Born Patrick Henry Ryan on March 15, 1853 in Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland.
Ryan came to the United States with his family at age 8 and settled in Troy, NY. As a teen, he found work as a lock tender on the Erie Canal and Ryan took up boxing under Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute athletic director Jimmy Killoran. He boxed many contests, including an 1880 bout with Joe McAuliffe, although there is no definitive record of his early exploits. The 5’ 11” Ryan won the American heavyweight championship by stopping Joe Goss in 87 rounds on May 30, 1880 in what was technically his first professional bout. He lost the title to John L. Sullivan in nine rounds in 1882 in Mississippi City.
The powerful Ryan, who suffered from Bright’s Disease, died on December 14, 1900 in Green Island, NY.
Born: March 15, 1853
Died: Dec. 14, 1900