1910-03-19 (158lbs) Billy Papke w co 3 (20) Willie Lewis, The Circus, Paris, France

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1910-03-19 (158lbs) Billy Papke w co 3 (20) Willie Lewis, The Circus, Paris, France. With Papke now claiming the title, the leading French promoter matched him against fellow American, Willie Lewis, giving the fight championship billing at 158lbs. It was Papke (156½) virtually all the way, with Lewis (155) under attack from the opening bell. Down for ‘seven’ in the first round and saved by the bell, Lewis fought back savagely in the second before being blasted to the ropes by sledgehammer blows to the jaw in the third and dropped for the full count.

Back in America, on hearing news of the result Ketchel decided to stay in the middleweight division, allowing Frank Klaus to weigh 157lbs for their six-round no-decision clash at Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 23 March. The contest, seen as a draw by the press, was followed by the promoter, Tex Rickard, promising to deliver a title bout between Sam Langford and Ketchel.

Earlier, an-over-the weight Langford had defended his title claim twice against the welterweight title claimant, Dixie Kid, stopping him in the fifth at the Armory AA, Boston, Massachusetts on 28 September 1909 before knocking his man out in the third round at the Phoenix AC, Memphis, Tennessee on 10 January 1910.

Despite all the promises the nearest Langford got to Ketchel was a six-round press decision loss at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 27 April, Langford, by all accounts, allowed the champion off the hook in order to procure a championship match, which ultimately failed to materialise.