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New York Herald

JUNE 16, 1869


Prize Fight Between McCoole
and Allen

Nine Rounds Fought in Twenty

Outrageous Conduct of
the McCoole Party

Allen Charged with Attempting to Gouge
McCoole's Eyes

The Rope Cut by the Crowd and Pistols
Leveled at the Head of the Referee
to Induce Him to Decide in
Favor of McCoole

ST. LOUIS, June 15, 1869

_ The fight between Mike McCoole and Tom Allen took place today, on Foster's Island, about twenty miles down river. Jerry Donovan and Tom Kelly acted as seconds for McCoole, and Butt Riley, of New York, and Sherman Thurston for Allen. Jack Looney, of St. Louis, was umpire for McCoole, and Eph Holland, of Cincinnati, for Allen. McKinney was chosen referee. Both men presented a fair appearance, but Allen much the better. McCoole's friends were greatly disappointed at his condition, he being fat and showing signs of unskillful training.


_ After his defeat by Gallagher, Allen was evidently anxious for another encounter, in order to give a more satisfactory demonstration of his skill. He contended that the victory won by Gallagher was a mere accident, and he was, therefore, desirous of having a battle with somebody. His attempts to coax Gallagher into another engagement failed, and, after much skirmishing for an opponent, McCoole's name was brought forward. It should be borne in mind that McCoole had retired from the ring and had resolved never to enter it again. Much influence as well as considerable provocation was brought to bear upon him to fight, but for a long time he resolutely declined. But Allen and his men so perseveringly kept up their cry for warfare that McCoole at length consented. Then another difficulty arose - McCoole had made up his mind not to fight for a small sum. It appeared, however, that Allen's friends were unwilling to risk a very large amount upon him. The matter had almost fallen through, when McCoole - doubtless somewhat exasperated by taunts and supplications - reluctantly consented to a match for $1,000 a side. The principals and some of their friends met in St.Louis, where the articles of agreement were signed and the first installment of the battle money put up. Shortly afterwards the men went into training, McCoole selecting the Fairland House, while Allen so adjourned near Cincinnati. Both proceeded vigorously with their work, and were speedily brought into excellent trim. From the very beginning McCoole was the favorite, though Allen's friends were confident of victory.


_The men entered the ring at a quarter to two o'clock, but the fighting did not commence until some time after. McCoole won the choice of ground, and offered to bet Allen $2,000 that he would win the fight. Allen made a speech, saying he was an Englishman, had no money and could not accept McCoole's offer, but asked for fair play. The men then went to work with the following result:
_ ROUND 1.- The men approached each other cautiously, but with confidence. There were a few exchanges and then hasty hitting at close quarters. Finally McCoole planted a heavy blow near Allen's eye, knocking him down. First knock down and first blood claimed for McCoole, although blood appeared on both faces.
_ ROUND 2.- Terrific blows in rapid succession on each other's faces, resulting finally in favor of McCoole.
_ ROUND 3.- The men eyed each other with the ferocity of gladiators, and after a few severe blow they clinched and fell together. The struggle caused intense excitement, and McCoole's friends realized that the giant had met a man worthy of his steel.
_ ROUND 4.- McCoole came to the scratch with his face bleeding profusely from a terrible gash under the right eye. Allen fought cautiously, evidently husbanding his strength. McCoole got in heavily on Allen's ribs and latter went down to avoid another sockdolager. The wildest excitement now began to prevail at the seeming change in the prospects of the fight.
_ ROUND 5.- Heavy fighting throughout. There were desperate exchanges, during which Tom administered two or three terrific blows on Mike's face, which seemed to be a mass of blood from forehead to chin. He had terrific gashes under both eyes, and his face was a horribly disfigured. The combatants clinched, and after a desperate struggle both went down together near the ropes. The round was decided in favor of Allen.
_ ROUND 6.- Heavy Hitting. Allen seemed to be the freshest of the two and looked very complacent, dancing around his opponent with ease. After some sharp hitting the round resulted in his favor.
_ ROUND 7.- McCoole presented a forlorn appearance, and looked fresh and cheerful. After some exchanges of a not very satisfactory character to McCoole, Allen decided to go to the grass in order to escape another of those terrific blows from the giant's sledge hammer.
_ ROUND 8.- The backers of McCoole urged him to make short work of his opponent, but in vain, for the prestige of the giant was rapidly being demolished before the superior skill and tactics of his antagonist. Mike struck out wildly with his right, but missed the mark, his opponent lighting on his potato trap with terrific effect. McCoole received terrible punishment in this round, and it became evident that the fight would come to a speedy termination, the giant being partly knocked off his pins, which ended the round. Allen looked bland and serene at the close.
_ NINTH AND LAST ROUND - Both men were slow in responding to the call, the noise and excitement being intense. The referee could not be heard. The combatants approached each other and engaged at very close quarters. In a few seconds they clinched and rolled over side by side in close conflict, while both were hugging mother earth. Allen placed his hands on the eyes of McCoole and was gouging them desperately, when the cry of "foul" was raised from McCoole's corner.
_ The rope was cut and the wildest excitement prevailed for a few moments, but the crowd soon after dispersed towards the boat. The referee was afraid to give his decision. Several pistols were presented at his head, but he refused to decide the matter until he reached St. Louis.
_ Allen out fought McCoole all the way through, and to all appearances, would have won the fight if he had been allowed to proceed. McCoole was much blown and badly punished, and was, in reality, whipped. The fight lasted about twenty minutes.

Another Account - No Foul Blow Nor Gouging Done by Allen - Outrageous Conduct of the McCoole Party - Their Determination That Allen Should Not Win the Fight - Probable Decision of the Referee is Favor of Allen.
ST. LOUIS, June 16, 1869
The steamer Louisville, with the prize fighting party on board, arrived here this evening. It is the general opinion of those present at the fight and competent to judge, that there was neither a foul blow struck nor any gouging done by Allen. The general belief is McCoole's friends determined from the outset that Allen should not win the fight nor get any money. It is freely said that McCoole's friends acted in the most shameful manner, displaying knives and pistols with the view of intimidating Allen, and in other ways showing they intended having everything their own way. The rope is said to have been cut as early as the sixth round, but as Allen was evidently master of the situation neither he nor his friends made a point of it. The second round was not in favor of McCoole, as previously reported, but Allen punished his antagonist very severely, and from that time it was evident McCoole was no match for Allen. In the third round McCoole lost control of himself, became angry, fought wildly, and to the end of the battle was at the mercy of Allen.
_When the rope was cut on the last round, McCoole's friends crowded in the ring, and with pistols and knives drawn, demanded of the referee a decision in favor of the "giant."
_It is stated that the referee will publish his decision in the morning papers. That McKinney was afraid to decide in the ring against a foul for fear of being killed on the spot, there seems to be no doubt. The reservation of the decision until morning is believed to be favorable for Allen, and to give McKinney time to leave town and escape the vengeance of McCoole and his friends.

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