Pete Sanstol vs. Art Giroux

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1931-06-17 : Pete Sanstol 117½ lbs beat Art Giroux 117¾ lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

World Bantamweight Title
Canadian Boxing Federation & Montreal Athletic Commission
(Giroux is the Canadian Bantamweight Champion)
Norwegian Bantam Has Wide Margin in Hectic 15-Round Bout at Forum
Loser Takes Terrific Pounding in Final Rounds
By L.S.B. Shapiro (Montreal Gazette?)

"Grim" looking Sanstol photo

Pete Sanstol, battling blonde Norwegian, kindly of face but with murder in his hands, bobbed and pounded his way to victory last night over Arthur Giroux, bantamweight champion of Canada, before a shrieking crowd of almost 10,000 at the Forum. And in sweeping to a decision victory, Sanstol shared the evening's honors in the eyes of the spectators with the swaying battered figure of his opponent, pitiful in appearance as he floundered through 15 punishing rounds, but making as breath-taking and tearjerking a stand against ignominous defeat as the long, colorful, yet somewhat indifferent history of the Montreal ring has yet recorded.

The net result of the dramatic struggle was that Sanstol kept that piece of the world's bantamweight championship he is entitled to as a result of the Montreal Athletic Commission's award and that it sent the largest crowd to watch a boxing bout here in the past seven years winding out of the amphitheatre talking excitedly in the subdued manner of a gathering that has witnessed a great emotional exhibition.

Art Giroux

Stepping into the ring as nervous as an amateur making his first public appearance, Giroux smiled in a sickly manner, turned in his corner and made a short silent prayer. Then the battle was on and for five rounds the Frenchman tried to make the fight and failed. Against the speedy cleverness of Sanstol, Giroux's rippling muscles sent his gloves flying through the air and hitting nothing until he was exhausted. Then came the turning point in the sixth. Still strong and willing, Giroux rushed desperately from his corner, reached his long left out to touch Sanstol's mouth, and swung heavily with his right and followed in with a long left hook. Neither blow landed and Giroux lost his balance, whirled about the centre of the ring and finally landed seated comfortably on the floor of the roped circle. He scampered to his feet but in the split second that he rested on the floor he carried a puzzled, helpless and exhausted look. He was a beaten man.

The eighth round saw the virtual end of the bout. Coming out circiously(?), Sanstol rushed Giroux to the ropes, poked him into position with a darting left and then whipped over a terrific right cross to the point of the jaw. Giroux sagged to the floor, shook his head and crawled to his feet at the count of seven. Sanstol rushed him again and he reeled along the side of the ring, holding the ropes for support and fighting back instinctively to last out the round.

From then on it was his great heart that kept him on his feet. Sanstol was no longer the bobbing boxing master. His pleasant profile was distorted by grim lips, sagging as the ends as he tore in to finish off his opponent. Tiring himself rapidly, Sanstol summoned his strength to cuff Giroux all around the ring for seven rounds. Sometimes he floored him with a well-timed punch, sometimes Giroux reeled off his balance in a dizzy circle and fell, but he always got up, assumed his fighting pose and made instinctive efforts to fight. Between rounds, the excited advice of his seconds seemed to have no effect. He seemed oblivious to everything except that he knew he must assume a fighting pose and throw out punches.

For seven rounds, from the eighth to the fourteenth, the process was the same, and great a fighter as Sanstol is, he could not down the Frenchman for the count. Led to his corner by the referee at the end of the fourteenth, Giroux came out for the last round, floundering at the knees but still keeping his head well up. Sanstol boxed him into position and flung a right to the jaw. Giroux went down for a count of eight, lifted himself to his feet, only to take another vicious smash to the side of the head.

He dropped heavily, crawled over the ropes, and lifted himself painfully as the referee counted nine. He fell into a clinch, but Sanstol cuffed him against the ropes and for the third time in the round Giroux went down. Glassy-eyed and staggering he came up for more at the count of two, only to stagger and fall again as he tried to go into a clinch. He wouldn't stay down. He rose immediately, despite the violent shouts of his seconds to take a longer count. The round was almost over, and Sanstol summoned his last strength to get a knockout, but his right hand punch only downed Giroux for a count of three, and as the courageous Frenchman rose at the count of three for the fifth time, and went into a clinch, a sympathetic bell sounded the end of the fight.

Cartoon from LA PRESSE

To raise Sanstol's arm in victory was a mere formality. The Norwegian gave a great display of boxing prowess and ring generalship and secured for himself a place among the great bantams of the world. But the wild cheers of the gathering when Giroux, swathed in towels, lurched across the ring to congratulate the winner, proved that the stand of the loser was recognized and admired.

The margin of victory was terrific. Sanstol clearly took twelve of the fifteen rounds, two of the early stanzas were even and Giroux took the first by a shade only on account of the fact that he did everything, landed all the punches that were landed and missed all that were missed. Sanstol proved himself a great tactician. He let Giroux outpunch himself for the first few rounds until he had the Frenchman thoroughly puzzled and exhausted and then proceeded about the business of winning the fight. That he was robbed of a knockout only by a great exhibition of stamina cannot discredit him. He will be matched with Eugene Huat, bantamweight champion of France, here in the near future.

  • Giroux himself had demanded that this be a 15-round contest. This was the first fifteen-rounder held in Montreal since his father had fought Billy Allen January 12, 1907. See also, World Title Fights Held in Canada.
  • Photo of Giroux & Sanstol: August 28, 1946. Story