#70SportWays (63): Billy Miske, the Saint Paul Thunderbolt
Never give up. Billy Miske, alias The Saint Paul Thunderbolt (April 12th, 1894 – January 1st, 1924), was a professional boxer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. During his tenure as a pugilist he had multiple-bout series with a plethora of all-time. Despite a career shortened by illness and an early death, statistical website BoxRec still lists Miske as the No. 26 ranked heavyweight of all-time.
Due to his illness Bright’s Disease, Miske fought fought his last bout in 1923, when he was only 29. At this point in his life, Miske knew he did not have much time left before his kidneys gave out (doctors had told him he had only months to live). Due to his family’s economic situation, however, Miske decided he had to step into the ring one more time. His health prevented him from training for the fight. Amazingly, though, Miske knocked his opponent Bill Brennan out in the fourth round
Miske died on this day, the 1st January 1924, in St. Paul, Minnesota of kidney failure less than 2 months later his match. His legacy remains and today Miske’s enduring legacy is that of an underappreciated fighter. On December 8, 2009, it was announced that Miske would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. On September 28, 2012 Miske was inducted into the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame.