John L. Sullivan vs. Paddy Ryan (1st meeting)

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John L Sullivan fought without result Paddy Ryan by NC in round 1 of 4

  • Date: 1885-01-19
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
  • This was Sullivan's second fight with Ryan, from whom he had previously won the world's heavyweight championship in 1882. It took place just one week after Sullivan's second bout with Alf Greenfield.

    Mace was desperately in need of money and Sullivan was declining in popularity. Thus Sullivan's manager, Patrick Sheedy put together the fight as a means to both generate money and get the public talking once again about the champion.

    Unlike their first match, this one was scheduled to the limited distance of four rounds and four-ounce gloves were used. Both fighters appeared badly out of shape, but the pre-fight hype from Sheedy generated interest. Over 5,000 people watched the fight at Madison Square Garden. They saw little action however. Sullivan had only just started to take control in the first round when police stopped the affair on orders from Mayor William Grace. Sullivan was declared winner of the abortive bout and he split his winnings with the near destitute Ryan.