Jack Johnson vs. Stanley Ketchel

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Ketchel floors Johnson in the 12th
Johnson watches as Ketchel is counted out

1909-10-16 : Jack Johnson 205½ lbs beat Stanley Ketchel 170¼ lbs by KO in round 12 of 20

  • Location: Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, USA
  • Referee: Jack Welsh

"The whole climax of the fight was crowded into thirty-four seconds. At the beginning of the last round, there was little to judge from preceding rounds to pick the winner. They met in the center, clashed and wrestled to Johnson's corner. The negro broke, and poising himself, dashed at Ketchel, who shrank to meet him. Ketchel drove his right to the black's lowered head. Johnson ducked and received the blow behind the ear and rolled to the floor. Johnson arose slowly and leaped toward the white man, landing a terrific blow on Ketchel's jaw; with his left he struck for the stomach and with his right swung again, catching Ketchel's head as it rolled from the onslaught. Ketchel dropped in a heap while Johnson sprawled across the beaten rival's legs. Johnson arose still dazed and clung to the ropes." (Associated Press)

Legend has it that the two fighters agreed to extend the fight the full twenty rounds for the sake of the motion picture exhibitors. However, Ketchel saw an opening in the 12th round and went for the knockout, flooring Johnson with a right. When Johnson arose, Ketchel moved in for the kill and was knocked out by a massive right from Johnson. As Ketchel was counted out, Johnson brushed off a pair of Ketchel's teeth that had embedded in his glove. Johnson allegedly said, "He crossed me and I made him pay for it."