Monthly heavyweight rankings from 1882 onwards

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by SimonLock, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Peter J (Pete) Nolan was another short lived but interesting contender of the 1880's. Nolan was a good operater and prior to his 1886 tussles with Jack Burke, he boasted a win over Harry Woods0n, the "Black Diamond". The first fight bout with Burke was a good one, finished as a draw but Jack appears to have had the best of it. The second was close too, Nolan getting the verdict and on balance seemed to have deserved it. Burke hd fought Mitchell, Cleary, Sullivan, Greenfiel, Kilrain,Glover, Clow, Dalton and only Sullivan proved his superior. Burke would go on to fight Slavin, Foley, Corbett and Newton and did not taste defeat again until Slavin beat him in their return fight in 1888. Jack Burke is arguably the second beat heavyweight in the world 1883-88 and Nolan proved his equal, or indeed his master.
    Nolan then beat the useful Jim Fell and finished his top level fighting career in a controversial ten round fight with Mike Cleary. Cleary seems to have had the best of it but took a big shot or head butt (who to believe?) and was out on his feet when the tenth round ended prematurely, the fight declared a draw. Nolan went into politics and so ended an interesting career.
    My year end ratings for 1886 were;
    1886

    1-Sullivan
    2-Kilrain
    3-Cardiff
    4-Mitchell
    5-Nolan
    6-Burke
    7-McCaffrey
    8-Killen
    9-Godfrey
    10-Lannon
    BTW these are historicial ratings and I will revise them soon, taking particular cognisance of Simonlocks input. The main point to remember is that I am trying to rate the fighters on their performance at that point in time(year end) and discounting hype eg Herbert Slade, also attempting to ignore knowledge that we know from the future, eg Nolan wouldnt fight much more or that Joe McAuliffe would ultimatedly prove a bust. On the other hand, we are not enflunced by offered bribes(damn!) or we are not caught up in a Michael Grant/ Lamar Clarke/Jorge Gonzales/ etc hype train which had little substance. Simon Lock(dont know him) seems to have the exact same methodology, so all is good and very interesting. I do know several other knowledgeable poster about this early period, and their opinions would be valued,
     
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  2. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    1886

    January 1886


    4/1/86 Patsy Cardiff (#9) drew with Jim Brady following an accidental injury in the 7th round.
    6/1/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Ralph Welker by 2nd round KO.
    6/1/86 Pat Killen beat Pat McHugh by 4th round KO.
    6/1/86 Mike Cleary (#7) drew with Denny Kelliher on points over 4 rounds.
    8/1/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Ed Kelly by 4nd round KO.
    11/1/86 Mike Cleary (#7) beat Mike Hyland by 1st round KO.
    13/1/86 Mike Cleary (#7) beat Bill Gabig by 1st round KO.
    16/1/86 Mike Cleary (#7) drew with Joe Cooper on points over 4 rounds.
    20/1/86 Jack Burke (#2) drew with Joe Cooper on points over 4 rounds.
    22/1/86 Patsy Cardiff (#9) beat Jack Colwell on points over 4 rounds.

    On 27th January 1886, Sporting Life reported that American champion John L Sullivan (#1) had accepted the challenge of English champion claimant James Smith (#10), and that there was “every prospect for an international prize ring encounter for the championship of the world”.

    30/1/86, Jack Burke (#2) drew with Willie McFarland on points over 4 rounds.

    No change to the rankings.

    February 1886

    5/2/86 Pat Killen beat Dick Burke by 1st round KO.
    5/2/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Jim Currier by 2nd round KO.
    12/2/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Ralph Walker by 2nd round KO.
    14/2/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Enos Phillips by 2nd round KO.
    16/2/86 James Smith (#10) solidified his Championship of England claim against 32-year-old rival Alf Greenfield (#6). Officially declared a draw when spectators entered the ring after 13 rounds over 59 minutes, Smith dominated the fight and was reported to be the winner. He offered Greenfield a rematch.

    It was reported afterwards that “John L. Sullivan and James Smith will in all probability fight with gloves, to a finish, within six months, for $10,000 and the diamond belt, which carries with it the championship of the world.”

    In Feb, Pat Killen beat Martin McComiskey by 4th round KO.
    26/2/86, Pat Killen beat George Gray by 2nd round KO.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jack Burke
    3) Jake Kilrain
    4) James Smith – up by 6 due to win over Greenfield
    5) Dominick McCaffrey – down by 1
    6) Charlie Mitchell – down by 1
    7) Mike Cleary
    8) Alf Greenfield – down by 2 due to loss to Smith
    9) Tom Lees – down by 1
    10) Patsy Cardiff – down by 1


    March 1886

    5/3/86 Patsy Cardiff (#10) beat George Rooke on points over 6 rounds.
    8/3/86 Jack Burke (#2) beat Frank Glover on points over 6 rounds.

    On 10th March 1886, it was reported that American Champion John L Sullivan (#1) had formally challenged English Champion James Smith (#4).

    13/3/86 Peter Jackson drew with Jack Thompson over 4 rounds.
    18/3/86 Pat Killen beat John Hughes by 1st round TKO.
    19/3/86 Jack Burke (#2) drew with Harris Martin on points over 4 rounds.
    27/3/86 Peter Jackson beat Mick Dooley by KO in the 3rd round.
    28/3/86 Pat Killen beat Jim Brady by 1st round KO.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jack Burke
    3) Jake Kilrain
    4) James Smith
    5) Dominick McCaffrey
    6) Charlie Mitchell
    7) Mike Cleary
    8) Alf Greenfield
    9) Patsy Cardiff – up by 1 due to win over Rooke
    10) Tom Lees – down by 1


    April 1886

    2/4/86 Pat Killen beat Ed Stalker by 1st round KO.
    5/4/86 Pat Killen beat Mike Haley by 2nd round KO.
    6/4/86 Pat Killen beat John Hughes by 3rd round KO.
    7/4/86 Pat Killen beat Mike Smith by 1st round KO.
    8/4/86 Pat Killen beat Bill Jordan by 3rd round KO.
    9/4/86 Dick Matthews beat Jack Brady by KO in the 7th round to win the Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title.
    10/4/86 Jack Burke (#2) drew with Dick Cummings on points over 5 rounds.
    19/4/86 Tom Lees (#10) fought Bill Farnan for 19 rounds. The bout was stopped by police, but they met again the following day. Lees won by 4th round KO and defended the Australian Heavy Title.
    26/4/86, George Godfrey drew with Joe Lannon on points over 6 rounds.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jack Burke
    3) Jake Kilrain
    4) James Smith
    5) Dominick McCaffrey
    6) Charlie Mitchell
    7) Tom Lees – up by 3 due to win over Farnan
    8) Mike Cleary – down by 1
    9) Alf Greenfield – down by 1
    10) Patsy Cardiff – down by 1


    May 1886

    2/5/86 Pat Killen beat Patsy Mellen by 2nd round KO.
    4/5/86 Mike Cleary (#8) beat John Fay by 1st round KO.
    10/5/86, Jack Burke (#2) drew with Charlie Mitchell (#6) on points over 10 rounds.
    14/5/86, George Godfrey fought a 3-round no-decision bout with Dan Foley.
    26/5/86, it was reported that John L Sullivan (#1) was in discussions to fight James Smith (#4) on 4th July in New York. Smith had stipulated that any match must be on English soil.
    29/5/86, Denver Ed Smith beat Dick Matthews by TKO in the 6th round.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jack Burke
    3) Jake Kilrain
    4) James Smith
    5) Charlie Mitchell – up by 1 due to win with Burke
    6) Dominick McCaffrey – down by 1
    7) Tom Lees
    8) Mike Cleary
    9) Alf Greenfield
    10) Patsy Cardiff


    June 1886

    1/6/86 Pat Killen beat James Dalton by 3rd round KO.
    7/6/86 Pat Killen beat John Morris by 2nd round KO.
    11/6/86 Patsy Cardiff (#10) drew with Charlie Mitchell (#5) on points over 5 rounds. Cardiff scored a knockdown, and most observers believed that Cardiff deserved the win.
    12/6/86 Jack Burke (#2) drew with Peter Nolan on points over 6 rounds.
    19/6/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat Dan Stalker by 2nd round KO.
    25/6/86 Patsy Cardiff (#10) beat Billy Wilson on points over 7 rounds to defend his Northwest Heavyweight Championship.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jack Burke
    3) Jake Kilrain
    4) James Smith
    5) Patsy Cardiff – up by 5 due to performance against Mitchell
    6) Charlie Mitchell – down by 1
    7) Dominick McCaffrey – down by 1
    8) Tom Lees – down by 1
    9) Peter Nolan – new entry due to draw with Burke
    10) Pat Killen – new entry due to win over Dalton.


    Alf Greenfield and Mike Cleary drop out due to Nolan and Killen’s entries.
     
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  3. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    July 1886

    2/7/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat James Daly by 3rd round KO.
    4/7/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat Tom Donnelly by 2nd round KO.
    5/7/86 Peter Nolan (#10) beat Jack Burke (#3) on points over 8 rounds.

    On 16th July 1886, it was reported that Australian champion Tom Lees (#8) was to fight Peter Jackson. The men were described in an Australian newspaper as “virtually the 2 best men we have after Larry Foley, William Miller having retired”. In July and August 1886, Australian fighters including Tom Lees, Peter Newton and Larry Foley fought each other multiple times in exhibition fights as part of a joint benefit as preparation for Lees’ fight with Jackson.

    31/7/86, Jake Kilrain (#3) beat Jack Ashton on points over 8 rounds.
    31/7/86, James Couper beat Fred Fellows by 7th round KO for the South African Heavy title.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain – up by 1
    3) James Smith – up by 1
    4) Patsy Cardiff – up by 1
    5) Charlie Mitchell – up by 1
    6) Peter Nolan – up by 4 due to win over Burke
    7) Jack Burke – down by 5 due to loss to Nolan
    8) Dominick McCaffrey – down by 1
    9) Tom Lees – down by 1
    10) Pat Killen


    August 1886

    2/8/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat Jim Brady by 1st round KO.
    7/8/86 Pat Killen (#10) drew with Paddy McDonald over 4 rounds.
    15/8/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat Dell Stalker by 2nd round KO.
    20/8/86 Pat Killen (#10) beat Paddy McDonald by 4th round KO.
    25/8/86 Peter Jackson drew with Billy McCarthy over 4 rounds.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) James Smith
    4) Patsy Cardiff
    5) Charlie Mitchell
    6) Peter Nolan
    7) Jack Burke
    8) Tom Lees – up by 1
    9) Pat Killen – up by 1
    10) Dominick McCaffrey – down by 2 due to inactivity since loss


    September 1886

    15/9/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Mike Haley by 4th round KO.
    17/9/86 Joe McAuliffe beat Dick Matthews by KO in the 7th round.
    18/9/86 John L Sullivan (#1) beat Frank Herald when police intervened to stop the match in the 2nd round.
    25/9/86 Peter Jackson won the Australian Heavyweight Title by defeating Tom Lees (#8) by TKO in the 30th round.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) James Smith
    4) Patsy Cardiff
    5) Charlie Mitchell
    6) Peter Nolan
    7) Jack Burke
    8) Peter Jackson – new entry due to win over Lees
    9) Pat Killen
    10) Tom Lees – down by 2 due to loss to Jackson


    Dominick McCaffrey drops out due to Jackson’s entry.

    October 1886

    2/10/86 Peter Jackson (#8) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Jack Malloy.
    2/10/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Mervine Thompson by 4th round KO.
    9/10/86 Peter Jackson (#8) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Steve O’Donnell.
    15/10/86 Jack Burke (#7) beat Jim Carr by 3rd round TKO.
    16/10/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Luke Dempsey by 1st round KO.
    24/10/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Joe “Tug Wilson” Collins by 4th round KO.

    No changes to the rankings.

    November 1886

    8/11/86 Jake Kilrain (#2) beat Frank Herald by 1st round TKO.
    12/11/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat John Cusick over 6 rounds.
    13/11/86 John L Sullivan (#1) beat Paddy Ryan by KO in the 3rd round.
    15/11/86 Jake Kilrain (#3) beat Joe Godfrey by 2nd round KO.
    17/11/86 Jake Kilrain (#3) beat Tommy Kelly by 4th round KO.
    19/11/86 Jake Kilrain (#3) beat Denny Killen on points over 4 rounds.
    20/11/86 Peter Jackson (#8) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Pat Kiely.
    22/11/86 Dominick McCaffrey beat Sparrow Golden by 11th round KO.
    22/11/86 Jack Burke (#7) drew with middleweight Jack Dempsey on points over 10 rounds.

    On 30th November 1886, James Smith (#3) was scheduled to fight Jack Knifton to defend his English title. Knifton backed out at the last moment, and the bout was cancelled. Smith claimed the stakes and retained his title.

    No changes to the rankings.

    December 1886

    2/12/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Paddy McDonald by 6th round KO.
    6/12/86 Harry Laing beat John Laurie by 6th round KO to become the Wanganui Heavyweight Champion.
    9/12/86 Frank Slavin beat Charlie Dunn by 2nd round KO.
    20/12/86 Jack Burke (#7) beat George Morrison by 4th round retirement.
    22/12/86 George Godfrey drew with Isaac Talbot over 6 rounds.
    22/12/86 Jake Kilrain (#2) fought a pair of 3-round no-decision bouts with Jack Ashton and Johny Seidel. He then beat John Clow on points over 4 rounds.
    28/12/86 Pat Killen (#9) beat Ed McKeown by 5th round KO.

    No changes to the rankings.

    1886 Year-end rankings

    My rankings at the end of 1886 are therefore as follows:

    1) John L Sullivan – Aged 28 – American Champion (beat Greenfield, Ryan, Burke and McCaffrey in ’85)
    2) Jake Kilrain – Aged 27 – American contender (drew Mitchell in ’84, drew Fryer in ’85, unbeaten in ’86)
    3) James Smith – Aged 23 – English Champion claimant (won tournament in ’85, beat Greenfield in ’86)
    4) Patsy Cardiff – Aged 23 – Canadian fighter (beat Wilson in ’85, drew/beat Mitchell in ’86)
    5) Charlie Mitchell – Aged 25 – English Champion claimant (drew Burke and Cleary in ’85, drew Burke and drew/lost Cardiff in ’86)
    6) Peter Nolan – Age unknown – American fighter (drew and beat Burke in ’86)
    7) Jack Burke – Aged 25 – English Champion claimant (beat Greenfield, lost Sullivan and drew Mitchell in ’85, drew Mitchell, drew and lost to Nolan in ’86)
    8) Peter Jackson – Aged 25 – Australian Champion (beat Lees in ’86)
    9) Pat Killen – Aged 25 – American fighter (beat Dalton and Thompson in ’86)
    10) Tom Lees – Aged 28 – Former Australian Champion (beat Farnan in ’85, beat Farnan and lost to Jackson in ’86)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  4. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Simon has Jackson, Lees, and Smith as against Godfrey, McCaffrey and Lannon, mainly a timing issue as to when people enter or leave the ratings except maybe Smith should be in and Godfrey too.
     
  5. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    My 1887 year end rankings;
    Hoping to kick-start Simonlock...

    1887

    1-Sullivan
    2-Kilrain
    3-Cardiff
    4-Killen
    5-Mitchell
    6-Burke
    7-Ashton
    8-Godfrey
    8-Jackson
    10-McAuliffe
     
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  6. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    Thanks Matt. It has been a busy couple of weeks, but I have been working on this and hope to post the next instalment soon.
     
  7. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    McAuliffe enters the rankings around this time and is an interesting character. He was big at 6-3 and around 215 pounds. His public record appears possibly incorrect as the first loss listed to decent Californian Middle Jim Carr probably was actually a Jack McAuliffe as far as i can research. His claimed win over Brady did not happen as far as I can see or indeed the loss to Costello. The wins over Matthews and Brennan brought him into notice and he hammered former champion Paddy Ryan to get national notority. He followed up wins over fringe contenders Glover and Conley. The Glover contest was particularly tough, a ko after 49 rounds while Conley was dispatched in two. Conley had beaten Gabig, Clow, Golden and others. Jackson prove too good but it went 24 and he recovered to defeat Tom Lees and then his biggest victory over leading contender Pat Killen.
    In 1890 he fought for a version of the World title but was crushed by Slavin. His last horray was a win over Cardiff but Goddard, Maher and Choynski were too good in his twilight career. How good was he? probably just a decent second tier contender.
     
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  8. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I’m picturing Pat Killen as having a huge Mike Tyson type hype machine behind him the way he’s going through guys here. This isn’t an era that I’m familiar with other than the top guys so I’ve never heard his name before.

    I don’t know what else to say but he dang sure stayed busy and was knocking guys out early.
     
  9. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    Just checking in on this one quickly. I appreciate all the information from @mattdonnellon and will be incorporating it.

    The delay is due to me moving jobs. I have been busy with interviews and a pretty hectic notice period, which finishes this week. I hope to have some time this weekend to finalise the next instalment.

    I do have a draft version of all the years up to 1907 already done, so I am not having to start from scratch. However, as I work through my final version for each year I discover more information, which often updates the rankings in future years as well. I fully intend on getting this finished and will update on here as often as I can.

    Thanks for your patience!
     
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  10. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Pat Killen was a massive puncher and a decent boxer too. Big enough, at least 6 feet and over 190 pounds, he started in Philly and early on went on a ko streak of at least 29 fights including Joe Lannon, Captain Dalton and, by rights, Mervine Thompson, among his victims. Another streak included Duncan McDonald before two big fights with his North Eastern rival, Patsy Cardiff. Pat drew the first but ko'ed Patsy second time around.He was now a top contender but a loss to Joe McAuliffe stopped his run amid allegations that he had been drunk for the fight. Good wins over Joe Sheedy and Bob Ferguson followed but he died shortly after the later fight(1891), possibly as the result of punishment taken but far more likely from excess of alcohol.
     
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  11. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Boxing has had its share of characters and some of these rough-and-tumble guys from this era fit the bill.

    Keep it coming as you can!
     
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  12. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    About to come into the ratings is The Barrier Champion. Joe Goddard was born in 1857 in Australia and reached a sturdy 6-foot in height. His weight for the Maher fight was 187 pounds according to the Ring Record books and he was one of the toughest, roughest and gamest of the fighters of the early 1890’s. Like Fitzsimmons, he was a blacksmith by trade and was the son of an English emigrant and an Irish mother. At the time of the Maher contest, he was at the peak of his considerable powers and was probably a match for any fighter in the world.
    His career had gained him the championship of Australia and he had beaten such able campaigners down-under as Mike Dooley, Tom Lees, Professor Billy McCarthy and Owen Sullivan. Joe Choynski had been imported from America to provide opposition and had been twice defeated in fewer than four rounds. A match-up with Peter Jackson ended in an eight round draw but if anything Joe had the best of proceedings.
    America was the obvious port of call after the useful American Jack Ashton, John L Sullivan’s chief sparring partner, had been outpointed. Joe McAuliffe was a big betting favorite but Goddard beat him in fifteen rounds in his stateside debut. Further successes followed against mediocre opposition and by all accounts, the Barrier Champion as he was called was far from impressive. The reason though was simple, , Goddard liked the good life but generally, he got himself in good shape for the big ones. A win over Maher put Goddard right in the mix but a loss to Denver Ed Smith-Goddard was now over 35-saw the end of his top flight career. Choynski, Maher, Laing, Sharkey Jeffries were some of the names that bested him before he was shot by a police officer and he died in 1903. At one point around 1892 Goddard was very close to been the best heavyweight in the World.
     
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  13. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    January 1887

    1/1/87 Frank Slavin drew with Bob Fitzsimmons over 4 rounds.
    4/1/87 Pat Killen (#9) beat OH Smith by 2nd round KO.
    17/1/87 Pat Killen (#9) beat Paddy McDonald by 7th round KO.
    18/1/87 John L Sullivan (#1) fought Patsy Cardiff (#4) with gloves over 6 rounds. Sullivan broke his left arm in the first round, and the rest of the bout was consequently very tame. Some reports said that Cardiff deserved the victory, but the referee declared the fight a draw. It was reported that Sullivan would be out of action for a few weeks while his wrist recovered, and that he intended to rematch Patsy Cardiff, and to fight James Smith.

    It was reported that it would be at least 2 months before Sullivan could use his arm with any degree of safety. The champion was quoted as follows:
    “I have spoiled many a bloke, but I never hurt myself like this before. Once I smashed my right, but it didn’t amount to anything.”

    A statement from Sullivan’s doctors read as follows:
    “The undersigned testify that they have examined John L Sullivan’s left arm and find that the main bone, or radius, is broken midway between the wrist and elbow. The break, while not likely to cause a permanent injury, will occasion a disability for a period of at least 60 days.”

    1) John L Sullivan – out with broken arm since Jan ‘87
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) Patsy Cardiff – up 1 due to draw with Sullivan
    4) James Smith – down by 1
    5) Charlie Mitchell
    6) Peter Nolan
    7) Jack Burke
    8) Peter Jackson
    9) Pat Killen
    10) Tom Lees


    February 1887

    5/2/87 Frank Slavin fought Jim Fogarty, and failed to knock him out in 3 rounds. Fogarty was awarded the win by default.
    15/2/87 Peter Jackson (#8) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Pat Kiely.

    No changes to the rankings.

    March 1887

    4/3/87 Pat Killen (#9) beat Duncan McDonald by 1st round KO. It was reported that Killen had “opened the eyes of a good many people as to his ability as a pugilist”.
    7/3/87 Dominick McCaffrey fought a 2-round no-decision bout with Patsy Ferrell.
    8/3/87 Jake Kilrain (#2) beat Joe Lannon by 11th round TKO. A newspaper article claimed that “there is scarce a doubt that Jake is the second best fighter in the American ring”.
    9/3/87 Dominick McCaffrey beat Jack Fallon on points over 4 rounds.
    17/3/87 Frank Slavin beat Mick Dooley by KO in the 10th round.

    On 23rd March 1887, it was reported that Patsy Cardiff (#3) was to fight Pat Killen (#9).

    No changes to the rankings.

    April 1887

    1/4/87 Pat Killen (#9) beat Jack Cook by 1st round KO.
    6/4/87 Peter Jackson (#8) beat Pat Kiely over 4 rounds by newspaper decision.

    On 13th April 1887, Pat Killen (#9) stated that he was willing to fight any man in the world for any amount up to $5,000, apart from John L Sullivan (#1).

    15/4/87 Jack Burke (#7) fought William Baker. Burke challenged himself to win by knockout in 4 rounds, but failed to do so, and the win was awarded to Baker by default.
    23/4/87 Peter Jackson (#8) beat Mick O’Brien by 1st round KO.
    28/4/87 Jack Burke (#7) beat Jack Dineen on points over 6 rounds.

    No changes to the rankings.

    May 1887

    9/5/87 Harry Laing beat Jim Pettengell by 5th round KO for a version of the New Zealand Heavyweight Title.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) Patsy Cardiff
    4) James Smith
    5) Charlie Mitchell
    6) Peter Nolan
    7) Jack Burke
    8) Peter Jackson
    9) Pat Killen
    10) Harry Laing – new entry


    Tom Lees drops out due to Laing’s entry

    June 1887

    4/6/87 Peter Jackson (#8) won a newspaper decision over Jim Nolan over 4 rounds.
    4/6/87 Dick Matthews beat Charlie Richardson by 3rd round KO for a version of the New Zealand Heavy Title.
    6/6/87 Harry Laing (#10) beat Torpedo Billy Murphy by 3rd round KO.
    11/6/87 Peter Jackson (#8) drew with George Seale over 4 rounds.
    13/6/87 Harry Laing (#10) beat Johnston by 2nd round KO.
    20/6/87 Harry Laing (#10) beat John Mitchell by 2nd round KO.
    25/6/87 Peter Jackson (#8) beat Jim Nolan over 4 rounds by newspaper decision.
    29/6/87 Harry Laing (#10) beat John Jack Cunningham by TKO in the 17th round to defend his version of the Heavyweight Championship of New Zealand.

    No changes to the rankings.
     
  14. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

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    July 1887

    4/7/87 Harry Laing (#10) beat 5 men in 1 night, 4 by 1st round KO and 1 by 2nd round KO.
    9/7/87 Peter Jackson (#8) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Dan Hickey.
    16/7/87 Peter Jackson (#8) won a newspaper decision over Steve O’Donnell over 4 rounds.
    20/7/87 Dick Matthews defended his version of the New Zealand Heavyweight Title by beating Charlie Richardson. Richardson was disqualified in the 10th round.

    On 26th July 1887, it was reported that Jake Kilrain (#2) had signed articles to fight James Smith (#4), and that Jack Burke (#7) had signed articles to fight former American Champion Paddy Ryan.

    28/7/87 Charlie Mitchell (#5) beat Patrick Gallagher on points over 6 rounds.

    No changes to the rankings.

    August 1887

    5/8/87 Patsy Cardiff (#3) fought Pat Killen (#9). This was Cardiff’s first fight since drawing against Sullivan in January, whereas Killen had stayed active against lower-level opposition. The first round was tame, but in the second Cardiff drew blood and had Killen on the ropes. Killen bounced back in the third round and is reported to have narrowly had the best of the remaining rounds before police intervened during the 10th. Some believed that Cardiff should have lost the fight on a foul, as he used wrestling tactics more suited to the old London Prize Ring rules than the newer Queensbury rules which were meant to be in force. However, the referee declared the fight to be a draw. Cardiff retained his Northwest Heavyweight title, but Killen had proven himself capable of competing against top level opposition.


    6/8/87 Peter Jackson (#9) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Tom Taylor.
    8/8/87 George Godfrey beat John Fay on points over 3 rounds.
    25/8/87 Peter Jackson (#9) fought a 4-round no-decision bout with Jim Nolan.
    27/8/87 Peter Jackson (#9) beat Harry Stanley over 4 rounds by newspaper decision.
    31/8/87 Joe McAuliffe beat Mike Brennan by KO in the 40th round to become Heavyweight Champion of the Pacific Coast.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) James Smith - up by 1
    4) Patsy Cardiff – down 1 due to draw with Killen
    5) Pat Killen – up by 4 due to draw with Cardiff
    6) Charlie Mitchell – down by 1
    7) Peter Nolan – down by 1
    8) Jack Burke – down by 1
    9) Peter Jackson – down by 1
    10) Harry Laing


    September 1887

    5/9/87 Pat Killen (#5) beat James Smith by 1st round KO. This was not the English champion, but another man by the same name.
    5/9/87 Frank Slavin beat Martin Costello by 9th round KO.
    7/9/87 Pat Killen (#5) beat Henry Dows by 1st round KO.
    19/9/87 George Godfrey fought a 3-round no-contest bout with Joe Lannon.
    24/9/87 Peter Jackson (#9) beat Jim Nolan by 1st round KO.

    No changes to the rankings.


    October 1887

    1/10/87 Peter Jackson (#9) fought a 3-round no-decision bout with Steve O’Donnell.
    12/10/87 Pat Killen (#5) beat Frank Lewis by 1st round KO.
    17/10/87 Harry Laing (#10) defended his version of the New Zealand Heavyweight Title by beating Charlie Richardson by 11th round TKO.
    22/10/87 Peter Jackson (#9) fought a 3-round no-decision bout with Steve O’Donnell.
    28/10/87 Frank Slavin beat Bill Farnan by 2nd round KO.

    1) John L Sullivan
    2) Jake Kilrain
    3) James Smith
    4) Patsy Cardiff
    5) Pat Killen
    6) Charlie Mitchell
    7) Peter Nolan
    8) Jack Burke
    9) Peter Jackson
    10) Frank Slavin - new entry

    Harry Laing drops out due to Slavin's entry.


    November 1887

    On 6th November 1887, American Champion John L Sullivan (#1) arrived in Liverpool, England aboard the steamer Cephalonia. He travelled to London and challenged James Smith (#3) and Charlie Mitchell (#6). James Smith (#3) stated that he intended to beat Jake Kilrain (#2) in their scheduled bout, then he would do his best to beat Sullivan (#1).

    11/11/87 Jack Burke (#8) fought a 4-round no contest with Barney Donovan.

    On 11th November 1887, George Fryer challenged John L Sullivan (#1) for £200.

    21/11/87 Harry Laing defended his version of the New Zealand Heavyweight Title by beating Charlie Richardson for the second time by 6th round KO.
    25/11/87 Pat Killen (#5) beat Frank Cook by 2nd round KO.
    26/11/87 Peter Jackson (#9) fought a 2-round no-decision bout with Stonewall Jack.

    On 30th November 1887, it was reported that Peter Nolan (#7) may fight Dominick McCaffrey in December.

    No changes to the rankings.

    December 1887

    15/12/87 Peter Nolan (#7) beat Jim Fell by 3rd round disqualification.
    16/12/87 Pat Killen (#5) beat Lem McGregor on points over 6 rounds.

    19/12/87 Jake Kilrain (#2) fought James Smith (#3), Champion of England. After 106 rounds, the fight was declared a draw, and the referee ordered the 2 men to continue the next day. Both men refused, so the draw stood as the official result. The fight was described as "the gamest heavy weight contest of the present generation". The Sportsman said "To Kilrain belongs the credit of being one of the best men who ever entered the ring. The same may be said of Smith, whose claim to greatness can never henceforth be questioned".
    Newspapers generally believed that Kilrain deserved the victory, and he was awarded the World Heavyweight Title as awarded by National Police Gazette. Most observers still considered Sullivan (#1) to be the champion.

    19/12/87 George Godfrey beat Dan Foley on points over 3 rounds.
    23/12/87 Joe McAuliffe beat former American champion Paddy Ryan to defend his Heavyweight Champion of the Pacific Coast in what were described as “three of the worst fought rounds possible to imagine”. Ryan was described as very fat, with rolls of flesh hanging over his belt. McAuliffe knocked Ryan down multiple times before he gave up after the 3rd round.
    24/12/87 Peter Jackson (#6) fought a 2-round no-decision bout with Mick Dooley.
    26/12/87 Frank Slavin (#10) drew with Billy McCarthy over 17 rounds.

    On 28th December 1887, Sporting Life reported that English Champion James Smith (#3) had accepted the challenge of American Champion John L Sullivan (#1) and that “the chances for a fight are now good”.

    No changes to the rankings

    1887 Year-end rankings

    My rankings at the end of 1887 are therefore as follows:

    1) John L Sullivan – Aged 29 – American/World Champion (beat Greenfield, Ryan, Burke and McCaffrey in ’85, drew Cardiff in ‘87)
    2) Jake Kilrain – Aged 28 – National Police Gazette World Champion (unbeaten in ’86, drew/beat Smith in ‘87)
    3) James Smith – Aged 24 – English Champion (beat Greenfield in ’86, drew/lost to Kilrain in ‘87)
    4) Patsy Cardiff – Aged 24 – Canadian fighter (drew/beat Mitchell in ’86, drew Sullivan and Killen in ‘87)
    5) Pat Killen – Aged 26 – American fighter (beat Dalton and Thompson in ’86, drew Cardiff in ‘87)
    6) Charlie Mitchell – Aged 26 – English Champion claimant (drew Burke and drew/lost Cardiff in ’86, unbeaten in ‘87)
    7) Peter Nolan – Age unknown – American fighter (drew and beat Burke in ’86, unbeaten in ‘87)
    8) Jack Burke – Aged 26 – English Champion claimant (drew Mitchell, drew and lost to Nolan in ’86, unbeaten in ‘87)
    9) Peter Jackson – Aged 25 – Australian Champion (beat Lees in ’86, unbeaten in ‘87)
    10) Frank Slavin – Aged 25 – Australian contender (beat Farnan in ’87)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022
  15. SimonLock

    SimonLock New Member Full Member

    48
    68
    Nov 15, 2018
    So, for 1887 @mattdonnellon and I agree on 7 names.

    I have Smith, Nolan and Slavin, whereas Matt has Ashton, Godfrey and McAuliffe.

    I’m confident Smith should be ranked, especially after going 106 rounds with Kilrain who we both list as #2. Sullivan clearly saw him as a worthy challenger.

    Nolan was still active, and had beaten Burke twice the year before, so I’m reluctant to see him drop out.

    Slavin had wins over Dooley and Farnan, which I think puts him as the clear #2 in Australia behind Jackson.

    McAuliffe is clearly knocking on the door of the top 10, but his win over a fat and unranked Ryan isn’t enough to put him into the top 10 yet.

    Godfrey and Ashton, in my view, are also missing a substantial enough win to justify a place in the top 10.
     
    Rumsfeld, BoB Box and mattdonnellon like this.