May 1931 – Follansbee’s First Professional Boxing Matches

The city newspaper reported on a series of events coined as “Follansbee’s first professional boxing.” The fights were held in the Rexy Theatre. Jack Dear, a highly regarded city boxer, managed the events.

Half the proceeds were given to the City Welfare Fund.  Boxing was nothing like we understand today. Ladies were admitted free when accompanied by a male escort.   The boxing card featured a “Battle Royal,” involving three or more combatants turned loose in the ring at one time until only one was standing.   One evening began with an entertaining three rounds by the Mitchell Midgets, 50 pound boys from Wellsburg.

The shows generally consisted of six preliminaries, a six round semi-final, and an eight-round main bout. The preliminary fights were mostly amateur contests.   One or two main bouts headed the card, featuring professional fighters.

Each evening, a couple main fights headed the card.  Mexican Joe Rivers of Zanesville (Ohio) was scheduled to fight Tommy Bennett of Columbus (Ohio) at the middleweight class.

Among the locals scheduled in the boxing events at the Rexy were the following:   (Names spelled as in newspaper, weight divisions also given far right)

Bus Jones (Follansbee) v. Buddy Rowe (Wellsburg) at 118
Dominick Nineralli (Follansbee) v. Bob Hardsock (Wellsburg) 160
Johnny Rogers (Follansbee) v. young Donally (Wellsburg) at 188
Ham Headman (Follansbee) v. Freddie Green (Mingo) at 130
Nick Fuscardo (Follansbee) v. young Gallagher (Wellsburg) at 130
Mario Boney (Follansbee) v. Mike Stanko (Toronto) at 100
Bob Morgan (Follansbee) v. Bob Decker (Zanesbille, Oh) 145

  • Follansbee Review, “Battle Royal Will Feature Fight Card,” May 21, 1931, front page.
  • Follansbee Review, “Benefit Boxing Show Next Thursday Night,” April 23, 1931, front page.
  • Follansbee Review, “Fast Scrappers Meet in Tonight’s Show,” April 30, 1931, front page.