Joe Goss-Paddy Ryan Championship Fight

Wheeling Register
June 2, 1880

The Goss-Ryan Mill.

The Troy Giant Wins The Fight

And Carries off the $2,000 and the Championship of the United States for Heavy Weights – Eighty-Six Rounds Necessary to Decide It.

Brutal Exhibition Of Muscle.

The sporting fraternity in this city received, in some mysterious way, information from Pittsburgh on Sunday, from the powers behind the throne, that the mill between Joe Goss and Patrick Ryan, for a purse of $2,000 and the championship of America, would probably be held in West Virginia. Since that time the sports have been constantly on the qui vive, and when, on Monday afternoon, it was announced the bruising party was in Steubenville, there was a general hegira of the fraternity in that direction. A representative of the REGISTER went to the same locality, where he saw plenty of the bustle and confusion incident to the preparations for the fight, but nothing of the principals. Inquiry developed the fact that both had gone to Collier’s Station, on the P. C. & St. L. road, in Brooke county, and in that direction the crowd went.

Collier’s Station

is well known as having been the scene of several fights and cocking mains, and is located about one and one-half miles from the Pennsylvania line. A half-dozen houses make up the place, and the nearest resemblance to a hotel is the railroad restaurant, where Ryan and his party put up for the night. The inhabitants seem to have grown accustomed to these demonstrations, for they apparently took no unusual interest in the affair, and described, with a good deal of local pride, the previous affairs of this nature which had taken place there. They took occasion to assure all who inquired about the matter that there was no danger of interference by the authorities, since there was not even a Justice of the Peace within easy range.

Goss And His Backers

had left Steubenville early Monday evening and driven over near Holliday’s Cove, where he spent the night, his location unknown to the crowd already at Collier’s, and which was largely swelled by arrivals from Pittsburgh on the late train. By this time Ryan had retired to rest, and the spectators were greatly disappointed at not be able to see either of the well known pugilists, and betook themselves to sleep. Accommodations were impossible to obtain, even if anyone had been disposed to court the drowsy god. A few, however, stretched themselves on the platform, or on benches, and made believe they were asleep during the brief intervals that elapsed between the collisions of the prostrate men experienced at the feet of uneasy pedestrians.

At 3 o’clock in the morning, the crowd, some five hundred in number, was awake and stirring and everyone was on the lookout for signs of the approaching mill. No one seemed to know the spot selected and when a party appeared, with ropes and stakes, and started up the track, there was a general scramble in that direction. After a quarter mile had been traversed the party left the railroad, and turned to the left along a road which led into a quiet valley down which a brook ran its devious and picturesque course. A quarter of a mile further brought the crowd on the ground.

The Site Of The “Ring.”

At the point selected the valley spread out to a width of a hundred yards, the brook hugged the western hill, and there was a beautiful level space as smooth as a carefully mowed lawn. The hills on either side afforded a fine view of the fight, especially to those who did not feel equal to the brutal exhibition and sutlering which are inevitable features of such an affair. The party reached the ground at 4:15, and the work of putting up the ring was begun. This was of regulation size, and was ready for the men in half an hour. The popular idea is that a prize “ring” is round, but it is made twenty-four fee square.

Ryan Appears.

At five o’clock Ryan came up to the enclosure, it being his first appearance on the grounds. He was dressed in a neat fitting suit of black, and his head was covered with a shining plug hat. The crowd, which had been leisurely strolling about the flat, scampered up to the ropes when the pugilist appeared, and gave three cheers in honor of his advent at the place of battle. Ryan was evidently embarrassed at the reception, and hesitated for a moment as though not knowing just how to act. A nudge in the back from a friend, however, served to bring back his apparently scattered thoughts, and he raised his hat in answer to the manifestation of applause in his behalf. Then, keeping the article in his hand he advanced to a position in close proximity to the rope and said, with a strong Irish accent: “Gentlemen – I am here to fight. This is the first time I ever saw a prize ring, and all I want is fair play. May the best man win.” He then retired and was no more seen until Goss appeared.

The arrival of the latter, who seemed in a particularly bad humor, allayed the apprehensions of the crowd, which had begun to fear the fight would fizzle out. The men at once stripped and came out in their costumes. Goss’ consisted of Canton flannel knee-breeches, white clocked stockings and a large white silk handkerchief with red embroidery for a belt. At the knees the breeches were ornamented with bright green ribbons. The dress was of course rendered complete by the light, pliable shoes, which their owner, it was observed, took the precautions to lace very tightly. Ryan’s costume was not so pretentious as the other’s, in that it consisted of plain, yellow knee-breeches, pink stockings, and no decorations whatever, save a green and white handkerchief which he used as a belt.

Referee And Seconds

While the men were dressing, their friends, after some trouble and no little chin music from all sides, selected the referee, umpire and seconds. The former was G. W. Fairchild, of Pittsburgh. Ryan’s umpire was Thomas Pyne, of Brooklyn, and the seconds were David Johns and “Crooney” Griffith. Arthur Chambers, however, gave considerable attention to Goss during the progress of the battle.

All being ready, at 6:10 A. M., Ryan shied his castor in the ring, quickly followed by Goss’. The formality of handshaking was completed, the men retired to their corners, and

The Fight Commenced.

Round One – At 6:25 o’clock, both came up with a smile on their countenances, but evidently very nervous. They sparred at each other an unusually long time, neither one being willing to lead off. The spectators became anxious, and remarks were heard from both sides. Goss made a feint, which caused Ryan to spring back, and at last Goss reached for Ryan’s left eye, but fell short of the mark, when Ryan got in on him. At this point some slashing blows were about to be inflicted on Goss, when he slipped down in order to end the round and avoid punishment. Time, one minute.

Round Two – Ryan first at the scratch and first to lead off in the sparring. Goss in going to grass this time, to end a hard round, was observed to throw up one knee to ward off the weight of Ryan in falling upon him. Time, 35 seconds.

Round Three – Ryan led off in an attempt to get in a blow on Goss’ ribs. Some beautiful parrying was made by both to save their faces, but Ryan struck Joe on the mouth, from which slight traces of blood was on his tongue, and the round ended with Goss going to grass. Cries of first blood for Ryan and cheers from the crowd.

Round Four – After considerable sparring amid cries of “Let ‘em come to you, Paddy,” the men went together, clinched, and both slipped and fell side by side.

Rounds Five and Six – These rounds were almost a repetition of the last, each lasting only about half a minute. A slight scratch on Ryan’s forehead brought out the claret, and a claim of first blood was made by Goss’ friends, which was not allowed by the referee he having decided first blood in favor of Ryan in a previous round. Time one minute and a half.

Round Seven – Ryan first to the scratch. Goss came up smiling and after considerable sparring Ryan led out with a “rib roaster.” Both men clinched, a wrestle ensued and Goss was thrown, with Ryan on top, falling heavily.

Round Eight – Goss led off and fought Ryan into the post of the referee, and fought Ryan down. In picking him up it was discovered that his truss was out of place. It was replaced, when Ryan walked to his corner.

Round Nine – Ryan, after considerable sparring, got in a shoulder hit on the side of Goss’ head, and knocked him square off his feet. [Great cheering.]

Round Ten – Ryan, bleeding from the right ear, and with lips bruised, after sparring and getting into good position, laid out Goss again, the latter going down to avoid punishment.

Round Eleven – Was a repetition of No. 10; a foul was claimed to the effect that Ryan had struck Goss when down. Referee decided no foul.

Round Twelve – Just after Goss had fought and gained a position he bit the dust to save himself.

Round Thirteen – Same result, and to avoid punishment, went to grass. Goss carried to his corner, while Ryan walks to his corner at every round.

Round Fourteen – After considerable sparring, Ryan got got [sic] in a stunner on the nasal organ of Goss. Square knock down. [Cheers].

Rounds Fifteen and Sixteen – Nothing remarkable in either, Ryan dropping Goss in succession, Goss accepting the situation to avoid punishment. [Jeers.]

Round Seventeen – Both men came up, clinched, Ryan lifted Goss and fell flat and heavy upon him.

From 18 to 20 Goss dodged all around the ring, attempting to get in a body blow on Ryan, but as usual he missed and went to grass to save himself.

Round Twenty-one – Square knock down for Ryan.

Round Twenty-two – Goss fought Ryan to the rope, when Ryan slipped under and escaped pounding.

Round Twenty-three – Goss slipped under and saved himself, Ryan in the meantime trying to fall heavily on him.

Round Twenty-four – There were a number of passes at each other, but they were short of mark. When they got in close quarters, Goss slipped down, and Ryan failed to fall on him.

Round Twenty-five – Both fought hard, the young man being too active, slipped under Goss.

Rounds Twenty-six and Twenty-seven – After getting down to work, in each of these rounds an end was secured by Goss going down. He was carried to his corner and Ryan walked there.

Round Twenty-eight – Goss was evidently getting weak, but came up smiling nevertheless. Ryan made a lunge at his face, and he dodges it getting three or four short blows on the sides of Ryan’s face, cutting him above the eye, damaging the wounded ear. Goss finally goes down.

Round Twenty-nine – Goss, after parleying, gets in a square lick on Ryan’s mouth. Ryan not affected, and closes in on him, when Goss slid down.

Rounds Thirty, Thirty-one and Thirty-two – Nothing of any note in these rounds, except when Ryan pressed Goss, he ended the round by going to grass.

Round Thirty-three – Ryan got another slight blow on the wounded eye, which did not affect him very much.

Round Thirty-four – While Goss was slipping down, a foul was claimed. Not allowed.

Round Thirty-five – Ryan led out with a heavy one aimed at Goss’ head. It missed. They came together and Goss went down.

Rounds Thirty-six, Thirty-seven, Thirty-eight and Thirty-nine – Goss slid down to escape pounding.

Round Forty – Goss was fought down. Another claim of foul was put in, but not allowed.

Round Forty-one – Goss went down, and was hit in going. Claim of foul, but not allowed.

Round Forty-two – This round was very well contested until Goss attempted to get down. Ryan dropped on him.

Round Forty-three – After the usual sparring both men came to the scratch bleeding about the face. The usual monotonous proceeding of Goss going down was repeated.

Rounds Forty-four, Forty-five and Forty-six – Ryan succeeded in getting pretty heavy blows in on the head and chest of Goss, and he went down each time out of necessity – not as a matter of choice.

Rounds Forty-seven and Forty-eight – Fighting forced by Ryan and Goss was laboring hard. He tried to get in a short blow and then dropped.

Rounds Forty-nine and Fifty – Goss did some good work but ended the round by slipping down.

Rounds Fifty-one, Fifty-two and Fifty-three – Goss led off in these three rounds, but was compelled finally to slip under.

Round Fifty-four – Goss was fought down and fell almost outside of the ropes. [Cheers.]

Rounds Fifty-five, Fifty-six and Fifty-seven – In each of the above rounds Goss went to grass. He was evidently trying to worry Ryan.

Rounds Fifty-eight and Fifty-nine – Ryan fought Goss into his own corner, knocking him into his chair on the first, and almost out of the ring in the fifty-ninth. He saved himself by taking to the grass.

Round Sixty – Square knock down for Ryan. He was hit squarely below the chin, on the breast.

Rounds Sixty-one and Sixty-two – Goss resorted to the old game of dropping.

Round Sixty-three – Goss fought down.

Rounds Sixty-four and Sixty-five – Goss tried to reach the damaged eye of Ryan, but failed. Ryan got in on him and he went down.

Rounds Sixty-six and Sixty-Seven – In slipping down Goss claimed a foul. Not allowed.

Round Sixty-eight – After considerable monkeying Ryan got another blow in on Goss’ nose, and he slipped down.

Round Sixty-nine – Goss caught Ryan and dropped on him/ Ryan was smart enough to turn over.

Round Seventy – After sparring Ryan got a square hit at Goss, and knocked him almost through the ropes at the referee’s stand.

Rounds Seventy-one and Seventy-two – Ryan did some fine sparring, but Goss met him and dodged the blows, finally slipping to the grass.

Round Seventy-three – Goss landed a slight blow on Ryan’s nose, but got down when Ryan was about to get the better of him.

Round Seventy-four – Goss got in some blows, but they did not count for much, and he went down.

Round Seventy-five – Goss escaped heavy blow in ribs by clinching Ryan and both went down.

Round Seventy-six – Goss led off wickedly, but was met promptly by Ryan, and just as Ryan was about to begin work Goss went down.

Rounds Seventy-seven and Seventy-eight – Goss led off, and both did good sparring, but as usual Goss bit the dust.

Round Seventy-nine – Ryan led off and struck the old man two rapid blows in the body and got one on the side of the face. Another down for Goss. Goss planted one on the shoulder of Ryan before he retired, but it did not appear to have any effect.

Round Eighty – Ryan gave Goss a direct blow to the body, and was following it up when Goss went down.

Round Eighty-one – Repetition of eighty.

Round Eighty-two – After sparring for positions, Goss went down again to avoid a well directed blow in the face.

Round Eighty-three – Ryan in this round tried to get into Goss’ position, and in doing so dodged a blow, well directed. They came together, clinched, and Goss went down.

Rounds Eighty-four and Eighty-five – Nothing remarkable in these two rounds, except both men were weak and well used up about the face particularly. Goss went to grass and claimed a foul; not allowed. The seconds rushed to the referee’s stand and insisted on the foul, but the referee was immovable, and said the best man had to win.,

Round Eighty-six – Time was called. Ryan came to the centre apparently in good trim, but the seconds of Goss would not allow him to come up. The referee then decided that the stakes and belt belonged to Ryan. The crowd then dispersed.

Official time of battle, 1 hour and 27 minutes.

After The Battle

both men plainly showed the brutal treatment they had received. Two more repulsive looking objects it would be difficult to imagine. Deep gashes marred faces that never were classical, while swollen lips and black eyes evidences the fierceness of the fight. Here and there over the naked breasts and arms of the men were stains of blood, which gave them the appearance of painted savages. Goss seemed to be thoroughly exhausted and kept his seat until a carriage took him to the station. Ryan was able, with a little assistance from his seconds, to walk this distance.

While Arthur Chambers, Goss’ trainer, frequently claimed foul during the fight, after it was over he admitted that both men had been given a fair chance, and said that he was satisfied with the rulings of the referee.

The crowd was exceedingly well conducted, there being no rows or disturbances of any kind. Nor was the fight in anyway interrupted. Sheriff Curtis appeared, with a small posse, on the ground before the fight, but made no effort, whatever, to interfere. The lately enacted law against prize fighting in this State is a most stringent one and the conduct of the Sheriff has caused no little comment.