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John L. Sullivan Fights America

- April 30, 2014 in boxing, Culture & History, Events, john l. sullivan

In 1883, the Irish-American heavy-weight boxing champion John L. Sullivan embarked on an unprecedented coast-to-coast tour of the United States offering a prize to any man who could endure four rounds with him in the ring. Christopher Klein tells of this remarkable journey and how the railroads and the rise of the popular press proved instrumental in forging Sullivan into America's first sports superstar.

Tommy Burns knocking out Bill Squires (1907)

- October 24, 2013 in bill squires, boxing, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Film: 1900s, Films, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, heavyweight, Internet Archive, knockout, Library of Congress, miles brothers, sport, tommy burns, Underlying Work: PD U.S.

A Miles Brothers film of the legendary heavyweight prize boxing match between Bill Squires and Tommy Burns, played out at Ocean View, California, on July 4th 1907. Weighing in at a measly 178 pounds, the 5’7″ Canadian Burns was a 10-1 underdog against Australia’s Bill Squires who was coming off a 20 consecutive knockout streak. To the shock of all present, this mismatch came to an unexpected end in the first round when Burns KO’d Squires in one of the fastest knockouts in the history of boxing up to that point. The fight was labeled the “shortest and fiercest contest on record”. Burns would go on to secure a reputation for knocking out the biggest men in the sport. He wrote, in a book brought out in 1908, about how the face of boxing was changing, no longer being about brute strength but speed: “In modern boxing speed is nearly everything, and I have always considered my success to be primarily due to the fact that lacrosse and hockey had taught me to be spry and smart on my feet before I ever thought of donning a pair of boxing gloves.” Housed at: Internet Archive | From: The Library of […]