1913-10-13 (142lbs) Mike Glover nd-l pts 10 Kid Graves, Irving AC, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, USA

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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, after Graves (141½) began to swing in blows from both hands 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 at the Southside AA, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 4 December) before outscoring Jack Britton (nd-w pts 10 at the Irving AC on 10 March 1914). 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 Soldier Bartfield (at the Olympia AA, Philadelphia on 30 March 1914) and Britton (at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 25 April 1914). He then met Bartfield 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 1914, 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 he boxed mainly in no-decision fights and did not beat any of the top men inside the distance.