The Sun – March 25, 1884
Five Feet Six Whirls Six Feet Two Twice To The Floor.
Wasting Strength On The Vanquished Han After His Fall And Holding On Until Police Captain McCullagh Pulled Him Off.
Capt. James C. Daly, the Irish champion, presented a splendid physique when he appeared on the platform in Clarendon Hall last evening to wrestle with Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese wonder. Daly stood six feet two, and gave his weight as 220 pounds. He wore bright green tights. His skin had a healthy and transparent glow which showed the working of muscle and every movement of his body. Sorakichi was also stripped to the waist, and appeared all muscle. His broad face wore a smile of confidence. He stood five foot six, and weighed 185 pounds. A brother Jap stepped from the crowd of five hundred in the hall to act as interpreter, and Steve O’Donnell was his umpire and handler. Mr. William Barry attended to Capt. Daly. Pop Whittaker was master of ceremonies and referee.
It was understood that the men were to wrestle two bouts first in Japanese style, then two bouts in catch-as-catch-can style. If neither gained three falls, they were to toss for choice of style of final bout. Capt. Daly proposed that they toss for their choice of style for the first bout. This was acceded to and he won, choosing catch-as-catch-can.
Before the word “Time!” had ceased to roll through the hall, the men were in a fierce grapple. The Jap’s sight was quicker, and his motions were the nimbler of the two. He bent the Captain like a willowy sapling. There was a gliding and stamping over the canvas mattress: the Captain clutched his opponent’s neck, arms, and back in quick successive grips in order to gain a hold and brace so that he could trip the Jap. Sorakichi twisted from each hold as fast as it was made, and, stooping down gripped Daly’s left leg in his arms, raised him off his feet, and three him to the floor. Then hugging him with the grasp of a devil fish, he pressed Daly’s shoulders to the canvas. This really constituted a fall according to the rules, but the Jap and a great number of Daly’s friends did not apparently so understand it. Sorakichi kept pushing Daly over to the edge of the mattress, while fierce cries of “Fall” and “Foul” filled the air. The Jap finally pushed Daly’s head over the edge of the platform. Still the Captain kept his hips from touching the floor, and then the cries merged into the one world. “Foul!” Pop Whittaker shouted “A fall” into the Jap’s ears, and the interpreter also called, “You’ve gained the fall.” He still retained his terrible grip. Police Captain McCullagh now sprang on the stage and pulled the Jap from off his adversary. Then rose a storm of applause, mingled with cries of “Foul” and hisses.
Pop Whittaker mounted a chair and drowned all other noises by shouting: “This is a bona fide, up-and-up, honorable match. I am the referee, and I will decide justly if it takes my other arm. Matsada Sorakichi wins the fall. Both shoulders down constitutes a fall.”
From the time the men grappled until Capt. Daly’s shoulders touched was 56 ½ seconds.
The next bout was Japanese style. Any part of the body, a finger even, pressed to the canvas, would be a fall.
The Jap sprang at Daly and caught him by the shoulders, endeavored to press his body forward, and thus bend him to the floor. Daly pushed the Jap against the wall at the back of the stage and took the Jap by the neck with an ugly, twisting clutch. Sorakichi squirmed loose, got a hold on Daly, forced him toward the right side of the stage, throwing him with a whirl. Daly’s shoulder struck, and a continuance of the motion brought the Jap’s hip to the floor, with Daly turning on him. To many of those in the crowd, which was made up mainly of Daly’s partisans, it looked as though the Captain had gained the fall. The struggle had only lasted sixteen seconds. Wild outcries again filled the hall, and when Pop Whittaker motioned that Sorakichi had won the fall the uproar was bewildering. Daly and Barry both claimed the fall, and Daly refused to wrestle again unless the claim was allowed.
When quiet was partially restored Pop Whittaker announced that time would be called again in seven minutes for a bout at catch-as-catch-can. If Capt. Daly failed to wrestle, the match would be given to Matsada Sorakichi.
At the close of the seven minutes Sorakichi placed himself in position, and Daly rose from his chair and walked toward him with reluctant steps. Before he had reached the centre of the platform Barry stepped in front of his principal and pressed him back. Daly remained standing. A henchman of the Captain’s, just behind him shouted: “We want a new referee for Mr. Daly.”
“I have been chosen referee.” roared Pop. “and I pronounce Matsada Sorakichi the winner.”
This settled the matter, and the crowd slowly dispersed.
Critical athletes present expressed their belief that, with proper training, Sorakichi will prove more than a match for our wrestlers at all styles.