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Henry 'K.O' Yutzy's 
Boxing Career

Henry "K.O." Yutzy (1902-1986) -- who married our Edith Minerd of the family of James W. and Minerva (Bodkin) Minerd -- began boxing at the age of 14 in his hometown of Meyersdale, Somerset County, PA. His nickname "K.O" or "Kayo" was a play on words for "knock out," and he carried it to the end of his life. Also known as the "iron jawed coal miner," he boxed as a welterweight in 60 known matches, 51 of them officially sanctioned, during the period of 1922 to 1930.

His first manager was John "Doc" Daugherty of Meyersdale. On March 3, 1924, at the age of 22, his contract was purchased for $275 by promoter Vic Ricker of Cumberland, MD. The new contract covered three years, with Ricker earning 25 percent of K.O.'s earnings. 

K.O. was considered one of the only men in Cumberland who took his craft so seriously that he got in shape for every match. A news reporter once noted that K.O. had "the worst pair of cauliflowered ears we have ever seen and we've met many boxers over the past 28 years." His nose was broken at least four times. 

Cumberland (MD) news story, 1971

K.O.'s first fight in Cumberland, MD -- his future home -- is said to have been against Cocky Dilla of Pittsburgh, but no date has been found. Other opponents whose fight outcomes are not yet documented were Bobby Crafton and Buster Reid. He mainly fought in Maryland and Pennsylvania but also had matches in Ohio and Indiana He is said to have been so well liked in Youngstown, Ohio that he had bouts there 11 times. He never fought in Pittsburgh. 

The Altoona (PA) Tribune (March 12, 1923) said that K.O. "is fairly well known here and has appeared on several occasions both here and in Johnstown, and always has pleased. While not one of the first-raters, yet he is a good battler, with plenty of grit and ability to give and take hard wallops." The Indiana (PA) Gazette (Dec. 29, 1923) carried a photo and feature story which said that K.O. was "a young, willing fighter who can fight, will fight and does fight. He is a fighting Junior Welterweight of class who has won his last four fights by a knockout. A glutton for punishment, a real offensive fighter. Yutzy will give the fight fans of Indiana a fight feast long to be remembered." 

His promoter Ricker was widely regarded as a teller of tall tales. One of his favorites was that while in training, K.O. once hit his sparring partner so hard that the man became wedged in back of a radiator pipe and had to be removed by friends. "The blow put the heating system out of whack and the pipefitters had to go to work," he said.

K.O.'s last known fight took place in June 1930, a loss against Joe Colombo (or "Palumbo") of Clarksburg, WV. In retirement, he remained in Cumberland and was well known as a good man and gentle soul. At age 48, in February 1948, he had a comeback of sorts as a boxing judge. In April 1962, he and his former promoter Ricker were pictured in the Cumberland Evening Times at a testimonial dinner for 100 guests held at the Cumberland Country Club. On Sept. 26, 1971, he received a lifetime membership in the Has-Beens, Inc., a group of boxing enthusiasts who revived amateur boxing in Cumberland..

This list of K.O.'s known matches has been compiled through a Newspapers.com search and by cross-checking against detailed records on BoxRec.com.

~ Boxing Career of Henry "K.O." Yutzy of Cumberland, MD ~

Date Opponent Location Winner/Comments
1922      
Sept. 21, 1922 K.O. Circus Firemen's Casino, Meyersdale, PA Draw
Oct. 13, 1922 Albert "Bobby" Green Liberty Theater, Cumberland, MD Green
Nov. 4 or 24, 1922  Freddie Lux of Pittsburgh Frohsinn Hall, Altoona, PA - Promoted by Al Delozier Draw
       
1923 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
Jan. 26, 1923* Young Dudley Somerset, PA Yutzy - TKO in 9th round
Feb. 20, 1923 Steve Carter Moose Temple, Johnstown, PA Yutzy - knockout in 3rd round
March 12, 1923 Frankie Farmer of Youngstown, OH - or Johnny Fowles Altoona, PA Farmer or Fowles in 12 rounds
March 22, 1923 Jimmy Goines Johnstown, PA Newspapers said a  "slashing draw" after 6 rounds - Career Record says Yutzy.
April 17, 1923 Bernie Conway of Johnstown, PA  Vigilant Hall, Johnstown, PA Conway in 10 rounds -- Pittsburgh Daily Post: "Yutzy was on the defense continually and had little chance to show his wares."
May 29, 1923 Johnny King Craft's Five Acres, Uniontown, PA King in 10 rounds
June 7, 1923 Bernie Conway - rematch Johnstown, PA Conway in 10 rounds
July 10, 1923 Johnny Crouse of Philadelphia Johnstown, PA Crouse in 8 rounds
Dec. 3. 1923 Albert "Bobby" Green Maryland Theater, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 5 rounds
Dec. 14, 1923 Albert "Bobby" Green - rematch State Armory, Cumberland, MD Yutzy by TKO in 7th round
       
1924 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
Jan. 1, 1924* Mike Urick of the Pittsburgh Lyceum Indiana, PA. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Yutzy has been going like a house afire lately, winning his last four bouts by knockouts. Urick met Yutzy about a year ago and earned a draw by a whirlwind finish."  
Jan. 14, 1924* Tommy Murphy of Huntington, WV Maryland Theater, Cumberland, MD Yutzy by knockout in the 2nd round.
Jan. 17, 1924 Dude Murphy of Toronto, OH Majestic Club, a.k.a. Palisades Rink, McKeesport, PA Murphy by decision. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Both men apparently entered the ring with only one object in mind, a knockout. Wild swinging was the feature with a lot of chasing around thrown in. Yutzy landed the most punches and appeared to win with ease but the judges disagreed. Referee Al Foss decided in favor of Yutzy."
Feb. 19, 1924 Bert (or "Birch") Schneider - Canadian welterweight champion Youngstown, OH Yutzy in 8 rounds
March 26, 1924 Red Malley Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 6 rounds
March 31, 1924 Jimmy Muche Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH Yutzy in 10 rounds
April 15, 1924 Johnny King Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH King in 10 rounds
April 19 or 20, 1924 Xenophon Kakouros, a.k.a. "Young Xeny," the "Fighting Dentist" of the University of Pittsburgh State Armory of Indiana, PA -- or possibly Maryland Theater in Cumberland, MD Xeny in 12 rounds.
April 15, 1924 Johnny King of Fayette City, PA Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH King in 10 rounds
April 29, 1924 Young Xeny of Pittsburgh Maryland Theater in Cumberland, MD Xeny in 12 rounds. Pittsburgh Daily Post: "The Greek played all around the miner boy, outboxing him and landing the cleaner blows. He hit Yutsy [sic] practically every time he came in and beat him to the punch. Yutzy never got a chance to set himself."
May 28, 1924 K.O. Jitney of Beaver Falls, PA Lyric Theatre, Frostburg, MD Yutzy in 12 rounds
June 2, 1924 Jimmy Muche - rematch Knights of Columbus Hall, Steubenville, OH Yutzy in 10 rounds. Cumberland News: "...it was the kind of fight that saw both men disregard almost every rule in the book to engage in a Pier 7 brawl. On several occasions the referee threatened to leave the ring because he not only feared the boxers would maim each other but he was trying to protect his own life. Muche's followers threatened to 'get' Yutzy after the fight so Ricker and his breadwinner returned to their hotel via the back alleys and got out of town on the first train."
Sept. 5, 1924 Fay Keiser Mid-City Stadium, Cumberland, MD Keiser in 12 rounds
Dec. 1, 1924 Young "Kid" Xeny - 2nd rematch Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH. Promoted by Al Zill. Xeny in 10 rounds
April 17, 1925 Jack Druner (or "Durner") of Allentown, PA Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD Yutzy by TKO in 7th round
May 29, 1925 Johnny Donnelly of Cumberland, MD Mid-City Stadium, Cumberland, MD - 1st open air show of the Mid-City Athletic Association. Connellsville Daily Courier: Yutzy "is in training at the Athletic Club rooms" at Vanderbilt, PA Draw in 12 rounds
Sept. 1, 1925 Jimmy Finley of Louisville, IN Fort Benjamin Harrison Arena, Lawrence, IN Finley by TKO in 5 rounds. Indianapolis Star: "In the second Yutzy was down for nine. In the fifth, after being floored, he climbed through the ropes."
Oct. 20, 1925 Tony Ross or Mickey Flynn Maryland Theater, Cumberland, MD - the first of a series of indoor shows promoted by Vic Ricker and Tommy Maus Draw in 8 rounds
Nov. 16, 1925* Billy Carter of Connellsville, PA Perryopolis, PA Scheduled for 4 rounds
Nov. 30, 1925* Joe Mullen Dickerson Run (PA) YMCA  
       
1926 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
March 16, 1926 "Irish" Johnny Burke of Cleveland Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH Yutzy by TKO by in 5 rounds, "the bout being stopped to save Burke from needless punishment," said the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Said promoter Ricker in the Cumberland News: "He hit Burke so hard in the 5th that Johnny bounced out of the ring like a rubber ball and was counted out."  
March 29, 1926 Mickey Fedor of Donora, PA Rayen-Wood Auditorium, Youngstown, OH Yutzy in "six slashing rounds," said the Pittsburgh Daily Post.
April 29, 1926* Billy Carter of Connellsville, PA Slavish Hall, West Side, Connellsville Scheduled for 4 rounds
May 18, 1926 Johnny Carey - had won 12 straight previous bouts State Armory, South Centre Street, Cumberland, MD Yutzy by knockout, 1st round - considered by Ricker as Yutzy's most sensational performance
May 28, 1926 Johnny Carey - rematch Erie, PA Carey in 10 rounds
Sept. 1, 1926 Pal Kansas Hakoah Club, Youngstown, OH  
Dec. 16, 1926 Rudy Cedar of Tarentum, PA Palisades Rink, McKeesport, PA - Connellsville Daily Courier: "It will be Yutzy's first appearance within a squared circle after a layoff of three months.... He is at his best when he tips the scales at 142 pounds." Cedar by TKO in 10th round
       
1927 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
Feb. 14, 1927 Rudy Cedar - rematch Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 10 rounds - Pittsburgh Daily Post: "He hammered his way to a popular verdict over the blood-bespattered but fighting Rudy Cedar of Pittsburgh here tonight before a capacity house at the Maryland Theater. Cedar never was in real danger, as even when seemingly very battered, he obliged with timely bursts from a wicked right which never failed to shake the local lad." A 1951 Cumberland news article said he "almost tore off Rudy's ear with a terrific hook."
March 28, 1927 Bobby Richardson Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD Richardson in 10 rounds
May 20, 1927 Sylvan Bass State Armory, Hagerstown, MD Bass in 10 rounds
May 27, 1927 Walter Dickerson of McKeesport, PA Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD Draw in 6 rounds
June 13, 1927 Sylvan Bass - rematch Carlin's Park, Baltimiore, MD Bass in 6 rounds
Aug. 16, 1927 Jack Lumber of Youngstown, OH Evans Opera House, Lonaconing, MD Yutzy in 2 rounds
Sept. 22, 1927 Rudy Cedar - rematch Palisades Rink, McKeesport, PA Cedar in 10 rounds
Oct. 10, 1927 Joey LaGrey Johnstown, PA LaGrey in 8 rounds. Promoter Ricker thought it was Yutzy's best fight.
Oct. 12 or 13, 1927 Ralph Hood of Charlotte, NC Fair Grounds Arena, Hagerstown, MD Yutzy in 7 rounds
Nov. 11, 1927 Walter Dickerson - rematch State Armory, Hagerstown, MD, staged by the Hagerstown Base Ball Club Yutzy in 10 rounds
Dec. 20, 1927 Walter Dickerson - rematch State Armory, Hagerstown, MD Draw after 6 rounds
       
1928 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
Jan. 12, 1928 Lester "Buster" Reed of Mt. Savage, MD State Armory, Cumberland, MD Reed in 10 rounds
March 1, 1928 Lester "Buster" Reed of Mt. Savage, MD State Armory, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 10 rounds
April 13, 1928 Fay Keiser State Armory, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 10 rounds. Gate receipts announced at $2,775.
May 14, 1928 Christopher "Cuddy" DeMarco - the "Sheik of Charleroi" State Armory, Cumberland, MD -- DeMarco known as a "pocket edition" of famed Pittsburgh boxer Harry Greb DeMarco in 10 rounds
July 4, 1928 George Peck Bedford, PA - open air ring Draw after 5 rounds - during an electrical story, lightning struck, just as Yutzy punched Peck, and the power went off. Yutzy is rumored to have gone to the corner and said to his manager, "Gosh, Vic, I must have really hit him hard to put all those lights out."
Oct. 15, 1928 Albert "Bobby" Green - rematch State Armory, Cumberland, MD Green in 10 rounds
       
1929 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
March 19, 1929 Al Fields State Armory, Cumberland, MD Yutzy by TKO in 3rd round
May 2, 1929 Teddy Welsh State Armory, Cumberland, MD Yutzy in 8 rounds
       
1930 Opponent Location Winner/Comments
June 19, 1930 Joe Colombo (or "Palumbo") of Clarksburg, WV State Armory, Cumberland, MD - Cumberland Evening Times: "Yutzy, veteran welterweight, returns to the ring after almost a year's absence..." Colombo in 6 rounds. Yutzy is not known to have fought again.

 

Copyright 2016 Mark A. Miner