July 2, 1925


Mickey Walker a man who knows from experience said, "He could hit from impossible angles. Once, after Harry missed a right to my face, he spun all the way around so that his back faced me. I relaxed my guard and waited for him to turn around. But before I knew what was happening, his left was stuck in my mouth. I still don't know how he did it, but he hit me while his hands faced in the opposite direction."

-----from Boxing and Wrestling Magazine October 1954-written by Stanley Weston



Signing the contract for the fight.




Harry Scales 158 1/2 Pounds; Is Confident

Champion Confounds the Critics by Ease in Making Crown Limit.

note**printed the morning of the fight

Walker Is Worried

Odds on Harry Greb to retain his world's middleweight championship in his bout against Mickey Walker, the world's welterweight titleholder, featuring the mammoth boxing show for the benifit of the Italian Hospital fund at the Polo Grounds here tommorrow night, took a decided jump after the Pittsburgher weighed in following his final workout late this afternoon. The weighing was a public affair and was superintended by Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, in whose gymnasium, at Fifty-second street and Broadway, Greb has been putting the finishing touches on his conditioning.

As has been the case several times before in important matches here, Greb confounded the critics of his training system who have scouted the idea that he could make 160 pounds, the middleweight limit, and remain strong. As Harry stepped on the scales after his rubdown , following a session of handball and punching the heavy bag, a gasp went through the crowd which gathered around and saw the arrow on the dial stop at 158 1/2 pounds.

Watches Diet Carefully

A broad grin spread over the features of the Pittsburgher. He had come through a rigorous training spell with his full strength intact and weighing a pound and a half less than what all but his close followers thought was an impossible weight for him. He drank a pint of malted milk with an egg in it and later had dinner, consisting of two chops and salad with mayonaise dressing as ordered by O'Brien, who has been watching his diet as well as his training since he came here from Atlantic City last Sunday. Before going to bed, Greb had a glass of Ale; last night he had two glasses, and he said he awoke feeling great this morning. He weighed an even 160 pounds at the end of yesterday's workout.

Greb plans to take a walk in the morning and then rest until weighing-in time at 2 o'clock. It is not at all unlikely that he will scale in officially even lighter than he did today, probably at 157 or 157 1/2 pounds, and then build up to about 163 or 164 at ring time. Walker is expected to weigh about 153 pounds both at 2 o'clock and at ring time.

Bad Effect On Mickey

The low weight flashed by Greb is cetain to have anything but a good effect on the morale of Walker, for Mickey is said to have been one of the skeptics to have thought Greb no longer could peel down to the middleweight limit and be strong, and the ease with which Greb has accomplished the feat hardly is calculated to help Mickey's peace of mind.

Greb was all confidence and smiles as he dressed to return to the Claridge Hotel, where he is making his headquarters while here. "I'll win in a walk," he said. " I look for it to be a one-sided fight after the early rounds. I don't think Mickey can keep up with me in speed. I am sure he cannot knock me out and I am not going to try and knock him out. I will be satisfied to win by an undisputible margin on points."

Harry's Pals With Him

With Greb at the gymnasium,besides O'Brien, who took almost a fatherly interest in him, were James Mason, Greb's manager; Tom Dolan and a number of Pittsburgh friends, Greb said that eddie Deasy, one of his particular pals, planned to come by airplane, and that he did not expect him until tommorrow.

The generally quoted odds on the Greb-Walker bout today were 8 to 5 on Greb, but the news of his low weight and remarkable vitality in the gymnasium spread around town like wildfire and tonight his backers were offering 9 to 5 and were ready to place even 2 to 1 for Greb all the Walker money in sight.

The Greb-Walker fight will be the wind-up of the all-star bill, despite alot of stuff in the papers recently to the effect that Harry Wills, the negro heavyweight championship contender, was demanding that position for his setto with Charley Weinert.It was announced tonight that the matter would not be definetly decided until 2 o'clock tommorrow, when the boxers meet to weigh in and that the New York State Athletic Commission would make a ruling then. However, it is no secret that the quarrel is of a purely publicity nature and that there never has been any other understanding than that the two world's champions will top the card.





Posing for pictures right before the fight is about to begin.


(click here for a round by round description of the fight)




Walker is shown about to send home one of his solid left body smashes as Greb misses a left to the head.



Referee Eddie Purdy is shown on the floor after he wrenched his right knee and fell just before the bell ended the seventh round.


An exchange in close quarters.

Although the photo says first round, newspaper photo's confirm it was the eight round.

It is unknown which round this photo was taken in.


Mickey Reels to Corner

Suddenly Harry shot a right to the jaw and Mickey reeled across the ring into his own corner. He seemed to be helpless and Greb rushed in to finish him. However, Mickey had sufficient presence of mind to sway with the punches and Greb tired himself out swinging at him. Just before the round ended Mickey got out of the corner and fought off Greb with a left to the body. The welterweight champion never escaped a knockout by a narrower margin.


different version

Harry made only one mistake in judgement during the fight, and that robbed him of a chance to score a knockout in the fourteenth round. He had weakened Mickey almost to the point of exhaustion with his constant mauling against the ropes and frequent right crosses to the chin from a distance, and Mickey left himself wide open as he got out of one of the awkward situations on the ropes. Greb seized the opportunity to nail him flush on the chin with an overhand right, and Mickey went reeling backward from midring into the angle of the ropes in his own corner. The ropes alone saved him from going down for the only knockdown of his career.

It was at this point that Harry erred. Instead of getting Mickey away from the supporting ropes, he closed in on him and battered away with both hands. Mickey took it all and remained upright because he couldn't possibly fall in the corner. Greb continued the assault until he , too, was almost entirely spent, and this gave Walker a chance to pull himself together and get out in the open, where he scored with a desperate and solid left to the body before the bell rang. Mickey's excellent condition enabled him to recover sufficiently during the minutes rest before the last round to make a strong finish.


It is unknown which round this photo was taken in.




Unanimous Decision Given Pittsburgher-Welter Champion Helpless In Next To Last Stanza, but Finishing Punch Lacking.

note**printed the morning after the fight, but Harry Keck telegraphed this to the newspaper immediately after the fight, the night of July 2nd. While it was fresh in his mind.

NEW YORK, July 2 - In a 15 round fight, which will go down in the annals of time, and which was one of the hardest contests of his long and colorful career, Harry Greb of Pittsburgh successfully defended his world's middleweight championship against the ferocious assault of mickey Walker of Elizabeth, N. J., the world's welterweight champion, in the 15 round wind-up of a great all-star boxing card at the Polo Grounds here tonight.

Greb was awarded the unanimous decision of the judges at the finish of the gruelling struggle and no one in the capacity crowd raised a voice against the verdict, for it was well deserved.

The show was not only an artistic success, but also went over with a bang financially. The crowd totalled 50,000 and the recepts were aproximately $375,000, assuring huge net proceeds for the charity in whose name it was staged.

Greb came within a punch or two of upsetting the dope by scoring a knockout in the 14th round, when he sent Mi#key reeling helplessly into his own corner, but he did not have sufficient steam left in his punches to finish the job.

Walker Sets Pace

Greb fought a very careful and cagey battle to score his victory over the greatest welterweight the world has seen since Joe Wolcott. He let his younger opponent-younger by seven years-set the pace in the early rounds, and was far in arrears when the scrap was one-third completed.

Then he gradually speeded up in his work and took the lead away from Walker, to win hands down at the finish. With an exeption of a rally by Walker in the twelfth round, Greb simply overwhelmed him the last third of the journey, and Mickey was indeed lucky to last the limit.

For sheer punishment handed out by both men, the bout has had few parallels among top-notchers. Walker's face was badly puffed and he was bleeding from his mouth, nose and right eye when the final gong clanged. He was bleeding from the nose and mouth during most of the battle and the eye was cut in the last session, making him a bloody smear.

Greb Takes Punishment

As for Greb, he had to withstand a terrific bombardment of the body punches throughout the first half dozen rounds and at spasmodic intervals thereafter. Mickey apparently had taken a leaf out of the book of Gene Tunney and had made up his mind that Greb could be beaten through the medium of a never-ceasing volley of solid lefts to the stomach.

The crowd feared for greb as he took these smashes in the early rounds and winced, but kept in the running.

In the fifth round Walker suddenly shifted his attack to the head and a solid left smash to the mouth caused Greb to spit out teeth. Harry instinctively put up his hand to his mouth and hesitated momentarily, but he quickly caught himself, and beginning with the next round he cut loose and began to whittle away Mickey's early lead.

Harry Cuts Loose

Of the initial five rounds Walker carried the first three. Greb had a slight shade in the fourth and the fifth was even. Greb won the sixth, seventh and eigth, and Walker held his own in the ninth.

In the tenth, Greb gave the spectators their first glimpse at his speed, and made Walker break ground for the first time in the fight, through the furiousness of his attack. In the eleventh round Greb began to adopt smothering tactics, forcing Walker repeatedly to the ropes and pinioning him there by pressing his weight against him and flailing away vigorously with both fists to the head and body.

He had Walker all at sea until late in the round when Mickey suddenly straightened up and sent a powerful left to the jaw which caught Harry as he came bounding in and badly dazed the Pittsburgher and brought the crowd up cheering for Mickey.

Greb In Danger

Greb was in grave danger, but his ring generalship asserted itself and pulled him out of the hole. He grabbed a clinch until his head cleared and then proceeded to smother mickey against the ropes again until the bell ended the round.

Walker made a good recovery in the twelfth round . He started off swinging punch for punch with greb and kept it up throughout the session, with Walker driving home his blows with greater force than Harry.

In the thirteenth round Greb began another of his furious drives and battered Walker around the ring throughout, keeping him against the ropes most of the time, Mickey was very tired and flustered when the bell rang.

He was still confused when he came up for the fourteenth round and Harry resumed where he had left off. He rushed Walker against the ropes several times and fairly mobbed him with punches until mickey was weak and staggering.

Mickey Reels to Corner

Suddenly Harry shot a right to the jaw and mickey reeled across the ring into his own corner. He seemed to be helpless and Greb rushed in to finish him. However, Mickey had sufficient presence of mind to sway with the punches and Greb tired himself out swinging at him. Just before the round ended Mickey got out of the corner and fought off Greb with a left to the body. The welterweight champion never escaped a knockout by a narrower margin.

Ends With Rally

Walker's wonderful condition showed itself in the fine recovery he made during the minutes rest before the final round. He came up fairly strong and made a great rally, fighting the tired and also weakened Greb on almost even terms. Harry, however, seemed to be playing it safe in this last round, knowing that he was sure of the decision.

Greb weighed in at 159 pounds and Walker at 152 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Walker seemed to be the stronger of the two when they started, but he exhausted much of his sturdiness in the early rounds, and Greb robbed him of some more by constantly using his weight advantage against him in the clinches and on the ropes.



Harry and Mickey Walker's alleged street fight is told in the book Give Him To The Angels. Mickey's version of the scuffle is told.


"The Ring" magazine - May, 1941

"Battle Thrills of Walker Law Era"

by "The Ring" editor, Nat Fleischer

supplied by the Lydon cousins


No one who saw the fifteen-round contest at the Polo Grounds, New

York, between Mickey Walker, then king of the welters, and Harry Greb,

middleweight title-holder, would deny that bout a place in the

big-thrill category. Mickey went out of his class in that one, and Greb

carried too heavy guns for him.

But what a whoopee, grueling go it was! The spectators were on

their toes throughout the whole breathless, hard-driving encounter.

They fought like two wildcats, dragging down the referee a couple of

times as he tussled to break them, and that unfortunate official left

the ring at the close of the battle with a limping leg, twisted in the second fall.


Walker, a dangerous hitter at a distance, wasn't given the chances

he would have liked to land at long range. Greb quickly took the fight

to close quarters, where he used his seven pounds advantage in weight to

good effect. Walker lost the decision, but his reputation didn't suffer.


In passing, it might be mentioned that later that night, erratic

Harry and the no less responsible Mickey met outside a cafe, had a

battle of words, and were about to mix matters, when a cop interfered

and threatened to belt them both out with his locust club. They told

him who they were, but he wasn't interested, said they were liars

anyhow, and chased them off his beat. You wouldn't catch a pair of

champions indulging in that kind of foolishness nowadays!





This was taken in 1925 when Walker was in traing for the Greb fight.

You can buy a copy at Antek Prize Ring



"These are the Walkers. I was twenty-one then and had just taken the welterweight title away from Jack Britton. See the different expressions on the faces of Dad and Mom? Pop was opposed to my fighting even though in his youth he boxed with the great John L. Sullivan. Mom was all for it. That's brother Joe getting ready to sing."

-taken from Mickey's autobiography

"The Toy Bulldog And His Times"



" I met Chaplin in 1925. I was boxing in Los Angeles and Charlie was a surprise visitor in my dressing room after the fight. We disagreed on a lot of things but, along with Doug Fairbanks, he was the first to befriend me in Hollywood."

-taken from Mickey's autobiography

"The Toy Bulldog And His Times"