1913-10-13 (142lbs) Mike Glover nd-l pts 10 Kid Graves, Irving AC, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA
1913-10-13 (142lbs) Mike Glover nd-l pts 10 Kid Graves, Irving AC, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA. Made at 142lbs, and a fight between title claimants, the opening three rounds saw Glover (142) doing the better work, drawing Graves’ leads and countering him accurately. However, realising that a change in tactics were called for, Graves (141½) began to swing in blows from both hands and a right hook soon closed Glover’s left eye. Although the last two sessions were contested more evenly, with both men doing some clever work, the press in attendance agreed that Graves’ aggression had earned him the decision. Graves had been claiming the title with limited recognition since March 1913, stating that as he had bested Lee Barrett and Young Ahearn in no-decision contests he deserved to be ranked among the front runners and challenged any of the top men to make 142lbs at 3pm or 145lbs ringside. Before meeting Glover, he had gone on to secure wins over Tommy Howell and Young Erne, and drawn with Tommy Maloney and Jack Britton in no-decision affairs.
Following his press win over Glover it was clear that Graves was strengthening his claim, but to most observers he was still no more than an Eastern Board candidate. Then, after challenging all America to a distance fight that would settle the championship, Graves found himself on the wrong end of a no-decision meeting with Barrett (nd-l pts 10 on 4 December at the Southside AA, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) before outscoring Jack Britton (nd-w pts 10 on 10 March 1914 at the Irving AC) after taking in three six-rounders. Regardless of billing, in a match made at 142lbs ringside Graves (141¼) moved closer to the pack. Contested at a fast pace it was always close, and while the clever Britton (137½), who was cut in the third round, nullified much of Graves’ aggression it was the harder punching of the latter that ultimately counted.
Following this, Graves dropped six-round press decisions to Britton on 25 April 1914 at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Soldier Bartfield at the Olympia AA, Philadelphia before meeting the latter three more times in ten rounders at the Broadway SC, Brooklyn on 23 May, 9 and 20 June, winning the second contest and drawing the other two according to the press. While Graves made 142lbs ringside for his press win, Bartfield came in at 148lbs. At the same venue, on 7 July, Graves (143¾) was deemed by the press to have outscored Glover (147¼) after ten rounds of competitive boxing at catchweights.
Meanwhile, Bartfield, who was seen by those around him as having as good a claim to the title as others, was generally thought to be too heavy for the weight class and with scant backing he concentrated on the middleweights. Also hindering Bartfield’s cause was the fact that boxed mainly in no-decision fights and did not beat any of the top men inside the distance.