. Sam landed a stiff jab to Stanley’s nose, bringing the blood. Ketchel was tiring and he could not protect himself. Ketchel was holding on to avoid punishment. Ketchel came back and staggered Sam with a hard right to the head. Ketchel was tired and bleeding as he went back to his corner.

Round 5 – Ketchel came out of his corner in good shape and again forced the fighting. He landed on Sam’s head and want after him hammer and tongs, Langford backing away and trying to ward off the shower of blows which Ketchel was sending him. Then Sam steadied and landed a stiff jab to Ketchel’s nose and started the blood from his organ freely again. They went at each other at the end of the round and Sam slipped to the floor just before the bell rang.

Round 6 – Ketchel started to make a grand stand finish of it, and he went right at Langford landing on the body hard. After a clinch, Sam once again landed a stiff jab to the nose starting the blood once again. They clinched and Ketchel landed hard on the body, and worked hard in clinches to get to Sam’s body, but Langford held him off and laughed. Then they broke away and Langford landed two jabs on Ketchel’s nose and the blood fairly gushed. It was noticed that Langford was using only one hand and it looked to those close to the ring as if he was not exerting himself very much. Ketchel roughed it at close quarters, trying for an uppercut, and Langford blocked his blows and stalled him off. They were doing this sort of thing when the bell rang”

Another newspaper report out of Philadelphia ran with the headline “Ketchel Wins Because Langford is Under Pull” by Billy Hicks:
“Stanley Ketchel, the Michigan Assassin, defeated Sam Langford in their six round bout at the National Athletic Club. Had Langford willed it, he could have “assassinated” the man from Michigan.

The fight went the six rounds, was a great bout to look at, full of sensational incident, but when the final bell rang, there were few at ringside who were not satisfied that Langford was up to his old tricks of saving a man he could have licked to use him as a meal ticket later.

Langford got a pretty big chunk of money for the fight and he did not give full value for the coin. With him it was clearly a case of saving Ketchel for another time. They will probably meet in a “finish” bout on the coast out of which both will get fat sums.

To his credit it can be said that Ketchel did not appear to be “in on the play”. He fought as he always does, hard from the first bell to the end, and was always trying to land a knockout punch. He hit Langford pretty often and hard, too, but never had the colored man in danger, and in return was made the receiver of a lot of stinging punches. Early in the bout Langford started Ketchel’s nose bleeding and he took care to rap the beak every once in a while to keep the claret flowing. The gore made the fight look good.

The colored man but up a battle that was declared to be far below his best. Usually he is a stranger to swings, relying on short, snappy punches to rock his opponent to sleep. In this fight he was busy swinging with both hands as a windmill in a gale and seldom did he land with any force behind the blow. Ketchel kept rushing, banging away with both hands and while he did some damage, it was not enough to amount to very much. He landed the more punches, did most of the leading and his blows were the harder. One these counts he was entitled to a decision. But had Langford wanted to win there is little doubt that he could have done so and with a knockout.

At the end of one of the rounds Langford, the old ringman and wise as he is in matters pugilistic, let his desire to knock out Ketch get the better of him and kept fighting after the bell. It looked great, the whole house was on its feet cheering the wonderful scrap, but the colored man failed to connect with any of the terrific punches. At the same time he was careful not to take any of Ketchel’s hard swings that were whizzing about his head.

The fighting in the first round had a slight odor of rat to it. After the men had been sparring for a few seconds Ketchel started one of his famous shifts,seemingly being anxious to win with his first punch. He never finished shifting, for he saw at once that Langford was not where the blow was to go. (With a grin Langford got out of the way of the punch and shot his left to the face.) The colored man had shown his cleverness by getting away from Ketchel’s best punch, and the manner in which he did this proved to everyone at the ringside that the best bower in the “Assassin’s” deck was useless. Then Sam began to go at his man like a tiger. He rushed in and shot three uppercuts to the chin, but they all missed.

09-16-2011, 02:32 PM

And so the fight went until the last round. Ketchel was always trying and his best efforts were set at naught by the cleverness of his colored opponent. Langford, often, met Ketchel at close quarters and slugged away with the Michigan man. At these times the honors were usually in favor of the negro, though Ketch landed some hard body blows. On more than one occasion Ketchel was staggered by the punches he received, but instead of following up his advantage Langford was content to let matters stand as they were and Stanley “came back.”

More than forty-five hundred persons jimmied their way into the old armory that is the home of the National Athletic Club. Prices of $2, $5 and $10 were cheerfully paid by those who were fortunate enough to be able to get a chance to get pasteboards for their coin. There was at least $24,000 in the house.”

Prior to the bout “Ketchel gave it out that he had a couple of excuses ready for use in case he was put to sleep. In the first place he insisted on weighing in at the middleweight limit, 158 pounds, so that if defeated he would be able to prove that he was at weight, while there was not the slightest chance of Langford being near that notch. That would have saved the championship for the white man, had he been unfortunate enough to be put away. His second alibi was the fact that his right hand, hurt in his fight with Klaus in Pittsburgh sometime ago, was not as strong as it should have been.

To prove this, attention was called to the fact that the “mauley” wa shot full of cocaine before the fight was started to deaden any pain that might be caused by whanging away at Langford’s tough head and ribs.

As it happened there was no occasion to use either excuse, and judging from the manner in which Ketchel used his hand, the cocaine did its duty. He used the fist as often as he could, and there seemed to be no ill effects from the punches.

Round highlights:
Round 2 – After a moment’s sparring Ketchel shot a left to the face with such force that the colored man was turned about like a top. He did not seem to be hurt, though, for he was going away with the punch and jumped back into the fray with a smile.

Round 3 – The third started with another rush on the part of Ketch. Langford broke ground for an instand and then rushed to close quarters. Ketchel met the rush with a right swing that looked to be able to take the head off any man unfortunate enough to get in its way. Langford wasn’t unfortunate. He let the punch go by and hooked his left twice to the face.

These two blows were the best that the colored man had used up to that time. The second caught Ketchel on the nose and mouth and started blood. From then on Ketchel bled, and soon his face and chest were covered with claret. That did not seem to bother him and it made the spectators think that they were getting full value for the high prices paid.

Nearing the end of the round a rush by Ketchel was met by a pretty inside left to the jaw, and there was enough sting to the punch to make the Assassin back away. Langford did not follow up his advantage although he looked to have a good chance to do a lot of damage if not win with a K.O.

Round 4 – Ketchel gave his shift another try, and again he failed with this deadly punch, and got a slam on his sore beak that made the blood splatter over both men. Langford then shot two shorot arm lefts to the face and Ketchel looked to be in bad shape. However, once more Langford failed to take advantage of the opportunity.

Round 5 – Was about the same as number four. Again Langford had a chance to win or what looked to be a chance but he let it slip. All this time Ketchel was doing the forcing and getting home enough punches to give him a lead on points. But he wasn’t hurting the squat negro.

Round 6 – This round was the best of the fight. Ketchel slammed away wildly. Langford gave ground, clinched and stalled. The crowd thinking the colored man all in, roared to Ketchel to get in and finish things. But there was no chance. Langford was playing possum. He simply let Ketchel fight away, sent in a light punch once in a while to let people know he was there, and waited for the bell.”

Philadelphia Public Ledger report of the fight – Headline: “Ketchel Wins By A Shade Over Langford – Forced Bout and Landed Greater Number of Blows on Clever Opponent – Negro Did Not Try – Man Who is After Johnson was Content to Hold His Opponent Safe”:

“Stanley Ketchel by forcing the fighting and making a contest out of what would have otherwise developed into a paltry exhibition, earned a decision over Sam Langford. Did Langford try? That question will only be answered when the two men meet in a longer bout on the Pacific coast. There is one thing certain regarding last nights bout.

Langford used his right hand but four times until the last round, when Ketchel in his “Garrison” finish, compelled the negro to use his right to keep the Michicagan middleweight at bay. Eight times in the final round Langford used a short right hand uppercut as a counter, and only showed what he really could do had he extended himself.

In the third round when Sam’s left shoulder was a little low, Ketchel ripped through a wild swing which cut Langford’s ear.

The bout served as a splendid curtain raiser to the proposed 20-round bout on the coast, but it was apparent to the writer that Langford was Ketchel’s master over the longer route, as he showed little punishment at the end of the six rounds, while no one could tell what would have been the result had he cut loose and fought as Langford only can fight.

Langford was attended his corner by Joe Gans, the former world’s champion lightweight, George Cole, George Byers, and Young Mississippi, of turf and ring fame.

April 29, 1910 – Philadelphia Public Ledger – “…Each man got a square deal by the referee; both were paid well for their services. But did the public get value received? The writer has no hesitancy in saying No! The gate was as large, with the exception of a few championship battles, as any 25-round contest held on the Pacific coast. The share of the fighters was greater, for they received an unusual percentage. Hench, each should have fought at top speed for five of the six rounds. That was due the public, which paid from $3 to $10 a seat to witness the go.

Sam Langford fought under wraps. He allowed Ketchel to set the pace, and was content to follow, landing an occasional blow while the latter was going away. He only used his right hand four times in the first five rounds, and would doubtless have maintained that record to the finish had not Ketchel bored in during the sixth round and compelled the negro to extend himself. It was then that Langford showed his hand, when he drove a wicked right hand uppercut home, a blow which could have sent Ketchel to dreamland any time it landed on a vulnerable spot. But the result of Wednesday night’s bout is merely a recital of Langford’s ring record. He is perhaps the most remarkable man in the ring today. There is no man who can so accidentally “pull” his blows as Langford can, and it was this little artifice, which the writer carefully studied, and which fooled thousands at the National Club on Wednesday night, that made the bout look queer in spots.
Take a glimpse at Langford’s record. It is without parallel in the history of the ring. To begin with, he fought Jack Blackburn five times. Dave Holly four. Then he graduated into the heavier class, meeting George Gunther three times, Young Peter Jackson six times, Larry Temple four times, Joe Jeannette four, and his great return act with Jim Barry nine times. The last time, when he came to the conclusion that the Barry engagement had been worn threadbare, he promptly knocked him out.

Joe Woodman, manager of Langford, was so eager to have a clean sweep so far as the middleweight title was concerned that he told all promoters to get Ketchel at any price. Pay him any percentage and we will be satisfied with the balance. Sam wants the middleweight title and will drop Ketchel inside the six round limit. It is no wonder that the bout attracted a gate estimated to be more than $20,000. It is said Ketchel received about $8,400 of this amount, while the negro and his manager pulled down a little over $7,000. Sufficient money for 18 minutes worth for each man to go at top speed all the way. The only way that Langford can square himself in this city with the sports is to meet Al Kaufman, Battling Jim Johnson or some other good man and let us see the real Sam Langford, the man who caused Jack Johnson to sidestep so quickly that he almost twisted his ankle.

The writer gave the decision to Stanley Ketchel over Langford for what he did in the six rounds fought, not what would be accomplished in eight, 10 or 20 rounds. Ketchel did the leading, carried the fight to the negro, took all the chances and had Langford fought his fight it is not likely that the bout would have reached the limit. Those who know boxing are cogizant of the fact that the man who does the leading, especially in such a wild awkward fashion as Ketchel does, take all the chances. Invite a counter and with little or no defence are apt to run into a jolt. If their opponent is not under “wraps.” Lanford played for the longer fight and the sports of the East paid for the curtain raiser. Last night Ketchel refused a purse of $15,000 to meet Langford, offered by Billy McCarney, who came from California for that purpose. Ketchel said “I have won a popular decision over the negro and I will pass him up at present.”

09-16-2011, 02:36 PM
“I am convinced that, as great as Ketchel was, the colored man would have beaten him in an honest-to-goodness scrap.”-- Nat Fleischer

"Stanley Ketchel was Hype's favorite prizefighter, all right, just
as has been reported, and he undoubtedly thought Ketch was pretty
good. He did not think he was good enough, however, to beat
Sam Langford and it may be that Hype's tolerance toward my high
regard for fakes went back to the night in Philadelphia when he
still had some kind of connection with the management of Ketchel
and the Boston Tar Baby "carried" the mighty Michigan Assassin
for six rounds."-- Damon Runyon