The Sun – March 25, 1884
Throwing the Detroit Giant in the Mixed Wrestling Match in Cleveland.
CLEVELAND, March 24 – The great mixed wrestling match between D.C. Ross of Cleveland and Col. J. H. McLaughlin of Detroit, took place at the Euclid Avenue Opera House tonight in the presence of 1,000 persons, including many prominent sporting men from all parts of the country. The match was made some weeks ago for $1,000 a side, the winner of two out of three falls to take the money. Betting was lively, Ross being the favorite in this city at $20 to $17. A large amount of money probably $25,000, changed hands on the result. Ed Gilman of Detroit was chosen referee. Parson Davies of Chicago acted as second for McLaughlin and Thomas Curry of Cleveland as second for Ross.
At 8:23 the men stepped on the stage. McLaughlin came to the front with a hop, skip, and jump, while Ross walked forward slowly. The Clevelander was dressed in black trunks and white tights, and McLaughlin in red trunks and white tights. Both men were in excellent condition. Ross weighed 195 and McLaughlin 210 pounds. When stripped Ross was the better looking of the two, the Detroiter being much too heavy.
First Bout – Graeco Roman – For an instant the two giants stooped and glared at each other, and then began playing for a hold. McLaughlin got Ross around the neck, but Ross was too quick for him, and again played for a hold. McLaughlin got his man by the neck, and threw him, but Ross, with the agility of a cat, landed on his knees. Again the Detroiter made a fine throw, but Ross, by a simple effort, struck face downward. Up again, Mac got a bad hold on Ross, and a fall was expected at this point, but by a wonderful quick movement Ross made another fine turn. From this on, McLaughlin worked hard to tire Ross out. It was a stubborn struggle, and McLaughlin appeared as much fatigued as his opponent. Great drops of perspiration fell from his brow. He worked slowly, and appeared to be somewhat afraid of Ross, whose quick, cat-like movements won for him loud applause. McLaughlin proceeded to throw his man several times, but Ross made elegant turns, and once rolled Mac several feet from him. Both men stood on their feet and paused for a second, glaring fiercely at each other. They locked again, Ross getting his man around the neck and McLaughlin taking hold around Ross’s waist. Ross again made a wonderful turn and was loudly applauded. In an instant Ross downed McLaughlin, and compressed the Detroiter in a half Nelson and body lock. First fall for Ross. Time, 18 minutes.
The first bout was neutral ground. McLaughlin having the name of the champion at collar and elbow, and Ross being unexcelled at catch-as-catch-can. At Graeco-Roman the men were evenly matched.
Second Bout – collar and elbow – The men gripped and played. Suddenly McLaughlin jerked Ross to his knees, but the Cleveland boy jumped to his feet. Ross proceeded in getting a grapevine lock on his opponent but they broke away and followed with a shoulder and side lock, breaking both times. McLaughlin came near getting a fall by forcing a hind lock on Ross. He quickly rolled Ross again, and threw him over his head, sinking a cross toe lock, and winning the bout. Fall for Ross. Time, 8 minutes.
Third Bout (Catch as catch can) – McLaughlin appeared in a jacket, and his second Parson Davies, on Ross donning a jacket also. The referee decided that the bout would be made without jackets. McLaughlin led off by getting Ross down, but the Clevelander, with his usual quickness, saved himself. They locked again and Ross lifted the Colonel bodily, but couldn’t throw him. Ross jumped around like a toad and nearly got a fall. Two grapevine locks followed, Ross making more useful turns. At it again, they rolled over, McLaughlin kicking, and thereby saving himself. The Detroit man appeared much expanded while Ross was still fresh and eager for a finish. Suddenly Ross seized his man and threw him over the head, landing him fair and square, and ending the contest. Second fall for Ross. Time, 21 minutes.
At the conclusion of the match McLaughlin announced that he would again wrestle Ross in three weeks, with jackets for, $2,000. Ross replied that he would agree, providing the match was three falls out of five. McLaughlin agreed and the match was made.