Moth And Cannon

The St. Paul Daily Globe – December 5, 1885

They Indulge in a Wrestling Match in Which Both Struggle Desperately for Victory.

 Cannon, After Losing a Fall, Refuses to Continue the Match Because of the Decision.

 The Moth-Cannon Wrestling Match.
The widely-advertised wrestling match between Moth and Cannon for $500 a side, to take place at Market hall, Minneapolis, last evening, ended in a fizzle and the disappointment of a large audience.  The hall was moderately filled with people of all classes and denominations, who had each selected their favorite man and spent the time in waiting for their appearance in making small bets.  Moth was slightly the favorite because of his former victory over Cannon.  But there were those present who were willing to bet their little on Cannon, and accommodated all comers.  Moth, since his former match with Cannon, has been training and last night he was in good condition.  This fact led the people to believe that when he could throw Cannon while out of form, how much easier would the task be when in condition.  Sporting men from all over the country were present and had possession of the front part of the house.  They were very quiet and did very little betting.

The Betting.

During the afternoon up to the hour of the struggle betting was lively, ranging from $5 to $50 in amounts, and the total amount went, it is estimated, into the thousands.  At Brown Bros. alone, about $1,000 was put up.  At Paul Schmedemann’s, on Nicollet avenue, Moth was a prime favorite, and odds were offered on him and freely taken.

The audience, surprising as it may seem, was but little larger than on the occasion of the first match.  This was probably owing to the unpropitious weather.  The people began to assemble in the hall as early as 8 o’clock, and after the expiration of three quarters of an hour they became demonstrative and urged the athletes to appear by continuous stamping and clapping of hands.  Moth was the first to appear in the dressing-room.  As he walked slowly through the hall towards the stage entrance he was vociferously applauded.  Betting in the hall then began and the excitement incident to such things was continued until the hall was opened, when Patsy Cardiff stepped into the stage wings and placed the door receipts in Dr. Ames’ hands to hold until the contest should be decided by the referee.  When Cardiff appeared before the footlights he was greeted with cheers.  He stated that Prof. Duplessis had been decided upon as referee, but in behalf of Moth he wished to interpose an objection.  He said that Mr. Duplessis was a personal friend of both himself and Moth, and in view of the fact that great dissatisfaction had been expressed regarding the decisions of the referee in the recent match, Cardiff did not care to run the chance of being accused of securing the sympathies of the referee.  Therefore Mr. Duplessis could not referee the match.

Mr. Moth and Mr. Cannon were then introduced, and Mr. Cannon stated he had made the match with the explicit understanding that Prof. Duplessis should act as referee, and he insisted upon Duplessis as his right.

The audience here set up on uproar and the names of Atterbury, Williams, Mannix and Tom Moore were suggested, but none of them seemed to be satisfactory.  Finally the choice alighted upon F.J. Boardman, Esq., who accepted the upleasing task and announced he would decide the match on its merits.  The men then appeared, Cardiff as second for Moth, Tom Shields for Cannon and Ben Brunswick as timekeeper.  After Cannon had attempted to explain what constituted a fall and offered to bet Moth $50 on the match, time was called for

The First Bout.

 After shaking hands cautious sparring for a favorable lick was indulged in without advantage to either.  Moth offered his head and Cannon took a full chancery but Moth easily broke away.  Then Cannon forced matters for a moment, seizing a neck-lock, and again a chancery, but they were futile and made no impression.  With a mighty push Cannon would invariably be forced back, and was compelled to relinquish his hold.  Evidently Moth was in much better condition than when the two champions met the first time.  Again Cannon took a chancery, and Moth in breaking it tripped against the rear curtain.  Supposing it was a solid partition or wall he fell headlong through the pile of rubbish.  Cannon appreciating the advantage offered by the accident sprang quickly upon him, but the wily German was prepared, and with one tremendous effort threw Cannon to the floor, when they worked their way.

Through The Curtain

and the carpet.  Cannon was found on all fours in self defense.  Moth made a few ineffectual half Nelson attempts and then resorted to Cannon tactics, and began pumping his opponent’s wind and not without signal effect.  Moth then took a hand hold, but it slipped and, seizing the opportunity, Cannon sprang to his feet like a circus gymnast.  After sparring for a few minutes for advantage, Cannon succeeded in getting a neck hold, but Moth with one powerful push sent him flying to the other side of the stage.  It was here that Moth began forcing the fight and he worked vigorously, and now and then when Cannon would seize him by the neck, he would, with a swinging motion with his right arm, send Cannon spinning around like a top.  Twenty minutes found the athletes sparring fast and furious without perceptible advantage to either.  Moth continued to force matters and made several unsuccessful attempts to get a back hold, which is his favorite, and Cannon went to the carpet for protection.  Moth then took a reverse body lock and struggled desperately to lift Cannon off the floor, but the Englishman successfully counteracted every effort.  Moth then appeared determined and tried half-Nelson and arm lock until Cannon seized the German by the hands and endeavored to make a head-pivot turn, but Moth’s strength controlled the move with ease.  Then Moth worked away at the other’s stomach, pumping wind with telling effect.  Cannon made an adroit move and grasped Moth’s thumb, compelling him to loosen a severe body-lock.  Moth then coolly blew his nose, and the audience cheered.  He then tried to get the arm-and-hammer lock, which was cleverly resisted by Cannon.  When Moth had made several quick changes from half-Nelson to body and then to armlocks, Cannon, with marvelously quick movement, seized Moth by the neck, but the wonderful strength of the latter prevented Cannon from budging him.  Moth then began forcing matters, changing locks with rapid succession.  Finally he succeeded in getting a half-Nelson and an armlock combination, turning Cannon upon his back.  The excitement of the audience scarcely knew bounds.  The cheering made the welkin ring, and it was with difficulty that the referee was able to make his voice heard in the tumult.  “That was a fall,” he shouted repeatedly at the top of his voice.  The wrestlers sprang quickly to their feet, and Cannon began the series of “kicks” which marked the first match.  “Do you say that was a fall?” he yelled.  The referee remained perfectly cool and said nothing, but the audience cried “fall!  fall!” until the people on the east side of the river were reminded of the great election jollification of a year ago.  Cannon continued to kick and the audience to shout their approval of the decision.  Meanwhile Moth had quietly taken his seat beside his second, Patsy Cardiff.  Finally a lull came and the referee stepped to the front and gave the fall to Moth, and announced the time forty-three minutes.  His decision was received with uproarious cheering.  Cannon then jumped to the front again and yelled; “If this man referees

I’ll Quit Wrestling;

that was no fall.”  “It was a fall,” rang out hundreds of voices in the audience, and again the direst confusion prevailed.  Prof. C. O. Duplessis, who sat near the reporter and who is accepted as good authority, was asked for an opinion.  “It was a fair and square fall,” replied Mr. Duplessis without hesitation.  “Yes, it was an honest fall,” added Adon Butler, the wrestler.  “That lock would throw anybody.”  Cannon continued to protest until the timekeeper called time.  Moth sprung to the center of the stage, but Cannon only shouted; “I want a new referee.  I won’t wrestle with this man.  I think he is honest in his opinion, but it was not a fall.”  Mr. Boardman said; “Do you refuse to continue the match, Mr. Cannon?”  “I will not wrestle with you as referee,” answered Cannon.  Turning to the audience, Mr. Boardman, by waving his hand, succeeded in quieting the tumultuous uproar, and gave the match to Charles Moth.  Cannon then shouted that he should bring legal action to recover his money.  Moth leaped into the air and kicked up his heels like a cat, and Arthur Mills stepped up and offered to put up $500 on Moth, but his proffer was not accepted.

After the wrestling match last night a gentleman from Wisconsin deposited $100 as a forfeiture for a wager of any sum from $100 to $1,000 that Charles V. Lewis of Madison can defeat Cannon in a catch-as-catch-can wrestling match, to occur in Minneapolis or Madison.  Mr. Cannon was seen and he says he is willing to wrestle Lewis in mixed styles or in Graeco-Roman or sidehold.

Moth’s Record.



Charles Moth was born in Hamburg, Germany, and early gave evidences of extraordinary physical strength, as well as nerve and cool-headedness.  At the age of 19 he made his advent in the athletic arena in an engagement in a circus company.  He then challenged any man in that country to meet him at Graeco-Roman style, and he met over a dozen wrestlers without a defeat.  Three years ago Moth met Carl Abs, a famous athlete of Hamburg, the match resulting in a draw.  He afterwards went to England and at Liverpool, two years ago, met Steining, the celebrated English wrestler, and wrestled with him six hours on one fall.  The latter got hurt and gave up the contest.  In Philadelphia, where he went soon after, he met Joe Acton, and tried to arrange a match at Graeco-Roman.  The latter wanted to wrestle at catch-as-catch-can style, but as Moth was then unacquainted with that style of wrestling he could not get up a match.  At Detroit, last April, Col. J. H McLaughlin backed him for $500 to wrestle Bob Wright at Graeco-Roman.  Moth won three straight falls.  He wrestled Muldoon at Cincinnati on Christmas last for four hours without a fall and the match was declared a draw.  At Albion, Mich., four months ago, he met Col. McLaughlin in a mixed match for $250 a side, and won.  Moth met him again at Ft. Wayne, Ind., at five styles, soon after, with the same result.  He got three straight falls from Andre Christol at Graeco-Roman, at Adrian, Mich., four months ago.  Moth met Theodore George, the champion Graeco-Roman railroad wrestler, at Madison, Wis., last summer, and won the match by three straight falls.

At a Scotch picnic at Cleveland, O., July 4, 1884, Moth wrestled Duncan C. Ross an hour and a half on one fall, at catch-as-catch-can, when Ross backed out.  He met and defeated J. J. Lawlor, at Toledo, by three straight falls at Graeco-Roman.  His feats in Minneapolis are familiar to all the readers of the GLOBE.  He twice defeated Mervine Thompson in mixed wrestling contests and also in heavy-weight lifting.  He gave Wilkes McDermott five straight falls in thirty-five minutes, Graeco-Roman style, and defeated Thomas Cannon in Market hall last month on a foul and one fall.

Cannon’s Record.

Cannon was born in Fyldesley, Lancashire, England, April 19, 1852, of Irish parentage, and when a boy worked in the coal mines, where he soon developed a considerable amount of muscle.  He first came into prominence by defeating Henry Lord, the light-weight champion of England, in two straight falls at Manchester Royal Oak grounds, March 17, 1869.  In April of the same year he defeated Lord in a return match at the above grounds.  He defeated David Bently at Ince recreation grounds, near Wigan, July 13, 1870.  He next met Frank Robinson for the middle-weight championship of England.

The match proved a draw, but at a later match he won after a tussle of nearly six hours.  He was defeated by Edwin Bibby Aug. 11, 1872, at Manchester and defeated Edwin Bibby at Farnsworth Nov. 16, 1874.



He then went to London, where he joined the Metropolitan police, serving fifteen months and resigning to travel with Hengler’s circus through England and Scotland.  After full filling his engagement he challenged the world to a mixed match, catch-as-catch-can, Graeco-Roman and back hold.  Joseph Acton took up the challenge and the match took place at Lillie Bridge grounds, West Brampton, London, March 3, 1879, for £200 a side.  Acton won the first fall catch-as-catch-can.  Cannon won the second, Graeco-Roman, and third, back holds, and match.  Time 1:52.

He arrived in this country May 1, 1881, and after several successful matches, he was defeated by Clarence Whistler in Kansas City, Aug. 19, 1882, and again in January, 1883, at Louisville, Ky.  He then wrestled in numerous cities of the country, meeting and defeating numerous professionals of considerable repute.  He defeated Duncan C. Ross at Louisville, Ky., Feb. 18, 1885, in a five-style match; defeated Jack Carkeek at the wigwam, San Francisco, May 14, in a six-style match, catch-as-catch-can, Graeco-Roman, collar and elbow, side hold, back hold and Cornish style; defeated Maxamillian Pascha, better known as the Italian Bull, in a Graeco-Roman match at the wigwam, San Francisco, June 23, and by Charles Moth, at Market hall, this city, on the 20th of last month.


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