1898-05-20 Charles Kid McCoy w pts 20 Gus Ruhlin, Empire Club, The Alhambra, Syracuse, New York, USA
1898-05-20 Charles Kid McCoy w pts 20 Gus Ruhlin, Empire Club, The Alhambra, Syracuse, New York, USA. Referee: George Siler. Billed as the first defence of his heavyweight title claim, having been turned down by both Bob Fitzsimmons and James J. Corbett, McCoy (157) soon proved to be far more mobile than Ruhlin (180), utilising the jab well and cutting the bigger man up. The last four rounds saw Ruhlin looking by far the stronger as both men tired, McCoy remaining alert to the big punches coming his way before taking the decision.
Despite his victory McCoy received little or no recognition whatsoever. However, when terms were agreed on 11 July for McCoy to meet Corbett at the Hawthorne AC, Buffalo, New York on 27 August it seemed as though the public would see a real title battle. Unfortunately, after hearing that his father and mother had died following a shooting on 16 August, Corbett, who had reclaimed his old title, called the fight off. It transpired that Pat Corbett had shot his wife, Kate, before turning the gun on himself.
On 16 December, in a six-round contest, McCoy beat Joe Goddard, the Barrier champion, by a fifth-round disqualification at The Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before going on to defend his claim against Tom Sharkey.