Desperate Prize Fight at Denaby.

February 1889

Sheffield Independent – Tuesday 19 February 1889

Desperate Prize Fight at Denaby.

Two Denaby Main colliers yesterday had a deaperate encounter with each other on the ” Pastures,” not far from the colliery premises. They had hoped to keep the proceedings a secret, but early in the morning the news was circulated, and when the combat occurred in a field off the Melton road several hundred spectators had gathered. It was only at a late hour the previous night that the men decided to resort to a pugilistic contest. Half-a-sovereign was the sum to be awarded to the ” champion ”

The ferocity of the affair may be surmised when it is stated that there were no fewer than 25 rounds. Both men were pretty much of the same build, and when they stripped to the waist in the customary professional fashion it was difficult to decide which would come off victorious. At the outset both men received some smart taps on the face and ribs, and it was not long before one of the belligerents drew blood. After a while one of the pugilists lost his self-control somewhat, and struck out angrily and without the necessary professional skill. The opponent, who stood on the defensive, took the opportunity to send home some tremendous blows at this juncture, and the face of his adversary soon became much disfigured. Both men repeatedly fell, and there was a good deal of what is known in sporting circles as “running round the ring.”

When the 20th round was completed both men were very much exhausted, and showed signs of severe punishment, but it was evident that one had more determination and physical power than the other, and after five more rounds, the one who got worsted was too weak to continue the contest. He presented a most abject appearance; his eyes were both  closed,” and his face was shockingly cut and swollen — quite past recognition.

Great indignation was expressed amongst the more respectable inhabitants at the disgusting proceedings, and it is expected that legal action will follow.