Mike Gibbons St. Paul Phantom





Alhough he never became a champion, Mike Gibbons is considered by many boxing historians to be one of the top ten middleweights of all time. Gibbons learned to box at the YMCA in his native St. Paul. He turned professional at the age of nineteen with a third-round knockout of Roy Moore and was unbeaten in his first fourteen fights before losing a decision to Jimmy Clabby. A footwork wizard who could wear an opponent out with his defensive maneuvers, Gibbons could punch hard, too. As a young fighter, he built a reputation that put him in line for the middleweight championship.

In 1912, the middleweight division had no recognized champion. More than half a dozen fighters, including Gibbons and eddie McGoorty, claimed a right to the title. Gibbons signed to fight McGoorty with the winner to be declared champion. The heavier McGoorty was the favorite by far, and Gibbons employed his ring choreography not to beat McGoorty but to keep him from winning. Gibbons constantly backpedaled and put on a great display of footwork but he did not really fight. The newspapers awarded McGoorty the decision, but the fight's lack of action kept him from gaining general acclaim as the titleholder. Asked by a reporter why he had not fought more vigorously, Gibbons replied, "Because you and every other writer said that McGoorty would beat me, simply because he was ten pounds heavier than me. I decided to prove you were wrong, and that he couldn't lay a glove on me. And he didn't. That's all I cared about."

Gibbons continued to fight successfully after the McGoorty fight, and proved his mettle in a 1916 match with Hall of Famer Jack Dillon. At the time, Dillon was reputed to have the best punch in all of boxing. For ten rounds, Gibbon's eluded Dillon's attack and countered beautifully when Dillon missed him. Gibbons won every round of the fight, according to those at ringside.

Gibbons fought for another six years, taking on Harry Greb, among others. Even the blurringly fast Greb was confused by Gibbons, by then known as the "Phantom of St. Paul." Greb shouted to his manager, "From now on, match me with one guy at a time."


Get more information and pics about Mike and Tommy Gibbons from their website at http://www.tmgps.com/

Photo of Tommy and Mike sparring in the ring was supplied by the Gibbons Family



There are 2 videos of Mike Gibbons that you can see right now for free. One of him sparring with his brother Tommy, and a clip showing a portion of round 8 in his 1919 fight against middleweight champion Mike O'Dowd.


RING RECORD: 54 wins - 2 losses - 4 draw - (114 total bouts)

 selected bouts

Jan 11	1908	Roy    Moore			St.Paul		KO	5

unknown	1909	George KO Brown			unknown		KO 1

Mar 12	1910	Jimmy Clabby			St.Paul		L 10

Apr 17	1911	Gus Christie			Milwau.		ND 8
May 5	1911	Gus Christie			Milwau.		ND 10
Sep 1	1911	Jimmy Clabby			Milwau.		ND 10
Nov 10	1911	Young Sherman			NewYork		KO 4

unknown	1912	Jeff   Smith			unknown		ND 10
unknown	1912	KO    Brennan			unknown		ND 10
Dec 4	1912	Eddie McGoorty			NewYork		ND 10

May 13	1913	Gus  Christie			Boston		W 12
unknown	1913	Young Ahearn			unknown		KO 4

unknown	1914	Kid   Graves			unknown		ND 6
unknown	1914	Al     McCoy			unknown		ND 10
unknown	1914	Bob    Moha				unknown		WF 2
unknown	1914	George KO Brown			unknown		ND 10
unknown	1914	KO    Brennan			unknown		ND 10

Jan 21	1915	Jimmy  Clabby			Milwau.		ND 10
Mar 2	1915	Eddie McGoorty			Wisc.		ND 10
Mar 15	1915	Sailor Jack Carroll		Kan.Ci.		Exh. 4
unknown	1915	Leo    Houck			unknown		ND 10
May 31	1915	Soldier Bartfield		Brook.		ND 10
Sep 11	1915	Packey McFarland		Brook.		ND 10

unknown	1916	Jeff   Smith			unknown		ND 10
May 18	1916	Ted "Kid" Lewis			NewYork		ND 10
unknown	1916	Young  Ahearn			unknown		KO 1
Nov 10	1916	Jack    Dillon			St.Paul		ND 10
unknown	1916	Clay   Turner			unknown		ND 4

Feb 10	1917	Harry   Greb			Philad.		ND 6
Jul 4	1917	George  Chip			Youngs.		ND 12
unknown	1917	Frank Mantell			unknown		KO 3
Sep 3	1917	Jack    Dillon			Ter.Ha.		ND 10

Apr 26	1918	Packey McFarland		Cam.Do.		Exh 6

Jan 31	1919	George   Chip			Minn.		ND 10
Mar 4	1919	Soldier Bartfield		St.Paul		ND 10
unknown	1919	Len  Rowlands			unknown		ND 10
unknown	1919	Leo    Houck			unknown		ND 8
Apr 22	1919	Soldier Bartfield		SanFra.		W 4
May 19	1919	George-KO-Brown			Memphis		ND 8
Jun 12	1919	George   Chip			Ter.Ha.		ND 10
Jun 23	1919	Harry   Greb			Pitts.		ND 10
unknown	1919	Jeff    Smith			unknown		ND 10
unknown	1919	Mike   O'Dowd			unknown		ND 10

unknown	1921	Silent Martin			unknown		KO 10
Apr 27	1921	Chuck Wiggins			Mich.		W 10
May 30	1921	Dave Rosenberg			NewYork		W 12
Jun 7	1921	Silent  Martin			NewYork		KO 10
Jun 18	1921	Eddie McGoorty			Minn.		KO 5
Aug 4	1921	Augie   ratner			NewYork		W 10
Aug 9	1921	Jeff    Smith			NewJer.		ND 12
Oct 31	1921	Happy Littleton			Mass.		W 15
Dec 16	1921	Mike    O'Dowd			Minn.		ND 10
unknown	1921	Chuck  Wiggins			Mich.		W 10

May 16	1922	Danny   Fagan			Winnip.		KO 2
unknown	1922	Mike   O'Dowd			unknown		L 12

Record and bio courtesy of The Boxing Register. 
By James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt