Wilson Raises Ante From $11 to $40,000 for Second Appearance in New York Arena

Westbrook Pegler

Pittsburgh Post/March 14, 1921

NEW YORK, March 13.—After one more championship fight in the ancient garden, Tex Rickard will reel up the ropes, uproot the posts and remove the rung that has taken in more money in six months than any other boxing enclosure since prize fighting began. The Wilson-O’Dowd fight is the last big indoor party of the season. The outdoor program ought to be very sprightly. The woods are so full of fighters, good, bad and just plain bum, that you can’t light a cigarette without singeing a couple.

There are some other fight clubs in New York, but Tex Rickard’s place at Madison Square Garden has been the only important one going since the new Walker law came into operation last fall. Rickard and his fighters have played to aggregate admissions of about $1,000,000 and it was real money, too—the kind the landlord wants the first of every month.

Wilson and O’Dowd are getting $60,000 between them. Champion Johnny gets $40,000 for defending his title for 15 rounds, which foots up at more than $2,500 a round. The last time Wilson fought in New York, a few years ago, het got $1.10 a round or $11 for 10 tough rounds. Before he won the championship a year ago, which surprised Wilson no less than it hurt Mike O’Dowd, Wilson’s yearly earnings weren’t much more than he will get for a couple of rounds of this fight.

Rocky Kansas of Buffalo, who has been fighting these last eight or 10 years, will be the next outsider to cut in on the grand dinero in New York. Kansas really has earned a crack at Benny Leonard. He made a mess of Joe Welling and then beat Richie Mitchell twice. Leonard stopped Welling and Mitchell, but he had to hit them with the water bucket to do it.

But even Kansas, newcomer that he is to the really big time in the fight game, gets tongue-tied when he tries to mention anything less than $25,000. He wanted that much for fighting Willie Jackson after beating Mitchell in Milwaukee last week. Along in the fall or perhaps some time during the summer he will probably get what he asks for, except that Benny Leonard will be his opponent, not Jackson.

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