Billy Miske was a boxer fighting in the shadow of death. There are many fighters who died in the ring during a boxing match. However, Miske had a kidney disease that led to his death. Miske was diagnosed in 1918 when he was 24 years old. His doctor told him that he has a maximum of 5 years left of his life. Well, it would be shocking news for anybody. If I were told that I had 5 years left only I am not sure what would I do. I would possibly ask for a lot of loans and start to travel. Miske had different plans. He didn’t want to leave any depts to his family.
Besides boxing, he was a car dealer but his business was going very bad at the time when he was diagnosed with his deadly disease. He decided not to tell his family all these things and to put his financial situation into order during these last few years. Miske was an underrated boxer at his time. It is widely argued that he should have received title matches against Jack Dillon, Battling Levinsky. He had 72 wins and 33 were knockouts.
Fighting in the shadow of death for a heavyweight title
In 1920 he made history with playing the first match of boxing history that was streaming radio. He was fighting against Dempsey with the Heavyweight title on the line. Unfortunately, Miske was losing with a knockout. It’s fun to add that at this time he knew that he has a deadly disease. As Dempsey later told the press, he was realizing quite quickly that he is fighting a sick man. He decided to finish things as soon as possible. As he throws a right to Billy’s chest, he goes down for a count of nine. A purple spot was appearing over Miske’s heart but he still got up. With his next deadly punch, Dempsey took out Miske for good. He said that he was afraid of killing him.
But Miske just collected his $25,000 and went home happily. Well, as happy as you could be after knowing your death sentence. Through online sportsbooks in the UK, you can make $25,000 easily. Check out our article on how to win every time at horse racing.
The final bout
He was fighting in the shadow of death many times after he found out that he has only 5 years left of his life. Until 1923 he could fight over thirty times and he could pay back some of his debts. In 1923 his condition was worsening rapidly. Due to his condition, he wasn’t able to fight and thus to make money. When Christmas was coming closer Miske knew, that he can’t keep up for too long so he was asking his manager to organize a final fight. Jack Reddy, his manager didn’t want to make it happen since he was afraid due to Miske’s health condition that he is going to die in the ring.
Finally, Miske could convince Reddy, that dying in the ring or dying in his bed is pretty much the same thing. Reddy was accepting his request on one condition, that he has to train before the fight. Well, Miske couldn’t agree to that since he was fighting in the shadow of death even without being in the ring. But he said that he has a last fight in him.
The match that was possibly fixed
Miske was standing in the ring on the 7th of November against Brennan. He could go on for four rounds and managed to knockout Brennan. It was pretty obvious that Brennan knowing the circumstances were throwing the game. Maybe someone was taking some nice bets on this match-fixing. It was quite a scandal and both fighters got a suspension. However, it was not necessary in the case of Miske since he died two months later. The fix was never ratified either by Brennan since a few years later he was killed by a gunman in New York.
The legacy of Miske
Anyways, from the prize money, Miske and his family could spend a magical Christmas together. Miske went to the hospital right after Christmas eve on the 25th of December and he was gone by Januar 1, 1924. Miske was included in the International Boxing Hall of Fame on December 8, 2009. He was also inducted into the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame on September 28, 2012. If you’d like to hear more stories about great fighters check online sportsbook news in the UK. You can also make bets on your favorite sports.