The Prize-Fighting Craze – Stubborn Battle Between Denaby Miners.

May 1888


Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 01 May 1888

The Prize-Fighting Craze.

Stubborn Battle Between Denaby Miners.

About daybreak on Sunday morning a prize fight between two Denaby Main miners was brought of on the extensive pastures at Mexborough, the stake being £1 a side.

The pugilists were both little men, though stiffly built, and they were accompanied by a limited number of their backers and friends.

It appears that the two men belong to families between whom there is bitter feud, and of late this ill-feeling has developed into fights whenever opportunity occurred. So intense as become the quarrel sides have been taken by the partisans of each family, and during the past day ought to disgraceful scenes have taken place.

On Saturday whilst the men concerned were under the influence of drink, a match was arranged, and in order avoid interruption it was decided to meet early the next morning.

The fight came off, and after 26 rounds had been fought, and severe punishment inflicted on either side one of the men could not come up to time and his antagonist was declared the Victor and took the stake.

Yesterday both men bore marks of the severe struggle that took place. The defeated party were by no means satisfied, and their man declared that he would have won had not advantage been taken of his bemuddled condition.

Last night the feud was renewed. Bands of men, towards dusk, paraded Doncaster road, Mexborough, and opposite the Masons Arms the two contending factions met. A fight was soon arranged, and two brothers of the men who had fought on Sunday, were pitted against each other. They fought with great fierceness for over quarter of an hour in the middle the road. A particularly well directed blow on either side was greeted with cheers, and the road was completely blocked. No policeman appeared on the scene, and the fight was brought off without interruption. It was a properly appointed affair, and no kicking or striking on the ground was allowed, there being two seconds and a referee. Eventually, the smaller man of the two and brother of the one who had off victorious on Sunday delivered his opponent terrible blow in the face, flooring him. This put an end to the fight at once, as the one who had been knocked down so decisively was completely done up.

The Irish party (for their men had been beaten on both occasional were greatly incensed, and two or three of them wanted to prolong the affair by challenging any of the Englishman’s friends to continue the contest. The crowd however gradually dispersed, though it is most likely that the concert was renewed elsewhere as the parties seem determined on having feud probably settled.  The row is virtually an Irish v. English quarrel.