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And Who Would Want To Badger John L. Sullivan?

June 2024
1min read

Peter Andrews, a reader and contributor (see “Delmonico’s—The Restaurant That Changed the Way We Dine” in this issue), has written to take exception to a statement in our “American Characters” feature for April/May, 1980: “It said that in 1892, Brady badgered John L. Sullivan into a fight- when he ‘hadn’t fought in six years.’ Not so.

“In 1886 Sullivan bested Frank Herald in two rounds on September 7 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania; put away (for the second time) former heavyweight champion Paddy Ryan in three rounds on November 13 in San Francisco; and fought a four-round draw with Duncan McDonald on December 28 in Denver.

“In 1887 Sullivan held off Patsy Cardiff in spite of a broken arm and fought him to a draw in six rounds. Later the same year, he sailed for England and participated in more than fifteen nontitle bouts in the British Isles.

“In 1888 he met the English heavyweight champion, Charley Mitchell, and fought thirty-nine rounds in the mud and rain to a draw. In 1889 he knocked out Jake Kilrain in the seventyfifth round of the last bare-knuckle championship fight in boxing history- and one of the most celebrated events in the entire annals of sport.

“Sullivan did not fight in 1890, but in 1891 he was in a half-dozen nontitle bouts in Australia and staged a spirited exhibition with J. Choynski on December 20 in San Francisco.”

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