George Chip

Photo: Bert Cox Collection

George Chip
Real Name: George Chipulonis
Place Of Birth: Scranton, Pa.
Date Of Birth: 25th August, 1888
Date Deceased: 06th November, 1960
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 158 lbs
Divisions: Middleweight
Titles: A claimant to the world middleweight title.

Won 42 (KO 35) + lost 16 (KO 3) + drawn 3 = 63
Newspaper Decisions won 40 : lost 44 : drawn 15

Stadium Career Span: 1916

Misc.: Manager Jimmy Dime. Tetewanian-American.

Article “Fistic Flashbacks” published in undated “Sports Novels” magazine.

After the murder of Stanley Ketchell, the world middleweight boxing title became vacant, and it was several years before George Chip emerged as champion.

With the sudden and tragic death of Ketchell came numerous claimants for the vacant middleweight crown. “Cyclone” Johnny Thompson, who stopped former title holder Billy Papke, at Sydney Stadium, probably had the strongest pretensions to this crown, but for some unknown reason failed to force his claims and gradually faded out of the picture as a contender.

For several years the title was in dispute. Eventually George Chip became recognized champion when he KO’d Frank Klaus, who in the course of his graduation to the field of claimants had whipped Papke and George Carpentier.

The family name was Chipulonis. In those days a boxer with such a name would be frowned upon. Therefore when George launched upon his fistic career, he wisely shortened his name to Chip.

Born of Lithuanian parents at Scranton USA on August 25, 1888, George made a successful ring debut early in 1909 by stopping his opponent in the second round. This initial triumph was followed by four more KOs which gained him a bout with a pretty tough customer in the person of Billy Manfredo.

George was not a bit overawed by the reputation of his opponent and sailed into him from the first bell to administer a severe thrashing to his rival for two rounds, when in sheer desperation, Manfredo committed an unpardonable foul and was disqualified.

This pair of lads met on three occasions during this year, all of which were no decision affairs. Early in 1910 Chip proved his superiority over Manfredo by stopping him in five rounds.

From thenceforth George’s ability soared high in the estimation of the promoters and they sent him into the ring opposed to top class boys. He held Buck Crouse to even terms in two no decision bouts, then suprisingly had the better of the “Giant Killer” Jack Dillon. However, before the year ended Crouse came back for another shot at George suffered his first defeat when he was KO’d in the third round.

In his first bout in 1911 Chip suffered a further defeat when he was outpointed by Jack Dillon after fifteen rounds of hard and fast fighting.

These defeats did not cause any loss of prestige. George had proved conclusively that he was a fighter of the highest quality, therefore, he continued to gain matches with the best of the middleweight brigade. He engaged in fourteen more bouts before he was again declared a loser.

This time it was the cagey Jeff Smith who stopped his run of success by gaining a fifteen round's decision. To be whipped by this ring general neither disgraced nor discouraged George. He insisted that he met the best and before he annexed the title he again crossed gloves with Dillon, Crouse, etc.

It was on the night of October 11, 1913, at Pittsburgh that Frank Klaus and Chip came together in their championship clash.

Frank, although well aware of his opponent's record was so puffed up with his own victories, that he did not take his rival seriously. Consequently, he did not prepare himself as he should have - a lapse that was brought home to him with a vengeance before the opening round was a minute old.

With the opening bell, George hurled himself into the attack with a vicious barrage of blows which had Frank stepping around much more speedily than he anticipated would be necessary to retain his high standing in the middleweight division.

The boy from Scranton continued his onslaught until midway through the sixth round before he sent his foe crashing to the floor with a vicious right hand to the chin. At the count of nine, Klaus struggled to his feet, but was immediately sent down and out by a similar blow.

Two months later Frank made an attempt to reverse the defeat. However, he fared a little worse on this occasion as the winning blow was put over in the fifth session.

George’s reign as king of the division was short-lived. Approximately six months later the champion paid the same penalty as Klaus had by underestimating his opponent's ability, when he clashed with Al McCoy at Brooklyn, on April 7, 1914.

True, Al had no standing in the first flight of middleweights at that period. Nethertheless, that was no excuse for George to have been lax in his preparation or careless with his defense which Al, quickly demonstrated. Exactly one minute and thirty seconds after the opening bell, George dropped his guard and as quick as a flash McCoy seized the opportunity by driving a powerful right to the chin, which dropped the champion to the canvas for the full count.

Although deprived of his crown, George continued to successfully battle among the top class boys.
Naturally he was anxious for a return with McCoy and pestered him until he obliged with a ten round no decision encounter. They met at Brooklyn on April 6, 1915, and George administered a severe lacing to his opponent throughout the entire bout. Unable to knock out his man, Chip had to be contented that he had inflicted heavy punishment upon the man who had unexpectedly shorn him of his crown.

Whatever chances George had of regaining the title were completely blotted out when he clashed with Les Darcy in Sydney. Darcy proved Chip’s master in every phase of the game, until he KO’d him in the ninth round.

Before leaving these shores George engaged in another bout in Melbourne, Art Magirl being the victim of a fourteenth round ko.

On his return to his homeland, George continued his ring activities for a further five years, meeting good, bad and indifferent fighters during this period. In none of these bouts did he display the ability he had when fighting his way up to the middleweight crown.

During twelve years of ring warfare Chip engaged in 153 bouts, most of which were no decision affairs. Nethertheless, despite the fact that he crossed gloves with such notables as Tommy and Mike Gibbons, Harry Greb, Gus Christie, K.O. Brown, Jeff Smith, Jack Dillon, Jimmy Clabby, Frank Klaus, K.O. Brennan, Billy Murray, Frank Loughrey, Eddie McGoorty, Al McCoy, Buck Crouse and Les Darcy, none of these men, with the exception of the last three mentioned boxers, were capable of stopping him, which proves George Chip was an excellent fighting machine.

Copyright Mike Hitchen, Lane Cove, NSW, Australia. All rights reserved