Desperate Prize Fight at Denaby Main – 63 Rounds Fought.

August 1891

Sheffield Independent – Thursday 06 August 1891

Desperate Prize Fight at Denaby Main.

63 Rounds Fought.

Early yesterday morning the long-looked and frequently postponed prize fight between Taylor and Humphries, colliers, both of Denaby Main, was brought to an uninterrupted conclusion.

It ia only a utile over a week ago that the combatants with their supporters journeyed to Heath Common, near Wakefield, but the police had been informed of the arrangements, and it was deemed advisable by the party not to run the risk of arrest, which would certainly have been the fate of the principals.

A match for £20 aside was made and ratified about Whitsuntide, but in consequence of the alertness of the police the articles which had been drawn up were abandoned. Feeling ran high among the partisans of either men, and it was thought that the question of superiority would not be long delayed.

The news, however, in circulation yesterday that the fight had at last come off created some little surprise. It is stated that not more than 25 persons were present. The locality chosen was a field behind Cliff View cottages at Denaby Main, a clever way of baffling the authorities, who had been under the impression that the fight would come off at some distance.

The men faced each other at five o’clock, and fought with the most dogged stubbornness for one hour and 47 minutes, no fewer than 63 rounds being contested. There was no betting, and the men fought for a stake of £10.

Taylor is a little the taller and a stone and a half heavier than his opponent, who, however, was said to be able to withstand any amount of punishment. Taylor was credited with superior hitting powers.

The fight resolved itself into pure slogging, and it was evident that the one who could stay the longer and bear the most hits would win. Humphries played a lot at the body and Taylor was punished severely; in fact, early on it looked as if Humphries would last his opponent out. It is stated that at about the 60th round he was inclined to throw up the sponge. Humphries was fighting very strongly and looked confident of victory. He was persuaded, however, by his supporters to continue for at least five more rounds, and at the 63rd round a totally unexpected change took place. Humphries, perhaps too confident, failed to intercept a terrific swinging blow, which, catching him on the jaw and the ear, felled him to the ground, where he lay dazed for the requisite ten seconds, and Taylor was declared the winner.

The victor bore by far the most evidences of punishment, and Humphries, although defeated, came off nearly scatheless.