Among Grayber's first fights was in 1911 against the
World's Lightweight Champion Battling Nelson when Nelson was in Pittsburgh
at the old Gayety Theatre on an exhibition circuit taking on all comers.
Other well-know boxers he came up against were Walt
Monohan, Joe Chip, Eddie Ramsey. After coming back from a stint in World
War I he was managed as an amateur by Jimmy Mason who also managed Harry
Greb. A fight was set up between the two of Mason's boys with the winner
to go to the PROS. Greb won a tough bout and the rest is history.
Grayber went on to become a well respected member of
the Pittsburgh community as a city detective for many years, but maintained
many friends from the boxing world and gained much respect as a referee.
Among his many friends was T.S. Andrews who upon his death in the mid 1940's
passed much of his boxing memorabilia on to Grayber.
Al Grayber was involved in boxing all of his life and
was friends with many of the greats inside and outside the ring.
---The following is an article from the Nov
27, 1914 issue of the Pittsburgh Post:
FOLEY AND GRAYBER FIGHT DRAW - by Harry Keck
Al Grayber, Sheraden's stellar scrapper, and John
Foley, the Lawrenceville luminary, lightheavyweights, fought a good six-round
draw in the main mill of the all-star boxing show at Duquesne Graden last
night. The fight was even at all stages and always interesting.
Grayber seemed wary of his heavier opponent throughout,
and never abandoned his long distance tactics. He showed his respect for
Foley's short arm swings and straight blows to the face by leading lightly
and stepping back during the major part of the early rounds. At times, however,
when forced, he would open up and trade blow for blow with Foley.
The latter was full of flight but was unable to
fathom Al's style. As a result, much of his aggresiveness was wasted. Both
landed hard and to the mark frequently, but not enough to inflict telling
damage. Several of Foley's vicious short-arm uppercuts and straight pokes
flush upon the face might have ended the fight inside the limit had they
landed. Grayber prevented such an outcome by fighting a cool, clever battle
and stepping around the ring continously. He used every inch of the canvas
Clinches were frequent, but both broke clean. There
was little infighting. Most of the body blows struck were aimed as the two
men came in or as they met toe to toe. At no time did they remain close
more than a few moments.
-pictured here is a great 4 X 5 vintage promotional photo
of Harry Greb and Al Grayber two Pittsburgh boxers who were both managed
by Red Mason in the teens. Mason pitted the two in a fight in 1915 with
the winner to be the one who he would take under his wing and nuture toward
the championship. Greb won, and the rest is history.
Tale Of The Tape
CLICK HERE TO SEE AL GRAYBER'S FIGHT RECORD
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ON AL GRAYBER
PLEASE E-MAIL ME