The Selig company had been in the sports documentary business since at least 1906, when the company inaugurated its annual World Series films. A decade later, the studio launched a 12-part series of sports features, released under the blanket title Selig Athletic Films. The first installment, released during the first week of July, 1916, covered subjects ranging from prizefighting to billiards. The early scenes concentrated on boxer-in-training Mike Gibbons, as he sparred with a few anonymous assistants and staged a three-round bout with his brother, Tom. Also featured was a wrestling match between Doc Roller and Frank Dalkus, and a display of pool-hall dexterity, courtesy of billiards champions Koji Yamada and Albert Cutler. Reviewers felt that the billiards sequence was the most fascinating of the three main events.
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