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On January 19, 1881, Bibby became the first American Heavyweight Champion with his victory over Duncan C. He lost that title the next year, on August 7, 1882, to Joe Acton in New York City. Bibby’s World Championship silver belt can still be found today in a Lancashire, England museum.

Bibby’s final wrestling match was against Sorakichi Matsuda, whom he defeated on October 28, 1887, in Buffalo, New York. Source: “Edwin Bibby”, All about Bibby (Google Sites).

Wrestling under the name Joe Acton, and nicknamed “The Little Demon,” Acton was considered one of the top wrestlers of his era.

Acton began wrestling in his native Great Britain during the 1870s defeating Tom Connors to become the first World Catch-as-Catch-Can Heavyweight Champion on 12 December 1881.

They had two much-ballyhooed, largely attended Chicago bouts in 1886; in the first, Lewis roughly strangled Sorakichi into submission.

He’d slip his wrist down below his opponent’s ear over the carotid artery and squeeze, shutting off the blood supply to the brain thus putting his opponent to sleep.

and the country grew fairly wild over him and his wrestling ability.” Martin “Farmer” Burns, whose legend has long eclipsed that of Evan Lewis, owed his origins in the mat game, and the rudiments of his art, to the latter.

Burns won what would forever after be billed as the “world” championship from Lewis in 1895.

Edwin Bibby (15 November, 1848–1905) Edwin Bibby was an English wrestling champion during the 1870s and 1880s.

He was a popular Catch-as-Catch-Can style wrestler in his generation.


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