Tommy Ryan

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

One of the greatest boxers at the turn of the 20th century was certainly Tommy Ryan 다운로드. Born on March 31, 1870 in Redwood, New York by the name  Joseph Youngs, he later changed his name after running away from home at a young age.

He worked in lumber yard camps, where he learned his boxing skills 위기의 남자 다운로드. On January 1, 1887, at the age of 17, he turned professional and scored knockout wins in seventeen of his first eighteen fights.

In his career he would engage in a five fight series with the tough Mysterious Billy Smith, and after two draws, Ryan would win a 20-round decision in their third fight to capture Smith’s welterweight title on July 26, 1894 다운로드.

On January 18, 1895, Ryan defeated top contender Jack Dempsey (The Nonpareil) by a third round stoppage to retain his title.

Ryan would fight Smith again in their fourth encounter on May 27, 1895, but the police interfered in the eighteenth round and the result was ruled a draw 다운로드.

The following year on March 2, 1896, Ryan suffered his first career loss to Kid McCoy by a 15 round stoppage 다운로드.

After the loss to McCoy, Ryan moved up in weight to fight in the middleweight division. He would get a rematch with McCoy on September 8, 1897 and Ryan vowed he would get revenge.

The fight only lasted five rounds, as the authorities jumped into the ring and stopped the contest which ended in a draw.

Ryan went on to win his next five fights, all by knockout, and on October 24, 1898, he defeated Jack Boner to claim the middleweight championship with a decisive 20-round decision win.

Ryan wanted another fight with Kid McCoy and that bout came about on May 29, 1900, in Chicago, in what was to be a bizarre outcome. In their scheduled six round bout, by all accounts Ryan appeared to be the winner; but at the conclusion of the fight, referee Malachy Hogan announced that McCoy was the winner. In shock and disbelief, Ryan inexplicably ran to Hogan, staggering the surprised referee with a punch to the jaw. Hogan then jumped all over Ryan as the two engaged into a brawl type fight. At that point others ringside jumped into the ring of melee, followed soon after by the police jumping into the ring to prevent a riot from erupting. The outcome of the bout was officially ruled a draw, with the two never to fight each other again.

Ryan continued to fight for another seven years, never to relinquish his title, holding it until his retirement in 1907.  This nine and a half  year hold on the middleweight crown was just magnificent.

In retirement Ryan traveled the vaudeville circuit and promoted boxing shows, where he would fight himself in several exhibitions. He also was instrumental in helping and working with Jim Jeffries and James Corbett in training for their fights.

Boxing historian Al Nelson commented to me fifty one years ago, “Tommy Ryan at his peak was as unbeatable as any boxer of his day”.

Nat Fleischer, founder of Ring magazine and boxing historian ranks  Ryan #2 greatest middleweight of all time, and boxing historian Bert Sugar ranks him at #24 greatest boxer of all time.

My personal ranking is #3 at middleweight, right behind Harry Greb, Carlos Monzon, and just ahead of Stanley Ketchel, Marvin Hagler, Mickey Walker respectively – note Sugar Ray Robinson is #1 on my welterweight rankings.

Ryan was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1958, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.  Personally, I am absolutely dumbfounded that he wasn’t inducted by the World Boxing Hall of Fame, during their existence (1980-2009) and serving myself as a Board of Director and historian (1997-2007) with them, I am totally embarrassed – to say the least – he was not included with the many greats in boxing.

Tommy Ryan’s official ring record is 82 wins, 2 losses, 13 draws, 68 knockouts, and 13 by no-contest. In his only two defeats, one was by stoppage and other by disqualification.

Tommy Ryan passed away on August 3, 1948 at the age of 78.    

2 thoughts on “Tommy Ryan

  1. I will say that this is an excellent article on a modern forgotten ATG Champion!

  2. I am currently writing the biography (book) of “Syracuse” Tommy Ryan. My book The Choynski Chronicles was published in 2013. This is a nice article, David! It’s definitely surprising that the World Boxing HoF never inducted him. My email is, if anyone wants to contact me.

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