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Young Griffo

The Fort Wayne Daily News
8 January 1903



Tuckhorn, His Manager, Says, His
Reburnished Star Will Fight Any
135-Pound Man In the World.

If Young Griffo has really “come back” in the manner reported, he must be put down as the physical wonder of the age. Young Griffo is an Australian pugilist, who has been in this country for a number of years, but who owing to excessive dissipation, has been passed up as a physical wreck and a man who never again would be able to enter the ring.

Now comes San Tuckhorn, Griffo’s latest manager, with a challenge to fight any 135-pound man in the world. If Tuckhorn’s words came unsupported, they would be taken as nothing more than the idle boast of a promoter seeking notoriety, but they do not lack for confirmation.

Lou Houseman, probably the best posted man on fight matters in Chicago, has this to say of Griffo. ” I saw the clever little Australian put through a course of sprouts the other day, and the manner in which he carried himself was astonishing. He appears to be, if anything, faster than he ever was. His loot work, his assault and defense — particularly the latter — are perfect. Men weighing forty pounds more than “the feather” were handled like novices.

Heart Still Sound.

“The boy looks good. His hair has turned a bit gray — small wonder — but his eyes sparkle and his step is light and springy. I saw a certificate from Dr. Davis, who examined Griffo, in which the doctor states positively that the boy’s heart is as healthy as any he had ever examined, and that there was not a physical flaw to be found anywhere.”

Griffo had his first bout in more than two years a couple of weeks ago in Peoria, with Jack Bain. Griffo won easily, and surprised everyone with his great form. That Griffo was as clever a man with his fists as ever entered the ring, there has never been anyone to dispute, but that he would be able to go in and set a fast and furious clip for eight rounds and finish fresh and strong was more than the most hopeful expected.

One of the sporting men who saw this fight said: “Griffo certainly boxed beautifully, as only Griffo can box. His hitting was clean and hard, as Bain can testify to, and if Bain had not tin-canned, but stood up and exchanged blows, he would have been knocked out. I consider Griffo the greatest boxer in the world, and predict, if he works faithfully a couple of months, that the lightweight champions had better look to their laurels.

As Good as the Best.

Referee Lynch said: “I have refereed all the matches that have taken place in Peoria, and I have attended almost all of the big fights and I unhesitatingly say that I consider Griffo the greatest boxer I ever saw: He is the personification of cleverness and aggressiveness, and I think he has a chance with any man of his weight in the world.”

Young Griffo’s real name is Albert Griffiths. He is thirty-two years old. He fought draws with George Dixon, Solly Smith, George Lavigne and many other crack fighters, when these men were at their best. He lost to Jack McAuliffe in a bout in which the great majority thought he had clearly the best of it.

Griffo has been in insane asylums on numerous occasions, driven insane by dissipation.” He has been picked out of the gutters, has “hoboed” his way, endured privation and has been given up as a “goner” on numerous occasions. Yet here he is, back again. Griffo says he has “cut out the cup that cheers.” He probably has made this promise a hundred times, so there is no likelihood that he will adhere to it this time. Yet if he does, the little fellow may yet smooth his path.

The San Antonio Light
18 July 1926
Fights I Can’t Forget
By Tad, America’s Greatest Boxing Authority

When Young Griffo Fought Sweeney In a Bar Room
Name: Patsy Sweeney
Nationality: Irish
Birthplace: Galway
Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
Born: 1879-03-03
Height: 5′ 7½″
Young Griffo won on a foul in the fourteenth round from Patsy Sweeney, March 6, 1905, in a private fight held in a “hide away” in a busy section of Harlem.

It was a ripping fight from start to finish, both taking an awful grueling, and when the unexpected happened every sport in the little room was breaking his neck looking for a knockout.

It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the boys shook hands and started the ball rolling, but it was a hours wait before things were shaped and ready. At 2 o’clock the little hall, or rather room, was pretty filled with sports and business men from the section, and we waited and waited.

Some thought the delay might cause the cops to get Jerry, but for a change not one had a peek.
There was a lookout on the door to the main street where the fight was held, and he only arose once while a cop was beating it down the line. The sports came in one by one, and as there was only about one hundred there the crowd did not gather in bunches, nor act suspiciously. We came through the saloon door, passed the billiard tables in the back room and then walked down the little hall to the arena.
Such an arena as it was too. In one corner was a stove going full blast, in another was a disabled pool table with chairs, boxes and other refuse piled up.

The managers of the fighters were in another corner putting up there side bets with the stake holder, and the fighters were behind them putting on their tights and spreading resin on the floor. When all was ready it was discovered that the manager had forgotten the gloves so one of the seconds was sent out with a bucket to get them. He returned after a wait of about ten minutes with a paper covering the gloves in a bucket, and then all the boys took there places, drew a long breath and quieted down as the referee yelled “Let her Go”.

They started to fight from the moment time was called, and it was one long, long clinch until time was called again. Sweeney stayed in close shooting his right over on Griffo’s kidneys with great effect, in return stopping left jolts to the face without wincing.

From the first to the fourteenth this style of battle prevailed and it was the roughest hardest ‘and fastest go seen in private in this city for many a day. Griffo, who was the cleverer of the pair, stuck in with Patsey in this’ manner for seven rounds, until the lump over his kidneys began to bother him.

He was weakening under the pummeling, and thought it better to pull away and fight at long range after that. He did, and it looked as though Mr. Sweeney, of Manchester, might flop ‘at any moment. Griffo would get in close , slug awhile and then pull away suddenly, letting out with left and right flush to his opponents jaw. Sweeney bounced around like a rubber ball but came in just as gamely as ever.

In the eighth round Griffo staggered Sweeney, cutting his ear and almost dropping him to the floor. It was a bad time for Patsey but he managed to stick it out and come through, strong at the finish. Griffo butted Patsey in the clinches, and Sweeney complained to the referee, but the latter cautioned Griffo and let it go.

From the eighth to the eleventh Griffo staggered Patsey quite regularly, keeping away from the heavy body punching as well as he could and making it a long range fight. Sweeney could not get in on the clever Griffo, but followed, him around gamely trying to fight in close. At the finish of this round there, was a hot mix and both fell on the hot stove, knocking it over and spreading the coals over the floor. There was a rush to put the fire out and then the gong rang.

Both were getting weak and tired from the pace, and the fight was one of those bing bang affairs with both grunting an puffing with every blow. Sweeney seemed very weary on the pins, but standing like a tiger slammed Griffo in the same kidney, making him wince with every punch.

The fight along like this well into the fourteenth round when suddenly griffo dropped to the floor claiming foul. His seconds jumped up too and yelled like mad. On the other hand there were many who could claim that Sweeney’s blows barely glanced off Griffo, and did not bother him at all.

After yelling and hollering for fully five minutes the crowd settled down and then the referee declared Griffo had won. Sweeney’s backers demanded that a doctor examine Griffo, and after a wait of half an hour there was no sign of a foul blow been delivered. He said however that one might have been struck, but at that time no signs were in evidence.