“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]

WANNOP IS A WHIRLWIND: A drunk boxing ring fire and a mid-match escape

Following his defeat at the hands and shoulders of Evan Lewis and Duncan McMillan, Wannop caught a break of a sort in July 1888. With his reputation as a wrestler severely dented, Wannop gloved up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His opponent was Jim Fell, a fellow Englishman. Born just a few months after Wannop in… Read More WANNOP IS A WHIRLWIND: A drunk boxing ring fire and a mid-match escape

Jack Wannop V John L. Sullivan… sort of

Having passed the afternoon downing drinks at Mike Clark’s Boston saloon, an intoxicated John L. Sullivan staggered into Patsey Sheppard’s place, the ‘Abbey’, in a wild state. After ordering another round, and slamming down his glass, he spotted a vaguely familiar face at the bar – a burly, shaven-headed Englishman, also looking somewhat the worse… Read More Jack Wannop V John L. Sullivan… sort of

For Blood and Money: Jack Wannop V Evan ‘The Strangler’ Lewis

“Wannop was nearly killed.” So concluded a cablegram from The Sporting Life’s New York special correspondent, published on 10 May 1888 to update British readers on Jack Wannop V Evan Lewis three days prior. The wrestling match at Chicago’s Battery D Armoury for the first wrestling ‘Championship of the World’ had been hotly anticipated. A… Read More For Blood and Money: Jack Wannop V Evan ‘The Strangler’ Lewis

WANNOP: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! A guest post by Walter ‘The Cross-Buttocker’ Armstrong

Good afternoon. The Cross-Buttocker here. Your usual Grappling With History blogger, Sarah, will be fully occupied over the next few weeks with her day job and a lengthy Masters Degree assignment on the Bosnian War, which of course I know little about, having died as I did in 1917 etc. while another large international skirmish… Read More WANNOP: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! A guest post by Walter ‘The Cross-Buttocker’ Armstrong

Resolute as a lion, cool as the regulation cucumber, Jack Wannop bids farewell to New Cross and hello to the Chicago Strangler

On Wednesday 15 February 1888 Jack Wannop said goodbye to Miriam and their clutch of small children and left his home at 105 Woodpecker Road, New Cross, London, for Euston and the midday train to Liverpool. Met with a cordial reception at Lime Street station by a Mr Snell, The Sporting Life reported that Jack… Read More Resolute as a lion, cool as the regulation cucumber, Jack Wannop bids farewell to New Cross and hello to the Chicago Strangler