Sunday, November 5, 2017

Boxing History: On This Day, George Chip Remembered

By Peter Silkov

George Chip was a tough, hard-hitting middleweight, who during his career, mixed it up with the best middles of the 1910s. Born Jurgis Chipulonis on August 25, 1888, in Madison, Pennsylvania, Chip started his working life after he was taken out of school in the third grade and became a water boy in the coal mines in Scranton, PA. In 1909 he turned to boxing to make his living and moved to New Castle with his family to begin training with Jimmy Dime, his manager. Dime also trained George's brother, Joe, who was also a professional boxer.

During his career, Chip fought big names such as, Jack Dillon, Leo Houck, George ‘Ko’ Brown, Jeff Smith, Willie ‘Ko’ Brennan, Frank Klaus, Gus Christie, Jimmy Clabby, Al McCoy, Harry Greb, Young Ahearn, Les Darcy, Art Magirl, Tommy Gibbons, Eddie McGooty, and Mike Gibbons.

Chip won the World middleweight title on October 11, 1913, when he stopped
Frank Klaus in the 6th round. He reigned as champion until April 7, 1914, when he stepped in for his brother, Joe, who had broke his hand, to fight Al McCoy. Chip thought it was going to be an easy bout, but he was stopped in the 1st round by Al McCoy. In a rematch with McCoy on January 20, 1916, Chip would win the fight, but it was a non-title bout.

George Chip would again compete for the World middleweight title on July , 1921, when he met Mike Gibbons in Youngstown, Ohio, and lost by newspaper decision. After Gibbons came back from the armed services, he gave Chip a rematch in Terre Haute, Indiana, on June 11, 1919, and Chip once again was clearly defeated by Gibbons.

Chip continued to box until 1922. His final opponent was Frankie Maguire. Who he beat on points in 8 rounds. Chip's final record was (42-17-4, 36 koes). He also had about 90 no-decision contests.

After retirement, Chip would work as a referee and trainer. He owned and managed a billiards hall in the 1920s, but was closed down due to alleged gambling activities. During the Great Depression he was employed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Penn Power, as a watchman, in 1937.

While crossing a highway in New Castle, a 73-year old George was hit by a car and suffered two broken legs and neck on November 4, 1960. He would die two days later in New Castle, Pennsylvania hospital. 

Les Darcy vs George Chip

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