Born William Arthur Miske on April 12, 1894 in St. Paul, MN. He began boxing as a middleweight in 1913 and engaged in exhibitions with Fred Fulton, Mike O’Dowd and Billy Papke. Competing during the “no decision” era, Miske met some of the best middleweights, light heavyweights and heavyweights of his time. Among the top men he boxed include Hall of Famers Harry Greb, Tommy Gibbons, Jack Dillon, Battling Levinsky and Kid Norfolk, as well as Bill Brennan and Jack Renault.
In 1918 Miske was diagnosed with a kidney ailment known as Bright’s Disease. He kept his illness a secret from everyone, including his family, and continued to box. In 1920 Miske fought in the only title bout of his career and was stopped in three rounds by heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. Despite the painful effects of the illness, he kept a busy ring schedule and scored wins over Renault (KO 13) and Fulton (KO 7) in 1922. Following a 1st round kayo over Harry Foley on January 12, 1923, the pain was so intense, Miske retired.
Even with his health deteriorating, Miske convinced his manager to secure one last bout so he could provide a final Christmas to his family. Against all odds, he defeated Brennan (KO 4) on November 7, 1923 and used his purse to buy gifts for his family. He retired with a 48-2-2 (35 KOs), 54 ND record.
On January 1, 1924, “The St. Paul Thunderbolt” died at the age of 29.
Born: April 12, 1894
Died: Jan. 1, 1924