1889 John L. Sullivan Handwritten Letter (PSA)
<p><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 10pt;">Two-page handwritten letter, dated January 4, 1889, signed by heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan, who was known as the “The Boston Strong Boy.” In his letter, written on “M. T. Clarke & Co.” letterhead (liquor importer) to A. T. Lumley, Sullivan discusses a number of upcoming fights and his thoughts on some of the participants, he also mentions that he will be serving as a referee for a bout between George Godfrey, the World "Colored" Heavyweight Champion and Joe Lannon, a white fighter, in Boston. In part: ". . . Joe Lannon and Godfrey are to meet in the orthodox ring to see who is the better man. I have been chosen referee so you can bet it will have to be a good go as I have consented to act. . . " </span><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 10pt;">The letter is signed “John L. Sullivan.” Both the text and signature are scripted in black fountain pen and grade 9/10 overall. </span></p><p><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 10pt;">A. T. Lumley was a former editor of the “Police Gazette,” which had a major influence on pugilism at that time. Lumley was also a close friend of Sullivan and served as Sullivan’s fight manager during certain portions of his career. Interestingly, Godfrey, who fought to a draw against Lannon in their bout mentioned here, longed to fight Sullivan for the World Heavyweight Championship, but Sullivan was resolute in his stance to box only white opponents. </span></p><p><span style="background: none 0% 0% repeat scroll white; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;"> </span><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 10pt;">Sullivan, considered a legendary pugilist in both the bareknuckle and gloved style of fighting, is credited with helping popularize the latter. He participated in the last world heavyweight title fight with bare knuckles, beating Jake Kilrain in a grueling battle of 75 rounds, and the first gloved bout for the world heavyweight championship, losing to James J Corbett in the 21st round. He is truly an icon and innovator and is often regarded as America's first sporting celebrity and superstar. Indeed, it can be said that his popularity was responsible for assisting the advancement of American sporting journalism and coverage. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt;">He is an original member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the first induction class of 1990.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Each page of the </span><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 10pt;">letter (8.5”) displays one vertical and two horizontal folds, small tears along the fold intersections, edge tears, and light creasing. The first page is slightly trimmed along the base. In Very Good condition. Full LOA from PSA.<br></span></p>
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