1916-11-10 (116lbs) Johnny Ertle nd-w rsc 9 (10) Mickey Byrne, Athletic Club, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
10 November (116lbs) Johnny Ertle nd-w rsc 9 (10) Mickey Byrne, Athletic Club, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Referee: Ed Davis. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer the fight was made at 116lbs, the weight demanded by Ertle who was regarded as one of the legitimate claimants for the bantamweight title. Byrne gave as good as he got up to the sixth round, but from thereon Ertle stepped it up to leave his opponent groggy on numerous occasions. After Byrne walked to the wrong corner halfway through the ninth, the referee had seen enough and called the fight off to save a game boy from being knocked out.
Ertle’s next contest was a press defeat at the hands of Dick Loadman (nd-l pts 10 on 27 November at the Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland). Loadman, who insisted on making the internationally recognised 118lbs despite the match being articled for 116lbs, claimed the title but went nowhere with it.
Meanwhile, Ertle, fighting less and less at 116lbs, failed to get much support at 118lbs when taking on Pekin Kid Herman, Tony Barone, Jack Douglas, Sammy Sandow and Roy Moore. Regardless of that, Ertle was still on his feet after meeting Herman (nd-w pts 10 at The Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 16 February 1917), Barone (nd-l pts 6 at the Power Auditorium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 14 May 1917), Douglas (nd-w rsc 8 at the Riverside Arena, East Dubuque, Illinois on 13 June 1917), Sandow (nd-w pts 15 at Redland Field, Cincinnati, Ohio on 3 July 1917) and Moore (nd-w pts 10 at the Capitol City AC, St Paul, Minnesota on 31 July 1917).