Somebody else, and this man I don't know, says, "They say he is just a shoeshine boy, but last night he won the main event in the Garden."
My next two fights were with Fritzie Zivic. Everybody says what a dirty fighter he was. I don't say he was a dirty fighter. Everybody's got the right to protect himself in the ring the best he can. I'll let the fans who saw Fritzie Zivic fight me say whether he was a dirty fighter or not.
THIS FOR THAT
Sure, he caught the back of my head with one hand and held me while he hit me. I couldn't get away from him. So I said, "All right, I'll rough him back." And I went out and did what he was doing to me. I roughed him and bulled him all over the ring. So I won that 10. Then I fought him again and won again, this time in 12. And after that fight this Fritzie Zivic, who everybody says is so dirty a fighter and mean, comes to me in my dressing room. And he says, " Beau Jack, you are the toughest and the strongest. You are the best I ever met. So keep training hard. You'll be beat?but by a better man than me."
So next they say they will now put me in there with Henry Armstrong. But I say I won't fight Henry Armstrong. "You afraid, Beau Jack?" they ask. I say, "No, I ain't afraid of Henry Armstrong or no one else." They want to know why I won't fight him. Is it that he's so old? But I say, "No, it ain't that. But Henry Armstrong is my ring idol, one of them, so I won't fight him. He's the only man in ring history who ever held three titles. How can I fight a man like that?" Then Henry Armstrong sent me a letter from the West Coast where he live. They read out loud to me this letter, and it says remember the time I train and spar with him before one of his fights. "I told you, Beau Jack," it says, "that you're a great little fighter, and may go far. But now, fight me. We are friends, yes, but in the ring all friendship ceases...."
So after I listen to them reading this letter from Henry Armstrong, I say, "Yes, get him in the ring with me and I will fight him." And that night at Madison Square Garden I got in the ring and saw the little feller come at me, boxing and shaking. And that Henry Armstrong don't give you no chance to breathe in the ring and is all over you. But I cut Henry Armstrong over the eyes and after the fourth he couldn't see me. But when I saw how his eyes were bleeding I didn't want to hit him any more in the face. But I beat Henry Armstrong, the decision in 10 it was.
I'M THE CHAMP
I am not out of the Garden yet that night also when Henry Armstrong himself comes to me and says, "What did I tell you, Champ?" And Henry Armstrong asked me to go with him to a nice club where we could have steaks.
So the next night we had our steaks at Smalls, which is a famous place in Harlem for eating, also fun for those who want fun. And it was just as Henry Armstrong said. He had his steak, a great big one, and I also had a great big steak. Well, when people started coming into that club and saw us together talking and laughing at the same table, they were amazed. Many of them joined our table. Before you knew it there must have been maybe 10 or 14 people all sitting there at our table, arguing about who was best, Henry Armstrong or Beau Jack. In the end they all got so mad that they started yelling at one another and almost had some fist fights about it right there at our table. And that made Henry Armstrong and me laugh and joke louder than ever.
After I beat Henry Armstrong that time there was my first fight with Bob Montgomery. I don't yet know what was the matter with me. But Montgomery just seemed able to fight harder and better than me.