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He then weighed only sixty-five pounds, and his opponent, a 15—year-old youth named Paddy Gorman, had a great advantage in height and weight; but Gorman fell as easy prey to the young gladiator. 8, 1883, and about two months after his arrival he met Acton in a match for the world’s championship at Pastime park, Philadelphia, and suffered his first defeat.From then till he reached his twentieth birthday he had wrestled fifty-eight matches without sustaining a single defeat. 13, 1882, he defeated Ike Smith in a match for the championship, Smith having previously wrested the title from Joe Acton, the “Little Demon.” Ike, not being satisfied, challenged Connors to another meeting, which occurred two months later. He returned to England in July of the same year, where he remained till Sept. Arriving in New York nine days later, he issued a Challenge to Joe Acton or any other man in America.By then, “catch”, as opposed to the previously popular disciplines of collar-and-elbow and Greco-Roman, had ascended to primacy in the minds of American pro wrestling enthusiasts.This happened, largely, in the wake of two Chicago confrontations between Lewis and a popular Japanese invader, Matsada Sorakichi.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.
Tom wrestled his first match in 1873, when 11 years old.They had two much-ballyhooed, largely attended Chicago bouts in 1886; in the first, Lewis roughly strangled Sorakichi into submission.Sorakichi implored Lewis to wrestle again, but this time with the strangle barred. Sorakichi emphasized how serious he was about the stipulation.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.