Name: KETCHEL, STANLEY-BILLY PAPKE PANORAMIC PHOTO (1908)
History: On November 26, 1908 at the Mission Street Arena in Colma, California Stanley Ketchel and Billy Papke met for the third time. Ketchel prevailed knocking Papke out in the 11th round. In the weeks leading up to the bout there was a conflict between Coffroth and Gleason as to who had the right to stage the bout. Whether by default, popularity or simply being able to offer a better draw, Coffroth dug in his heels and articles were drawn up for a rubbermatch at Coffroth’s joint on Thanksgiving, November 26 — one day later than originally planned. An attempt by Gleason to file an injunction two days before the fight was refused by a Judge Sewell, settling matters. Papke was reported as a 10-to-7 favorite a day before the bout, but rumors of Ketchel being in poor condition widened the numbers to 10-to-6. Very early in the fight Papke seemed to go to the ropes, perhaps remembering how Ketchel complained about the clinching in their first encounter. But this proved to be a grave mistake as Ketchel doubled Papke over with a right hand to the body before unleashing hell until the gong sounded. The Fresno Republican reported from ringside, “In the first round Ketchel drove Papke into a neutral corner landing right and left almost at will and thereafter the Illinois contender was always at a disadvantage. Stepping aside at critical junctures, Ketchel swung his right time and again flush upon his opponent’s jaw, now and then alternating with left drives to the body.” It was reported by several news outlets that Martin Carter, owner of Nutwood Stock Farm, collapsed and died of a heart attack or stroke between rounds 3 and 4. Carter’s death was predictably attributed to the gripping action, but even though Papke’s nose bled freely in by the 4th, the beating hadn’t really begun yet. By most accounts, the fighting was what one would expect from two punchers eager to mix: sloppy, physical and overflowing with collisions. Both men were beginning to slow, but the momentum was tipping Ketchel’s way and he used his body punching to keep it like that. Harry B. Smith of the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “[Papke] was slow to begin, landed with less force to his punches than the San Francisco fans had been led to expect, and from the fourth round on was going to clinches and holding on repeatedly in order to save himself. But the clinches did the Illinois boy little good, for Ketchel did more than fight in the open, and landed innumerable left uppercuts to the body and punished his man severely around the kidneys. Those were the blows that took the steam out of Papke and made him an easy victim. As he tired from the beating he was receiving, Papke grew more and more careless in guarding himself from the breaks.” Papke’s reaction to Ketchel’s rushes led both mean clear through the ropes and on top of a row of newspaper reporters in round 5, but Ketchel began laying serious heat on the champion when action resumed and that trend continued into round 6. Papke managed to draw blood from Ketchel’s nose in the 6th, but the round ended with Papke walking to his corner unsteadily and Ketchel being applauded heartily. Another Ketchel round in the 7th urged Papke forward, somehow. W.O. McGeehan, also for the San Francisco Chronicle, said, “In the eighth and ninth rounds, Papke, despite the terrible beating that had been administered to him, seemed fresher and more active than Ketchel, and even at that stage of the battle those who were backing him still believed their man would win. They thought that the whirlwind pace would tell upon Ketchel and that the German boy, slower to anger and slower to get into the white heat of fighting, would be stronger in the end. But Ketchel was like a wild animal that had tasted blood and would not be satisfied until he was at the throat of his victim and tearing the body.” In the 9th round, Papke went to the canvas after absorbing another body punch, but a knockdown was not officially counted. Round 10 saw Papke attempting to set a trap, lightly tapping Ketchel to the body as the challenger tired, then attempting bigger punches upstairs. But the tactic wasn’t sustained, and Ketchel’s late round rally only served to soften Papke up for a likely finish. While Papke survived, hoping Ketchel would lose all steam, he found himself sapped. Backing out of a clinch with his hands down in round 11, Papke caught a wild left hand flush and dropped, his head smacking the canvas loudly. Papke reached his feet at the count of eight, but he was useless by that point and Ketchel swung another dozen or so punches before Papke was again down. It appeared as though Papke was nearly out, and indeed referee Jack Welsh counted past 10, and Papke got to his feet too late. Offered here is an original, first generation, panoramic photo which depicts action during the fight.
Full description: This is an original, first generation, panoramic photo. Labeled on the reverse. Bold, clear image. Clean front and back. Not creased or torn. Exceedingly rare image, the first we have seen from this fight. 4" x 8."
Size: 4 x 8
Categories: Antique Photographs (Pre-1930) - Ketchel, Stanley - Papke, Billy
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