That's what I did. In 1940 it was I started fighting in Holyoke. Sixteen times that year I fight in four-rounders and sixes. The next year I go 21 times. I am fighting in Holyoke until that second summer, getting eight-rounders and winning almost always, a lot of times with knockouts.
I could tell you about every fight I ever had. But it is always the same story. If I was in shape I could win. If I am'not in shape I couldn't. I pray before every fight to win, but I don't ask God to go against the other boy. That would not be right, I think.
Up in Holyoke I am getting about $20 a fight. And I win that year also in New York till I fight Freddie Archer eight rounds in St. Nicholas Arena. I lose but it is the kind of good, toe-to-toe fight people come back to see again, so we are matched three weeks later, and again I lose to Freddie Archer.
After that they match me with Allie Stolz. He's the No. 1 fighter and I lick him and then I fight Tippy Larkin in the Garden. Now Tippy was all class and he had plenty of punch. But something seemed to happen to him after I hit him in the second round. I don't know what it was. I remember the punch but it didn't seem hard to me. In the third round I knock him out. Then they say I am lightweight champion of the world in New York State and in New Jersey too.
Later I saw Tippy Larkin come to. He sat there a long while on the stool, shaking his head. When we're back in the dressing room, my trainer, Sid Bell, he said, "Now that was condition, that was training. Tomorrow I want you to be in the gym, getting ready for the next one."
I said, "I always heard that Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Gene Tunney?all the big ones?would get at least one day off after a fight. I want the same thing, a day off."
But Sid Bell said, "No. You be down at Stillman's tomorrow getting ready."
ALWAYS THE SAME
Next day when I walked into Still-man's everybody congratulated me. They said, "I declare, Beau Jack, you're a nice guy," or, "That's a great little kid." I heard them saying that. Some people talk good to your face. And Sid Bell is there and he says, "I want you to go six rounds today. That will be good before you loosen up."
I look down out of the ring at Still-man's and I hear Mr. Lou Stillman himself say, "Tell me, have you ever seen such a kid? Here he fought last night and he's back again. Yes, sir. A hard worker, a fine little kid."