John L. Sullivan

 

Sullivan was a boxing immortal, the link between bare knuckles and glove fighting, and the first great American sports idol. He was powerful, quick, could hit with either hand but had exceptional strength in his right, and could take punishment; He is considered still by some to be one of the best heavyweights ever. Sullivan was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990

BORN     : October 15 1858; Roxbury, Boston, MA
DIED     : February 2 1918; Abingdon, MA
HEIGHT   : 5-10 1/4 (Some report 5-10 1/2)
WEIGHT   : 190-229 lbs
RACE     : White; Irish-American
MANAGERS : Billy Madden, Al Smith, Frank Moran, Pat Sheedy,
           Harry Phillips, Charles E. "Parson" Davies, Ed Holske,
           Jimmy Wakely, Frank Hall, and Arthur T. Lumley,
           and possibly William Muldoon at times 

Boxing Record

NON-PROFESSIONAL BOUTS

1877-1878


       Jack Scannell               Boston, Ma                     KO  1 
       Ramon Guiteras              Boston, Ma                      D  4
PROFESSIONAL BOUTS
1879


       Dan Dwyer                   Boston, Ma                     TK  3
       Tommy Chandler              Boston, Ma                      W  4
       John A. "Patsy" Hogan       Boston, Ma                      W  4
       -Hogan knocked Sullivan down
Mar 14 John "Cocky" Woods          Boston, Ma                     TK  5
1880

Jan  5 John A. "Patsy" Hogan       Boston, Ma                    SCH   
       -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known
Feb    Mike Donovan                Boston, Ma                     EX  4
Mar    Jerry Murphy                New York, NY                   EX   
Apr  6 Joe Goss                    Boston, Ma                     EX 3
       -Sullivan dominated the bout
Jun 26 -Sullivan announced he would fight anyone in America, 
        with or without gloves, for $500
Jun 28 George Rooke                Boston, Ma                     KO  2 
       Dan Dwyer                                                  EX   
       -Sullivan and Dwyer boxed several exhibitions
Nov    Johnny Kenny                New York, NY                   EX   
Dec 20 John Donaldson              Cincinnati, Oh                 EX  4
Dec 24 John Donaldson              Cincinnati, Oh         (21:00) KO 10
       -Hard gloves and London Prize Ring Rules
Dec 27 -Sullivan and Donaldson were arrested for
        prizefighting; They were released two days 
        later
1881
   
Jan  3 Jack Stewart                Boston, Ma                     TK  2
       -Stewart was the Canadian Champion
Jan  3 Joe Goss                    Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Jan    Jack Stewart                Boston, Ma                     EX   
Mar 21 Mike Donovan                Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Mar 31 Steve Taylor                New York, NY                    W  2
       -Sullivan knocked down Taylor four times
May 16 John Flood                  Yonkers, NY            (16:00)  W  8
       -London Rules and gloves were used for this bout;
        This bout was held on a barge
Jun 13 John Flood                  New York, NY                   EX  3
Jul 11 Fred Crossley               Philadelphia, Pa               KO  1
       -Crossley weighed 300 lbs
Jul 11 Billy Madden                Philadelphia, Pa               EX   
       -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Jul 21 Dan McCarty                 Philadelphia, Pa        (0:30) KO  1
Aug 12 "Captain" James Dalton      Chicago, Il                    KO  4
       -Sullivan broke his hand
Sep  3 "Captain" James Dalton      Chicago, Il                     W  4
Sep  3 Jack Burns                  Chicago, Il                    KO  1
       -Burns was 6-6 1/2, 300 lbs
Sep    George Godfrey              Boston, Ma                  
       -Both men were stripped for a fight to the finish;
        Sullivan then said he would not fight Godfrey
Sep    -Sullivan got into a street fight with a local bully
        at Mount Clemens, Mi and knocked the man out
Oct    Bob Farrell                                                EX   
Oct    Steve Taylor                New York, NY                   EX  3 
Nov  5 Billy Madden                New York, NY                   EX   
Nov    Pete McCoy                  Buffalo, NY                    EX   
Nov 29 Billy Madden                Cincinnati, Oh                 EX   
Nov 29 Pete McCoy                  Cincinnati, Oh                 EX   
1882

Feb  7 Paddy Ryan                  Mississippi City, Ms            W 9  
       -Heavyweight Championship of America;
        London Prize Ring Rules were used;
        Time : 10:30
Mar 27 Jack Douglas                New York, NY                   EX  3
Mar 27 Billy Madden                New York, NY                   EX  3
       -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date 
Mar 28 Steve Taylor                Jersey City, NJ                EX  3
Apr 20 John McDermott              Rochester, NY                  TK  3
Jul  4 Jimmy Elliott               Brooklyn, NY            (7:00) KO  3
       -Gloves were used for this bout;
        Weights: 195 - 185
Jul 17 Joe "Tug" Wilson            New York, NY                    W  4
       -Wilson went to the floor 24 times during the bout
        to avoid being knocked out
Aug 19 Joe Goss                    North Adams, Ma                EX   
       Joe ""Tug" Wilson                                                       
       -This bout was scheduled but not held; 
        Authorities prevented it
Sep 23 Henry Higgins               Buffalo, NY                    TK  3
Oct 16 S.P. Stockton               Fort Wayne, In                 KO  2
Oct 30 Charley O'Donnell           Chicago, Il                    KO  1
Nov 16 an unnamed opponent         Buffalo, NY                   SCH   
       -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known
Nov 17 P.J. Rentzler               Washington, DC                 TK  2
       -Police intervened
Nov 19 an unnamed opponent         Pittsburgh, Pa                SCH   
Nov    an unnamed opponent         Cincinnati, Oh                SCH   
       -The previous 2 bouts were scheduled;
        The outcomes are not known
Dec 28 Joe Coburn                  New York, NY                   EX  3
1883

Jan 25 Harry Gilmore               Toronto, Ont, Can              KO  3
Jan 29 Joe Coburn                  Troy, NY                       EX  3
Feb 22 Pete McCoy                  Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Mar 19 Steve Taylor                Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Mar 19 Joe Coburn                  Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Mar 19 Mike Cleary                 Boston, Ma                     EX  3
May 14 Charley Mitchell            New York, NY                   TK  3
       -Mitchell knocked Sullivan down in the first round;
        The bout was stopped by Police Captain "Clubber" Williams
May 15 Charley Mitchell            Long Island, NY   
       -This bout was proposed by Joe Coburn as a 
        bare-knuckle fight to the finish; Mitchell
        accepted but Sullivan did not; The bout 
        fell through
May 28 -Sullivan pitched for a semi-professional baseball team
        at the New York, NY Polo Grounds
Aug  6 Herbert A. Slade            New York, NY                   TK  3
       -Gloves were used; 
        Weights: 205 - 201
Sep    -Sullivan fought some 50 minor opponents across America
        and reportedly knocked out all of them; This tour took 
        place during Aug-Oct 1883
Oct 17 James McCoy                 McKeesport, Pa                 TK  1
Nov  3 Jim Miles                   East St. Louis, Il             TK  1
Nov 25 Morris Hefey                St. Paul, Mn                   KO  1
Dec  4 Mike Sheehan                Davenport, Ia                  TK  1
1883-1884

       -Sullivan continued his tour during late 1883 and early 1884; 
        He reportedly knocked out 29 men  
1884

       Jeff Tomkins                Butte, Mt                      KO  1
       Boiquet                     Victoria, BC, Can              KO  1
Jan 14 Fred Robinson               Butte City, Mt                 TK  2
Feb  1 Sylvester Le Gouriff        Astoria, Or                    KO  1
Feb  6 James Lang                  Seattle, Wa                    KO  1
Mar  6 George M. Robinson          San Francisco, Ca               W  4
       -Robinson went down 28 times to avoid being knocked out
       Jack Traynor                Dallas, Tx                     KO   
       -This was a "barroom" fight
Apr 10 Al Marx                     Galveston, Tx           (1:55) KO  1
Apr 12 Pete McCoy                  New Orleans, La                EX  2
Apr 28 William Fleming             Memphis, Tn                    KO  1
Apr 29 Dan Henry                   Hot Springs, Ar                KO  1
May  2 Enos Phillips               Nashville, Tn                   W  4
May 30 Charley Mitchell            New York, NY       
       -This bout was scheduled but cancelled;
        Sullivan was drunk and unable to fight
Aug 13 Dominick McCaffrey          Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Aug 13 Steve Taylor                Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Aug 13 Tom Denny                   Boston, Ma                     EX  3
       -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date 
        as part of Councilman Tom Denny's Exhibition 
Oct 18 an unnamed opponent         McKeesport, Pa                 EX
       -Sullivan knocked out his opponent
Oct 19 an unnamed opponent         Alleghany, Pa                  EX
Oct 20 an unnamed opponent         Alleghany, Pa                  EX
Oct 20 an unnamed opponent         Alleghany, Pa                  EX
       -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Oct    an unnamed opponent         Wheeling, WV                  SCH
Oct    an unnamed opponent         Steubenville, Oh              SCH
Oct    an unnamed opponent         Newark, NJ                    SCH
Oct    an unnamed opponent         Columbus, Oh                  SCH
Oct    an unnamed opponent         Dayton, Oh                    SCH
       -The previous 5 bouts were scheduled exhibitions;
        The outcomes are not known
Oct 28 an unnamed opponent         Cincinnati, Oh                 EX
Oct 29 an unnamed opponent         Louisville, Ky                SCH
Oct 30 an unnamed opponent         Indianapolis, In              SCH
Oct 31 an unnamed opponent         Terre Haute, In               SCH
       -The previous 3 bouts were scheduled exhibitions;
        The outcomes are not known
Nov 10 John M. Laflin              New York, NY            (7:00)  W  4
       -Weights: 196 - 205                            
Nov 17 Alf Greenfield              New York, NY            (6:15)  W  2
       -Police intervened;
        Weights: 198 1/2 - 160
1885

Jan 12 Alf Greenfield              Boston, Ma             (12:00)  W  4
       -Gloves were used for this bout
Jan 19 Paddy Ryan                  New York, NY            (0:50) TK  1
       -Police intervened
Apr  2 Dominick McCaffrey          Philadelphia, Pa               
       -This bout was scheduled but not held;
        Police prevented the bout
Jun 13 Jack Burke                  Chicago, Il            (15:00)  W  5
       -Queensberry Rules were used for this bout
Aug 29 Dominick McCaffrey          Cincinnati, Oh         (22:00)  W  6
       -Heavyweight Championship of America;
        Queensberry Rules and gloves were used
        for this bout; Seven rounds were fought;
        The referee gave decison days after fight
1886

       Billy Madden                New York, NY                   EX   
       -Sullivan and Madden gave exhibitions for one week
Sep 18 Frank Herald                Alleghany City, Pa              W  2
       -Queensberry Rules and gloves were used for this bout;
        Police intervened; Weights: 225 - 185
Oct 31 Steve Taylor                St. Paul, Mn                   EX   
Nov 13 Paddy Ryan                  San Francisco, Ca              KO  3
       -Gloves were used for this bout
Dec    Steve Taylor                Tacoma, Wa                     EX  3
Dec 28 Duncan McDonald             Denver, Co                      D  4
1887

Jan    Steve Taylor                                               EX   
Jan 18 Patsy Cardiff               Minneapolis, Mn                 D  6
       -Sullivan broke a bone in his right arm;
        Weights: 229 - 185
Mar 28 Steve Taylor                Hoboken, NJ                    EX  4
Mar 28 Joe Lannon                  Hoboken, NJ                    EX  4
       -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Nov 28 Jack Ashton                 London, Eng                    EX  3
Dec  9 Jack Ashton                 London, Eng                    EX  3
1887-1888
 
       -Sullivan boxed 51 exhibitions in England         
1888

Jan    -Sullivan gave boxing exhibitions in Portsmouth, Eng          
       George Fryer                Nottingham, Eng                EX   
Mar 10 Charley Mitchell            Chantilly, Fr        (3:10:55)  D 39
       -Some sources report this as a Heavyweight
        Championship of the World contest; London
        Rules and bare-knuckles were used for this
        bout; Sullivan scored the first knockdown;
        Mitchell drew first blood in the eighth 
        round; Weights: 166 - 200
May 15 an unnamed opponent         Boston, Ma                     EX   
Jun  4 an unnamed opponent         New York, NY                   EX   
1889

May  6 Jack Ashton                 Tarrytown, NY                  EX   
Apr 24 Jack Ashton                 Brooklyn, NY                   EX  3
May 28 Billy Madden                Cincinnati, Oh                 EX   
May    Mike Cleary                 Gloucester, NJ                 EX  3
Jul  8 Jake Kilrain                Richburg, Ms         (2:16:23) KO 75
       -Heavyweight Championship of the America;
        London Rules and bare-knuckles were used
Aug  2 Bill Muldoon                New York, NY                  SCH   
       -This bout was a scheduled wrestling match
Aug  2 Mike Cleary                 New York, NY                  SCH   
       -The previous 2 bouts were scheduled as part
        of a Benefit for Sullivan; The outcomes are
        not known
Sep  9 Mike Cleary                 New York, NY                   EX  3
1890

Feb  7 Joe Lannon                  Newark, NJ                     EX  3
Feb 12 Joe Lannon                  Hoboken, NJ                    EX  3
Dec 16 Joe Lannon                  New York, NY                   EX  3
Dec 16 Joe Lannon                  New York, NY                   EX  3
       -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
1891

Jun 26 Jim Corbett                 San Francisco, Ca              EX  4
Jul    -Sullivan toured Hawaii and Australia but did not               
        have any official bouts; He possibly had some 
        exhibitions with Jack Ashton
Nov 26 Paddy Ryan                  San Francisco, Ca              EX   
Dec 20 Joe Choynski                San Francisco, Ca              EX  3
1892

May 29 Jack Ashton                 New York, NY                   EX  3 
Aug 29 Jack Ashton                 Brooklyn, NY                   EX  3
Aug 29 Leonard Tracy               Brooklyn, NY                  SCH
       -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known;
        The previous 2 bouts were scheduled the same date
Aug 29 Joe Lannon                  Brooklyn, NY                  SCH
       -This bout was later scheduled for this date;
        It probably replaced the Sullivan-Tracy bout;
        The outcome is not known
Sep  7 Jim Corbett                 New Orleans, La         (1:30) LK 21
       -Heavyweight Championship of the World;
        Five-ounce gloves were used for this bout;
        Some sources report a time of 1:45 of round 21; 
        Weights: 212 - 178
Sep 10 Jack Ashton                 New York, NY                  SCH
Sep 10 Joe Lannon                  New York, NY                  SCH
       -The previous 2 bouts were scheduled the same date;
        The outcomes are not known
Sep 17 Jack Ashton                 New York, NY                  SCH
Sep 17 Leonard Tracy               New York, NY                  SCH
       -The previous 2 bouts were scheduled the same date;
        The outcomes are not known but they were probably
        cancelled since Sullivan boxed Corbett on this date
Sep 17 Jim Corbett                 New York, NY                   EX  3   
1894

May 21 Paddy Ryan                  Boston, Ma                     EX  3
Jun 26 Paddy Ryan                  Boston, Ma                     EX  3 
1895

Jun  8 "Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey    New York, NY                   EX   
Jun 27 Jim Corbett                 New York, NY                   EX  3
Jul 23 Paddy Ryan                  Bangor, Me                     EX  3
Jul 25 Paddy Ryan                  Bar Harbor, Me                 EX   
Oct  3 Paddy Ryan                  Philadelphia, Pa              SCH   
       -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known
Oct  5 Paddy Ryan                  Cleveland, Oh                 SCH   
       -This bout was scheduled but cancelled;
        Mayor McKisson, of Cleveland, refused
        to allow the bout
Oct 14 Paddy Ryan                  Jersey City, NJ                EX  3
Nov 18 Paddy Ryan                  Buffalo, NY                    EX  3
1896

Aug 31 Tom Sharkey                 New York, NY                   EX  3
       -One minute rounds were boxed
1897

Feb 17 Paddy Ryan                  Philadelphia, Pa               EX  3
       Bob Fitzsimmons             Brooklyn, NY                  SCH   
       -This bout was scheduled but not held;
        The men were present and ready to spar;
        Police intervened and prevented it
1900

Aug 28 Jim Jeffries                New York, NY                   EX  3
Aug 29 Jeff Thorne                 New York, NY                   EX  3
1905

Mar  1 Jim McCormick               Grand Rapids, Mi               EX  2
       -Sullivan knocked McCormick out

Master Index
The CyberboxingZone Journal Article on Sullivan (March 1999)
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