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Jess Willard v Frank Moran
Jess Willard v Frank Moran
Dated 25 March 1916
With the wagering close to three to one in his favor, Jess Willard, heavyweight Champion of the world, will meet Frank Moran in a ten round no-decision Bout here tonight for the largest purse ever, offered for a contest of this scheduled duration. the two pugilists will receive $71,250, posted by Tex Rickard the promoter of the match. Of this sum the title holder will draw down $47,500 and his opponent $23,750. Notwithstanding the size of the purse, Rickard will clear a handsome profit on the venture since every seat in Madison Square Garden has been sold and the receipts are estimated at more than $140,000.
Although .Willard is a top heavy favorite, interest in the outcome of the bout is intense, and the greatest gathering of fight fans that ever thronged into and about the Garden is expected at that historic show hall this evening when the principals enter the ring. Few large bets have been placed on the contest owing to the difference in the odds and acknowledged physical advantages possessed by Willard over Moran. Hundreds of' small wagers on the result and on various angles of the fight have been made between friends –both in this city and among the large delegations of spectators from other cities of. the East, South and Middlewest.
Moran and his camp followers assert that the Pittsburgh heavyweight will win from Willard in decisive fashion on points if not by a knockout but the great majority of the boxing .enthusiasts cannot be convinced that the Kansas cowboy will fall a victim to Moran's rushes and blows. It is pointed out that the conqueror of Jack Johnson, is physically superior in every respect to his opponent and that in a bout of but ten rounds it would be little short of a ring miracle for Moran to stretch the champion on the floor for the count.
In boxing ability the two pugilists are conceded to be about equal but beyond that point Willard has' a marked advantage over Moran in almost every department of glove fighting as well as in physical make-up. He will outweigh Moran by close to fifty pounds, stand between five and six inches above the Pittsburgh slugger and have a longer reach, of more than six inches, than Moran. Both are extremely powerful hitters in proportion to their size but here again Willard's greater physique and strength give him a wide margin over Moran. The latter is the more aggressive boxer of the two but the champion’s Towering height and ability to block with his long arms militate against the chances of the smaller pugilist landing a knockout blow to His head. The task of reaching Willard's body is not so difficult but in all his bouts to date the Kansas has shown ability to take very hard blows in his midsection without slowing up.
From a defensive standpoint Willard is considered to be one of the best equipped boxer of his division in many years He is equally formidable offensively when aroused, but, as a rule,lacks the aggressiveness necessary to win from an opponent of Moran's caliber in ten rounds or less. His best blows are a short left jab and a right hand uppercut. These blows he uses almost continually and owing to his long reach and great strength the punches carry terrific power when Willard puts full force into them. Under pressure he can and does fight With other blows and carries a knockout in either hand when mixing savagely. In his awkward and ponderous style Willard is almost as fast on his feet as Moran although he seldom uses footwork to avoid an opponent. At close quarters he should be able to hold Moran safely, although the latter will be dangerous if he can tear loose long enough to uncover his ability and power as an in fighter.
Both pugilists virtually completed their training on Thursday and each claims to be in perfect condition for the battle. Moran has been on edge for the bout for close to two weeks and his trainers have had more difficulty in holding him to physical form than Willard’s handlers. The champion was slow to round into condition since he has been out Of the ring for almost a year while Moran, because of his recent bouts, responded quickly to the conditioning routine. Willard however, once he settled down to hard work dropped the weight and increased his speed rapidly.While it is doubtful if he is in the same magnificent shapet he was when he met Johnson at Havana, he should be able to box the full ten rounds at top speed if necessary.
Whatever the outcome of the battle the two heavyweights will be well repaid for their training and struggle in the ring. If the contest goes the full distance the principals will receive '$7,125 per round or at the rate of $2,375 per minute. Of this sum Willard's share will be $1,583:33 and Moran's $791.66 per minute. The purse of $71,250 is the largest ever offered for a ring battle of any distance with the exception .of the $121,000 given to Johnson and Jeffries by Rickard in their fight at Reno, Nev. in 1910. The purse is larger than the gate receipts taken in at any fight ever held in New York State under the Horton Law or the present Frawley Regulations. But two fights, the Johnson-Jeffries and Johnson-Burns battle in Australia brought receipts in excess of $71,250.
The difficult task o£ refereeing the bout has been placed in the hands of the veteran, Charley White, an experienced. boxing arbiter, and he has stated that he will insist upon the principals boxing in strict accordance with the rules. Because of his past experience as third man in the ring at a number of Championship battles, White should be able to decide upon all the technical points which may arise. Considerable responsibility will rest upon his shoulders as Willard might lose his title in several ways, notwithstanding that the contest is billed as ten-round no-decision bout. Moran would become the heavyweight title holder should he knockout Willard or in case the latter was to foul Moran during the struggle. While is also empowered to stop the fight in case either one of the men is incapacitated for any reason and unable to continue. Such a decision would automatically make the other principal a winner and technically the holder of the title.
John L. Sullivan says Moran By K.O
“If Moran Wins He Will Do It With One or Two Punches”
yesterday I said I wouldn’t pick a winner, but so many men have said that I was dodging a real issue that I am going to change my mind. I like Moran, I think he will win and look to see him cop the heavyweight crown with a knockout punch. Moran is a fighter at heart, he is cool and clever, and if he gets his right over he is as deadly As one of those big German guns.
Willard, as I see him, is more of a merchant. he has something to sell. That something is his fighting abilty, and I will admit up to the present he has made some good bargains. But a hired soldier has Never been as good a fighter as a volunteer, and Willard, by his own connfession, something of a mercenary in the ranks of pugilism, is facing tonight a man who enlisted in the fight game for the sheer love of battle itself, with gain of secondary condition.
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