John L. Sullivan 1883 Championship Commemorative Cloth (23x23")
John L. Sullivan, "The Boston Strong Boy," was arguably the best known and most significant athlete of the 19th century. Born in Roxbury, MA. on October 15, 1858, Sullivan was introduced to the "tougher" side of life at an early age and showed early signs of the great career to come. He began fighting as a professional in 1878, the start of a career that would span fourteen years until his first and only defeat at the hands of James J. Corbett. He was a barnstormer who would fight all comers. Sullivan defeated Paddy Ryan in 1882 to win the World Heavyweight Title. He defeated Jake Kilrain in 1889 in the last bare knuckle heavyweight championship. A man of tremendous power who boxing instructor Mike Donovan described as a man that only age could defeat. Presented here is a commemorative cloth of John L. Sullivan. Sullivan is featured in full fighting pose in a decorative center emblem. The border lists all of his significant opponents to date including: H.A. (Herbert) Slad, C. (Charley) Mitchell, Jas. Elliot, T. (Tug) Wilso, and P. (Paddy) Ryan. This cloth was put out by Cochrane's Tukey Red and dates to the Slade fight of August 6, 1883. 23x23" in fine condition. There is some slight color fading. Professionally framed (28x30"). A significant early souvenir of one of boxing's true greats.
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