1915-09-10 (116/118lbs) Johnny Ertle nd-w disq 5 (10) Kid Williams, The Auditorium, St Paul, Minnesota, USA

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1915-09-10 (116/118lbs) Johnny Ertle nd-w disq 5 (10) Kid Williams, The Auditorium, St Paul, Minnesota, USA. Referee: George Barton. Billed for the 118lbs title and advertised as the first championship fight in Minnesota in 28 years, right from the start it was clear that Williams (117) was making Ertle’s body his target. After two even rounds of furious fighting, Williams, who was cut in the third, began to drive Ertle (114) before him and by the fourth he was pounding in lefts and rights to the body as the smaller man weakened. Although Williams was getting on top with his two-fisted attacks threatening to overwhelm Ertle, he was constantly being warned by the referee for repeated use of the elbows, head butts and low blows. Midway through the fifth round a vicious left uppercut to the groin sent Ertle to his knees, crying “foul”, and after the doctor had discovered that the the latter’s aluminium support was dented the referee called a halt and announced that there was a new champion.

Following the fight, Williams’ manager, Sam Harris, argued that as the fight had taken place in a State where decisions were prohibited his man could not legally have been disqualified. That was just not true and Ertle justifiably claimed the title despite not being fully recognised throughout America. However, once the dust had settled, the 4’11” Ertle, who really weighed little more that 112lbs, realised that he was better suited to the 116lbs division and immediately risked his claim at that weight in an eight rounder against Jimmy Pappas (nd-w pts on 12 October at the Future City AC, St Louis, Missouri).

Meantime, Williams, unable to make 116lbs anymore, carried on defending the bantam title at 118lbs.