Joe Goss

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Joe Goss
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Nationality United Kingdom
Born(1838-11-05)5 November 1838
Northampton, England
Died24 March 1885(1885-03-24) (aged 46)
Boston, United States

Joe Goss was born on 5 November 1838 in Northampton, England. Although he rarely scaled more than 160 pounds, the clever and aggressive Goss routinely fought men both bigger and heavier than himself.

At the age of twenty, Goss began his career with a 90-minute victory over George Hares. Goss would not lose a contest until Hall of Famer Jem Mace defeated him in 19 rounds (1 hour and 55 minutes) in London on 1 September 1863. Goss would unsuccessfully challenge his nemesis Mace on two other occasions, including an 1866 championship contest.

In 1876 Goss would claim the local heavyweight title after defeating Tom Allen on a foul in 21 rounds. Goss met Paddy Ryan on 30 May 1880 in Coillier's Station, West Virginia. Goss was unable to continue and the contest was stopped after ninety minutes in the 87th round of the championship bout. Goss engaged in a series of exhibition bouts with John L. Sullivan before retiring in 1882 and was in Sullivan's corner when Sullivan won the title from Paddy Ryan. He died on 24 March 1885 in Boston, Massachusetts, in the U.S.

By the time Joe Goss arrived in America he was already 38 years of age, but he was travelling in good company, having been brought over by Jem Mace and under contract to the Howe and Cushing circus. Goss had not entered the prize ring in nearly eight years. Goss' entire career to this point consisted of ten contests, of which he lost two and drew in two others. But, Joe Goss was a likeable sort, and he had Jem Mace's endorsement; so off to America he had gone in pursuit of Tom Allen. This may have been the longest pursuit in ring history, Goss and Allen having fought some nine years previous, 35 rounds to a draw.

Goss arrived on 15 April 1876 and spent the Spring and Summer travelling the country with the circus. Goss sparred much of the time with a well-known wrestler, "Professor" William Miller, on occasion he also sparred with Johnny Dwyer. Goss was appearing in a benefit at the Grand Opera House in Cincinnati 3 September, four days and nine years later Tom Allen and Joe Goss were to come together to do battle for the Championship of America.

In 2003, Joe Goss was admitted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Pioneer category.

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tom Allen
Heavyweight boxing champion
Succeeded by
Paddy Ryan