Eddie Graney of San Francisco came along a little later and was the headliner for a decade. He refereed practically all the bouts promoted by James W. Coffroth and at least 30 of them involved some sort of championship.
Sports writers have gained their share of fame as referees: Jack Sheehan of Boston, Ed Smith, Chicago; Bat Masterson, New York; Otto Floto, Denver, Colo.; E.W. Dickerson, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Fred Digby, New Orleans; Joseph Murphy, St. Louis; Tom Andrews, Milwaukee; George Barton, Minneapolis; Ed W. Cochrane, Kansas City and Chicago-those and scores of others.
Jack Welch was a fine referee. Willard Bean of Salt Lake City, Harry Stout of Milwaukee, “Honest” John Kelly and George Blake of Los Angeles also were excellent officials.
Many ringmen, sometimes during their active careers but usually after retirement, have taken to refereeing: Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Jeffries, Tom Sharkey, Jack McAuliffe, and, in a later day, Jess Willard, Gunboat Smith, Benny Leonard, Bill Stribling, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, with Dempsey reaping a small fortune for his work as referee.
Jimmy Bronson, once of Joplin, Mo., later of New York, promoter, manager and referee, officiated in about 3,000 bouts that were staged among the soldiers in Europe in the 1917-1918 war. These, added to the others, amateur and professional, in which he figured through more than 30 years, may give him the distinction of rendering more ring decisions than any other referee, living or dead.
Arthur Donovan, Harry Kessler and Ruby Goldstein, a former fighter, are the best known of modern-day referees. Since ring rules were changed over 25 years ago, ending the single official system and providing two judges, as well as the referee, the importance of the latter has become minimized. Whereas in other days the referee was the absolute judge from whose opinion there was no appeal, he now is one voice in a chorus of three, and can be outvoted by the judges.