Greb Retains Title By Outboxing Walker In 15 Rounds Full Of Thrills

Damon Runyon

Buffalo Courier/July 3, 1925

One tremendous splurge of wild fighting in the fourteenth round during which he had Mickey Walker, welter-weight champion of the world, tipsy and teetering from his splashing punches, probably saved the title of middleweight champion for Harry Greb, the “Pittsburgh windmill,” at the Polo Grounds tonight. 

He had been lagging along a bit behind up to this round, when he suddenly clipped Walker on the chin with a swinging right that dazed the little fighting Irishman from New Jersey.

Walker backed into his own corner, dizzy, prepped himself there, and stood with slightly swaying head, and staring eyes as Greb laid every punch in his locker on him.

It looked for a moment as if there would he another pugilistic surprise equal to one sprung a short time previously, when Dave Shade of California knocked out the sensational Jimmy Slattery of Buffalo. 

Crowd In Turmoil

Fifty thousand men and women who paid approximately $375,000 to see the bouts for the benefit of the Italian Hospital fund were on their feet shrieking as Greb pounded at Walker. Then, presently, when little Walker emerged from the storm of blows, shaking his head until the water flew from his dripping black hair, and staved off Greb’s mad attack with a right to the chin, a roar rolled up out of the bowl under Coogan’s Bluffs that must have echoed over all Harlem and Washington Heights.

Walker outfought Greb in the fifteenth and last round, but the “whoop-tee-doo” finish of the windmill marvel-man of fistiana had off-set anything Walker might now do, barring a knockout. There was little demonstration as Joe Humphrey, the veteran announcer, raised Greb’s soaking glove. 

Eddie Purdy, the referee, fell while twisting the men out of a cIinch early in the fight, and threw a knee-joint out. He fell again when he made a quick turn later, and round after round he limped around in agony while the crowd laughed, as crowds always do in these situations. They had to help him out of the ring when the battle ended. 

Walker gave a demonstration of fighting heart at that moment such as is rarely seen in the ring. He was a masterly little fighter, and few fighters have ever received such a demonstration as he got when he came up out of the swirl.

Fight By Rounds

Round one; Walker took the lead at the bell, boring into Greb. Walker’s right caught Greb at the belt. They fought furiously in the center of the ring trading rights and lefts recklessly. A stiff right upper cut rocked Walker’s head. Walker countered with two rights to the jaw and Greb went back to the ropes. Greb measured Walker with a right to the jaw. They both were fighting willingly, trading punches at will. The park was in an uproar. They were sparring for an opening at the bell.

Round two; They traded punches to the body at close quarters. Greb rushed Walker to the ropes where he poured a furious head and body attack on his challenger; Walker’s head rocked from a furious right. Another right drove him to the corner. Walker landed a beautiful left to Greb’s mid section and followed it with a right to the same place. The milling was furiously fast. Greb rocked Walker with a right and left to the head and the welterweight king stumbled to his knee but he was up immediately. They stood toe to toe slugging mercilessly. The bell ended the furious fighting. 

Keep Up Maddening Pace

Round three: They continued the maddening pace, both fighting openly. A terrific left to the ribs shook Walker. They clinched. Walker scored heavily to Greb’s body. At close quarters Greb landed five times to Mickey’s face and body. Both landed rights to the head. A stinging downward right to Walker’s face slowed the welterweight king. They were engaged in an exchange of blows at the bell. 

Round four: Walker landed a left to the body. Greb countered with a stinging right to the face which staggered Walker. Another beautiful right to the race sent Walker back on his heels. A third one weakened Walker. They traded punches to the head. They wrested in a neutral corner. Greb was in and out to the body before Walker could counter. The maddening pace was slackening and the boys were dancing around at the bell.

Round five: Greb landed his right to Walker’s uncovered jaw, but Walker countered with a harder blow to Greb’s jaw. Blood began to show from Walker’s mouth. They mixed it furiously. They traded body blows at close quarters. Walker landed his left to Greb’s body, but took a stiff right to body and head in return. They were sparring for an opening as the bell halted the round. 

Round six: Greb opened up his windmill tactics and drove both gloves to Walker’s jaw with lightning rapidity. Walker’s doubled Greb with a left to the body. Walker landed another beautiful body blow. They traded blows in a neutral corner, Greb having an advantage. Greb landed four left uppercuts and crossed with his right to the jaw. A left to the jaw hacked Greb. They were locked tight at the bell.

Round seven: Walker staggered Greb with a terrific right to the jaw. Greb countered by staggering Walker with a like blow. They locked in a tight clinch frequently. The in-fighting was furious. A hard short left to the face caused Greb to reel. A right uppercut hurt Walker. A straight right backed him to the ropes. Greb missed a windmill left. In breaking the men from a clinch. Referee Purdy fell to the ring and the fighters fell over him. The bell found the fighters sprawled on the floor of the ring. 

Round eight: A trip-hammer right bored its way to Walker’s head. Six successive times it found its mark. Walker landed prettily to the body but took four on the head in exchange. Walker missed an uppercut but took one in exchange. Greb rushed Walker to a neutral corner, battering him with blows from every direction. They stood toe to toe and slugged. They traded blows at close quarters. Walker’ head rocked from the force of Greb’s right just as the bell sounded. 

Round nine: They met in the center of the ring both slugging rapidly and both landing effective blows. A straight right to Walker’s face sent him to the ropes. Walker took another on the chin but fought gamely against Greb’s fierce attack. Walker rushed Greb to the ropes. They clinched. Greb measured Walker but Walker beat him to the punch to the head. They were mixing it fast in the center of the ring at the bell. 

Greb Plies Up Points

Round ten: Greb landed a left to the jaw. Greb was covering nicely. He staggered Walker with a vicious body blow. Walker sank back on his heels when the one-two punch landed to his jaw but he came back strongly. A stinging right to the jaw turned Greb half around. It was a beautiful shot. Walker landed again to the head, tying Greb tight in the resulting clinch. Both were driving straight for the head and landing telling blows. Four times Greb’s right found Walker’s chin just as the bell rang.

Round eleven: They wrestled around the ring, neither landing effectively. A clean right staggered Greb, when it landed on his uncovered jaw. Greb missed his right and Walker scored twice to Greb’s jaw. The fighting was tremendously fast. Walker landed to the head with both his right and left and Greb drove to cover, as the jammed park yelled its applause. Another clinch upset the referee again. They stood in a neutral corner and punched furiously at will while the referee was struggling to his feet. The bell ended the milling,

Round twelve: They smashed at each other’s jaw, both landing cleanly. In a maddened exchange of blows they punched each other at will. Walker staggered Greb with a vicious right to the head. Walker landed effectively to the body and head and Greb clinched. Greb landed with terrific force to Walker’s jaw but the welterweight king came up for more. The crowd gasped as the battlers stood up under the fierce punishment. They were locked in a clinch at the bell. 

Round thirteen: They stood toe to toe in Walker’s corner and matched blow for blow. Walker’s left eye started to swell as Greb continued top pepper at Walker’s face. Greb missed a downward right. The one-punch backed Walker to the ropes. They continued to batter each other openly at long range. Greb rushed Walker to the corner and the bell interrupted an interesting skirmish. 

Round fourteen: Greb continued his aggressiveness but Walker was willing and they smashed away openly both landing telling blows. Greb started to dance and Walker came in to a one-two punch which forced him to clinch. A stinging right to the jaw rocked Walker to his own corner and he reeled about the ring helpless against Greb’s furious attack. He was almost out but he pulled himself together and staggered Greb with a short left to the face. Gamely Walker fought on, badly battered but taking everything Greb could throw and standing upright under the tremendous punishment. The bell saved Walker further punishment. 

Round fifteen: They shook hands. A right to the head reeled Walker around. He countered gamely with a left, rallying beautifully. Mickey put all in a furious charge at Greb, sending him back to cover. With blood streaming down his face from a cut on his left eye, Walker bore in, holding his own in a toe-to-toe exchange of blows that threatened to sweep both to the floor of the ring. Walker staggered Greb with a wicked left to the head. Walker charged Greb, driving him to his own corner as he recklessly poured his driving gloves at the middleweight king. The bell found them battling away at full speed. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s