Arthur Cripps - three good teeth and several stumps

Place Of Birth. Sydney NSW
Date Of Birth. 08 Jan 1879
Date Deceased. 04 Sep 1934
Height. 5’9”
Weight. 11 st 4 lb
Divisions. Middleweight, Heavyweight
Titles. Australian Middleweight, 1903-1905, 1906-1909

Record. won 33 (KO 14) + lost 11 (KO 3) + drawn 3 Newspaper Decisions won : lost 1

Stadium Career. 1909-1911

Career Span. 1902-1914

Fights At The Stadium: 1909 - 1911

Rudy Unholz pts 20 10 Nov 1909
Dave Smith drew 20 29 Nov 1909

Gunner Moir koby 7 23 Feb 1910
Ed Williams pts 20 11 Mar 1910
Dave Smith lpts 20 12 Oct 1910

Jimmy Clabby koby 15 18 Nov 1911

Random Jottings
  • Member of AIF team. (Australian Imperial Force)
  • A benefit night of boxing was held for him at the Stadium, shortly before his death. He had been ill for some time.
  • Traveled to many places and ended up in New York, knocking out Joe Williams in two rounds
  • Returned to Australia and on 09 August 1904 fought Jack Thompson for the third time. Fought a twenty round draw with giant Peter Felix. This was followed by a win on a foul against Bill Squires, when he cleverly threw himself in such a way that the referee thought he had been thrown, and promptly disqualified Squires.
  • Born in Victoria Street, Sydney. His father was a well known medico and his mother an accomplished lady with a “glorious voice”.
  • He spent much time in Queensland, and on several occasions represented the Queensland Football team.
  • He claimed that after being trained by Austin, he never suffered a black eye or a bloody nose.
  • Late in his career he fought Jerry Jerome and was offered £1.00 per round during Jerome’s stay in the ring. “One can well imagine he carried Jerry who however, beat the ex champion when the latter was at the end of his tether.”
  • Taught by Big Jim Austin, one of the cleverest trainers of the time, who saw him in a crude effort against Bill McCarthy, at the Gaiety Hall in Sydney in Jul 1902.
  • From that time, until November, he was not allowed to fight until Jim Austin was satisfied. Following his previous amateurish performance, he was not given much of a chance against clever and capable Harry Dawson, but he had advanced sufficiently to KO him in eighteen rounds .
  • In 1903, he dethroned middleweight champion Jack Thompson. He then went to South Africa, where he was beaten by Irishman Mike Williams, who was then the South African champion.

Article From “The Referee”, date unknown.

Dear old Arthur Cripps, one of the best middleweights Australia has had. When he took his teeth out, Arthur’s jaws fell in, his chin thrust out and his mouth slitted in a thin straight line.

But he was not entirely fangless. He had three good teeth and several stumps. But boxing was not responsible for the gaps. He lost several teeth on the football field. He was a first class Rugby Union player.

Arthur retired from football. He had nine teeth left and his fiancee declared an ultimatum. Cripps was in love, so he took to boxing.

Long years afterwards, Cripps told me , that when he was at the peak of his career, he never received £100 for a fight, “But when I was through as a fighter, McIntosh sprouted as a promoter, and I got more money out of four fights, than I collected in all the years I was champion.”

In his early boxing years, he ran a two up school as a sideline. This is no reflection on his character.

He was an honest man and he conducted a “square” game. But his efforts to keep it clean, cost him six of his teeth. So he quit the gaming house and carried on with three.

Mouthguards were not worn in those days, but I never saw Arthur sporting a cut or lacerated lip. He was a brilliant boxer, a man four square in and out of the ring.

Involvement with AIF.

Arthur Cripps, was selected as Heavyweight, but his place was taken by Corp. R.G. Stephenson, so he could enter the light-heavyweight tournament. However, Cripps was prevented by constant illness from competing.

Cripps was not keen on fighting for the AIF, stating, “I’m after a spot of real fighting.”

Brisbane Courier July 1935

Copyright Mike Hitchen, Lane Cove, NSW, Australia. All r
ights reserved