Ringside Tales. First published in Howard’s amateur press publication, The Right Hook volume 1, number 3, 1925.

The excerpt from The Right Hook #3 titled “Ringside Tales” presents two separate tales showcasing the unexpected outcomes and the unpredictable nature of boxing matches, emphasizing themes of raw power versus technique, and the emergence of legendary figures in the sport.

The first untitled story (Marks was a giant) recounts a bout between John L. Sullivan and a giant named Marks. Despite Marks being the stronger and more favored fighter, a drunk Sullivan manages to knock Marks out of the ring with a powerful punch, showcasing Sullivan’s raw power and fighting spirit despite his inebriated state.

The second untitled story (Science will always beat brute strength) introduces Hank Griffen, a skilled and powerful West Coast heavyweight, and an unnamed “Big Fellow” who is later revealed to be James J. Jeffries. Griffen, confident in his abilities and backed by his reputation, challenges the workers of the Puente oil-fields, leading to a match against the Big Fellow. Despite Griffen’s skill and speed, Jeffries’ resilience and strength ultimately prevail, marking the beginning of Jeffries’ legendary career in the ring.

These tales celebrate the unpredictability of boxing, highlighting how determination, raw power, and the willingness to endure can lead to unexpected victories and the rise of legendary athletes in the sport.


  • John L. Sullivan: A legendary boxer, known for his powerful punches, who enters the ring drunk but still manages to defeat Marks with a surprising knockout.
  • Marks: A giant fighter with a powerful build, favored to win against Sullivan but ultimately loses in a dramatic fashion.
  • Hank Griffen: A skilled and confident prize-fighter with a reputation for defeating notable opponents, who underestimates his opponent in a match against the Big Fellow.
  • James J. Jeffries (Big Fellow): Initially presented as an inexperienced and clumsy fighter, Jeffries demonstrates remarkable resilience and strength, ultimately defeating Griffen and beginning his journey as a legendary boxer.
  • Gentleman Jim: A storyteller and observer of the boxing scene, who provides insight into the tales and the qualities that make a boxer truly great.

Published in: