Name: Jim Coffey
Alias: Roscommon Giant
Birthplace: County Roscommon
Hometown: New York, NY
Age at Death: 68
Height: 6' 1
Syracuse Herald 28 Jan, 1916
How Jim Coffey Got his start
In the Boxing Game
Irish Giant Began Boxing Career
Four Years ago Tonight
It will be four years tonight since Jim Coffey, the Irish giant, set out on that ring Career which his multitude of Hibernian admirers fondly hoped would land him at the worlds championship goal. Not that they have entirely abandoned hope , for the Irish are of sanguine disposition, but their hero's defeat this month by Frank Moran in New York, following the knockout administered to the motorman by the same sorrel topped gladiator last October, has dampened their enthusiasm.
The fourth anniversary of Coffey's ring debut is almost coincident with his twenty fifth birthday, for the January of 1891 was nearing its close when Coffey first opened his eyes upon the world at Roscommon, Ireland. He was christened James Joseph, and grew up Into a big broth of a lad working on his fathers farm, attending school occasionally and wrestling with the neighbor boys.
Jim was a good rough and tumble wrestler, but he had scarcely heard Of boxing when he decided to emigrate to America. The big fellow landed in Boston In April, 1910, and immediately hiked to Pawtucket R. I., where he had friends. There he worked for a time in a bleachery, and later got a Job as a teamster in Providence. Less than a year after landing in America he arrived in New York, where he got employment as a motorman on a surface car.
Wrestled In Snow.
One cold night Jim's car was held up by a fire, and he engaged in conversation with a cop named Tom Shaw. The latter, a boxer and wrestler of note in New York police circles, suggested that they pull off a little wrestling match In the snow to keep warm. In less than a minute Shaw was lying flat on his back. The copper Invited Coffey to come around to the policemen's gym. and there the Irishman first donned the
gloves. Jim didn't know a thing about boxing, but when the bout wan over Tom Shaw had a great admiration for the motor-man and a fractured rib.
Coffey then began visiting a New York club, where he put on the gloves with several professional boxers and was tutored in boxing by Marty Farrell. Green as Coffey was Billy Newman thought well enough of him to match him with Nick Muller. They met at the New Polo club on January 26th 1912. Coffey was wild, and once knocked both his opponent and the referee down Into a heap with one flailing swing.
Has Whipped Davis.
In the sixth round Muller had enough and Coffey was wildly cheered by the fans. From that moment he had a big following, and, although he was soon afterward defeated by "Soldier" Kearns he developed rapidly.
He started last year by knocking out Jack Sullivan and then added to his Victims Arthur Pelkey, “One Round” Reich, “Pueblo” Jim Flynn and Jack Reed.
In October he was knocked out by Moran, but the following month he returned to favor after Putting “Gunboat” Smith to sleep. His second defeat by frank Moran has deprived Of a place among the first rank of contenders for Willards title, but he is still Young and strong and has plenty of time to “come back”.