dr-benjamin-franklin-roller

     On Tuesday, January 19, 1909, Dr. Benjamin Roller, a Seattle physician and pro wrestler who was good enough to win the American Heavyweight Championship, inexplicably decided to try his hand at professional boxing.  His opponent was friend and sparring partner, “Denver” Ed Martin, who would win the Colored World Heavyweight Boxing Championship.   […]

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frank-gotch

      Frank Gotch, the farm boy from Humboldt, Iowa, would defeat George Hackenschmidt for the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in 1908.  This victory and his subsequent defeat of “Hack” in the 1911 rematch cemented Gotch’s place as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.  Gotch was a very talented wrestler but he […]

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paddy-ryan

     The few people who know about the prizefighter Paddy Ryan probably know him as John L. Sullivan’s victim.  Sullivan beat Ryan for the Heavyweight Prizefighting Championship in 1882.  Ryan though was  a good fighter in his own right.      Paddy Ryan was born on March 15, 1851 in Ireland.  His family emigrated to Troy, […]

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martin-farmer-burns

     Martin “Farmer” Burns is more famous today as the trainer of legendary wrestler Frank Gotch.  “Farmer” Burns was a great wrestler in his own right.  Burns was considered the American Heavyweight Wrestling Champion despite being only 165 pounds.  In 1891, Burns as the Iowa Heavyweight Champion took on J.C. Comstock, the Michigan Heavyweight Champion. […]

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willie-egan-and saloon

     William T.”Willie” Egan took over “Egan’s Rats” on the death of his older brother Tom in 1919.  Thomas “Snake” Kinney and his childhood friend and brother-in-law Tom Egan formed St. Louis’ criminal organization in the late 1800s.  Both Kinney and Tom Egan were saloon keepers and Democratic politicians.  They employed “the Rats” for political […]

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