Stanley Ketchel. 1 of 5 Portraits in a Portfolio of 5 Portraits @ $1,200. 8 3/4” x 11 3/4”. Archival Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Paper. Edition size 20 + 3 A/P

Stanley Ketchel

The Greatest Fighter You Never Heard Of

Listen to Stanley Ketchel’s story

Stanley Ketchel was probably The Greatest Fighter You Never Heard Of. He is also one of the most interesting men that I have ever read about The first 2 time Middleweight Champion of the World was Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 14th, 1886 and left home at the age of 13, riding the rails on The Westbound Flyer. He was a tough street fighting kid who dreamt of going out west and becoming a cowboy just like in the books he read. Working his way West in and under freight cars taking jobs in logging camps, ranches and saloons he often had to fight for his life against sadistic railroad bulls and dangerous Hobos. Stopping in Chicago he learned the manly art of glove practice from Saloon owner and former boxer Socker Flanagan and lightweight fighter Sid Lamont. Lamont after one furious sparing session with Ketchel, told him “You’re built to order for this game, because your a natural fighter with a wallop; the sort that don’t need to be pretty to win. The rings your meat kid, and you ought to go out and grab some real coin.” Ketchel took Lamont’s advice and traveled to Butte, Montana where he had over 250 amateur fights. Now, amateur fights in those days didn’t mean that you didn’t get get paid. It meant that you got paid very little and most often had to fight in makeshift rings, the streets or in saloons. Having honed his lethal skills and having success as an amateur, Ketchel wanting his shot at fame and fortune jumped at the chance to turn pro. As a pro he recorded a record of 64 fights, 53 wins with 48 knockouts / 5 loses / 5 draws and 1 no contest.


Stanley Ketchel knocks out Joe Thomas. 14” x 9 1/2”. Archival Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Paper. Edition of 20 @ $175.


Stanley Ketchel and Jack Johnson fight October 16, 1909. 41 1/2” x 27 1/2”. Silk Screen Print on Coventry Rag. Edition of 20 @ $1,500.

 Notable in Stanley’s storied life was his 1909 fight with Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson. The fight took place in Colma California and there were over 10,000 people attending the fight with some of them paying up to $25 a seat. This was huge money in 1909. Johnson was 35 pounds heavier and by 6” the taller man. Pre-fight publicity pictures of the two don’t show this disparity as Ketchel was wearing lifts in his shoes and several overcoats. According to rumors the fight was supposedly fixed to go the 20 round scheduled distance with neither man winning and the fight to be declared a draw. The reasoning behind the draw was that it would generate great interest in a highly profitable rematch and that the 20 round duration would be long enough to be shown in theaters on Thomas Edisons new movie projector. Another source of revenue. In the 12th round, however, Ketchel surprised Johnson by landing a hard right hand to the Champion’s jaw dropping him to the canvas for a short count. Johnson rose, not amused, and with one powerful punch knocked Ketchel unconscious. Pictures of that fight show Johnson picking several of Stanley’s teeth out of his glove. Despondent over the loss the following year saw Stanley in a downward spiral where he won 3 fights lost one, and had 1 draw while being in physical and emotional decline.


Stanley Ketchel and Jack Johnson fight. October 16, 1909. 27 1/2” x 40 1/4” Silk Screen Print on 330 GSM Red Plike Soft Touch Edition size of 9 @ $1,500


Stanley Ketchel, Colonel Rollin P. “Pete Dickerson”, Emmit Dalton (The Dalton Gang ), Joe Gorman @ Democratic Convention. 23 7/8” x 28” Silk Screen Print 0n 330 GSM Red Plike Soft Touch Edition size 0f 9 @ $1,250


Colonel Rollin P. “Pete” Dickerson – Stanley Ketchel – Outlaw Emmit Dalton – Joe Gorman. 29” x 24”. Silk Screen Print on Coventry Rag. Edition of 22 + 3 A/P @ $1,250.

Ketchel needing resurrection took friend, wealthy rancher, Pete Dickerson up on his offer to recuperate at his ranch and prepare for a rematch with Johnson. Settling in at the ranch Ketchel was as happy as he had ever been . In the early morning hours he could be seen smiling and jogging with Dickersons two pet Lion cubs, adorned with diamond studded leashes. Tragically this was all about to take a horrible turn for the worse. After a morning run, seated at the ranch’s breakfast table, 24 year old Stanley Ketchel was shot from behind and murdered by the coward Walter Dipley, a ranch hand, jealous of Stanley’s attention to Goldie the ranch’s cook. Wilson Mizner a playwright and friend upon hearing of Stanley’s murder said “Start counting, he’ll be up before they reach 10.” New York sportswriter Hype Igoe said of Ketchel “He was a many sided individual. He could be tame as a new born babe, as vicious as a Lion protecting it’s cubs, as lovable as a mother as treacherous as a villain.” The great Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson cried when he heard of Ketchel’s killing and said “It’s really too bad about poor Stanley. He was a great fighter. Not a boxer, but a real fighter and there are not many real fighters in the game.” Stanley’s plaintive last words to Pete Dickerson were “Take me home to Mom, Pete.”



Stanley Ketchel and the Violin. Comic Book. Portfolio of 3 Prints.
16 1/4” x 11”. Set of 3 Archival Pigment Prints on Hahnemuhle Etching Paper. Edition of 19 + 3 A/P @ $1,100