Billy Papke
Global ID11714
birthdate 1886-09-17
death date 1936-11-26 (50)
height5′ 9″   /   175cm
aliasThe Illinois Thunderbolt
country USA
birth placeSpring Valley, Illinois, USA
birth nameWilliam H. Papke
won 37 (KO 31) + lost 11 (KO 1) + drawn 5 = 53
rounds boxed 415
Newspaper Decisions won 3 : lost 6 : drawn 1
rounds boxed 80
Total Bouts 63 KO% 49.21

 Lb St Kg   |   date   |   ratings off on

dateopponentW-L-Dlast 6location
1919-05-14Jimmy Darcy27-18-24
Dreamland Arena, San Diego, California, USALPTS44
1919-04-08Soldier Bartfield33-4-0
Coliseum, San Francisco, California, USALPTS44
1916-06-01Jack Smith1-0-0
Clermont Avenue Rink, Brooklyn, New York, USALNWS1010
"Papke's first ring engagement in more than four years." (New York Times)
1913-10-14Marty Rowan3-2-2
Future City A.C., Saint Louis, Missouri, USALPTS88
Changed result to newspaper loss based on wire reports in next day's newspapers. Fight went a tame eight rounds. This was a referees decision, not a ND bout, as per the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
1913-03-05Frank Klaus30-3-2
Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, FranceLDQ1520
World Middleweight Title
1912-12-04Georges Bernard10-4-3
Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, FranceWTKO720
Papke defends his claim as World Middleweight champion. Bernard did not answer the bell for round seven.
1912-10-23Georges Carpentier57-9-5
Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, FranceWTKO1820
Papke defended his claim as World Middleweight champion. Carpentier suffered a deep cut over his right eye in the 17th round and "blood positively rushed down the lad's face..(Carpentier's manager,) Descamps prevailed upon his plucky colt to forebear. Thus it was that, although the gong rang out for the 18th rd., it was but the signal for Carpentier to acknowledge defeat." (Boxing, November 2, 1912, page 17)
1912-09-27Leo Houck20-6-3
Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USALNWS66
Newspaper decisions from both the Philadelphia Item and the Philadelphia Record favored Houck as winner.
1912-09-25Jack Denning3-2-0
St. Nicholas Rink, New York, New York, USALNWS1010
(New York Times)
1912-06-29Marcel Moreau21-4-0
Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, FranceWTKO1620
Papke defended his claim as World Middleweight champion. He was knocked down in the first round. Moreau was down in round eight and twice in round fifteen, and could not answer the bell for the sixteenth.
1912-05-02Billy Leitch
New Amsterdam Opera House, New York, New York, USAWTKO210
referee: Patsy Haley
This was a promotion of the National S.C.
1912-02-22Frank Mantell28-8-13
Sacramento, California, USALPTS2020
Mantell claimed the World Middleweight title
Papke continued to claim the title because he failed to make the weight for Mantell.

1911-10-31Bob Moha8-1-3
Arena (Armory A.A.), Boston, Massachusetts, USALPTS1212
1911-08-22Sailor Burke22-7-0
St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York, USALNWS1010
Papke defended his claim as World Middleweight champion
Burke outfought Papke and though he did not show any science he battered him at will. Among those at ringside was the Marquis of Queensbury who was writing a descriptive story for the newspapers. (Indianapolis Star) Newspaper decision from the New York Times, which reported Burke as the winner. This was a promotion of the 20th Century A.C.

1911-06-08Jim Sullivan14-3-3
The Palladium, London, United KingdomWKO920x3
Billed for British version of World Middleweight title
1911-03-11Dave Smith14-0-1
Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaWTKO720
Smith led through six rounds, but went down three times before his corner threw in the towel. Fought at 165 pounds and Papke refused to get on the scales because he was overweight and paid a forfeit. He looked a stone heavier than Smith.
1911-02-11Cyclone Johnny Thompson36-20-9
Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaLPTS2020
referee: Snowy Baker
Thompson claimed World Middleweight Title
1910-12-26Dave Smith11-0-1
Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaLDQ1020
Both weighed in under the stipulated 165 pounds for the contest and Papke looked half a stone heavier. Actual weights not announced.
1910-10-26Ed Williams16-14-1
Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaWTKO620
World Middleweight Title (Australian version)
Williams down in the fifth and down twice in the sixth before his corner threw in the towel.

1910-06-21Jack Twin Sullivan40-14-30
Armory, Boston, Massachusetts, USAWPTS1212
referee: Maffitt Flaherty
From the Boston Herald and Boston Journal. Papke was an easy winner. Sullivan floored in sixth from a body blow, claiming a foul.
1910-06-14Al Goodale
Hippodrome, Kansas City, Missouri, USAWDQ210
1910-05-19Joe Thomas18-9-5
Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California, USAWKO1620
referee: Jack Welsh
"Papke Wins Rawest Frameup in Years" SF Call
1910-03-19Willie Lewis46-5-3
Cirque de Paris, Paris, Paris, FranceWKO315
Thinking Stanley Ketchel had relinquished the middleweight title, Papke claimed it after his victory.
1909-11-11Frank Klaus14-1-1
Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USALNWS66
referee: Jack Dillon
Newspaper draw. (Washington Post) The New York Times reported the same, but the Pittsburgh Post gave it to Klaus, and by a decisive margin. The Philadelphia Item also reported Klaus as the winner. The Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Gazette-Times (using the same written article) had Klaus a clear winner by a margin of 5 rounds to 1.
1909-10-08Willie Lewis42-5-2
Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USAWNWS66
"Papke was easily given the public's favorable verdict." (Indianapolis Star) According to the Pittsburgh Post, Lewis received a licking.
1909-07-14Fireman Jim Flynn34-11-14
Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USADNWS1010
referee: Charles Eyton
The Los Angeles Times had Papke a clear winner. The Los Angeles Herald called it a draw "verdict" with 4 rounds for Flynn 4 for Papke and 2 even, but conceded that Flynn earned it by a whisker. UP had Flynn the winner.
1909-07-05Stanley Ketchel47-3-4
Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, USALUD2020
World Middleweight Title
1909-05-15Hugo Kelly31-8-21
Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, USAWKO145
time: 1:30
"Papke had won when he landed his first clean to Kelly's right and left jaw. Kelly staid down until the count of nine and then rose, but without enough vitality to resist Papke's finishing punches. Prior to this Papke shot a viciuos left hook to the temple, cutting a gash above Kelly's right eye. At this point Kelly appeared to weaken, but Papke rushed, shooting vicious blows into his mid section which sent Kelly down and out." (Associated Press)
1909-03-19Fireman Jim Flynn34-11-14
McCarey's Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USALNWS1010
referee: Charles Eyton
1908-12-15Hugo Kelly30-8-20
Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, USADPTS2525
James J. Jeffries was the referee for this fight.
1908-11-26Stanley Ketchel44-3-4
Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, USALKO1120
World Middleweight Title
1908-09-07Stanley Ketchel44-2-4
Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, USAWTKO1225
referee: James J. Jeffries
World Middleweight Title The long held myth that Ketchel was hit with a "sucker punch" by Papke before the start of the fight has been discredited. There is nothing in any of the next-day fight reports or interviews with the principles, their corners or their supporters that suggests such an incident happened.
1908-08-18Sailor Burke14-1-0
National A.C., New York, New York, USAWNWS66
"Although no verdict could be handed down, Papke's lead at the end was too clear to make any decision necessary." (Decatur Daily Review) Newspaper decision from the Philadelphia Item.
1908-08-13Johnny Carroll4-3-1
Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USAWTKO26
The referee stopped the bout. This was the first of two fights for Papke on this date. After defeating Carroll, he took on Frank Mantell.
1908-08-13Frank Mantell13-2-6
Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USAWTKO16
This was the second fight for Papke on this date, following the quick ending of his fight with Johnny Carroll.
1908-06-04Stanley Ketchel41-2-4
Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USALPTS1010
referee: Jack McGuigan
World Middleweight Title
Both fighters under 154 at 3 pm. Ringsiders included Abe Attell, Joe Gans, Jimmy Coffroth, Packy McFarland, and others.

1908-03-16Hugo Kelly29-6-20
Hippodrome, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USAWPTS1010
Billed World & American 158lbs Middleweight Title
BBBC Boxing Yearbook 2005

1908-01-21Walter Stanton3-0-1
Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, USAWTKO412
1907-12-30Hugo Kelly29-6-19
Schlitz Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USADPTS1010
Billed American 154lbs Middleweight Title
According to the Milwaukee Free-Press, Papke should have received the decision
BBBC Boxing Yearbook 2005

1907-11-22Charlie Haghey18-13-7
Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, USAWTKO110
This was the first two fights for Papke on this date. After the quick ending of his fight with Haghey, he took on Bartley Connolly.
1907-11-22Bartley Connolly3-4-10
Winnisimmet A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, USAWTKO410
This was the second of Papke's two fights on this date.
1907-11-14Tony Caponi16-7-16
Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO210
1907-11-09Pat O'Keefe6-9-1
National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAWNWS66
Newspaper decision from the Philadelphia Item.
1907-10-30Cy Flynn25-6-8
Pavillion, Brazil, Indiana, USAWTKO310
"Manager Maurice Collins threw up the sponge" Buffalo Express
1907-09-14Terry Martin33-8-2
National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAWKO36
Result from the Philadelphia Item.
1907-09-02Tommy Sullivan14-3-4
Glen Forest Park, Methuen, Massachusetts, USAWKO115
referee: Maffitt Flaherty
1907-06-20Tony Caponi15-7-15
Spring Valley, Illinois, USADPTS1010
referee: Malachy Hogan
Pre-arranged draw if both men were standing after ten rounds. Papke won every round by a shade except for the eighth, which was clearly Caponi's." (The Daily Review, Decatur, IL)
1907-06-14Foster Walker3-3-0
Light Guard Armory, Detroit, Michigan, USAWKO210
1907-06-06Jack Morgan10-1-0
Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO710
Morgan down twice in the 7th, the second time for the count.
1907-05-21Tony Caponi15-7-14
Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, USADPTS1515
1907-04-30Johnny Carroll3-1-1
Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO410
1907-03-26Billy Rhodes7-2-3
Davenport A.C., Davenport, Iowa, USADPTS1515
referee: Doc Krone
1907-03-06Billy Rhodes7-1-3
Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWPTS1010
1907-02-14Carl Anderson0-1-0
Spring Valley A.C., Spring Valley, Illinois, USAWKO110
time: 0:30 | referee: Doc Krone
1907-01-29Dick Fitzpatrick10-8-10
Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWPTS1010
1907-01-15Tommy Wallace6-10-1
Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO310
3rd round KO according to The Daily Review (Decatur, IL)
1906-12-17Kid Farmer25-5-5
Riverside A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO610
Papke at least fifteen pounds heavier than Farmer and it was this strength that defeated Farmer. Farmer down twice in the sixth round and took the count.
1906-11-27Milt Kinney5-2-1
Peoria A.C., Peoria, Illinois, USAWKO310
1906-07-04Carl Purdy
La Salle, Illinois, USAWTKO710
Previously listed as ten-round decision win. "He battled with Carl Purdy, winning after seven rounds of hard fighting." Source: Syracuse Herald 08/25/1911
1906-06-01Jack Denny
Peru, Illinois, USAWKO16
1906-05-30Buster Teegan
Turn Hall, La Salle, Illinois, USAWKO36
Fought at 152lbs. "They were fighting in a hurricane mixup in a neutral corner when Papkesmashed three lightning-like blows to Teegans's stomach which doubled himup and put him down for the count." Source: La Salle Daily Tribune
1906-04-30Red Morrisey0-1-0
Jones's Club, La Salle, Illinois, USAWKO34
1906-03-24Mexican Wonder
La Salle, Illinois, USAWPTS44
Papke's pro debut. He won $5 for his efforts. Syracuse Herald 08/25/1911


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