Archie Bell vs. Pete Sanstol

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Sanstol (bottom row left) & Bell (bottom row middle) sign their historic agreement.

Pete Sanstol 116 lbs beat Archie Bell 118 lbs by UD in round 10 of 10

  • Date: 1931-05-20
  • Location: Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Contemporary Newspaper Accounts

    Contender Works Out Impressively
    Boxers Sign With Commission

    Archie Bell and Pete Sanstol, who oppose each other Wednesday night at the Montreal Forum in a bout designated by the Athletic Commission of the City of Montreal as being for the world's bantamweight boxing championship, both signed contracts yesterday to fight any opponent named by the Montreal Commission, through the National Boxing Association, or any other controlling body, within sixty days of May 20, in defence of the title. This was the stipulation made by the commission in declaring this a title bout, because of the failure of Al Brown, holder of the championship, to reply to offers to fight the winner; because it is believed he can no longer make the bantam limit of 118 pounds; and because his time, under the N.B.A. ruling for defending his title has elapsed by more than a month. If Bell or Sanstol wins Wednesday night, it makes no difference so far as another match is concerned, as both are signed to go through with a title match as ordered and deposited cheques to guarantee appearance in such a match.

    Bell arrived in Montreal yesterday, accompanied by Benny Seaman [actually, this was Mannie Seamon, who had trained Sanstol years before], who handled Benny Leonard in the latter's most important matches when he was lightweight champion of the world. He worked out in impressive fashion yesterday afternoon at the Ste. Brigide club, and will box lightly again this afternoon. Bell is in great physical condition, and after his work-out yesterday, tipped the beam at just over 118 pounds. He will make the weight on Wednesday with no difficulty.

    Roger Bernard, heavy-hitting Detroit junior lightweight, who fights Al Rube Goldberg in the ten-round semi-final, arrives in Montreal this morning. This may be Bernard's last ring appearance before engaging in a featherweight title match with "Bat" Battalino in Detroit, manager Mike McNulty remaining behind for a day to confer with Detroit promoters who are seeking to stage this bout. Bernard previously gave Battalino a decisive beating in an overweight match.

    The New York Commission, with which the Montreal board exchanges and recognizes rulings, wrote that, under their rating, Brown's time for defending his title had not yet expired, although it has done so with the National Association. The New York body invited the Montreal Commission to re-open the question of recognizing the Bell-Sanstol winner as champion immediately Brown's time for defending his title had expired with the New York body.

    The Gazette

    Archie Bell, Pete Sanstol & others

    Blonde Dynamo Drives Way To Bantam Crown
    By Sheer Fury Of Pace
    By E. W. Ferguson

    A tiny blonde dynamo, with the face of a choir-boy and the heart of his Viking forbears, sits today on the world's bantamweight throne, and a worthy holder he is, too.

    By sheer sustained blazing fury of attack, Pete Sanstol last night at the Forum out-lasted and out-finished Archie Bell, clever Brooklynite, in a bout which was ruled by the Athletic Commission of the city as being for the world's title because of the continued evasion of champion Al. Brown....

    Cut under the right eye in the first round when their heads crashed, Sanstol fought the whole route with a thin trickle of blood running from the wound. But, with his usually-smiling and pleasant mouth drawn thin into hard grim lines, his blue eyes blazing with the light of battle, he pitched in, refused to be discouraged when the cleverness of Bell seemed to set his attack at nought, and finally wore his foeman down.

    After giving a skillful display from the start, Bell shot his final arrow in the seventh frame. He had lost the fifth as Sanstol blazed in, knocking down the piston-like left hand of the Broolynite, and the sixth had been even, Bell coming back to make a stubborn stand. But in the seventh, the Brooklynite "shot the works." he lashed out with vicious right-hand punches at short range, bringing a thin trickle of blood from the corner of Sanstol's mouth, and beat a steady tattoo on Sanstol's face with his darting left. Sanstol was bleeding from the face at the end, and it was Bell's round.

    But it was his last. He hooked a wicked short left to Sanstol's chin just as the eighth round opened, but Sanstol, in a fury of fists, tore in with both hands flying. Gloves were everywhere. Bell, cool and efficient was ducking, dodging, missing them by fractions, but he couldn't miss all. A leaping right to the head drove him back, and the little blonde fury was after him, head down, fists flying. A perfect one-two punch bounced Bell into the ropes, a looping right to the jaw and a left to the body battered him around. Only the bell halted Sanstol's driving attack.

    That offensive was sustained right to the end. Sanstol tore in for the ninth, forcing Bell to hold as he belted away to the body. At close range, even the ring-craft of Bell did not avail, for Sanstol wrenched his arms loose and drove short, vicious uppercuts through to the chin. Bell was decidedly tired when the bell ended the round.

    The tenth was similar. Sanstol kept on driving in, forcing Bell to hold, driving him into the ropes. Bell's rapier left darted out, but it could not frustrate the Sanstol attacks, and the blonde was swarming over his foe at the end.

    Sanstol had five rounds, according to this writer's tabulation, the fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth. Bell had two, the second and seventh, the rest were fairly even. Bell gave a brilliant boxing display in the second, as Sanstol rushed, stabbing him with his left and hooking in harder rights. Sanstol first struck his stride in the fourth, when he fired furious volleys to the head, then right at the end of the round, ripped both hands to the body and set Bell on his heels with a right cross that clearly shook his opponent.

    Sanstol won strictly on aggressiveness, coupled with boundless stamina and ability to carry on indefinitely at a whirlwind pace. It was the finest fight he ever has fought in a Montreal ring, a clean sporting battle on both sides.

    Montreal Daily Herald

    21 May 1931 Albany Evening News

    Round-by-Round Account

    Round One The fighters were warned to break cleanly. Archie Bell opened with a left and a right to the body. Sanstol backed away, feinted with his left and crossed with the right. They came to a clinch and at the breakaway, Sanstol sent a left to the chin. Bell feinted with the left and landed with a right. There was no weight to any of the blows struck. Both were fighting in a cautious manner, waiting for an opening. Both were missing lefts, going over the shoulder and their right-hand crosses were short. At infighting Sanstol landed with a left and a right and made Bell back away. Bell came back and they clinched. Bell landed lightly with the left hand. Bell feinted with his head, cutting Sanstol under the right eye. Near the closing of the round the fighters opened up and were landing harder punches.
    Round Two Sanstol landed lightly with his left. They went into a clinch and at the breakaway Bell scored with a left hand and right. Bell landed on Sanstol's chin with the left. They went to infighting and were ordered to break. Bell landed with his left and missed with a right cross. Bell scored to the body with his right, put in a left jab and backed away to draw Sanstol on. Sanstol was carrying the fight out, his judgment of distance was bad. Sanstol hit to the chin with a left and to the body with a right, scoring his first hard punches. Sanstol missed twice with a right and connected with the left. Bell jabbed with his left and landed lightly to the body with the right. Sanstol was swinging wildly and Bell was backing away. Bell closed in and connected lightly with his left. Sanstol sent a right cross to the head and they were ordered to break from a clinch at the bell.
    Round Three Fighting from a crouched position, Sanstol made Bell miss with left and right. Sanstol started forcing the fight. Bell was holding him off with his long left reach. Sanstol send over a right cross to the jaw and a left to the chin and closed for infighting. In the break, Bell landed lightly with the left and right. Sanstol was mixing it up in an effort to get over a right swing. They came to a clinch and in the infighting Sanstol missed two uppercuts and Bell missed a right swing. Bell landed with a right and Sanstol with the left. Bell connected with a left to the chin and Sanstol sent over a hard right cross to Bell's neck. Sanstol kept boring in for a period at infighting. They were ordered to break and then Sanstol sent in a right cross and Bell missed with his left. Sanstol ducked under a right swing as the bell sounded.
    Round Four Sanstol came from his corner with a rush and landed with a right and a left and went to infighting, forcing Bell to back away. Both were depending on [?] left hand jabs to count points. Bell feinted with a left and scored lightly with a right. Sanstol sent in a one-two punch. In a mixup ???Near? The ropes both connected with rights and lefts and were ordered to break, Sanstol going to the centre of the ring to draw Bell in. Bell sent one to the body and a left to the chin. Sanstol retaliated with two short right crosses. Sanstol was making it difficult for Bell to solve his style of defence as he fought from a crouch position the greater part of the time. Coming out of a crouch Sanstol scored lightly with the left and swung over with the right. Sanstol landed two hard right crosses forcing Bell to back away. This was the first mark of distinct advantage for either, Sanstol having the round by a good margin.
    Round Five Sanstol landed lightly on three occasions with lefts, sent a right to the body, and Bell retaliated by a right and left swing to the head. Sanstol kept jabbing, breaking through Bell's defence with his left hand in an effort to get an opening for a right cross. Sanstol missed twice with a right and Bell sent a straight left jab to the chin. Sanstol closed in and, in the infighting that followed, sent three or four stiff jolts to the body. Sanstol had sized up Bell's defence and was sending in lefts and rights, backing Bell into the corner. Sanstol showed better footwork than his opponent, whom he drew on for openings. Sanstol landed to the chin with a left, Bell to the body with a right, and Sanstol closed with him for another session of infighting at which he was the master. They were in a clinch at the bell.
    Round Six Bell connected twice lightly with the left hand and Sanstol backed away, coming in as he found an opening to send in a left and a right. Bell scored with a left jab and a right cross. Sanstol landed on the chin with a left and Bell missed a right swing. They closed for infighting and Bell forced Sanstol to back away. Sanstol got in his right and left and made Bell cover up. As the round progressed, Sanstol was showing great confidence in fighting Bell at his own style. Sanstol connected twice with a left and missed with a right as Bell swung over to the body. Sanstol landed to the body with a left and a right making Bell come to a clinch. Both missed with right swings. Both were jabbing with their left hands, looking for an opening for a right. Sanstol scored with a right as the bell sounded.
    Round Seven Both landed with left jabs and Sanstol beat Bell to the punch with a right. Sanstol connected with a right forcing Bell to cover up. Bell jabbed to the body and swung to the head with a right. Bell landed a right cross and they came to a clinch. Bell sent in a right and left. At infighting, Sanstol forced Bell to break and in the breakaway scored twice with a right and sent a left to the chin. Both shot in short left jabs and missed with their rights. They came to a clinch and were ordered to break. In the breakaway Bell scored with a left and Sanstol with a right. Bell was using his longer reach to stall Sanstol off, forcing the local fighter to weave in under his defence. Both landed with right and lefts to the body. Bell backed away. Sanstol sent in a right cross and followed in with a left to the chin. Sanstol was forcing the fighting at the bell.
    Round Eight Both scored with lefts and rights and came to a clinch and in the break Sanstol missed with his right, and Bell landed on the side of Sanstol's head with a right. Bell connected with his left. Sanstol shot in several rights and left-hand swings, forcing Bell to break away. Bell missed a jab, giving Sanstol an opening to send in a right cross which he followed with a left to the side of the head. They came to a clinch and after the break Sanstol tapped lightly with his left and sent in a hard right swing to the body. Sanstol sent rights and lefts in rapid succession to Bell's head, forcing him to a clinch. During the infighting, Referee [George] Rivet warned Bell to keep his punches higher. Bell forced Sanstol to back away, sending a right and a left and then went into a clinch. Sanstol landed with left and right to the head and was punching to the body as the bell stopped the round.
    Round Nine Sanstol started on the aggressive and connected with his left and right as Bell backed away. Bell closed in, landing a left to the head, and failing with the right, he offered an opening to Sanstol from which the local boy sent in a left jab to the chin, and a hard right cross to the side of the head. Bell was showing signs of weakening, making it plainly apparent that the blonde-headed fighter would earn the decision. Sanstol sent a left to the side of the head and an uppercut to the point of the jaw forcing Bell to go into a clinch to save himself from punishment. Sanstol was fairly smothering his opponent with blows forcing him to a neutral corner of the ring. Bell was holding in an effort to save himself from punishment and go the limit of the round. Sanstol landed with a left to the head and an uppercut to the jaw. They came to a clinch just as the bell sounded.
    Round Ten As they came out for the last round Sanstol appeared much the fresher, opening the round by sending in right and left hand punches to the body. Bell's chance of victory had gone and he was devoting his greatest efforts to hanging on to last out the tenth round. Bell landed a light left to the head and Sanstol sent in a left hand jab to the side of the head and a right cross to the heart that made Bell back away. Bell tried for a session at infighting but Sanstol was too fast for him, backing away and dancing in under his guard to land lefts and rights to the head. Bell came to a clinch in an effort to stop Sanstol's attack. The local boy kept drawing his right hand free and sending over crosses to the body and the head as the bell sounded the termination of the bout.

    Montreal Gazette

    • Canadian Bantamweight Champion Art Giroux and Benny Brostoff were introduced from the ring.
    • Despite some day-after reports, the National Boxing Association did not recognize Sanstol as the world champion after this bout, despite the request of Montreal authorities for reciprocal recognition, per their arrangement. The NBA considered the bantam title vacant.
    • See also, August 1931 The Ring: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3