The New York Times/Sporting Intelligence
William Poole and John Morrissey
The $2,000 Prize Fight.
Thirty-seven Rounds Fought
A Row in and Around the Ring
Dispute as to whom is the Victor.
The excitement was intense during yesterday and last night, in all parts of the City, respecting the great prize fight for a wager of $2,000, between James, or "Yankee" Sullivan and John Morrissey, that was known by certain sporting gents, to have taken place in the interior of Putnam County, New York, bordering on the States of Massachusetts and Vermont. The news spread around the city, to the effect, that the pugilists had been captured by the authorities of some county where they were passing through, but such persons who were posted in this ring contest disclaimed the rumor, and before 12 o'clock, noon, it was ascertained positively that the pugilistic encounter would certainly come off between the hours of 11 o'clock A.M. and 3 P.M., at the ground selected, near Boston Four Corners, on the line of the New-York and Harlem Railroad, about one hundred miles distant from this City. The trains of the Harlem Road were densely crowded on Tuesday afternoon, and yesterday morning, with hundreds of persons, whose curiosity was excited to such a pitch, as to prompt them to abandon their business, families, and all else, for the purpose of witnessing the brutal exhibition in the ring, between the two human beings above named. The cars were, accordingly, heavily laden with passengers, and it is estimated that over three thousand persons from New-York, Brooklyn, Williamsburgh, Jersey City, and surrounding places, left by Railway between the hours of 12 o'clock, M., on Tuesday, and 6 o'clock, A.M., yesterday morning. Last night, all sorts of rumors were afloat in the City as to the result of the combat, and bets were made, varying from $100 to $500, that the fight had not taken place, all of which are of course lost, as the battle was fought, without any attempt, as far as we could learn, of interference by the authorities of the County in which the disgusting scene was enacted. The spot selected for the fight, was a large open lot in the County of Putnam, which is situated on land that seemed to be disputed territory, between this State and Massachusetts, as persons residing in both States claim to be the owners. This being a nice point; it was taken into due consideration by the pugilists and their friends, and accordingly taken advantage of. At the arrival of the Harlem and Hudson River Railroad trains, last night the depot stations were besieged by crowds of persons anxiously inquiring as to the result of the contest. No information of a reliable character could be obtained up to near midnight, but "they did not give it up so," and when the Albany express train arrived, the news of the encounter, was sounded in all directions, and Sullivan proclaimed by his friends to be the victor of the fight. Others, who were favorable towards Morrissey, declared that he had won the battle, and received a decision in his favor by the Judges and Referee. It appears the pugilists met on the ground at 11 o'clock yesterday morning, amidst an assemblage of some four or five thousand persons, and nothing occurred to disturb them; the ring was formed and they were brought forth by their seconds, who were as follows: For Sulivan, Andee Sheehan, of the Fourth Ward, and William Wilson. For Morrissey, Awful Gardner and Tom O'Donnell. The favorite was Morrissey, $100 to $70, and in some instances $100 to $50, before they came to blows. They were both in good condition, and the six weeks training appeared to have improved each of them in both appearance and strength. They walked up face to face, good naturedly smiled, and took their positions apparently in the best feeling. They squared off, and the first blood was drawn by Sullivan with a swift tap on Morrissey's nose. He followed up his blows in quick succession, and the first round created considerable excitement among the spectators. The rounds were continued on to the Thirty-seventh, occupying fifty-five minutes, when Morrissey became very weak, and a general row was the result. Some persons rushed inside of the ring, and several of them received some severe punishment. The only blows Sulliavn received was about the right side of his face, principally on his cheek bone, and the eye was much swollen.
The face of Morrissey was frightfully mutilated, and it is said by those who witnessed the affair, that he also received numerous severe blows on the body, which will no doubt render him disable for a long time.
There is now a dispute as to who was victorious in the contest, and we learn the Judges decided in favor Morrissey on the ground of "foul blows," and "not coming to time," &c., &c.
This decision is, however, claimed to be wrong by the opponents of it, and the stake-holder (Jim Hughes) was advised not to give up the $2,000 prize, which he has held in gold coin since the match was made.
It is rumored that Sullivan has agreed to place $1,000 additional to the sum already up, and fight the battle over again for the $4,000, in one day or sixty days.
There will probably be great excitement eventually growing out of this whole matter, on and in half a dozen prize fights.