Firpo Stops Bill Brennan in Twelfth Round of Bout Filled With Sensations

Damon Runyon

Buffalo Courier/March 13, 1923

New York, March 12. A wild bull of a man from the Pampas of the Argentine, his eyes chalky white, glaring through a smear of blood with the insane fury of wounded beast, a mane of black hair fairly standing up like the quills of a porcupine, that was Luis Angel Firpo, gigantic, fearful looking, as he rushed out of his corner for the twelfth round at Madison Square Garden tonight.

Old Bill Brennan, soggy with punches and very tired, was coming out of the opposite corner. His faded green trunks had slipped down over his hips. A roll of fat around his middle was sagging with fatigue at every step as Brennan walked.

He stuck out his gloves, soaked with Firpo’s blood, more by instinct than anything else, to meet the rush of the wild man. Then the gallant old trial horse of the heavyweight division made his last stand.

Brennan Battered Down

The platform shook under the rush of Firpo’s 220 pounds. Bill tried to stab him off with the same left hook that had done great damage to Firpo’s face in the earlier rounds. It was like stabbing a rhinoceros with a hairpin.

Bang! Firpo’s right hand resounded against Bill’s fat sides. Bill’s knees shook. A strange pallor had come over his battered face. He fell weaklv against the hairy body of the giant from the Argentine. An uppercut from Firpo’s right hand, as big as a pumpkin, jolted Brennan’s head back weakly.

Bill gamely tried his left hook. On came Firpo, his great hands swung like clubs, falling on Brennan’s head, on his neck, far down on his back, as Bill bent to the rush.

Now Firpo stood off, steadied his tremendous bulk, and chopped a right against Brennan’s chin. Bill staggered on toward the hairy body, and again Firpo clubbed away at his chin with his right. Then, with two minutes and thirty-seven seconds of the twelfth round gone, Brennan fell weakly, face forward upon the floor.

He did not get up again. The timekeepers counted ten. Brennan’s seconds dragged his body back to the stool in the corner like a sack of meal, and a volatile Latin-American hopped into the ring and kissed Firpo on both cheeks, black with beard stubble.

“I’m going to show you another Jeffries tonight,” promised Tex Rickard optimistically, before the fight.

Firpo’s weight was announced at 220, Brennan, 203, which is heavy for Bill.

Young Bob Fitz Wins

Showing occasional flashes of the form that made his father one of the greatest ringmen of all time, “Young Bob” Fitzsimmons of Newark, N. J., decisively outfought Charley McKenna of New York, in the twelve-round semi-final. Fitzsimmons weighed 185 and McKenna 176.

The Fight By Rounds

Round one—Firpo landed the first blow, a left to the head. They sparred and Brennan blocked several right swings. The South American was the aggressor and pummeled Brennan about the head in a corner. Brennan drove Firpo back with a hard right to the body.

Round two—Brennan jolted Firpo with a left to the chin, but the South American came back with a two-fisted assault that drove Brennan to the ropes. Firpo punished the Chicagoan with hard blows to the head and had the crowd in an uproar.

Round three—Brennan shot in several lefts but drew a series of rights to the head in retaliation. Firpo drove his opponent to the ropes and landed several damaging body blows. The South American was fighting furiously as the bell rang.

Round four—Brennan halted Flrpo’s rush with two hard lefts to the head. The Argentinan whipped over a right uppercut that dazed his opponent, and followed with several smashes to the head. Firpo unloosed a two-fisted attack, sending Brennan to the ropes.

Round five—Brennan swapped rights with Firpo at close quarters but was sent back by a giant uppercut. The Chicagoan blocked most of Firpo’s swings and bothered the South American with left jabs. One of these shots opened a nasty cut over Firpo’s left eye.

Round six—Brennan had Firpo swinging wildly as he opened a fresh flow of blood from the South American’s injured eye. Firpo came back with a smashing drive and the two exchanged blows at a terrific pace in close quarters. A left uppercut staggered Firpo.

Round seven—Firpo took a hard right to the body and a left to the head. The South American landed a right to the jaw but missed most of his swings. They spent most of the round clinching.

Round eight—Firpo shot in a hard right to the ribs and pummelled Brennan about the head and body as he took the aggressive. Brennan shot in a left jab but drew a stiff body punch in return. Firpo was booed for swinging at his opponent’s jaw as they backed from a clinch.

Brennan In Bad Shape

Round nine—They exchanged rights to the head and Firpo cut loose with a two-fisted attack that rocked Brennan’s head from side to side. Brennan hooked a hard right to the jaw and opened a fresh flow of blood from the cut over Firpo’s eye with a stiff left.

Round ten—Brennan forced Firpo back with a jabbing attack to the head. The South American missed two terrific right swings. Brennan took two rights to the body and then shot in a hard wallop to the ribs. Brennan scored with a right uppercut that staggered the South American. At one point in the round Firpo gesticulated in protesting Brennan’s apparent butting.

Round eleven—They opened the round at a fast pace, trading hard blows to the head. Brennan ducked a left hook and dug into Firpo’s ribs with his right. Firpo landed his left but took a hard right to the jaw in return.

Round twelve—Firpo let go three right swings that landed high. Brennan was hooking his left to the chin, but Firpo didn’t seem to mind, and kept swinging and smashing with his clublike right. Again and again that right was shot, with Bill fighting back with hard rights and lefts. Then came the k. o. punch.

Quick to sense his advantage, Firpo turned loose a battery of rights and lefts that sent Brennan staggering to the ropes. Unable to clinch, Brennan tried to duck out of his rival’s reach but was caught by a right swing to the jaw. The South American leaped in like a tiger and sent Brennan crashing to the floor with another powerful right for the count.

(Source: https://www.newspapers.com/image/409780905/?terms=Damon%2BRunyon)

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