Reproduced from the the "Famous Fights" from Gough Square Publishing. firstname.lastname@example.org Best gipsy of them all :-
Bareknuckle boxer Gipsy Jack Cooper appears in issue 26. An interesting biography is given alongside an account of his match with Iron-Arm Cabbage. Here are portraits of the fighters.
Jack Cooper was 'the best gipsy of them all', and according to Famous Fights, would have went to his grave with an unbeaten record if 'town life' hadn't softened him. We learn that as the Coopers had always been famous as a fighting tribe of gipsies, a lot was expected of Jack in his first appearance in the ring. His opponent, West-Country Dick had made a name for himself, but was knocked out in minutes. Jack earned five pounds for his efforts. A return match was hastily arranged one hour later! Jack won this too.
Jack beat two Irishmen O'Leary and Dent, and by now had a fearsome reputation. A return with O'Leary ended in disaster with the death of the Irishman. Jack was charged with manslaughter and spent six months in prison.
Soon after his release Jack was back in the ring. That he had killed a man in the ring led to fear in his opponents, but much larger crowds, all wanting to see the Gipsy hard man.
Now we're used to nicknames like Mighty Mike, Iron Mike, Simply the Best, Real Deal, etc, so why Jack's next opponent Stephen Strong was given his nickname Iron-Arm Cabbage is probably long lost in history, but Famous Fights suggests two reasons, firstly that he liked cabbage, and secondly because he was a tailor. I'll leave this website's readers to fathom out more plausible explanations than these.
Cabbage had fought many fighters and was assisted by Tom Cribb and Tom Belcher. We hear that Cabbage was a difficult man to train 'for if there was a petticoat or a pint of beer in reach he was bound to go for it.' Cabbage was not the favourite with the betting men, he was much older than Jack Cooper, and had poor vision in one eye, possibly completely blind in that eye.
The fight took place on 26 March 1823. As he entered the ring, Jack looked strong, weighing in at what a light-middleweight of today would scale, and unusually he appeared taller than he was as he walked on tip-toe. Cabbage is described as in a battle-hardened state, features flattened from old wars, and unkindly described as hideous looking.
As the fight began Cabbage took control, fierce and dashing, his punch rate was very high and Jack didn't like this style at all. Jack was dropped to the floor, and later on was thrown by Cabbage. Wrestling holds were allowed back then, and one of Cabbage's throws had Jack landing on his head. Some in the crowd imagined Jack's neck to be broken. Jack was groggy and in trouble, but a single blow in the fourteenth round from Jack looked to have knocked out Cabbage. But Cabbage rose to the scratch and slammed a fist into Jack's temple, dropping him instantly. For another twenty rounds Cabbage had all the fight, Cooper falling to his knee or being completely knocked down. But Jack was in better condition than Cabbage, and as the minutes ticked by, Cabbage's strength was sapping. Jack got new wind and with a single cracking blow knocked Cabbage to the ground, leaving a huge gash on Cabbage's temple. Cabbage arose, tried to throw his man, which gained him cheers from the crowd, but it was over. He had no strength.
Jack Cooper finished the fight efficiently, With Cabbage almost blinded from blood in his remaining eye, his seconds threw in the sponge and Cooper was hailed the winner of a most sensational battle.
John(Jack) Cooper was the son of Elijah(Lusha) Cooper and according to one source Tryphena(Truffeni Lovell) and Cousin of Charles Leland's "Professor" Matty(Matthias) Cooper, who had a son Sam who was also a bare knuckle fighter known as "boxer Sam" .Jack (John) Cooper and his brother Tom were later both transported , they had another brother Henry who also boxed but was not as successful. Jacks wife was Charlotte Lee who features in Gerge borrow's book Lavo Lil, first Published 1874. *****More to follow!! Below is Jack's fight record from Famous Fights Issue no 59.
Thanks to Nick who runs the excellent website ! email@example.com
Over the next few months we will reprint several volumes of the boxing newspaper Famous Fights: Past and Present. The paper ran from 1901 to 1904 and is eagerly sought by collectors and historians alike.
All issues are A4 sized (8.5x12 inches) - almost identical to the originals. They are digitally printed in full colour on high quality stock, showing the age marks in the paper, and bound in a card cover.
Eash issue costs £3.50 ($7) plus postage and packing. Add £1.30 p+p to the UK for the first copy, and 60 pence for additional copies. Postage and packing to the USA is $4.50 for airmail, while other countries are charged at cost. We can accept Paypal and many other methods of payment.
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Digger Stanley was George Stanley b 1876 son of George stanley and Cinderella ,he was champion from 1910 to 1912 .
Details from Boxing Index:-
Digger Stanley Sex Male Nationality British Alias George Stanley Hometown London, England Birthplace Norwich, England Division Bantamweight Date of Birth 1876-02-28 Date of Death 1919-03-07 Age at Death 43 W 16 (2 ko's) (+ 1 news) | L 15 | D 3 (+ 1 news) | Total 36.
Born in 1876, Pedlar Palmer was not yet 25 when he was featured on the back of Famous Fights on 22 April 1901.
Bantamweight Palmer, to the left, had just come off three losses, so was now being written as a fighter past his best, but the article says that the brilliance of his brief career has seldom been surpassed. According to the writer, “Quick and agile as a cat, he was here, there and everywhere, putting into execution more dodges and expedients than any two ordinary men. He is termed the ‘box of tricks’... his head work was simply marvellous, and very frequently he has been known not to attempt to defend himself with his arms at all, but to stand up to his opponent and dodge the blows solely by the wonderful rapidity with which he would manipulate his little head-piece. His footwork too, was a perfect study.”
George "Digger" Stanley Pedlar Palmer