Viro Small a.k.a. “Black Sam of Vermont” was one of the first black professional wrestlers in America. The 5′ 10″ heavyweight started as a collar-and-elbow wrestler around 1880. A former slave in Buford, South Carolina, Small’s first documented match was against Mike Horogan. He lost the match but was taken in by Horogan as a trainee. He also occasionally engaged in boxing matches in St. Albans and Rutland, Vermont.
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