The Inspiring Story of Billy Miske

You’ve probably never heard of Billy Miske however he was an incredibly inspiring man. Billy was a light-heavyweight and heavyweight boxer from Minnesota in the US. He was born in April 1894 and died in January 1924.

During his professional career, he beat some of the most well-decorated names in boxing. Billy’s three recorded losses were against Jack Dempsey, Kid Norfolk and Tommy Gibbons, all huge boxing names. In his 53 fights, Jack Dempsey was the only one to knock him out.

Billy’s Illness

Billy’s life and boxing career were cut short by Bright’s disease, an older term to describe what we now call Glomerulonephritis. The doctors told him that he had five years to live which he kept to himself, not even telling his family.

In those five years, Billy fought more than 30 times trying to pay off his ever-growing debts. He had accumulated over $100,000 in debts due to his struggling car dealership.

With the excruciating pain increasing in each fight, Billy knew he had to face the inevitable and retire. After his first-round win over Harry Foley in January 1923 the pain was so intense that he decided to call it a day on his boxing career.

Billy’s kidneys were slowly giving up on him and in November 1923 the doctors gave him only a few months to live. However, due to the financial situation at home Billy went to his long term manager, Jack Reddy and asked him for ‘one more fight.’

As you’d expect Reddy said no. He told him, ‘if you went in the ring now, in your condition, you might get killed.’ In Billy’s true character he replied ‘What’s the difference? It’s better than waiting for it in a rocking chair.’

One Last Fight

In the end, Billy managed to get Reddy to arrange one last bout. His last fight would be against Bill Brennan, an American from Louiseville, on November 7th 1924.

Due to his crippling condition, Billy was unable to train which meant he was completely unprepared for the fight. His body was so gaunt that Brennan must have felt sorry for Billy.

Against all odds, he managed to knock out Brennan in the fourth round. He took home a cheque of $2400 to give the family one last Christmas together and say goodbye.

Billy died of kidney failure 2 months later on New Years Day 1924. He died too soon but we at The Sure Bettor believe that there’s nothing greater than to celebrate the legacy of a brave and charismatic man, committed to his professional boxing career and to his family life.

Billy’s Legacy

Boxing analysts believe that Miske was under-appreciated for what he achieved in his boxing career. He fought during the ‘no decision’. If both fighters were standing at the end of the match and there was no knockout there was no winner.

Nowadays we have a points decision if both fighters are standing after the final round. Miske would have won many more title fights if there was a ‘decision’ after the final round.

Just 7 years ago, in 2010, Billy’s name was added to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and two years later to the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame. Recently there’s been a growing interest in Billy and his mental attitude of sheer determination and perseverance to keep going right until the final whistle.

Boxing Today

Boxing today is a huge industry. The fighters demand a huge amount of money to even enter the ring and boxing enthusiasts pay ever-increasing ticket prices to be a part of the action.

Take the upcoming McGregor vs Mayweather fight on 26th August 2017, for example. Each fighter takes home US$100 million before the first punch is thrown, effectively earning this just by turning up.

The fight is also breaking all previous boxing betting records as you will have read in our previous posts. In terms of matched betting there will be a huge number of offers that we can make a guaranteed profit from. Sign up to The Sure Bettor for premium access to these offers.

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