William Desmond Passes Away

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     On Tuesday, July 4, 1916, former St. Louis Chief of Detectives William Desmond passed away after an illness of two years.  Desmond was in Alexian Brothers Hospital from October 1915 until his death on Independence Day 1916.  The 59-year-old Desmond left a 12-year-old son, William Desmond, Jr.  Chief Desmond’s wife died several years before him.      For

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Hack and Zbyszko Battle to Draw

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     At the beginning of 1911, the wrestling public considered three men to be the greatest challenge to reigning World Champion Frank Gotch.  Former champion George Hackenschmidt, Stanislaus Zbyszko and “The Terrible Turk” Yussif Mahmout wanted the chance to beat Gotch.      Gotch, who was nobody’s fool, decided to take some of the starch out of his challengers

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George Wiggins Sentenced to Life

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     On October 31, 1912, George Wiggins attended his trial for the murder of St. Louis Police Officer Louis Schnarr in June 1912.  Nonchalantly chewing gum, 21-year-old Wiggins appeared totally oblivious to the seriousness of the trial.  Wiggins plead guilty to the murder with the hope of receiving 25 years in prison.  However, Judge Withrow was considering the death

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Stetcher and Zbyszko Complete Deal

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     On December 13, 1920, Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeated Joe Stetcher for his World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.  Professional wrestling was a staged exhibition by 1920.  However, such was the strong feelings between the men that the match may have been a “shoot” or legitimate match in which Lewis took the belt.      Whether the outcome of the match

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Heenan Loses to King in Last Bout

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     John Camel Heenan was known to 19th Century bare knuckle prizefighting fans as “the Benicia Boy”.  Despite an 0-1-1 record as a professional fighter, Heenan claimed the World Prizefighting Championship based on a draw with Tom Sayer in an 1860 English prize-fight.      Heenan’s first professional fight had been with the reigning World Heavyweight Prizefighting Champion John

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Morrissey vs. Poole Revised and On Sale

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     We recently revised my second combat sports history book, Morrissey vs. Poole: Politics, Prizefighting and The Murder of Bill the Butcher.  I enjoyed researching and writing this book more than my other titles because it crosses the 19th Century bare knuckle prizefighting world, New York City politics as well as national politics.      World Bare Knuckle Prizefighting Champion

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