A Chat With the Champions Part II: JACK WANNOP IN TRAINING

This short interview with Jack Wannop is reproduced here as it appeared in The Sporting Life on Saturday 28 September 1889. My only edits are the paragraphing and photographs. It was published after this wonderful interview with his opponent Jem Smith, under the headline A Chat with the Champions. We learn very little, but it… Read More A Chat With the Champions Part II: JACK WANNOP IN TRAINING

A Chat With the Champions Part I: JEM SMITH IN TRAINING

I present to you here, in full, a copy of The Sporting Life‘s interview with Jem Smith which appeared in print on Saturday 28 September 1889, two days before his boxing match with Jack Wannop. I have introduced paragraphs for ease-of-reading, and inserted an occasional photograph, but the text is otherwise reproduced verbatim. It is… Read More A Chat With the Champions Part I: JEM SMITH IN TRAINING

“Wannop walked on his head in a most extraordinary manner”

By mid-May 1889, Jack Wannop had settled back into New Cross life and answered a challenge from the visiting Jack Carkeek, an experienced American wrestler of Cornish background. With George Steadman – the recognised ‘British heavyweight champion’ – failing to fix up with Carkeek, Wannop was prepared to meet him instead for the ‘wrestling championship… Read More “Wannop walked on his head in a most extraordinary manner”

“Without doubt Jack is the most popular man in New Cross”

A lot happened during Jack Wannop’s 14-month absence from England. It was the year of the Ripper, of course. The Football League was established. The match girls went on strike, atheists became legally allowed to sit as MPs, and thousands of sheep mysteriously rampaged across Oxfordshire.   Closer to home, theatre, dance, art and pugilism continued… Read More “Without doubt Jack is the most popular man in New Cross”

“Had he been in any shape, I think the result would have been entirely different, for no gamer man ever entered the ring…” [Wannop V Godfrey, Part II]

Word arrived in England on March 29th 1889 that Wannop had been knocked out in the sixth round, the fight with Godfrey lasting a total of 22 minutes. Seemingly every regional paper in the country carried the news, delivered from Boston via cablegram. The Sportsman went into detail on March 30. By way of introduction,… Read More “Had he been in any shape, I think the result would have been entirely different, for no gamer man ever entered the ring…” [Wannop V Godfrey, Part II]

“No sir, I won’t fight any more in this city, and you can put that just as strong as you like…” [Wannop V Godfrey, Part I]

As 1889 began, The Sporting Life received word from Jack Wannop that he wasn’t quite done with America yet, despite his stay now reaching ten months.  Jack had struck gold, he said, by “knocking the brass off” some champions in the Far West and now the money was finally rolling in. My last post suggests… Read More “No sir, I won’t fight any more in this city, and you can put that just as strong as you like…” [Wannop V Godfrey, Part I]