Papke in 1910
|Real name||William H. Papke|
|Nickname(s)||The Illinois Thunderbolt|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
September 17, 1886|
Spring Valley, Illinois
|Died||November 26, 1936(aged 50)|
|Wins by KO||32|
Billy Papke (born William Herman Papke, and known as "The Illinois Thunderbolt") (September 17, 1886 – November 26, 1936) was an American boxer. Born in Spring Valley, Illinois, he was the son of German immigrants to the USA.
World middleweight champion & rivalry with Ketchel
He began his boxing career in 1906, winning 37 and drawing six times. His first loss was a 10-round decision to Stanley Ketchel, his first of four fights with Ketchel. He won the second meeting, and the World Middleweight title, largely by the expedient of punching Ketchel in the face with his right hand when Ketchel stepped forward to shake hands at the beginning of the bout. Two months later, he lost his title to Ketchel and received a terrific beating in the process; Papke's own wife did not recognize him after the bout was over. Papke lost the 4th and final meeting, which was a particularly savage encounter and lasted 20 rounds.
After Ketchel's murder Papke was one of several middleweights contesting the right to be called World Middleweight Champ. After an October, 1911 loss in Boston to Bob Moha, he briefly retired; but by 1912 he had returned to the ring. He travelled to Paris where he beat future champion Georges Carpentier. It became a non championship fight after Papke exceeded the middle-weight limit at the pre-fight weigh-in. He was beaten by another American, Frank Klaus, when the referee disqualified Papke for breaching the rules, ending his title hopes. He continued fighting until 1919, losing a four rounder to Soldier Bartfield.
Death and legacy
Papke died in 1936; he shot and killed his wife, then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself.
|Loss||Frank Klaus||DQ||15 (20)||1913-03-05||Cirque de Paris, Paris||For World Middleweight Title.|
|Win||Georges Carpentier||TKO||18 (20)||1912-10-23||Cirque de Paris, Paris|
|Loss||Leo Houck||NWS||6||1912-09-27||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Newspaper Decision|
|Loss||Frank Klaus||NWS||6||1909-11-11||Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Newspaper Decision|
|Loss||Stanley Ketchel||UD||20||1909-07-05||Mission Street Arena, Colma, California||For World Middleweight Title|
|Loss||Stanley Ketchel||KO||11 (20)||1908-11-26||Mission Street Arena, Colma, California||Lost World Middleweight Title|
|Win||Stanley Ketchel||TKO||12 (25)||1908-09-07||Jeffries' Arena, CoVernonlma, California||Won World Middleweight Title|
|Loss||Stanley Ketchel||PTS||10||1908-06-04||Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin||For World Middleweight Title|
- Mark Paloolian (2007). Brutality. Firstchoicebooks. pp. 92–95. ISBN 978-1-897518-37-3.
- 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.
- Paloolian (2006) p.98
- Roberts; Skutt (2007) p.153
- Paloolian (2006) p.109
- 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.
- Nicholson, Kelly Richard (2010). Hitters, Dancers and Ring Magicians: Seven Boxers of the Golden Age. McFarland. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7864-4990-3.
- Paloolian (2006) pp.115-117
- Nicholson (2010) p.166
- Johnston, Alexander. Ten--and Out!: The Complete Story of the Prize Ring in America. I. Washburn, 1943; p. 291.
- "Papke Wins in Seventeenth". New York Times. 1912-10-24. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "Billy Papke disqualified". New York Times. 1913-03-06. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "Billy Papke". Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- Billy Papke's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.
- Professional boxing record for Billy Papke from BoxRec
- International Boxing Hall of Fame site
- Photo & Stats.
- Firstchoicebooks publisher
|World Middleweight Champion
September 7, 1908 – November 26, 1908