More than a year ago, a man named Josh Swain jokingly challenged other people named Josh to a fight. It happened on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska—when and where Swain deemed online it would happen—and a five-year-old was crowned the winner.
According to the Daily Dot, “The idea for a Josh-off started as a pandemic-induced joke when a University of Arizona student messaged as many similarly-named Josh Swains as he could find on Facebook. Citing exact coordinates and a date and time of April 24, 2021, at noon, he suggested they fight.”
“Whoever wins gets to keep the name, everyone else has to change their name,” he wrote. “You have a year to prepare, good luck.”
In the days leading up to the fight, people on the internet reminded each other that the Josh Fight was imminent. As one person tweeted, “If you ever feel like giving up just remember … the Josh Fight is coming soon.”
Someone actually sought out the coordinates that Swain named in his original post, noting in all caps, “GOOGLE MAPS ACTUALLY CALLS IT THE LEGENDARY JOSH BATTLEFIELD; THAT’S HILARIOUS.”
“I picked the coordinates at random,” told the Lincoln Journal-Star last week. “It was like throwing a dart at Google Maps.” He did have to change the location slightly when the person owning the land where those coordinates were—a farm—wanted nothing to do with it. But he found a green space in Lincoln’s Air Park that looked suitable, followed through on his flight plans, and hoped for the best.
“Hundreds arrived to the large greenspace at Air Park for the Battle of the Joshes Saturday, equipped with the pool noodles that Swain invited people to bring,” Insider reported. Some were decked out in superhero costumes to add to the hilarity.
“People not named Josh stood on the sidelines to cheer on their fighters,” the article added, “with t-shirts and signs of support that read, ‘I’m with Josh,’ ‘Team Josh,’ and ‘Go Josh! Beat Josh!'”
One spectator made a sign with a tournament bracket that had a Josh advancing over a Josh in each round.
At the end of the day, a child would rule them all: Five-year-old Josh Vinson, Jr., who KLKN reporter Yousef Nasser originally called four. In this tweet, he shared some words that “Little Josh” lives by: “I always fight everyone.”
As one person tweeted, “A four-year-old won Josh Fight; I can’t —” then after voicing pride, added, “he’s five, but still.”
The Josh Fight also benefitted the local community. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the food bank received almost a ton of food and $8,000 was raised for the Omaha Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation.
“Little Josh’s” father told the paper the boy was treated for seizures at that very hospital when he was two years old.