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1873 Prize Fight
Collier's Station


Wheeling Register
March 4, 1873

The Prize Fight.

PITTSBURGH, March 3. The Prize fight between Hicken, of Philadelphia, and Bryan Campbell, of New York, is to be fought at Collier’s Station West Virginia. A special train has been chartered to convey the excursionists to the fighting ground. Campbell and Butt Reilly left for Steubenville, seven miles from the fighting ground, on Sunday night, Hicken and trainer, Abe Smith leave for the fighting ground this afternoon. They are to fight between 11 and 12 o’clock, to-morrow and are to enter the ring at 10 o’clock. Both pugilists are below the weight, one hundred and thirty pounds. Campbell’s head quarters is Rush’s hotel, Hicken’s friends rendezvous at Haley’s. The place is crowded with sporting men from all over the States. Sporting men from the oil country are taking the odds offered by Hicken’s friends from Baltimore and Philadelphia. Last night betting was one hundred to seventy on Hicken. Ned O’Baldwin, the Irish giant severely beat Jack Townsend and had to leave the place. He is stopping at Steubenville to avoid arrest.


Wheeling Register
March 5, 1873

The Prize Fight.

Hicken and Campbell at Collier’s Station.

The Fight breaks up in a Row and Hicken Declared the Victor.

Collier’s Station, March 4. - The fight between Harry Hicken, of Philadelphia, and Bryan Campbell, of Wilksborne, for $1000 a side and the lightweight championship of the United States, came off near this place this morning. Last night numerous crowds arrived in special trains chartered to convey them to the scene of the fight, and a special train had also been chartered to convey the excursionists to the fighting ground. Early this morning the crowds had gathered at a point near which it was intended to pitch the ring. The two principals, Hicken and Campbell were on the ground both appearing in superb physical condition. Campbell’s trainers and his brothers, Patrick and John, were with him during the morning and appeared to have the utmost confidence in his ability to win. Hicken was attended by his trainer, Abe Smith. Both principals were in good spirits and neither seemed to apprehend a defeat. Much comment was made on the physical appearance of the men. The match has developed more than usual interest among sporting classes, from the fact that it is firmly believed to be a bona fide affair and not, like many of its predecessors, intended as a mere fizzle to catch the public and make money for the principals.

SECOND DISPATCH – FORENOON.

The ring was pitched and both men have been in it for some time, but cannot yet agree as to a referee. O’Baldwin, John Murphy, Jas. McCaffrey and Charley Colvin have all been named successively, but have not been accepted. About fifteen hundred persons are present. The crowd is getting excited over the delay and threaten to cut the ropes. Intense excitement prevails. There is every prospect of the fight taking place. On the ring side betting is 100 to 70 on Hicken with plenty of takers.

Later.

PITTSBURGH, March 4th, - About six hundred persons left this place this morning, and proceeded to Collier’s station, West Va., to witness the prize fight for two thousand dollars, and the light weight championship of America. A ring was pitched at 8 o’clock, the men entered at 12 o’clock. Ned O’Baldwin and Abe Smith, seconded Hicken; Butt Reilly and Owney Geoghagen, of New York, seconded Campbell. Wm. Haly, of Pittsburgh, was Umpire for Hicken, and Chas. Cannon, of Brooklyn, New York, acted in that capacity for Campbell, George Seadons, of New York, was referee. Campbell won the toss for corners.

The men entered the ring at 12 o’clock, but it was 2:10 p. m., before they agreed to the referee. Campbell’s colors were green and white; Hicken’s blue and white. Campbell only fought once before in the ring; that was with Dave Lewis, in 1870 for $2000, which he won in ninety-nine rounds, lasting one hour and thirty minutes. Hicken has fought several times in the ring. Hickens’ appearance in the ring was neat and aristocratic; much neater than Campbell, whose guard held rather low. There was a striking contrast in the two gladiators, the thick set sturdy frame of Campbell with his dark bronzed skin showing markedly in comparison with the lithe and elegant but well-knit form of Hicken whose skin was almost as fair and white and smooth as that of a woman; but all traces of effemannicy was removed by the appearance of the great knob muscles on his arms and shoulders, which stood out like bunches of whip cord and moved like yielding serpents under the fair skin that covered them. Campbell’s sturdy thick set frame appeared far more muscular than those of his opponent and there seemed a far greater difference in weight between the two than there was in reality. Campbells loins and thighs were unusually good and strong and the muscles of his arms well developed and his head piece a regular fighting one. As he faced his rival his countenance expressed confidence and a determine[e]d resolution to do or die.

It is now 2:10 p. m., and the referee calls time. Hicken goes forward, his eyes full of fire, makes a dash at Campbell with his left hand, which Campbell avoids. Closes in to receive a terrible smasher from Hicken’s left hand; a sharp exchange followed and Hicken slipped down. Both men go to their corners and are sponged off and washed around the hips and kidneys copiously with brandy. And now they come forward again Campbell laughing but evidently in great earnest as he puts up those brown hends [sic] of Hicken who strikes rapidly and in earnest. Campbell drives his right fist heavily into breast bone of Hicken with a dull crash, and the latter smashes Campbell in the face with his left fist in a manner to draw enthusiastic cheers from the Baltimore and Philadelphia sporting men.

The fight lasted through twenty-four rounds, when both pugilists fall side by side; cries of “foul” are raised by O’Baldwin, Hicken’s second, and Goerghagen, Campbell’s second. The latter strikes O’Baldwin who is about to return the blow when Johnny Murphy, of New York, backed by a few stalworth friends, knocked O’Baldwin down with a pistol and beat him unmercifully. Pistol shots were fired, and a general stampede ensued, and a running fight. The referee refused to give a decision, and the fight broke up in a general row. Campbell and the New York party returned to Steubenville, Ohio, and O’Baldwin, badly cut and bruised, accompanied by Hicken, returned to Pittsburgh to-night. The Baltimore and Philadelphia sports vow vengeance upon the New Yorkers. It is hard to decide how the battle would have terminated had there been no row. Both men could have fought longer, although Campbell had the most punishment. Thousands of dollars have been wagered on the result and both sides were afraid to lose. The referee to-night decided the battle in favor of Hicken.


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