English Champions: Tom Johnson ak Jackling.

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by GlaukosTheHammer, Sep 23, 2018.



  1. GlaukosTheHammer

    GlaukosTheHammer Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,785
    1,152
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 7, 2017
    Following the fall of Jack Broughton, the founder of the science, at the hands of Jack Slack in 1750, the title was bandied around among a number of boxers, none of whom was qualified to hold the honor. Not until the rise of Tom Johnson did a man appear worthy to be counted a successor to the first great master.

    “It will be Birmingham against London. Isaac Perrins will engage Tom Johnson and the championship will be ours”. Banging of tankards and shouts of approval interrupted Mister David Seth, a merchant, who was explaining to a company of enthusiastic associates the plans then perfecting for a clash between the best men to be placed in the ring by London and Birmingham. After the den had died down the merchant continued; following them Jacobs will be paired with Big Ben Brain, Pickard with George Ingleston, the brewer, Fualkner with Watson, and Thornhill with Hooper. Such will be the tournament the greatest ever held in England and one that will demonstrate where is bred the best of brawn. The history of pugilism has little to say about the result of this matching of men except as to the outcome of the battle between Perrins and Johnson, a battle such as seldom has been seen in any country. All England was wrought to a fever pitch and men discussed the approaching contest as today is discussed the contest between Jeffries and Johnson.

    The methods of producing fighters today are vastly different from those known a century and a quarter ago. Now the question is asked can Jeffries at the age of thirty four hold his own in the ring with a younger man. Age with him is considered a handicap and yet in “the good old days” men were not thought well hardened for the ring before they had turned thirty.

    Tom Johnnson was born in 1750, the same year that saw the downfall of Broughton and the accession of Slack. His real name was Jackling. His greatest battle, that with Perrins, was fought when he was well into his fortieth year and at that period he was entering the zenith of his fame. Perrins, a few months younger than Johnson, had been even slower than the champion in his development, but the two at the time of their clash represented the two greatest schools that have existed in pugilism since men first met in the squared arena.

    Johnson by no means a pigmy, even amongst men of muscle, depended fully as much on science as he did upon his well recognised ability to land a crushing blow. Some regarded him as the inferior of Broughton in science, others maintained that in Johnson the prize ring had found its master of science. His height was two inches under six feet and his fighting weight was 14 stone. Quickness, courage and a knack of throwing himself behind a decisive blow were the main characteristics that had brought him his laurels.

    The Giant Perrins

    All these characteristics of the champion were explained by Mr. David Seth, as he ran over the possibilities of the battle. "But," he continued, "there are other fighters besides Johnson who may rightly lay claim to the championship. Our own Isaac Perrins a rugged mountain of a man, six feet two inches in height and weighing seventeen stone when stripped for action. Yet you have seen him know that he carries his ponderous figure with all the ease of a stripling. I have seen him lift eight hundred weight of iron into a wagon and perform other feats of strength almost beyond human credibility. So despite the reputation with which Tom Johnson will come from London we will take little risk in laying the odds on Perrins.

    Of Isaac Perrins a historian of his time wrote “ His tremendous breadth of chest and cleanly muscled limbs tell of perfect condition. His countenance open and expressive, is lighted by a mild and friendly glance. No one has ever had cause to say that Isaac Perrins makes ill use of his powers. He is gentle and considerate and above all things seeks to avoid offence to those weaker than himself".

    And so the plans and the arrangements set for the meeting between Johnson and Perrins. Mr. Seth received in person from Johnson a reply to a letter showing clearly enough the champions readiness to accept any offer so well backed as that of Perrins. After some further correspondence it was agreed that meeting should take place at Newmarket on the turf, for 250 guineas a side, two-thirds of the gate money to go to the winner and the rest to the loser. The first arrangement was for October 1, 1789, but Interference by the authorities resulted in a postponement, and the men finally clashed at Banbury In Oxfordshire, October 22. 1789.

    Some five thousand persons were gathered In and about the Oxfordshire town when the day came on which the champion was to defend his title against the Birmingham giant. The spot chosen was an open field that sloped down slightly toward the centre. Here a stage was erected, twenty-four feet square and five feet above the ground. In accordance with general custom it was carefully covered with strips of turf packed and pounded solidly.

    The Birmingham followers of Perrins had come down well supplied with money for the betting.They felt no doubt in the superiority of their favorite And were prepared to give two and even three to one on him. Notwithstanding the fact that Johnson's success had been almost phenomenal, these enthusiasts could see no way by which he could stand against their mighty challenger.

    Johnson, more than any of his contemporaries, "fought with his head." Observant followers of the sport began to point him out at an early stage of his career as a man who had a future. On entering the arena it was his custom to study his adversary with caution while remaining on the defensive, seeking to oppose tactics that would be most effective against the methods employed by the adversary. He played, usually, a waiting game, in which his remarkable coolness, judgment and control of temper gave him great advantage.

    It was never Johnson's way to risk anything that could be better gained by tiring an opponent. Repeatedly critics of the day had observed that he came through a grueling fight almost unscathed and fresh in body and wind. Avoiding with scrupulous care the least unfairness, he adopted every legitimate means to foil and baffle his enemy in such a way as to greatly try his confidence and self command. The man who allowed anger to master him while he fought with Tom Johnson was lost. Johnson himself never grew angry or vindictive or hurried. He held off, calm, alert, nursing his reserve against the crucial moment.



    Fought All Comers

    He had found no flowery path to the championship. Entering the ranks of the boxers at the age of twenty three, without friends or record, he had forced his way up by a series of difficult battles against men superior to him in weight, strength, and experience. He had never been able to rush and overwhelm an opponent and even a second class competitor could stay in the ring with him for round after round owing to the slow method he was compelled to follow. Some of his hardest fights had been with Jack Jarvis, Stephen “Death” Oliver, The Croydon Drover, Fry "Bill" Warr, and Michael Ryan, whom he met twice. He now stood the acknowledged head of the sport without a single defeat back of him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    BitPlayerVesti likes this.
  2. GlaukosTheHammer

    GlaukosTheHammer Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,785
    1,152
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 7, 2017
    The morning of the fight which was to go down to pugilistic history as one of the hardest, cleanest, and most brilliant encounters that ever took place. An early hour the crowd began to surge out upon the downs and take up positions within the roped space about the stage. Men thrust and elbowed for advantageous points with the easy democracy of sports followers, and the increasing hubbub rose with the sun toward the appointed time. Supporters of Johnson were not so numerous as those of Perrins and the odds of two and three to one on the Birmingham boxer prevailed among the few who were ready to venture a wager before the beginning of the conflict.

    Johnson was the first to arrive, hedged about by the members of his little party, and drove through the throng in the centre of a flying wedge. He climbed over the stage railing, followed by "Bill" Warr. who was to acting as second and “Joe” Ward for bottle holder. Perrins appeared a few minutes later, accompanied by Pickard as second and his brother as bottle holder. Established in opposite corners of the stage, the two men flung their hats in the air, the customary signal of defiance.

    Colonel Tarleton had been selected as umpire for Johnson and Mr. Meadows, of Birmingham, was to perform a like service for Perrins. The two gentlemen were stationed near the stage where they could call the half minute intervals between rounds and decide all disputes. Just before time was called one of those who occupied a favored position in the front ranks pushed his way forward until he was within a few feet of Johnson. At his hail the champion turned and recognized Mr. Bullock, a wealthy Londoner, who had led the applause for Johnson at many a ringside. Mr. Bullock signed to him to lean down that he might speak to him.

    "Tom," said Mr. Bullock, "I am going to bet heavily on you at whatever odds I can find." "Yes, sir" said Johnson with a grin. "I hope your interest will not be misplaced." "What I wanted to say was this: I know you will fight no harder for it. but if you win and bring my wagers home for me you shall share in the profit." "Thank you, sir." said the champion, "and handsomely offered. You are right to believe I will do my best by all means, but if anything could put more heart In me it would be your offer." Another man in the crowd, who had overheard part of this conversation, turned courteously to Bullock when it ended. "Pardon me," he said, "I am Mr. Seth, of Birmingham. I should be happy to accommodate you to any reasonable amount It you care to bet on Johnson after a few rounds." "I shall seek no further for a taker," said Bullock, smiling, and the two stood side by side, ready for the moment that should seem propitious to both.

    The Fight Is On.
    At the word from the umpires the two pugilists threw off their coats and advanced slowly toward the centre of the stage, where the square yard was rudely marked upon the turf. When each should toe his side of the square the battle would be joined. They walked lightly and confidently, allowing a moment for the thunder of cheers that was the introductory tribute of the waiting thousands for the gallant spectacle they presented.

    The disparity in size between the adversaries became startlingly apparent as they approached each other and the cheering died to murmurs of astonishment, every eye measuring the task which the champion had undertaken. Perrins towered high above his opponent, emphasizing by his upright pose and upturned chin the great advantage he possessed in height, weight, breadth and length of limb. His skin was pink, his flesh firm and the muscles stood out upon him in knotted masses. He carried the instant impression of a conqueror by sheer superiority of strength as he looked upon his enemy with a quiet smile. He stood with his feet well apart, firmly planted, like one who means to seek no retreat.

    Johnson's lesser stature was more noticeable by reason of his stoop. He carried his head down and forward between his shoulders, while his knees were bent, ready for a spring in or back. He seemed in no wise daunted by the formidable figure before him preparing for combat with a calm though serious man. Beyond the difference in size there was nothing to choose between the two. Johnson was In the best of condition, looking unusually solid and fit.

    His close friends knew that he had entered this engagement with a full understanding of all the difficulties and that he had trained long and faithfully. In attitude the men displayed equal ease and skill. The tumult died as with watchful eyes the pugilists took position, left foot upon the mark, and shook hands. Neither was disposed to take the initiative, Johnson through caution and Perrins because of some deference in the presence of the champion. At Length Johnson began the set to with a light swing that Perrins blocked neatly. The Birmingham man countered easily and they exhibited some pretty sparring. Perrins showed he could foot it swiftly for his weight and shout after shout greeted the clever shifting and rallying.

    Five minutes passed in this dalliance which served to prove the science and mettle of both. Meanwhile the blows gathered power as each man felt for the upper hand. Perris opened the real hostilities with a ramming thrust to the chest that checked one of Johnson's nimble rushes. Instantly the tension heightened and the shouting crowd fell silent again, for blood was up and the time for fighting came. The champion was not slow in answering the move, and ducking he smashed two quick jolts to the body. Perrins, finding his enemy well within reach, swept a tremendous right at the jaw. Johnson ducked again and coming up caught Perrius under the ear. Perrins, not yet recovered from his futile blow, stumbled and fell, while a burst of cheers greeted the prowess of the champion.

    At the opening of the next round Johnson, still testing the abilities of his opponent, rushed in and came to grips, striving for a cross buttock. A very brief struggle was enough to assure him that his advantage did not lie that way. Perrins was too firm on his feet and far too heavy to risk a fall with so early in the game. Displaying great dexterity, the champion twisted away from the Birmingham man and returned to his former tactics. Hard blows were exchanged, the champion very carefully avoided the full sweep of Perrins mighty fist hurtling past the other's guard in an opening. He snapped back the giants chin and once more Perrins measured his length.

    Both Are Strained

    Both men were somewhat breathed after this round and as they sat on the knees of their seconds were carefully washed and sprayed by their bottle holders. They came to the mark at the end of the half minute, however, fresh and ready. Johnson had worried out the weakness of his opponent by this time and greatly increased the speed of his movements, feeling that Perrins, for all his agility, preferred hammer and tongs to footwork. The Londoner began to circle and dodge, darting in and out, jumping hither and yon with catlike rapidity. Perrins followed him with resolution, but, turning a trifle too slowly, caught a crashing blow to the ribs that sent him again to the sod. The fourth round was very brief. Johnson repeating his manoeuvre and knocking his opponent, down cleanly for the fourth time.

    For all that the champion had, had so plainly the best of it the Birmingham enthusiasts had not lost faith. Perrins had suffered but little in his falls. "Let him get in but one of those thumpers and Johnson is done." was the comment that ran among the craning and excited spectators.

    When Perrins toed the mark for the fifth round it was evident that he fully intended to "get in one of those thumpers." Johnson's prancing and shifting had finally irritated him exceedingly and his brow had gathered in a frown. rejecting the caution with which he had played his part thus far he opened with a rush, pursuing his opponent with determined swings and lunges which forced the champion to give ground and guard closely. Taking two smashing blows to the face he found his chance and sent Johnson spinning to the floor with a wicked blow to the jaw. The champions second and bottle holder ran to assist him in rising and owing to his evident distress took as much time as they safely might in carrying him off. This was a common method of improving the opportunity offered under the rule which directed the umpires not to begin the count of the half minute until both fighters were seated in their respective corners.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    BitPlayerVesti likes this.
  3. GlaukosTheHammer

    GlaukosTheHammer Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,785
    1,152
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 7, 2017
    Johnson had been badly cut about the face and needed constant attention up to the calling of time he came to the centre a trifle unsteadily. Perrins opened the sixth round as he had the last with a crashing swing, which Johnson only partially blocked. The Birmingham man then varied his method by closing with his adversary and wrestling. Johnson was no match for him at this, and in the fall the champion was underneath though he was able to rise quickly. The seventh round Perrins introduced and ended with one terrible jab that caught Johnson full on the mouth and hurled him to the side of the stage with crimsoned face.

    The situation appeared to be reversed, and loud was the acclaim of the Birmingham supporters, but Johnson's friends were encouraged see him spring into the next round with renewed vigor. Only one of Perrins blows, the swing to the jaw, had injured him and he was now recovered from its effects. He continued his swift and battling tactics, confident that the wrath which had inspired his enemy's dangerous offence must soon wear upon his strength. Perrins, still seeking to plant one of his sledge thumpers, made futile attempts to pass the champion's guard. Angered by his failure he broke the silence they had both maintained.

    "Come, man." he cried "stand still and fight. I was not matched with a cricket." He lowered his arms an inch too far as he spoke, and Johnson answered the taunt by leaping in with one of his famous blows that carried all the weight of his body behind it. Sweeping aside the thrust with which the other sought to stop him. His right fist caught Perrins a slashing stroke over the left eye and the giant went down with a crash that shook the stage. It was a shrewd blow and one of the most effective known to the science of the day. The big man's eyebrow was laid wide open and his left eye was closed for the rest of the fight. His second and bottle holder worked over the hurt in vain. Perrins seemed well on the road to defeat when he came to the mark again, but he proceeded to even scores by one of the cleverest moves of the battle. Johnson having danced in too soon with a body blow, the Birmingham man chopped a savage backhander that landed full on Johnson's right eye. knocking him off his feet. When they faced each other for the tenth round it was with a sound eye apiece.

    Ending the Battle.

    The champion had learned at some expense that it was too soon to adopt offensive tactics with his huge enemy, and he returned to caution, husbanding his wind and his strength and closing twice for falls, in which be managed to escape without damage. The value of this was soon apparent, for Perrins was breathing heavily and seemed grateful for the respite of his second's knee. In the thirteenth round Johnson ripped home a haymaker uppercut that slashed open his opponent's cheek and nose and brought a howl of applause from his backers. Bets had been flying rapidly, the odds shifting with almost every round. At this juncture Mr. Seth turned lo Mr. Bullock. "If you feel like laying a wager now I am with you." he said. "I'll give you 100 to 10 on Johnson." said Bullock, readily. "Done for £20,000 if you care to go that far." cried Seth. Bullock hesitated Just a second, considering the champion's condition with careful eye. "Done." he said, quietly, accepting an obligation of a fifth of a million pounds sterling without a hastened breath.

    Repeating his previous success when nerved by a setback, Perrins bore in on the next round with a hammering stroke that all but closed Johnson's sound eye. Both now showed the effects of the hard pace and the odds fell to even. Up to the forty-first round there was no change in the situation. Johnson began to develop more fondness for closing and wrestling, but Perrins avoided grips and knocked the champion down repeatedly. In the forty-first round they rallied a moment, when Johnson slipped and fell without being struck.

    Instantly Pickard, the second for Perrins, rushed to the rail. "We claim the fight on a foul," he yelled, and the Birmingham followers took up the cry. The umpires considered the matter and decided that the fight would proceed. Pickard was well within his rights according to the usual rule, but the umpires held that the rule could not be appealed to since it had not been included in the articles of agreement.

    On the resumption of the struggle Perrins altered his style of fighting in imitation of his opponent, stooping low And attempting to shift quickly and foot it. The champion meanwhile had at last decided to go upon the offensive, and the next fifteen rounds were the most severe of the terrific struggle. In the fifty sixth round Perrins landed a chopping backhanded stroke to the face that very nearly ended the contest. At this point each remained on the sod whenever be fell and allowed his attendants to carry him to his comer. It was also necessary for the seconds to support the combatants and load them to their marks in opening a round.

    Both the men were very weak in the next rounds, cut in a score of places and wheezing. Perrins was in the greater distress, his huge chest laboring like a bellows. Several times he got home his backhanders, but Johnson learned to guard against them. Frequently Perrins was carried to the sod by the force of his own miss spent blows. Each time Johnson watched him falling and hit him, falling at the same time himself. The champion was landing almost at will but weakly.

    When led to the centre for the. sixty-second round the combatants were weaving on their legs, almost blind. It was plain to all that one or both had approached the limit of endurance. Johnson was a trifle the stronger. As they fell on guard Perrins aimed a heavy swing at Johnson's head. It missed and Johnson planted a straight smash to his adversary's face. It was the stage of the contest when such a blow ineffectual earlier in the struggle must prove decisive. Perrins staggered and fell unable to continue after having made one of the most courageous fights in the annals of boxing. The contest had lasted an hour and a quarter. Johnson shook hands with his fallen rival as soon as the latter was able to stand while the crowd cheered. No champion had ever defended his right to the title more conclusively or against a nobler opponent and every man on the field knew it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  4. GlaukosTheHammer

    GlaukosTheHammer Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,785
    1,152
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 7, 2017
    While Johnson was leaving the stage Mr bullock met him and handed to him £1000 in recognition of his victory.

    KNUCKLES AND GLOVES

    BY

    BOHUN LYNCH .

    WITH A PREFACE BY SIR THEODORE COOK



    First Impression, October, 1922

    CHAPTER II

    TOM JOHNSON AND ISAAC PERRINS



    It is character and knowledge of character, which, together with strength and skill, makes boxing champions today. And we are inclined to think that the psychological element in fighting came in only within the day of gloves, and rather late in that day. Certainly the old records of the early Prize Ring are of brawn and stamina, skill and courage rather than of forethought and acutely reasoned generalship, but there are exceptions, and one of the most noteworthy is that of Tom Johnson.

    Johnson (whose real name was Jackling) was a Derby man, who came to London as a lad, and worked as a corn porter at Old Swan Stairs. For a heavyweight champion he was very small short, he stood but 5 feet 9 inches. He must, however, have been made like a barrel for he weighed 14 stone and the girth of his chest was enormous.

    A story is told of how Johnson when his mate fell sick carried two sacks of corn at each journey up the steep ascent from the riverside and paid the man his money, so that the boxer's amazing strength earned the double wage.

    The best known and probably the fiercest of Johnson's battles was with Isaac Perrins, who stood 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 17 stone. It is not probable that boxers trained very vigorously in those early days, so that the weights may be misleading. Contemporary prints however certainly give the impression of men in hard condition. Perrins, a Birmingham man, is said to have lifted 8 cwt. of iron into a wagon without effort.

    The fight took place at Banbury in Oxfordshire on October 22, 1789. The men fought (it is interesting to know when we think of the prizes of the present day) for 250 guineas. Two thirds of the door money went to the winner, one-third to the loser. The men fought on a turfed stage raised five feet above the ground.

    Johnson's method had always been to play a waiting game, to try to understand his opponent's temperament, to take no avoidable risks. He knew that he was a good stayer, so he was accustomed to use his feet and to keep out of distance until he had sized up his man. He would always make rather a long but certain job of a fight than a quick but hazardous one. Johnson's greatest trouble was his passionate temper, which was largely the cause of his downfall two years later in his fight with Big Ben Brain. Isaac Perrins, who had the name of a good natured giant, was the first to lead. He ..." made a blow," Pierce Egan tells us,

    " which, in all probability, had he not have missed his aim, must have decided the contest, and Johnson been killed, from its dreadful force." But Johnson dodged the blow and countered with a terrific right-hander which knocked Perrins down.

    At that time prize-fighters stood square to each other with their hands level, ready to lead off with either. And in that position a man naturally fell over much easier than from the solid attitude of a few years later till the present time.The next three rounds were Johnson's, for Perrins was shaken by his first fall. Then Perrins gathered himself together, and by sheer weight forced himself, regardless of the blows that rained on him, through the smaller man's guard and knocked him down. And for several rounds in his turn Perrins was the better. He cut Johnson's lip very badly, so that he lost blood, and the betting for some time remained in his favour. Tom Johnson by this time had the measure of his man. The usual waiting game would not serve now. He must not only wait, but he must keep away, and in order to keep away, he must run away. This may not have been wholly admirable from a purely sporting point of view, but we must forgive Johnson a good deal (and as we shall see there really was a good deal to forgive) on account of his inches.

    " He had recourse," says Egan, to shifting" that is, he kept out of the way for as long as possible, and then, as by the rules of the Prize-Ring a round only ended when one of the men went down, probably closed and let Perrins throw him. But the spectators approved of this method no better than they would to-day, and there was a good deal of murmuring against Johnson. At last Perrins, unable to reach his nimble footed antagonist, began to mock at him.



    "Why!" he exclaimed to the company at large,"what have you brought me here ? This is not the valiant Johnson, the Champion of England : you have imposed upon me with a mere boy! "

    At this Johnson was stung to retort, for he was no coward and was but fighting in the only way which his size allowed. Moreover, Perrins's observation roused his dander, and he blurted out.

    " By God, you shall know that Tom Johnson is here!" and immediately flew at his man in a passion of rage and planted a terrific blow over his left eye, so that it closed almost at once.

    This incident nearly decides for us that Perrins was not much of a boxer. A wild charge of that sort, particularly by a much smaller man, is seldom difficult to frustrate. And the opinion of the crowd began to veer round. Those who had put their money on Perrins began to hedge. Undaunted by his closed eye, Perrins pulled himself together in the next round and returned as good as he had got, closing Johnson's right eye. And so for a while the fight remained level. Many rounds and very short ones. A half- minute's rest between. Much hard punishment given and got, but a great deal of it not of a kind obvious to the inexpert spectator. Quite apart from short arm body-blows which are sometimes apt to elude observation, there was wrestling for a fall with which far more rounds ended than with falls from a blow. The effort to throw is exhausting enough, but to be thrown and for a heavy man to fall on top of you is terribly wearing. And though the strength of these two men was prodigious, yet Johnson was the closer knit of the two, from a boxer's point of view the better made.

    Now when they had fought forty rounds, Johnson was confident and happy, but he knew that he was pitted against a lionhearted man who was by no means yet worn out. Suddenly he got an opening for a clean straight blow with all his weight behind it. This was a right-hander, which struck Perrins on the bridge of his nose and slit it down as though it had been cut with a knife.

    The odds were now 100-10 on Johnson, but he had by no means won the fight. Perrins was boxing desperately, striving with his great superiority in reach to close Johnson's remaining eye. He knew very well that many a fight had been won like that, an otherwise unhurt man being forced to throw up the sponge because he was totally blinded by the swelling of his eyes. In the forty-first round Johnson either slipped down or deliberately fell without a blow and Perrins and his backers claimed the victory.

    If Johnson did actually play this very dirty trick to gain time and have a rest, he deserved to lose.

    We don't know what actually happened. The records merely state that he fell without being hit. But the umpires allowed it because that contingency had not been covered in the articles of agreement made before the fight. Perrins now changed his method, attacking his man with chopping blows presumably on the back of the neck and head, and back-handed blows which are seldom efficacious. These puzzled Johnson at first, and he took some of them without a return until he learned the knack and guarded himself. And Perrins's strength now began to go: while Johnson, who for a few rounds had seemed tired, began to improve again. But yet he never began the attack. He left that always to the giant. In fact, Johnson did everything to save himself and to make his man do most of the work. Then Perrins, who had lunged forward with a terrific blow, fell forward, partly from his own impetus, and partly from weakness. Johnson, who had stepped aside from the blow, watched him and as he fell hit him in the face with all his might, at the same time tumbling over him.

    After that Perrins was done. Every round ended by his falling either from a blow or from sheer weakness. Johnson hit him as he pleased, with the consequence that Perrins's face was fearfully damaged, "with scarce the traces left of a human being." But he refused to give in, and round after round his seconds brought him to the scratch, when he swayed and staggered and struggled for breath and tried to fight on. His pluck in this battle was the inspiration of the Prize-Ring for ever afterwards. More than once Johnson, still strong, sent in tremendous blows which would utterly have finished lesser men, but Isaac Perrins held on until his friends and seconds gave in and refused to let the good fellow fight any more. The match had lasted for an hour and a quarter, during which sixty-two rounds had been fought. In many ways it was an unsatisfactory fight, but for cunning (if rather low cunning) on one side and magnificent courage and determination on the other, it must be counted one of the greatest combats of the old days.

    100% from Rob Snell:
    This content is protected


    Flying Wedge is a v-shaped military formation going back to antiquity.

    Cross-Buttocks is a wrestling slam boxing used to use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  5. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Thanks for posting, minor correction

    "Some or his hardest fights had been with Jarvis “Death” Oliver, the Croydon Drover, Fry "Bill" Warr and Michael Ryan, whom he met twice."

    There should be a comma after Jarvis, as that makes it sound like it was a fighter called Jarvis “Death” Oliver, while Jarvis and Oliver AKA Death, were two different fighters.
     
  6. GlaukosTheHammer

    GlaukosTheHammer Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,785
    1,152
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 7, 2017
    First three pages ought to flow easily now.

    bit busy atm, will finish the last pages later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  7. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Derby Mercury - Thursday 22 October 1789

    BOXING.

    JOHNSON and PERRINS.

    The long-expected battle between Johnson & Perrins, which took place at Banbury, Oxfordshire, on Thursday, has not in it’s event disappointed the expectations of the amateurs—It proved a very severe and well supported conflict, having lasted for an hour and a quarter with various turns of skill and fortune on both sides.

    It was fought on a turf stage of 24 feet square, erected in the town of Banbury, defended on two sides by houses, and on the other two by rails—which, however, the populace broke down, but preserved good order during the battle.

    At twenty minutes before one o’clock the combatants set-to. For five minutes all was anxious expectation. Perrins then, with great force, aimed a blow at Johnson, which the latter contrived to elude.

    On the next set-to, Perrins was knocked down, and met with the same fate in the succeeding round.

    Johnson then received too knock-down blows, one of which brought blood in his face.

    Johnson at length exerted himself, and put in a blow over Perrins’s left eye, which closed it up.—This blow, and the failure of Perrins’s wind, which began now to be visible, raised the bets amazingly in favour of Johnson, and still more on Perrins’s receiving a very hard blow over the nose, which cut it through—They were then so high as 100 to 10.

    Perrins, however, regaining his breath, fought again with much vigour, and made a good blow over Johnsons’s right eye, which had some little effect upon the bets, but not such as to render them equal.

    After more than half an hour’s further severe contest, Perrins had recourse to some back-handed blows, which at first disconcerted Johnson, but against which he soon guarded himself very collectedly.

    At the end of an hour and a quarter, Johnson aimed a blow at Perrins, which took place full under the ear, and concluded as severe and well supported a battle as can be recollected in the annals of Pugilism—it having consisted of sixty-two rounds of fair hard fighting.

    Johnson is accused by Perrins’s friends (who are much disappointed at the issue of the recontre) with shifting; but when we recollect the great natural advantages enjoyed by Perrins, in his bulk and strength, he being a much larger man than Johnson, and above five inches taller, we cannot but think that Johnson was entitled to every fair manœuvre that skill and science could teach him, particularly as he shewed such perfect bottom on the occasion.

    Perrins was obliged to be put to bed at a house in Banbury, with his face and head much bruised, and in other respects terribly beaten.

    Johnson is much beaten about the face and body; but walked through the town to the Red Lion inn, accompanied by Harvey Aston, &c.

    The battle was for 250 guineas aside. The door-money, which is supposed to have amounted to near 800l. was divided: The bets, at the commencement, were five to four on Johnson; after a few rounds, six to four; and towards the conclusion seven to four.

    Bill and Joe Ward were Johnson’s Second and Bottle-holder.—Perrins’s brother and Pickard, those of Perrins.

    Above 3000 people were within the inclosure.

    Of the Amateurs present were—The Hon. Mr. Townshend, Harvey Aston, Capt.Lloyd, Mr.Coombe,Mr. Gower, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bullock, Mr. Tetherington. &c. &c.

    The Umpires were Colonel Tarleton, and Mr. Meadows, an Innkeeper at Birmingham.

    When the battle between Johnson and Perrins was over, the former leaped up, and touching the breast of Perrins’s second with his feet, challenged him to contest. The invitation, however, was declined.

    Johnson, to judge from the eye, is about five feet eight, of remarkable strength upwards, and seemingly of uncommon agility: Perrins from six feet one to six feet two, singular muscular, but not so well proportioned as Johnson, rather corpulent than otherwise, and of tremendous aspect. Johnson’s weight is 13st. 6Ib. When Perrins’s weight, between 17 and 18st. was mentioned, Johnson said, he liked him the better for a customer; weight was no object to him, as he would fight any many, whatever might be his weight. Johnson is now deemed the Champion of England.

    Perrins’s brother unfortunately staked every farthing he possessed on the event of the battle.

    Mr. Bullock, report says, has won twenty thousand guineas on the event of the battle between Johnson & Perrins.—He backed Johnson with high odds, and it is said he has made his hero a present of 1000l.

    BIG BEN and JACOMBS.

    The second day’s play (as it is termed) at Banbury, though not so interesting as that of Thursday, was, however, well attended. Contrary to all expectation, the battle between Big Ben and Jacombs had terminated in favour of the former; and this by superiority that skill will ever ensure over mere strength; which, as the poet says generally—mole ruit sua.

    This contest lasted an hour and 25 minutes.

    GEORGE the BREWER and PICKARD.

    Another battle between George the Brewer and Pickard followed in about a quarter of an hour, which was in the true stile of brutal ferocity. Pickard was terribly beaten, particularly about the face, which retained as few vestiges of humanity subsequent to the battle, as appeared in his mind during the progress of it. There was no manœuvring, indeed nothing scientific in this fight. It laster, however, half an hour, when George the Brewer was declared victor.

    The Birmingham people retired much crest-fallen, in being so completely foiled in these three different battles.
     
  8. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    BIRMINGAAM ACCOUNT of the above BATTLE.



    The long-expected engagement between Johnson and Perrins took place on Thursday at Banbury, and proved the superiority of practice and skill in boxing and all athletic exercises over strength, courage and every other qualification. A stage 38 feet in diameter, covered with turf sprinkled over with saw-dust, and surrounded by a railing and benches, was erected in the centre of a plot of ground belonging to the Mayor, who was likewise the carpenter of the place, and was fenced out with boards placed upright; but which were soon broken down by the populace, who entered pell mell gratis after about six hundred pounds had been taken for admission at the doors.

    Johnson, attended by Ward (who killed Swaine, the blacksmith) for his second, and the other Ward for his bottle-holder, come first upon the stage; and some time after Perrins, accompanied by his brother as bottle-holder, and Pickard as his second, appeared; and both the champions were saluted by the clapping and acclamations of the spectators. After stripping and shaking hands across a handkerchief held by the seconds, they set to a little before one o’clock. Johnson threw himself into a couchant posture, having his right knee not above three inches from the ground; and Perrins rather inclining forwards, in order to bring his arms as nearly as he could upon a level with his antagonist. A silent and suspenceful interval of two minutes elapsed before a blow was struck; but the onset was severe. Johnson displayed great scientific art; his action, keenness of observation, and judgement were surprising: such was the spring of his arm, that it darted into his antagonist like lightning, and his attitudes were beautiful. After manœuvering for some time, he brought down Perrins—he did so again—but the third round Perrins knocked him down, and by a dreadful blow on the side, (which, had it been a little lower, must inevitably have killed him) he in the fifth round knocked him down again. Johnson after this stood not at all manfully up to him, he fell without a blow, and Perrins’ friends immediately shouted Victory; but on appealing to the umpires, they decided it allowable, for the articles were not specifically against that conduct, only that they should fight fair and manly. Perrins had now certainly the advantage; one of Johnson’s eyes were closed, he was giddy, and evidently in great pain from the blow on the ribs. He therefore began to fight with the utmost care and cunning; he evaded every blow, kept running round, & puzzling Perrins by his manœuvres and perpetual shifts, till Perrins, enraged at his artifices, his incessant receding 7 retreats, and his falling without blows, lost his temper, exhausted his strength and wind by pursuing round the stage, by unnecessary advanced, and blows spent in the air.Johnson well knew how to take advantage of this error of his adversary. He now fought hard at him, kept battering his face, and by one terrible blow upon the jugular vein under the left ear, he knocked him with the greatest violence to the ground. This was to Perrins a dreadful fall, and he never sufficiently recovered it, for his blows were afterwards spent in the air, and Johnson seemed to hit him where he pleased. He was frequently down, his face was much swelled and bruised, and at every blow from Johnson, streams of blood iffused from his eyes. For about thirty minutes, without being able to ward off or strike a blow of any consequence, his whole frame shook and convulsed by his repeated falls and body blows, he courageously stood to be cut up, until it would have been madness, rather than valour, to have continued the conflict; and after the battle had lasted one hour and fourteen minutes, his brave contending heart was reluctantly compelled to yield the palm of victory to the superior skill and artifice of his antagonist. He gave out upon his legs, and leaning over the railing with his hand before his eyes, he sighed deeply, and showed how much his honest soul was affected at his defeat, and the consequent losses of his friends.

    Perhaps no man was ever beaten for whom so much concern was expressed. Mendoza, Watson, and all the amateurs of this elegant amusement were present, and they declared they never saw so true a bottom, and pronounced him the best big man in the kingdom. The bets before the battle were seven to four on Johnson, towards the end of it, ten to one on him. The cause of the victory was obvious to every spectator. Perrins too confident in his strength, and relying solely upon it, had not undergone the necessary preparations; he was ignorant of the science of his antagonist, kept little or no guard, but laid himself perpetually open, and neither stopt or struck with skill. Indeed he can be said to have given but three blows, and those told—but he succeeded in one, which he often, and very judiciously attempted, it would have decided the contest; this was a blow at Johnson’s stomach, but it was always dexterously evaded. In short, he was beaten only by his adversary’s style of fighting, and Perrins certainly would not have engaged with him, had he not relied upon his standing to him more manfully.

    On Friday Big Ben and Jacombs fought their battle, and after a contest of an hour and twenty-five minutes, Jacombs, who had at first evidently the advantage, was vanquished, as Perrins had been, by the skill of the experienced boxer.—For one hour Big Ben kept perpetually falling without receiving a blow. In about a quarter of an hour after they quitted the stage, George the Brewer, and Pickard (Perrins’s second) had perhaps the most bloody conflict that was ever remembered upon any stage.—This battle, though fought without any attempt at manœuvre or delay whatsoever, lasted half an hour; and less humanity, between man & man, was absolutely impossible.—Every savage ferocity seemed to possess the minds of the combatants, who, in their thirst for victory, were almost transported to madness; and Pickard, whose face resembled a mass of blood, without eye or feature, fought very hard for two minutes after he was blind. In this situation he was compelled to resign the victory to George.—Perrins came to see these two battles, and his friends were glad to find he was not so ill as they feared he would be.
     
  9. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Kentish Gazette - Tuesday 23 January 1787
    We have received an account from a correspondent, whose authority we depended on, that the famous fight between Johnson and Ward, fought at Oakingham on Thursday last, continued full two hours and twenty minutes. Johnson waited some time on the platform, asked which was Ward; being told, looked at him, laughed, and said he would soon do his business; he stripped and the fight began; Ward gave Johnson a violent blow on the left eye, which in a little time closed, and during the remainder of the fight Johnson remembered it, for he never left that part of his head unguarded, which caused him to hit his adversary with the right hand only; but being so very powerful, Ward was obliged to make a defensive fight of it for the remainder of the battle, which was done by dropping on his knee whenever Johnson made attempt to hit him; and we are informed, if a man is struck whilst on his knee, it is a foul blow, and the striker loses the battle, therefore Ward’s friends on every blow of Johnson’s shouted out foul! foul! on which two umpires were then appointed and no person was to interfere but them. One was a gentleman of Ipswich, the other a gentleman from Bristol. The fight, if it may be called one, still continued, Johnson on his legs, and Ward within an inch of the floor with one of his knees; whenever Johnson attempted a blow, he was down. The two hours and twenty minutes were no expired, when Johnson attempted a blow. Ward was again down on his knee, and getting up he cried out foul! and left the stage; and notwithstanding his second called him several times to return he went clear off.---Thus ended this terrible conflict, and the bets remain unsettles, as the umpires are UNDETERMINED whether Johnson hit him or not; a great deal of money was depending, and the odds three and four to one during the fight in favour of Johnson.---Our correspondent adds, that had Ward stood up to Johnson, the latter must have been beat in five minutes.
     
  10. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Derby Mercury - Thursday 03 February 1786
    Johnson, who fought and beat Towers a few Days ago at Barnet, lately performed the following extraordinary Feat of Strength: Placing three Sacks of Grain one upon another, and throwing one over his Shoulder, hopped with it three times round, and then clear over the other two Sacks.
     
  11. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 11 July 1787
    At one o,clock on Thursday, Johnson and Fry, two prize-fighters, met on a stage which was erected in a field below the hill at Kingston. Johnson attended by Tring as his second, and Fry with Ben for his. Humphries was the umpire. The odds at the onset were so high in favour of Johnson, that there was little, if any betting. The battle continued for half an hour, and then terminated in favour of Johnson, who beat Fry without receiving any blows of consequence. Fry was much cut about the face, at which Johnson chiefly directed his blows, and which knocked down Fry almost at every stroke he got. As a fighter, Fry gained some credit: he stopped many blows, and stood up to his antagonist very fairly; but Johnson struck too quick for him, and was too powerful in point of bodily strength. Johnson was struck down once, but received no material hurt, as he left the stage apparently with the same vigour as when he first went on it. The amateurs of the art all agreed that the battle was well and fairly foought; and that no man as yest had stood up so undauntedly to Johnson. After the battle, it is said, an offer was made by Ben, to fight Johnson for 100 guineas, on any day he should name. The ground was not much crowded.
     
  12. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Stamford Mercury - Friday 21 December 1787
    The long expected battle between Ryan and Johnson took place in Buckinghamshire yesterday. Johnson gave Ryan several severe blows on the head, which terminated the battle in his favour in about twenty-four minutes. Johnson knocked Ryan down eleven times, and was knocked down himself only three times; they had twenty rounds. Ryan, after the battle, could only stand to be dressed; he then could not keep on his legs. Johnson did not appear to be much hurtl he declared that he never would again accept of any challenge.

    Norfolk Chronicle - Saturday 22 December 1787
    Johnson and Ryan have at length fairly exerted their skill and bodily strength, and after a contest of 24 minutes, the latter, being darkened, and the victory clearly in favour of the former, he yielded to Johnson; who declared, he would never fight again.
     
  13. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,405
    1,669
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Oct 28, 2017
    Saunders's News-Letter - Monday 31 December 1787
    Wednesday Johnson and Ryan met according to appointment at Staines, to fight for one hundred guineas a side: but the Magistrated interposing their authority caused the stage erected for the contest to be pulled down, and interdicted the fight within their jurisdiction. This interference, however, only produced a change of the scene of action; for the parties, who were both eager to engage, caused a stage to be erected about three miles further from town in Buckinghamshire, out of the former jurisdiction, on which they met about half past two—Johnson seconded by Humphries, and Ryan by Dunn.— Great expectations were formed of the exerctions of the parties; each had often been victorious, and neither ever defeated; and being of the first class of fighters in point of size and strength, the event of this day was to decide who should in future be considered the first champion of boxing. From a general opinion, however, of Johnson's superior skill, the odds before the battle were seven and six to four in his favour, and the event justified that opinion, for, after a contest of 24 minutes, in which the parties displayed equal courage and equal strength, victory declared in favour of Johnson; who having in an early period of the battle, with his favourite blow, laid open his antagonist's forehead immediately over the left eye, in the progress of the contest by a repetition of it completely closed up that eye, and nearly darkened the other. Ryan's blows were all levelled at the body, several of which were well planned, and with good effect; and notwithstanding Johnson obtained the victory by his well-directed blinding blows, yet had not Ryan by constantly making the first blow at his antagonist in each round, and with his left hand, with which he was extremely powerful, afforded an opening to his antagonist to throw in his favourite right hand blow, which was certainly his fort, the event of the contest would probably have been different. Johnson availed himself of this circumstance, and avoided striking the first blow, but waiting till his adversary had made his blow, which he either warded off or shunned, he returned it on the unguarded part with success.— Upon the whole it may be asserted with truth, that no men ever stood up to each other with more spirit or fought fairer; each party disdained to have recourse to expedient of falling to avoid his adversary's blows, and never dropped with-out a blow. Johnson seemed so fully sensible of the great glory he had acquired in conquering Ryan, that anxious lest he should hereafter lose it, he publicly declared from the stage, immediately after the battle, that he would never fight again, and that it was in vain for any man in future to challenge him.
    After the battle between Johnson and Ryan there was another of inferior note between Tyne and Knightly, which after a contest of ten minutes terminated in favour of the former.
    The concourse of spectators on this occasion was immense.
     

Share This Page