Mike Milko was a well known Western Pennsylvanian amateur
Lightweight champion. He fought most of his career at 135 pounds. He was
once called the "Duquesne Hurricane". He was also known as "Kid"
Milko and an alias Mickey Jerome. His brother was Paul F. Milko and boxed
at the same time as Mike but at the 115 pound weight class. Mike Milko was
of Slavish-American heritage. Mike fought in exhibitions against such notable
fighters as Ad Wolgast, Frank Klaus and Hall of Famer Battling Nelsom.
During his extensive amateur background (1908-1912),
he fought while living in the Homestead and Munhall areas of Pennsylvania.
At one time he was a workout partner for Owen Moran in 1910.Mike eventually
turned pro in late 1912 under the management of Sam Shaw, but only after
he had to his credit the lightweight amateur championship of the tri-state,
the state lightweight championship and the mid-Atlantic championship in
that 135-pound class. It was printed that "He captured these titles
within a few days of competition in 1910. The tri-state tournament was held
in the old Duquesne Garden in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, he recalled,
while the state competition was held in Old Turner Hall on Fifth Ave. in
Homestead." To win the Mid-Atlantic bouts Mike knocked out three men
in one night to take the title. "None of them went over two rounds
with me," he said. "I knocked 'em all out." "I never
will forget one of 'em," he boasted, "I came out, shook hands
with him and gave him a punch and knocked him out."
In the December 20, 1912 issue of the Pittsburgh Press
Mike Milko officially changed his name to "Mickey Jerome". It
was also stated in the article that he began to use a manager at this time.
He also declared that he "never trained for any frays" and yet
he pointed out the fact that he has more than held his own with solid hitters.
Mike Milko fought Harry Greb twice in 1913. Their first
meeting was October 22nd at the Young Mens Rep. Club in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
This was only Greb's 5th professional bout and Mike Milko gave Greb a fight
to remember. Although it was a No Decision bout, some newspapers said the
fight was a draw and others wrote that Mike Milko won the bout. The two
boxers fought again one month later on November 17th at the Southside Market
House in Pittsburgh. This bout was also a No Decision and the papers gave
the fight to Greb. The referee for both fights was Yock Henniger. It was
said that "in their second meeting Mike Milko hit the Pittsburgh Windmill
so hard he cracked a couple of Greb's ribs, thus softening him up for Joe
Chip, the only pug who ever kayoed the Pittsburgher."
Here is a newspaper article about Milko and Greb's upcoming
first bout: "Harry Grebbs, the young boxer who is matched with Mike
Milko in the main bout of the Young Men's Republican Tariff Club's smoker
tommorrow night, is taking the coming battle very seriously and training
faithfully in order to put his husky opponent out of his path. If he can
dispose of Milko by the knockout route he feels that his future in the pugilistic
firmament is assured. But Milko also is confident , and the fact that he
carries a heavy punch in either fist and can assimilate enough punishment
to put an ordinary man out makes Grebbs' task a tough one. "
During his career he changed his fighting name from
Slavish sounding Mike Milko to the Irish sounding "Mickey Jerome",
thinking that a more Irish sounding name might open up better opportunities
Mike Milko retired from the boxing game in 1928 having
fought in 73 bouts and many more amateur bouts. After he retired he continued
to live in Munhall with his wife Anna V. Kostelnik
. After boxing Mike was employed as a craneman in the 44-inch mill of
the Homestead steel works.
In a newspaper interview taken when he was 75 years
old Mike mentioned he was a father of eight boys and three girls, and 25
grandchildren. Five of Mike's boys served in
World War II, two of whom (Raymond and Frank) were amateur boxers during
their service days. He also stated "I've got my health and that's
what counts." He also mentioned that he still "owns a pair of
shoulders wide enough to take care of a tank and flashes biceps that are
more than respectable looking."
RECORDED RING RECORD (AMATEURS, PROS, EXH): 18wins - 5 losses - 28
Ko's -draw - 10 ND's - 12 Exh.- (73 total bouts)
Tale Of The Tape
Date Born: Sept 29, 1889
Real Name: Michael J. Milko
Weight: 135 lbs.
Manager: Sam Shaw
Died: January 8, 1976
unknown 19?? ??? Summerlee Penns. 3 rnds
Nov 17 1909 Teddy Sexton Penns. KO 1 (win)
Nov 18 1909 Jack Lewis Penns. L 3 (loss)
Dec 17 1909 Joe Showski Penns. KO 2 (win)
Dec 18 1909 Abe McMolle Penns. L 3 (loss)
Mar 30 1910 Battling Nelson Penns. EXH. 3 rnds
May 4 1910 Ad Wolgast Penns. EXH. 3 rnds
Oct 7 1910 John O'Connor Penns. KO 2
Oct 8 1910 John Emery Penns. W 3
Oct 8 1910 Sam Rosetta Penns. W 3
Oct 8 1910 Tom Smith Penns. L 3
Dec 28 1910 Owen Moran Penns. EXH 3 rnds
Dec 30 1910 Owen Moran Penns. EXH 3 rnds
Feb 18 1911 John Kihem Penns. W 8
Feb 25 1911 Albert Sahmude Penns. KO 3
Feb 25 1911 Sam Rosetta Penns. KO 3
Dec 7 1911 Frank Wilson Penns. KO 1
Dec 8 1911 Fred Fresno Penns. KO 1
Dec 8 1911 Michael Angelo Stablow Penns. KO 3
Feb 8 1912 Andy Schube Penns. KO 2 (win) (Beginning of 3 day tournament) Schube may be spelled Schwab
Feb 10 1912 Solomon Dennison Pitts. KO 1 (win) (Milko fought Dennison,Strain, and Cook all in one day during the Tri-State boxing Tournament Championship Finals held in Waldemeir Hall.)
Feb 10 1912 A.J. Strain Pitts. KO 1 Milko dislocated Strain's shoulder during bout.- (Milko fought Dennison,Strain, and Cook all in one day during the Tri-State boxing Tournament Championship Finals held in Waldemeir Hall.)
Feb 10 1912 John Cook Pitts. KO 2 (Milko fought Dennison,Strain, and Cook all in one day during the Tri-State boxing Tournament Championship Finals held in Waldemeir Hall.)
Mar 22 1912 John Kirkwood Pitts. KO 2 (win)
Mar 28 1912 E. E. Harris Pitts. W 3
Mar 29 1912 John O'Latta Pitts. KO 2 (An AmateurTournament at Turner Hall)Opponents name may be spelled "Latta"
Mar 30 1912 Merle Ashbaugh Pitts. W 3 (semi-finals in tournament)
Mar 30 1912 Victor Wright Pitts. KO 2 (final bout in tournament)
Apr 16 1912 William Cumpston Pitts. KO 1 (Win) (during the A.A.U. Middle Atlantic Association Championship Boxing Tournament) 135 pound class.
Apr 17 1912 Victor Wright Pitts W 3 (during the A.A.U. Middle Atlantic Association Championship Boxing Tournament) 135 pound class.
Oct 29 1912 Red Robinson Duquesn 6 rnds (The two fighters kept fighting and had to be pulled apart by the referee for failing to hear the bell).
Dec 29 1912 Kid Kentz Penns. TKO 4 (Kid Kentz was from the Northside of Pittsburgh)
Oct 22 1913 Harry Greb Pitts. ND 6 (some newspapers say it was a draw, and other say Milko won)
Oct 27 1913 Kid Marks Pitts. ND Win (according to page 11 of the Pittsburgh Post the next day the two fighters "put up a rattling bout".)
Nov 17 1913 Harry Greb Pitts. ND 6 (L news)
unknown 19?? Jimmie Gray Tune City TKO 5 (Milko broke Gray's jaw in two places in the first round)(fought between years 1912-1916)
unknown 19?? Jimmy Gray unknown Draw
unknown 19?? Kid Kenz Penns. W 6
unknown 19?? Kid Kenz Penns. TKO 3
Nov 3 19?? Red Cumpsten Homestead unknown
unknown 19?? Jack Perry unknown unknown (fought between years 1913-1916)
Feb 13 19?? Battler Jones unknown KO 2 (fought on friday the 13th. It was said Mike Milko was wearing Stanley Ketchel's boxing trunks that night.)
unknown 19?? Joe Bedell unknown Draw 6 (fought between years 1913-1916)
unknown 19?? Steve Pendro unknown unknown (fought between years 1913-1916)
unknown 19?? Willie Scott unknown unknown (fought between years 1913-1916)
unknown 19?? Jack Clark unknown unknown (fought between years 1913-1916)
unknown 19?? Scotty Martin unknown unknown
Feb 17 19?? Harvey "Battling" Sherbine Duquesn unknown
unknown 19?? Butchy Moore unknown unknown
unknown 19?? Jimmy Perry unknown unknown
unknown 19?? Butch Moore unknown unknown (Butch Moore was a heavyweight)
unknown 19?? Charley Dunn Penns. unknown (Charley done weighed 165 pounds, Mike Milko weight 135 pounds)
unknown 19?? Young Bob Fitzsimmons Pitts. unknown (could have been pro,amateur or exh.)
Jan 31 19?? K.O. Brennan Homestead unknown
unknown 19?? Frank Klaus Penns. EXH.
unknown 19?? Kid Stinger unknown EXH
unknown 19?? Tom "Muck" Conlin unknown EXH
CLICK HERE FOR BOXREC FIGHT RECORD
The granddaughter of Mike's brother Joe has created a blog.
If you'd like to read about Mike's brother Joe, just click on:
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