Johnny Dundee the Winner of Battle

Damon Runyon

Washington Herald/October 27, 1915

New York Lightweight Defeats Willie Ritchie, Former Title Holder, in Ten Rounds

Johnny Dundee beat Willie Ritchie, former lightweight champion of the world, in their bout at Madison Square Garden tonight, and beat him through all but two of the ten rounds.

The queer hop-toad tactics of the little Italian seemed to completely befuddle the one-time title-holder. Willie was more of a welterweight than a lightweight on the scales, having nearly ten pound’s advantage over Dundee, and he was more of a second-rater than a champion in the ring. A fast and clever boxer at his best, there were moments tonight when he seemed painfully slow and loggy before the weird-squatting, hopping, bouncing attack of the Italian.

In the eighth the Californian appeared to finally be getting unlimbered, and he caught Dundee on the tip of the jaw with a right-hand lick that knocked Johnny to the ropes, following this a second later with another slashing right that staggered Dundee.

In the ninth he unveiled a beautiful right cross, catching Dundee fair on the jaw, but the Italian proved that there is no glass in his facial structure by shaking off the punch and then winning the round.

Ritchie was cautioned for holding by Bill Brown in the fourth. In the fifth the fighters fell in a heap when Johnny almost hurdled Ritchie in a wild rush. Once Willie slipped and fell on the wet canvas, the rain falling through the open skylight and dampening the surroundings. Through the earlier stages of the fight Ritchie fought in a dazed manner and let Dundee swarm all over him. But in the concluding rounds he was fighting with something like the form that once made him champion.

He has no chance to catch up, however. Dundee tried to make every round a winning round, and won too far away for any argument.

(Source: Chronicling America,