November 9, 1909
The landing of five clean blows to his opponent's one, and outpointing him from the tap of the gong to the final ring, Packy McFarland, the Chicago stockyards wonder, gained a decision over Johnny Thompson, the Sycamore "Cyclone," at the Hippodrome last night, after the fastest and most grueling ten-round fight that has been staged in the West in years. Joe Coffey of Chicago was the referee and his decision was perfect.
Throughout the fight Thompson did a great deal of the agressive work, but his swings went wide of their mark on many occasions, due to the wonderful generalship, ducking the clever boxing of the stockyards boy. McFarland's backing away from Thompson most of the time and his hanging on at times counted against him in the decision, but he was so far ahead at the close of the battle on points that there was not a chance for a draw. Had many of the numerous swings Thompson started ever landed on dangerous places McFarland might have been lying on the mat for the fatal ten, but he dodged all but one or two of the hard punches the "Cyclone" tried to put over. On the other hand Packy landed jabs in rapid succession and pushed over some hard punches that stopped many of the wild rushes of Thompson. Thompson's blocking of blows was at times perfect and he should be given credit for putting up a good fight against his cleverer opponent.
The crowd which attended this bout numbered about 5,000 people and the doors were closed some time before the fight started as the hall was crowded to overflowing and it was impossible to put any more fans in the big hall where they could see the fight. It was the first of the winter smokers to be given by the Empire Athletic Club and was a decided success in every way. The crowd was handled in a skillful manner and there was not a word of complaint from anyone, except the usual few who wish to complain about the decision. It was the unanimous opinion of experts at the ringside that the decision of Joe Coffey, who is recognized as one of the best referees in the West, was correct.
When the fighters entered the ring Thompson wore a smile of confidence and believed he was sure to knock Packy out before the close of the fight. He had never had the gloves on with the Chicago Irishman before and he had evidently underestimated the speed of the winner. McFarland also wore a smile but at times looked a little bit worried as though studying his opponent. For two years these boys have been wrangling through the papers about fighting, each claiming the other was afraid. This bout was to settle this long argument. It has settled it. McFarland won and with the victory goes the biggest share of the local purse, about twenty weeks of theatrical work and the chance to make Battling Nelson fight him for the world's lightweight championship or back down. It is now up to Nelson, as McFarland removed in the bout last night the last obstruction in his pathway to a fight with the champion Dane.
The only blood drawn on McFarland was a cut over his left eye. This was an old wound and was opened up in the seventh round when Thompson landed a hard right in that vicinity. the cut was about an inch long and was sewed up after the battle. Thompson was marked about the head as the result of the numerous punches landed there and his mouth bled a little.
From the tap of the gong opening this battle Thompson began to bore in and he followed McFarland about the ring constantly waiting for an opening to land a knockout punch, which never came. He swung wild in the first round and in every round after that, but many times landed punches with telling effect. But once or twice during the fight did McFarland swing wild. Other times his punches and jabs went right to their mark and several times he rocked the head of his opponent with wicked jabs to the jaw. Thompson landed several wind and stomach punches which were effective, but McFarland blocked cleverly and the "Cyclone" could not land one that would put him out. Thompson's left shoulder, which he kept in Packy's way most oft he time and his clever blocking and ducking also stopped many of the stock yards boy's punches, but Packy so far outclassed his opponent in cleverness that Thompson had a chance to win without a knockout.
At the close of the battle Thompson walked slowly to his corner, and, although tired he did not seem to be in bad shape. McFarland was a little tired but was in shape to continue the fight, and was in just as good fighting trim at the close as his opponent. It was a great battle and the best boy won..
What these boys would do in a twenty-round battle no one can tell, but in ten rounds of such fighting as they put up last night -- and it was a fast battle from start to finish -- there was no question about the winner.