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The Amateur Championship
by [?]


A committee from the Phoenix Athletic Club and one from the Prescott Club had met, and after considerable discussion had arranged a match to decide the Amateur Championship of Arizona.

As the Phoenix and Prescott clubs were far and away the foremost athletic organizations in the Territory, the contest was looked forward to with a great interest, especially as an intense rivalry existed between the two cities.

“Let the contest be fair and square on both sides,” said Smith, the chairman of the Phoenix committee. “Let each club send its best man, who is strictly an amateur, of course, and a member of the club, in good standing, and let the best man win.”

“Them’s my sentiments exactly,” responded Johnson, the chairman of the Prescott committee. “Fair play and honors to the best man, say I! I did think of sending a young fellow I know in our club who took some sparring lessons in ‘Frisco last year, and is quite clever; he’s a gunsmith by profession, but the trouble is he has been teaching the boys during his spare time when he could get away from the shop, and that makes him a professional, doesn’t it?”

“It does,” said Smith, “and I am glad to find you are as particular as I am in such matters; let me tell you, it is a pleasure to meet a man like yourself who tries to be fair and square, and to take no advantage of anybody. Let’s take something.”

During the next few days there were anxious meetings of the committees in charge of the arrangements. A certain man well up in sporting matters went to ‘Frisco as a committee of one, representing the Prescott Club, to hunt for talent; at the same time a brother of the chairman of the Phoenix committee, who kept a bar-room in Chicago, received a letter which caused considerable discussion between him and his partner, and several interviews with a certain short-haired, thick-set individual who frequented his place.

“What I want,” said the letter, “is the best man you can get. Some one who is a sure winner, and can punch the stuffing out of this amateur duck from Prescott. Don’t make a mistake, and do not spare money. Get a star, as the boys will bet all they have on him, and we do not want to take any chances.”

The following week the chairman of the committee of the Phoenix organization received a letter from his brother in Chicago, which informed him that for two hundred dollars, and expenses, they had secured the services of a well-known professional, but one who had never been West, and who, they were sure, could “lick” anything which could be produced, professional or amateur, on the Pacific Coast. He had commenced training, and they could rest easy, and bet as much money as they wanted to.

Meanwhile the Prescott Club’s representative had made a rich find in San Francisco, in the shape of an Australian professional who had just landed and was therefore not likely to be recognized. He had a record of numerous victories in his own country, and cheerfully undertook, for the sum of seventy-five dollars, “to knock the bloomin’ head off any bloomin’ duffer,” anywhere near his own weight, that might be brought against him.

Things went along merrily, letters were exchanged between the chairman of the two committees reporting as to the progress of their representatives.

“Our young man,” wrote the Prescott leader, “is doing very well, and I hope great things from him. Naturally we want to win, and have secured the best man of good amateur standing in our town to represent us. He is a drug clerk, and his mother objected pretty strongly at first, but she has been talked over. There will be a party of at least one hundred of us go down with him, and I hope you will have front seats reserved for us. Most of the boys feel inclined to wager a little on the success of our representative, but he himself does not feel very confident of the result. Upon my return I found quite a strong feeling in favor of having the young gunsmith represent us, but, after my conversation with you, could not for a moment countenance any such proceedings on our part.”