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BOXING
Jem Scunner, the Gornal Giant.
Local man, James Hale better known as Jem Scunner, whoes bare knuckle expoits in the period 1835-1840 included a grueling fight with the famous William Perry AKA The Tipton Slasher.
It appears that Jem Hale later became a Gamekeeper for the Earl of Dudley on the Himley Estate, not someone that the local poachers would care to meet up with!
On November 22nd and 23rd, 1837, a match between Jem Scunner - the Gornal Champion and William Perry - The legendary Tipton Slasher who was only 18 years old at the time, the match for 25 aside finally resulted in Perry beating Scunner.
A contemporary account of the match.
'Famous Fights - Past and Present' magazine published 1904, the contest between Jem Scunner and William Perry featured on the front page.
"The Tipton Slasher" had become the accepted title of William Perry, for in a local (Staffordshire) paper we find him so described, as being matched for 25 a side against one Jem Scunner, who is described as the 'Gornal Champion", a six-foot specimen, weighing 13st. odd, and therefore a fair opponent in height and weight for our hero.
The report is especially meagre, merely informing us that the battle commenced on Tuesday (Nov. 22, 1837), near Gornal, but was not decided until the following day. The betting at setting to was 6 and 7 to 4 on the Gornal man. After a few rounds, however, the Gornalites claimed the fight for their man on the ground of a "foul" but the referee would not allow it, and Scunner, by the advice of his friends, would not go on. A rush to the ring was made, and the referee retired. It was asserted that Perry fell without a blow. After some wrangling, the referee ordered that the fight should be renewed on the next day, at Kingswinford.
There both men showed at the time appointed, and lost no time in getting to work. During the first four or five rounds the Gornal man rushed at the Tipton Slasher like a wild bull, but Perry waited for him, shifted cleverly on his crooked leg, and delivered straight blows and upper-cuts with such slashing effect that the Gornalite was utterly paralysed. From this time Scunner betook himself to out-fighting; but here he took nothing by the change, except prolonging the fight.
At the end of one hour the Gornal Champion, having been hit down or thrown in five or six successive rounds, was finally floored in the 31st round, and deaf to the call of time.
"Pugilistica: the History of British Boxing"
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Benjamin Sackett [Hackett?].
"Samuel Inston (alias Flesh) of Dudley will fight Benjn. Sackett of Gornal, catch weight, for 25 or upwards. He will be at the Old House at Home, [†] Gornal, on Wednesday evening next."
[Source: Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle [Town Edition] 26/04/1857.]
[† No other references have been found for 'Old House At Home' in Gornal, though a pub of that name existed at Coseley in the 19th Century].
Nothing further found about the boxer to-date
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