Stanley Ketchel


ketchal

Inducted May 31, 1984

Few men in boxing stirred the emotions as did Ketchel. Turning pro at the age of 16, bull-strong and cat-quick, Ketchel twice won the world middleweight championship. He KO’d “Twin” Sullivan in the first round in February 1908, lost the title to Billy Papke the following September, but regained it in November 1908 from Papke. One of Ketchel’s most memorable battles was a 20-round draw with Jack Sullivan in Butte, Mont., in 1906. In 1909, he took on heavyweight champ Jack Johnson, who enjoyed a 36-pound advantage. Ketchel had the champ on the floor, but Johnson rose to KO Ketchel with what is described as one of the most vicious punches ever thrown in boxing. In 61 bouts, he scored 46 knockout victories and lost only four times. Ketchel, who was admitted to boxing’s Hall of Fame in 1954 and to Michigan’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1959, was shot to death on a Missouri farm in 1910.

VIDEOS

The Saga of Stanley Ketchel

INDUCTION BANQUET PROGRAM STORY — May 31, 1984

Awesome Career With A Powerful Punch

Few men in boxing stirred the emotions as did Stanley Ketchel-a veteran of 61 ring battles until he was shot to death on a Missouri farm one October day in 1910. Ketchel was Grand Rapids, Michigan’s greatest and most revered sports hero in the days of the brass spittoon, the nickel beer and sawdust on the saloon floor.

Ketchel, born Stanislaw Kiecal, turned pro at the age of 16 and twice won the world middleweight championship. At 154 pounds, he was bull-strong, quick as a cat. Always on the attack, he was a two-fisted in-fighter who could hit with tremendous power as a professional from 1902-1910.

One of Ketchel’s most-memorable battles was a 20-round draw with Jack Sullivan in Butte, Montana in 1906. On February 22, 1908, he won the middleweight crown, knocking out M. (Twin) Sullivan in the first round. He lost it to Billy Papke on September 17, 1908, but regained it less than three months later from Papke on November 26, 1908.

In 1909, Ketchel took on heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who enjoyed a 36-pound advantage. Ketchel had the champ on the floor, but Johnson rose from the canvas and knocked Ketchel cold with what is described as one of the most vicious punches ever thrown in boxing.

Ketchel scored 46 knockout victories and lost only four times during his boxing career.

Ketchel was inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and into Michigan’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1959.