The Perfect Fight Venue: Colliers, West Virginia (Sometimes identified as Colliers Station.)

Located on the West Virginia panhandle, nestled nicely between the Pennsylvania and Ohio borders, Colliers, West Virginia proved the prefect location for staging an illegal prize fight.

On May 30th 1880* Paddy Ryan and Joe Goss met to decide the bare knuckle heavyweight championship of the world. The pitch was staked within running distance of both neighboring borders, and only if the authorities from all three States succeeded in arriving at the scene simultaneously would there be any risk of arrest.**

The site was actually settled on primarily for this reason; several other locations proved unusable as local authorities threatened to arrest both participants and spectators alike.

Paddy Ryan defeated Joe Goss by KO in the 87th round (or approximately after 85 minutes of fisticuffs) and claimed the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World.

The local police chose not to interfere with the fight.

I was wondering how would such a situation play out today and did some checking discovering that the MGM Grand, is located approximately 45 miles from the California border, with most of the ground to be traversed being desert, (and then you end up in Death Valley National Park, CA anyway) and concluded that the MGM Grand is no place to stage an illegal prize fight, you can't run – better to use Colliers, West Virginia. MSG on the other hand fairs slightly better, spectators would only have to swim the Hudson River and seek sanctuary in the great and sovereign State of New Jersey. (Then again maybe it's better to get arrested in New York.)

* or maybe June 1st or possibly even April 17th – depending which source you wish to embrace; we are certain they did fight.

** if the police arrive and you tried to run west you might have to swim the Ohio River; better to head for Pittsburgh.


Champsion Paddy Ryan Tobacco Card