William (Bill) Miske who was also known as the “St. Paul Thunderbolt” ranked as the 26th greatest fighter of all time! Miske fought with a plethora of all-time boxing greats including Jack Dempsey, Tommy Gibbons, and many others. Whether or not you like or endorse the sport of boxing, much can be learned by this man’s example.

Who was the St. Paul Thunderbolt?

In 1913, World War I was about to begin, and Miske just started his career path of being a professional athlete. Miske started as many of us do from the bottom and rose to the heavyweight division defeating many known fighters. With Miske size and abilities, he was ready to do great things.

On September 6, 1920, Miske suffered a great defeat when he lost to Jack Dempsey in the third round of a fight to decide the World Heavyweight Boxing title. It was the first heavyweight title match to be broadcast on radio and the first and only known time that Bill Miske was ever knocked out.

Not So Roaring 1920’s and The Big Win

The 1920’s were not roaring for the Miske family. The family was in dire economic need and Bill was informed that he had Bright’s Disease that was causing Kidney failure. Bill was told he would die very soon. Desperate to pay the bills for his family and knowing he had only months to live he decided that he would do one more fight. A payout that would help the family for sometime after he was no longer alive.

The St. Paul Thunderbolt (Miske) was known for his training extensively before any fight, yet due to his condition, he was not able to train this time. Miske did the best that he could, always pushing himself to do something more each day. The day of the fight came and amazingly, Miske knocked out his opponent in the fourth round. But how did he win?

What can we learn about St. Paul Thunderbolt’s Heart?

When you think about training for a physical task, you need to look deeper than just your physical body. The greatest athletes are not always the ones that train the best or even have the best natural ability. No, the best athletes are often the ones that have and show Heart! Fighting as if everything is on the line! The St. Paul Thunderbolt “Bill Miske” knew that to win, he would have to show his heart and he showed it to the world in spades. He lived only 2 months after that fight, dying from Bright’s Disease.

No matter what we are doing, we should always put everything into it, leave nothing on the table. It is a matter of us showing heart in all that we do. Miske was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010 and inducted into the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012. What legacy will you be remembered for?

Written by: Robert Blair; Staff Writer
ROBERT BLAIR is the Operational Manager of WhenEver Fitness, editor of fitness-news, has been in the fitness industry since 2010, and is a certified personal trainer. He attended the UW-Superior and Brown College for Media Creation, Design and Television Production. From 1992 to 2000, he had written and produced several films, music videos, and video advertisements. He has now been able to combine those skills of fitness and media creation to produce high-quality fitness productions and articles. (Click for Bio/Contact)