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Billy Papke

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Billy Papke
Papke in 1910
Statistics
Real nameWilliam Herman Papke, Sr.
Nickname(s)The Illinois Thunderbolt
Weight(s)Middleweight
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
NationalityAmerican
Born(1886-09-17)September 17, 1886
Spring Valley, Illinois
DiedNovember 26, 1936(1936-11-26) (aged 50)
Newport Beach, California
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights63
Wins39
Wins by KO31
Losses17
Draws7

Billy Papke (born William Papke, and known as "The Illinois Thunderbolt") (September 17, 1886 – November 26, 1936) was an American boxer who held the World Middleweight Championship from September 7 to November 26, 1908. In 1910-12, he also took the Australian and British versions of the World Middleweight Championship, though American boxing historians generally take less note of these titles.[1][2] With a solid and efficient punch, 70 percent of his better publicized career wins by decision were from knockouts, and roughly 40% of his reported fights were as well.[3][4] Papke was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001.[5] Sportswriter Nat Fleischer, original owner of "Ring" Magazine, ranked Papke as the seventh best middleweight of all time. Announcer Charley Rose ranked him as the tenth greatest middleweight in boxing history. He was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1972.[6]

Early life and career

Papke was born on September 17, 1886 in Spring Valley, Illinois. He began his boxing career in 1906, eventually winning 40 fights by decision and drawing six times. He worked as a miner during his years in Illinois and occasionally boxed with fellow miners.[7] His earliest fights in 1906 took place near Spring Valley or Peoria where he had moved by 1907, though he traveled frequently North to box in the next few years.[5]

Portrait of Papke taken in France
Portrait of Papke taken in France

In an important early bout on September 14, 1907, Papke knocked out Terry Martin in the third round at the National Athletic Club in Philadelphia. The win led several reporters to view Papke as a middleweight title contender.[3]

On November 22, 1907, Papke defeated Bartley Connolly in a fourth round technical knockout. In a one sided bout, Papke floored his opponent once in the first and five times in the third. Connolly tried to clinch in the early rounds to avoid his aggressive and better skilled opponent. In his career, Connolly would defeat the great Joe Walcott, and box in Great Britain.[3][8]

In a well publicized bout On November 14, 1907, Papke defeated Tony Caponi in their first bout in a second round knockout at the Peoria Club in Peoria, Illinois. After only two minutes and ten seconds of fighting in the second, Papke put Caponi down for the count with a strong right uppercut to the jaw immediately after breaking from a clinch. Caponi tried to rise, but went back down and stayed on the mat. The two had fought two draws the previous May and June, with Papke holding a slight lead during the more recent match. Adding to the interest in the contest was Caponi's unsuccessful attempt at Hugo Kelly's World and American 158 lb. middleweight championship the previous August.[3][9]

American middleweight championship bout with Hugo Kelly, March, 1908

On March 16, 1908, Papke defeated Hugo Kelly at the Hippodrome in Milwaukee in a ten round points decision that was billed as the world and American 158 pound middleweight championship, though it was not a universally sanctioned bout. There was a significant amount of clinching, and some butting in the match mostly attributed to Papke. Papke put Kelly on the mat in the first round with a blow to the jaw, but Kelly recovered quickly and fought well defensively. There was a shower of blows in the fourth, followed by more clinching in the fifth, as the boxers recovered from fatigue. The final four rounds were close, but the referee decided in favor of Papke at the bell in the tenth.[10] Papke's management successfully used the win as a stepping stone to a world middleweight title match with Stanley Ketchel ten weeks later. On May 15, 1909, Papke would defeat Kelly more decisively in a first round knockout in Colma, California.

Rivalry with middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel

Papke's first meeting with Stanley Ketchel resulted in loss by 10-round points decision, on June 4, 1908 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[11] It was the first of Papke's four fights with the reigning Middleweight champion.[12][13]

World middleweight championship win, September, 1908

Ketchel in fighting pose
Ketchel in fighting pose

Papke won the second fight with Ketchel in an upset at Jeffrie's Arena in Vernon, near Los Angeles, on September 7, 1908 in a convincing twelve round technical knockout, and impressively took the world middleweight title from the reigning champion. The referee was the thirty-three year old boxing legend and former heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries.[3][4]

According to legend, Papke helped his chances of winning the fight by punching Ketchel in the face or throat unexpectedly when Ketchel stepped forward with his right hand extended to shake at the beginning of the bout. This legend has been dis-proven by boxing historians, as neither the combatants, nor ringside newspaper reporters, corner men, or other eyewitnesses ever attested to or made record of the incident.[14][3][4][15][16] A few newspapers including the Record Argus of Greenville, Pennsylvania, perpetuated the legend of the sucker punch at the handshake, though the myth may have had its origin in Papke's furious attack very early in the first round and the not infrequent habit of a few boxing reporters of the era to embellish their reporting. Even reporting on his death in 1936, a newspaper perpetuated the myth of Papke's first blow coming as Ketchel extended his hand to shake.[17]

A California newspaper, likely using the account of a ringside reporter, inferred the fighting did not commence until after the opening bell, and that both men entered the ring in perfect condition, but that within one minute and twenty seconds, Papke had mounted an attack that determined the outcome of the bout.[18][19] Ketchel was down three times in the first round, and Papke seemed to have the upper hand throughout the fierce and furious bout.[20] The match became so one-sided in favor of Papke by the close, that the crowd yelled for referee Jeffries to stop the fight. Papke dealt the final blows in the twelfth delivering a right swing followed by a powerful hook.[21]

Loss of world middleweight championship, November, 1908

Ketchel standing over Papke in their third fight, Nov. 1908
Ketchel standing over Papke in their third fight, Nov. 1908

In their third meeting, two months later on November 26, 1908, Papke lost his title to Ketchel in an eleventh round knockout in Colma, California, and received a terrific beating in the process.[3][22] Papke's own wife did not recognize him after the bout was over. Ketchel led the bout through most of the first ten rounds. Papke went down in the eleventh for a count of nine, and not long after arising was struck by a left to the chin that ended the bout.[23][24]

Papke lost the fourth and final meeting by unanimous decision before a large crowd in Colma, California, near San Francisco, on July 5, 1909. It was a particularly savage encounter and lasted 20 rounds. One source wrote that of all their fights it was "the bloodiest and most grueling". Ketchel was reported to have broken his right hand in the sixth, and Papke a bone in his left.[25][26][3]

Impressive wins over welterweight contender Willie Lewis, 1909-10

On October 8, 1909, and March 19, 1910, Papke impressively defeated American welterweight contender Willie Lewis in Pittsburgh in a six round newspaper decision, and in France's Cirque de Paris in a third round knockout. In their well attended Pittsburgh match, Lewis was down for a nine count as early as the second from a right to the jaw and continued receiving blows to the jaw in the third. Lewis came back only briefly in the fifth, and with a broken nose hung on barely til the closing bell in the sixth.[27] In their heavily attended world welterweight championship bout in Paris, Papke demonstrated superior hitting ability, speed, and defense throughout the match, and was the aggressor through all three rounds. Papke tried to have his agent arrange a match with Ketchel after the bout, but it was never to be.[28][29][30]

Mid career

After Ketchel's murder at age 24, on October 15, 1910, while training at a Cattle Ranch in Conway, Missouri, Papke became one of several middleweights contesting the world middleweight title.[3]

Four important bouts at Sydney Stadium

On February 11, 1911, Papke lost to Cyclone Johnny Thompson in Sydney, Australia in a twenty round points decision, with Thompson subsequently claiming Papke's world middleweight title. The bout was one of four well-attended bouts he fought for the Australian version of the Middleweight Championship at Sydney Stadium, which included a win against Ed Williams as well as a win by TKO and a loss by DQ to Dave Smith. In Papke's TKO victory against Smith, Smith led through six rounds, but went down three times before his seconds threw in the towel. Smith would later take the Australian Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Championships, as well as compete for the Australian Middleweight Championship.[3]

On August 22, 1911, Papke had a surprising loss to Sailor Burke, at St. Nicholas Arena in New York City in a newspaper decision of the New York Times. Papke was defending his World Middleweight title which he took at London's Palladium in a ninth round knockout from Jim Sullivan two months earlier on June 8, 1911. Burke battered Papke, but used little science in his approach. Attending the fight, and likely disappointed, was the Scottish reporter Percy Douglas, 10th Marquess of Queensberry, a member of the royal line and son of the 9th Marquess, who had endorsed the modern boxing rules published by Welshman John Graham Chambers in 1867.[3][31] The title did not pass hands as both men were over the middleweight weight limit of 160, and weighing nearer 165.[31]

After an October, 1911 loss in Boston to Bob Moha, he briefly retired,[5] but he would soon return to the ring.[5][32]

Loss to Frank Mantel, middleweight contender, February, 1912

On February 22, 1912, Papke lost to American world middleweight contender Frank Mantell in Sacramento in a twenty round points decision. It was a slow bout with much vertical wrestling while the contestants weakly attempted to score blows during the clinches. After the bout, Mantell tried to claim Papke's former British world middleweight title of June 11, 1911 taken from Jim Sullivan in London. Mantell's claim was weak, however, as Papke claimed he did not make weight for the match.[33]

Win over Marcel Moreau in Paris, June, 1912

On June 29, 1912, Papke, defending his June, 1911 world middleweight title, defeated Marcel Moreau at France's Cirque de Paris in a sixteenth round technical knockout. Papke was down in the first, while Moreau was knocked down twice in the fifteenth by left and right hooks before failing to show for the final round.[34][35]

Papke lost to middle and welterweight contender Leo Houck in the third week of September 1912 at the Olympia Athletic Club in Philadelphia in a six round newspaper decision. The first two rounds were slow, with Papke staging a comeback in the third which was marred by his tossing Houck around in the clinches and refusing to break at the referee's request. His clinching may have signaled his fatigue from the repeated blows of his opponent. In the final three rounds, Houck dominated, throwing several swift blows with no return in the fourth, and sending Papke through the ropes in the sixth.[36]

Win over European middleweight champion Georges Carpentier, October 1912

Papke traveled to Paris where he beat future champion Georges Carpentier in an eighteenth round technical knockout on October 23, 1912. It became a non-championship fight when Papke exceeded the middle-weight limit at the pre-fight weigh-in. Papke's infighting or close range techniques baffled the skilled Carpentier. At the end of the eighth, Carpentier's right eye was closed, and he fought more cautiously. Though staging a comeback in the fifteenth and sixteenth, Carpentier was floored in the opening of the seventeenth round, when Papke struck him with a left hook, likely taking advantage of the reduced vision on his opponent's right side. Carpentier attempted to fight on but gave up after consulting with his corner men, and did not return for the eighteenth round.[37][38]

Final loss of the world middleweight championship to Frank Klaus, March 1913

Frank Klaus c. 1910-15
Frank Klaus c. 1910-15

Papke was beaten by an American, Pennsylvania middleweight Frank Klaus on March 5, 1913 at France's Cirque de Paris. The referee warned Papke and called fouls and breaks repeatedly in the late rounds for wrestling, head-butting, and low blows. In frustration, the referee called his last foul in the fifteenth round for a low blow which Papke had been called on in the previous two rounds, disqualifying Papke and ending both the match and Papke's title hopes.[39][3][40][41]

After his October 14, 1913, loss to Marty Rowan in St. Louis, Papke took a three year hiatus from the ring, before returning in 1916, and facing his last few opponents.

He continued fighting until 1919, losing a four rounder to the prolific boxer and contender Soldier Bartfield in San Francisco in April 1919.[5]

Boxing retirement, death and legacy

On November 22, 1932, Papke came out of his 1919 boxing retirement to stage a three round exhibition with heavyweight "Fireman" Jim Flynn, the only boxer who ever knocked out Jack Dempsey.[6] He had lost to Flynn earlier in a newspaper decision in March 1909 in Pasadena.

Appearances in boxing movies

In his retirement near Los Angeles, he benefited from his real estate investments.[5] He appeared in at least three boxing-themed movies; The Prince of Broadway (1926) which featured boxers Leach Cross, Frankie Genaro, and Ad Wolgast, Madison Square Garden (1932), where he appeared as himself as did other boxers and sports writers, and The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933), which starred heavyweight champion Max Baer (boxer).[42]

Death

Near the time of his death, he was working as a "host" at Jim Flynn's Cafe in Los Angeles, a beer hall named after the heavyweight boxer. He had recently refereed a boxing match.[7][43]

Papke died on November 27, 1936 by suicide, after first killing his wife. The violent incident may have been a result of undiagnosed brain dementia suffered from years of trauma in the ring.[6] It occurred at his wife Edna's residence on Balboa Island, part of Newport Beach, south of Los Angeles in Southern California. Papke was disappointed about his wife's recent divorce and was hoping for a reconciliation.[44] Both he and his wife were buried at Mt. View Cemetery in Altadena, California, slightly North of Pasadena and Los Angeles.[45] He left three sons with whom he lived, Robert, Clifford, and William A. Papke Jr.[46][47]

He is a primary character in the novel, The Killings of Stanley Ketchel, (2005), by James Carlos Blake.

Professional boxing record

All information in this section is derived from BoxRec,[48] unless otherwise stated.

Official record

Professional record summary
63 fights 37 wins 11 losses
By knockout 31 1
By decision 5 8
By disqualification 1 2
Draws 6
Newspaper decisions/draws 9

All newspaper decisions are regarded as “no decision” bouts as they have “resulted in neither boxer winning or losing, and would therefore not count as part of their official fight record".

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
63 Loss 37–11–6 (9) United States Jimmy Darcy PTS 4 May 14, 1919 United States Dreamland Arena, San Diego, California, U.S.
62 Loss 37–10–6 (9) Austria-Hungary Soldier Bartfield PTS 4 Apr 8, 1919 United States Coliseum, San Francisco, California, U.S.
61 Loss 37–9–6 (9) United States Jack Smith NWS 10 Jun 1, 1916 United States Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
60 Loss 37–9–6 (8) United States Marty Rowan PTS 8 Oct 14, 1913 United States Future City A.C., Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
59 Loss 37–8–6 (8) United States Frank Klaus RTD 6 (20) Mar 5, 1913 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Lost world middleweight title claim;
For Klaus' world middleweight title claim
58 Win 37–7–6 (8) France Georges Bernard RTD 6 (20) Dec 4, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
57 Win 36–7–6 (8) France Georges Carpentier TKO 18 (20) Oct 23, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
56 Loss 35–7–6 (8) United States Leo Houck NWS 6 Sep 27, 1912 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
55 Loss 35–7–6 (7) United States Jack Denning NWS 10 Sep 25, 1912 United States St. Nicholas Arena, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
54 Win 35–7–6 (6) France Marcel Moreau TKO 16 (20) Jun 29, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
53 Win 34–7–6 (6) United States Billy Leitch TKO 2 (10) May 2, 1912 United States New Amsterdam Opera House, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
52 Loss 33–7–6 (6) United States Frank Mantell PTS 20 Feb 22, 1912 United States Sacramento, California, U.S. Mantell claimed the world middleweight title;
Papke continued to claim the title because he failed to make weight
51 Loss 33–6–6 (6) United States Bob Moha PTS 12 Oct 31, 1911 United States Arena (Armory A.A.), Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
50 Loss 33–5–6 (6) United States Sailor Burke NWS 10 Aug 22, 1911 United States St. Nicholas Arena, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S. World middleweight title claim at stake;
(via KO only)
49 Win 33–5–6 (5) United Kingdom Jim Sullivan KO 9 (20) Jun 8, 1911 United Kingdom London Palladium, Argyle Street, Soho, London, England, U.K. Won British world middleweight title
48 Win 32–5–6 (5) Australia Dave Smith TKO 7 (20) Mar 11, 1911 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Austraia
47 Loss 31–5–6 (5) United States Cyclone Johnny Thompson PTS 20 Feb 11, 1911 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Austraia Lost world middleweight title claim
46 Loss 31–4–6 (5) Australia Dave Smith DQ 10 (20) Dec 26, 1910 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Austraia
45 Win 31–3–6 (5) Australia Ed Williams TKO 6 (20) Oct 26, 1910 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Austraia Retained world middleweight title (Australian version)
44 Win 30–3–6 (5) United States Jack "Twin" Sullivan PTS 12 Jun 21, 1910 United States Armory, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
43 Win 29–3–6 (5) United States Al Goodale DQ 2 (10) Jun 14, 1910 United States Hippodrome, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
42 Win 28–3–6 (5) United States Joe Thomas KO 16 (20) May 19, 1910 United States Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, U.S.
41 Win 27–3–6 (5) United States Willie Lewis KO 3 (15) Mar 19, 1910 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Thinking Ketchel had relinquished the world middleweight title, Papke claimed it
40 Loss 26–3–6 (5) United States Frank Klaus NWS 6 Nov 11, 1909 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39 Win 26–3–6 (4) United States Willie Lewis NWS 6 Oct 8, 1909 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
38 Draw 26–3–6 (3) United States Fireman Jim Flynn NWS 10 Jul 14, 1909 United States Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
37 Loss 26–3–6 (2) United States Stanley Ketchel UD 20 Jul 5, 1909 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S. For world middleweight title
36 Win 26–2–6 (2) Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly KO 1 (45) May 15, 1909 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S.
35 Loss 25–2–6 (2) United States Fireman Jim Flynn NWS 10 Mar 19, 1909 United States McCarey's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
34 Draw 25–2–6 (1) Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 25 Dec 15, 1908 United States Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
33 Loss 25–2–5 (1) United States Stanley Ketchel KO 11 (20) Nov 26, 1908 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S. Lost world middleweight title
32 Win 25–1–5 (1) United States Stanley Ketchel TKO 12 (25) Sep 7, 1908 United States Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, U.S. Won world middleweight title
31 Win 24–1–5 (1) United States Sailor Burke NWS 6 Aug 18, 1908 United States National A.C., Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
30 Win 24–1–5 United States Frank Mantell TKO 1 (6) Aug 13, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
29 Win 23–1–5 United States Johnny Carroll TKO 2 (6) Aug 13, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
28 Loss 22–1–5 United States Stanley Ketchel PTS 10 Jun 4, 1908 United States Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Lost world middleweight title claim;
For Ketchel's world middleweight title claim
27 Win 22–0–5 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 10 Mar 16, 1908 United States Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Won American and world middleweight title claims
26 Win 21–0–5 United States Walter Stanton TKO 4 (12) Jan 21, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
25 Draw 20–0–5 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 10 Dec 30, 1907 United States Schlitz Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. For American and world middleweight title claims
24 Win 20–0–4 United States Bartley Connolly TKO 4 (10) Nov 22, 1907 United States Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.
23 Win 19–0–4 United States Charlie Haghey TKO 1 (10) Nov 22, 1907 United States Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.
22 Win 18–0–4 United States Tony Caponi KO 2 (10) Nov 14, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
21 Draw 17–0–4 United Kingdom Pat O'Keefe PTS 6 Nov 9, 1907 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20 Win 17–0–3 United States Cy Flynn TKO 3 (10) Oct 30, 1907 United States Pavillion, Brazil, Indiana, U.S.
19 Win 16–0–3 Norway Terry Martin KO 3 (6) Sep 14, 1907 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
18 Win 15–0–3 United States Tommy Sullivan KO 1 (15) Sep 2, 1907 United States Glen Forest Park, Methuen, Massachusetts, U.S.
17 Draw 14–0–3 United States Tony Caponi PTS 10 Jun 20, 1907 United States Spring Valley, Illinois, U.S.
16 Win 14–0–2 United States Foster Walker KO 2 (10) Jun 14, 1907 United States Light Guard Armory, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
15 Win 13–0–2 United States Jack Morgan KO 7 (10) Jun 6, 1907 United States Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
14 Draw 12–0–2 United States Tony Caponi PTS 15 May 21, 1907 United States Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
13 Win 12–0–1 United States Johnny Carroll KO 4 (10) Apr 30, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
12 Draw 11–0–1 United States Billy Rhodes PTS 15 Mar 26, 1907 United States Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Billy Rhodes PTS 10 Mar 6, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Carl Anderson KO 1 (10) Feb 14, 1907 United States Spring Valley A.C., Spring Valley, Illinois, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Dick Fitzpatrick PTS 10 Jan 29, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Tommy Wallace KO 3 (10) Jan 15, 1907 United States Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Kid Farmer KO 6 (10) Dec 17, 1906 United States Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Milt Kinney KO 3 (10) Nov 27, 1906 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Carl Purdy TKO 7 (10) Jul 4, 1906 United States La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Jack Denny KO 1 (6) Jun 1, 1906 United States Peru, Illinois, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Buster Teegan KO 3 (6) May 30, 1906 United States Turn Hall, La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Red Morrisey KO 3 (4) Apr 30, 1906 United States Jones's Club, La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Mexican Wonder PTS 4 Mar 24, 1906 United States La Salle, Illinois, U.S.


Unofficial record

Professional record summary
63 fights 39 wins 17 losses
By knockout 31 1
By decision 7 14
By disqualification 1 2
Draws 7

Record with the inclusion of newspaper decisions to the win/loss/draw column.

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
63 Loss 39–17–7 United States Jimmy Darcy PTS 4 May 14, 1919 United States Dreamland Arena, San Diego, California, U.S.
62 Loss 39–16–7 Austria-Hungary Soldier Bartfield PTS 4 Apr 8, 1919 United States Coliseum, San Francisco, California, U.S.
61 Loss 39–15–7 United States Jack Smith NWS 10 Jun 1, 1916 United States Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
60 Loss 39–14–7 United States Marty Rowan PTS 8 Oct 14, 1913 United States Future City A.C., Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
59 Loss 39–13–7 United States Frank Klaus RTD 6 (20) Mar 5, 1913 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Lost world middleweight title claim;
For Klaus' world middleweight title claim
58 Win 39–12–7 France Georges Bernard RTD 6 (20) Dec 4, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
57 Win 38–12–7 France Georges Carpentier TKO 18 (20) Oct 23, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
56 Loss 37–12–7 United States Leo Houck NWS 6 Sep 27, 1912 United States Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
55 Loss 37–11–7 United States Jack Denning NWS 10 Sep 25, 1912 United States St. Nicholas Arena, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
54 Win 37–10–7 France Marcel Moreau TKO 16 (20) Jun 29, 1912 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Retained world middleweight title claim
53 Win 36–10–7 United States Billy Leitch TKO 2 (10) May 2, 1912 United States New Amsterdam Opera House, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
52 Loss 35–10–7 United States Frank Mantell PTS 20 Feb 22, 1912 United States Sacramento, California, U.S. Mantell claimed the world middleweight title;
Papke continued to claim the title because he failed to make weight
51 Loss 35–9–7 United States Bob Moha PTS 12 Oct 31, 1911 United States Arena (Armory A.A.), Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
50 Loss 35–8–7 United States Sailor Burke NWS 10 Aug 22, 1911 United States St. Nicholas Arena, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S. World middleweight title claim at stake;
(via KO only)
49 Win 35–7–7 United Kingdom Jim Sullivan KO 9 (20) Jun 8, 1911 United Kingdom London Palladium, Argyle Street, Soho, London, England, U.K. Won British world middleweight title
48 Win 34–7–7 Australia Dave Smith TKO 7 (20) Mar 11, 1911 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
47 Loss 33–7–7 United States Cyclone Johnny Thompson PTS 20 Feb 11, 1911 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Lost world middleweight title claim
46 Loss 33–6–7 Australia Dave Smith DQ 10 (20) Dec 26, 1910 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
45 Win 33–5–7 Australia Ed Williams TKO 6 (20) Oct 26, 1910 Australia Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Retained world middleweight title (Australian version)
44 Win 32–5–7 United States Jack "Twin" Sullivan PTS 12 Jun 21, 1910 United States Armory, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
43 Win 31–5–7 United States Al Goodale DQ 2 (10) Jun 14, 1910 United States Hippodrome, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
42 Win 30–5–7 United States Joe Thomas KO 16 (20) May 19, 1910 United States Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, U.S.
41 Win 29–5–7 United States Willie Lewis KO 3 (15) Mar 19, 1910 France Cirque de Paris, Paris, France Thinking Ketchel had relinquished the world middleweight title, Papke claimed it
40 Loss 28–5–7 United States Frank Klaus NWS 6 Nov 11, 1909 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39 Win 28–4–7 United States Willie Lewis NWS 6 Oct 8, 1909 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
38 Draw 27–4–7 United States Fireman Jim Flynn NWS 10 Jul 14, 1909 United States Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
37 Loss 27–4–6 United States Stanley Ketchel UD 20 Jul 5, 1909 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S. For world middleweight title
36 Win 27–3–6 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly KO 1 (45) May 15, 1909 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S.
35 Loss 26–3–6 United States Fireman Jim Flynn NWS 10 Mar 19, 1909 United States McCarey's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
34 Draw 26–2–6 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 25 Dec 15, 1908 United States Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.
33 Loss 26–2–5 United States Stanley Ketchel KO 11 (20) Nov 26, 1908 United States Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S. Lost world middleweight title
32 Win 26–1–5 United States Stanley Ketchel TKO 12 (25) Sep 7, 1908 United States Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, U.S. Won world middleweight title
31 Win 25–1–5 United States Sailor Burke NWS 6 Aug 18, 1908 United States National A.C., Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
30 Win 24–1–5 United States Frank Mantell TKO 1 (6) Aug 13, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
29 Win 23–1–5 United States Johnny Carroll TKO 2 (6) Aug 13, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
28 Loss 22–1–5 United States Stanley Ketchel PTS 10 Jun 4, 1908 United States Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Lost world middleweight title claim;
For Ketchel's world middleweight title claim
27 Win 22–0–5 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 10 Mar 16, 1908 United States Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Won American and world middleweight title claims
26 Win 21–0–5 United States Walter Stanton TKO 4 (12) Jan 21, 1908 United States Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
25 Draw 20–0–5 Kingdom of Italy Hugo Kelly PTS 10 Dec 30, 1907 United States Schlitz Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. For American and world middleweight title claims
24 Win 20–0–4 United States Bartley Connolly TKO 4 (10) Nov 22, 1907 United States Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.
23 Win 19–0–4 United States Charlie Haghey TKO 1 (10) Nov 22, 1907 United States Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.
22 Win 18–0–4 United States Tony Caponi KO 2 (10) Nov 14, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
21 Draw 17–0–4 United Kingdom Pat O'Keefe PTS 6 Nov 9, 1907 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20 Win 17–0–3 United States Cy Flynn TKO 3 (10) Oct 30, 1907 United States Pavillion, Brazil, Indiana, U.S.
19 Win 16–0–3 Norway Terry Martin KO 3 (6) Sep 14, 1907 United States National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
18 Win 15–0–3 United States Tommy Sullivan KO 1 (15) Sep 2, 1907 United States Glen Forest Park, Methuen, Massachusetts, U.S.
17 Draw 14–0–3 United States Tony Caponi PTS 10 Jun 20, 1907 United States Spring Valley, Illinois, U.S.
16 Win 14–0–2 United States Foster Walker KO 2 (10) Jun 14, 1907 United States Light Guard Armory, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
15 Win 13–0–2 United States Jack Morgan KO 7 (10) Jun 6, 1907 United States Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
14 Draw 12–0–2 United States Tony Caponi PTS 15 May 21, 1907 United States Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
13 Win 12–0–1 United States Johnny Carroll KO 4 (10) Apr 30, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
12 Draw 11–0–1 United States Billy Rhodes PTS 15 Mar 26, 1907 United States Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Billy Rhodes PTS 10 Mar 6, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Carl Anderson KO 1 (10) Feb 14, 1907 United States Spring Valley A.C., Spring Valley, Illinois, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Dick Fitzpatrick PTS 10 Jan 29, 1907 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Tommy Wallace KO 3 (10) Jan 15, 1907 United States Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Kid Farmer KO 6 (10) Dec 17, 1906 United States Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Milt Kinney KO 3 (10) Nov 27, 1906 United States Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Carl Purdy TKO 7 (10) Jul 4, 1906 United States La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Jack Denny KO 1 (6) Jun 1, 1906 United States Peru, Illinois, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Buster Teegan KO 3 (6) May 30, 1906 United States Turn Hall, La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Red Morrisey KO 3 (4) Apr 30, 1906 United States Jones's Club, La Salle, Illinois, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Mexican Wonder PTS 4 Mar 24, 1906 United States La Salle, Illinois, U.S.

Primary boxing achievements and honors

Achievements Preceded byStanley Ketchel World Middleweight Champion September 7, 1908 – November 26, 1908 Succeeded byStanley Ketchel

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ Mark Paloolian (2007). Brutality. Firstchoicebooks. pp. 92–95. ISBN 978-1-897518-37-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Billy Papke". BoxRec. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Billy Papke". BoxRec. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, James B.; Skutt, Alexander (2006). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book. McBooks Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-1-59013-121-3.
  6. ^ a b c "Billy Papke, Cyber Boxing Zone". Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Fifty Year Old Boxer Kills Former Wife", Times-Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, pg. 16, 27 November 1936
  8. ^ Connolly was down frequently in "Papke Knocks Out Two Boxers in the Same Ring", The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana, pg. 8, 23 November 1907
  9. ^ "Papke Wins in Less Than Two Rounds", The Decatur Herald, pg. 3, 15 November 1907
  10. ^ The match was close in "Hugo Kelly Loses Decision to Papke", The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, pg. 7, 17 March 1908
  11. ^ Paloolian (2006) p.98
  12. ^ Roberts; Skutt (2007) p.153
  13. ^ Paloolian (2006) p.109
  14. ^ Papke did not suckerpunch Ketchell before their second fight in "Billy Papke". BoxRec. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  15. ^ Kirsch, George B.; Harris, Othello; Nolte, Claire Elaine (2000). Encyclopedia of ethnicity and sports in the United States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-313-29911-7.
  16. ^ Nicholson, Kelly Richard (2010). Hitters, Dancers and Ring Magicians: Seven Boxers of the Golden Age. McFarland. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7864-4990-3.
  17. ^ A newspaper that perpetuated the first blow at handshake myth at Papke's death was, "Former Fighter Kills Wife, Self", The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, California, pg. 19, 27 November 1936
  18. ^ The first minute twenty determined the outcome of the fight in "Billy Papke is Now Champion", The Bakersfield Californian, pg. 3, 8 September 1908
  19. ^ Ketchell supposedly walked to the ring center extending his hand for the shake in "Ketchel Loses to Billy Papke", The Record-Argus, Greenville, Pennsylvania, pg. 1, 8 September 1908
  20. ^ Papke Won From Stanley Ketchel", The Buffalo Enquirer, Buffalo, New York, pg. 8, 8 September 1908
  21. ^ "Papke Wins Fight", The Scranton Republican, Scranton, Pennsylvania, pg. 1, 8 September 1908
  22. ^ Paloolian (2006) pp.115-117
  23. ^ "Crashing a Thunderbolt", The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, Arizona, pg. 7, 27 November 1908
  24. ^ "Ketchell is Middleweight Champion, Turns the Tables on Papke", Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, North Carolina, pg. 3, 27 November 1908
  25. ^ Nicholson (2010) p.166
  26. ^ "Ketchell Keeps Title By Points Over Papke", The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, pg. 25, 6 July 1909
  27. ^ Papke dominated in Pittsburgh in "Papke's Hard Hits Beat Willie Lewis", Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pennsylvania, pg. 3, 9 October 1909
  28. ^ Papke showed superior speed in "Billy Papke Puts Willie Lewis Out in Three Rounds", The Inter-Ocean, Chicago, Illinois, pg. 25, 20 March 1919
  29. ^ Papke wanted to meet Ketchel after win in "Papke Puts Willie Lewis to Slumber", San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, pg. 39, 20 March 1910
  30. ^ Papke was the aggressor with Lewis in "Papke Knocks Out Lewis in Third", Quad-City Times, pg. 4, 20 March 1910
  31. ^ a b "Papke Battered by Sailor Burke", San Francisco Call, pg. 10, San Francisco, California, 23 August 1911
  32. ^ Johnston, Alexander. Ten--and Out!: The Complete Story of the Prize Ring in America. I. Washburn, 1943; p. 291.
  33. ^ "Billy Papke Beaten By Big Frank Mantell", The Bridgeport Times, Bridgeport, Connecticut, pg. 2, 23 February 1912
  34. ^ "Billy Papke Wins an Easy Victory", The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kansas, pg. 17, 30 June 1912
  35. ^ Left and right hooks in fifteenth in "Billy Papke Wins From Marcel Moreau", Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico, pg. 3, 30 June 1912
  36. ^ "Leo Houck Has a Real Victory", Harrisburgh Telegraph, Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, pg. 10, 28 September 1912
  37. ^ "Papke Wins in Seventeenth" (PDF). The New York Times. 1912-10-24. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  38. ^ "Carpentier Defeated By Billy Papke", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pg. 10, 24 October 1912
  39. ^ "Billy Papke disqualified" (PDF). The New York Times. 1913-03-06. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  40. ^ "Klaus Wins on Foul in Fifteenth Round", The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pg. 10, 6 March 1913
  41. ^ Wrestling and Head butting in "Klaus Wins on a Foul", New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, pg. 10, 6 March 1913
  42. ^ "Billy Papke-IMDB". Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  43. ^ Worked at Jim Flynn's in "Billy Papke, Ring Hero of 1909, Kills Ex-Wife and Self", The Fresno Bee, Fresno, California, pg. 1, 27 November 1936
  44. ^ "Billy Papke, Kills Ex-Wife, Slays Self", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, pg. 1, 27 November 1936
  45. ^ "Billy Papke, Wife, Will Be Buried Monday Side By Side", The Des Moines Register, pg. 9, 28 November 1936
  46. ^ "Retired Pugilist Shoots to Death Ex-Wife and Self", St. Louis Dispatch, St. Louis, Missouri, pg. 10, 27 November 1936
  47. ^ Papke was buried at Mt. View Cemetery"Billy Papke, Find A Grave". Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  48. ^ https://boxrec.com/en/proboxer/11714
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Billy Papke
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