Re: I am a boxing manager: if you have questions about the boxing biz, ask!
Another old lost tale from 1920's America.
A manager & a fighter who shared an unbroken bond until the day one of them died.
Billy Miske a real tough old school heavyweight,skilled fighter & only came up short against the best of the day he fought them all Dempsey,Gibbons Battling Levinsky,Harry Greb & Fireman Flynn amongst the opponents.
He had an extremely close relationship with his manager Jack Reddy he trusted Jack totally.He had his last fight in 1923 but the story goes back to 1918 Miske tells his manager after a fight he has kidney pain & they go to see a specialist doctor.
It turns out he has Bright's Disease or commonly known as kidney failure the doctor tells him his fight career is over & so will his life be in five years it can't be cured.
Miske swears the doctor & his manager to secrecy it doesn't come out until his final days even his wife is unaware of his terminal illness he has children he wants to fight on for his family's future.
Billy does fight on in fact over 70 times with a condition he could never beat the final count on.He invest's in a automobile business it goes wrong & at one point he is $100k down.Miske does what he always did fight on & paid it off he takes a purse of $18k for his last fight with Dempsey he uses every cent to pay off his creditors Miske always a man of honour.After his death Dempsey recount's the story of their last fight he hit Minske around the heart a purple lump swelled up.Dempsey thought he had killed him never knew what a condition Miske had one of his bravest opponents he always said.
The condition worsened still he fought on in January 1923 the last full year of his life he is barely able to train & weakening daily he still fights on Harry Foley is his opponent in the first round a fighter is knocked down six times in 42 seconds not surprising really..........except it is Foley the recipient.Miske in no mood to hang around in there he hasn't got the time.
With Xmas 1923 coming up the only thing thinner than Billy's arm's are his wallet it's been 10 months since he has fought an eternity back in the day & rumours are floating around which a journalist gets wind of.
Miske begs Reddy to get him one last payday almost bed bound by now & on a soup diet a local journalist wants to run the story on how ill Miske had become & exposing Reddy as a corrupt manager.The journalist is told the truth & Billy's financial plight he wanted to put his house in order & pay for a great xmas for his family the journalist relents & holds fire.
07/11/23 Miske fights Billy Brennan it nets him $2,400 purse the fight is over in four rounds Miske wins by k.o.The family have a last xmas to remember.
The day after xmas Miske calls Reddy to take him to the hospital his time is almost up.
On the way to the hospital he finally tells his wife the severity of his condition.Miske dies on new years day 1924 aged 29 Hollywood has really missed a story.