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This new page is to honor some of the many great boxers around the globe

John L. Sullivan

born Oct. 15, 1858, Roxbury, Mass., U.S.
died Feb. 2, 1918, Abington, Mass.

Photograph:John L. Sullivan.
The Great John L.  Sullivan known as the Boston Strong Boy  American professional boxer, one of the most popular heavyweight champions and a symbol of the bareknuckle era of boxing.

John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918) is widely recognized as boxing's first modern world heavyweight champion.

Born at Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, Sullivan was nicknamed The Boston Strongboy. On June 26, 1880, with just a handful of fights to his credit, Sullivan challenged anyone in America to fight him for $500. In 1883-1884 he toured with a circus, offering $500 to anyone who could last one round with him.

Depending on which authorities are consulted, Sullivan became world heavyweight champion in 1888 when he defeated Charley Mitchell in France, or the following year when he knocked out Jake Kilrain in round 75 of a scheduled 80 round bout. That fight is considered to be a turning point in boxing history because it was the last world title bout fought under the London Rules and also, the last bare-knuckle heavyweight title bout.

Undefeated at that point, Sullivan did not defend his title for the next three years, fighting exhibitions instead. He finally agreed to defend his title in 1892 -- this time in a gloved battle, losing to Gentleman Jim Corbett in 21 rounds.

Sullivan retired, but appeared in several exhibitions over the next 12 years, including a three rounder against Tom Sharkey. He became a stage actor, speaker and bar owner. In his later years Sullivan became a teetotaler and often supported the temperance movement.

Sullivan died of cancer at Abingdon, Mass., on May 29, 1916, and is buried in the Old Calvary Cemetery, in Boston.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, as a member of the hall's original class.

John L. Sullivan


Happy  Birthday  Sydney

Olympic Boxers Birthday: Sydney Greve


Sydney was born September the ninth 1925, in Indore State India. and he ducked through the ropes for the first time at the tender age of seven years!  The young pugilist won the interscholastic championship at that age, and he was hooked.  He trained like the champion he was later to become right from the beginning.  Entering every available competition and by 1943 he was the Flyweight Champion of India.  He held this reign for three consecutive years with wins in 1944 and 1945.  He then went on to hold the Bantam weight title for 1946 and 1947.  Also in 1947 he won the Golden Gloves Tournament in Karachi.


In 1948 he won the Pakistan fly-weight championship and was selected to represent the country in the London Olympics that same year.  Although representing his team well Sydney failed to make it to the medal rounds.  Never the less he was invited back to represent Pakistan in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.  Again he was robbed from a position on the pedestal.  One would think that would be the end of the open invitation to the prestigious Olympic games?  Wrong, he was once again asked to attend and represent his country in the Melbourne Olympics. 


In Helsinki he demolished the Argentine Champion A. Leyes in the second round,  he crushed the Japanese Champion Toshihito Ishimaru, and gave up ten pounds to the "Brown Bomber" and a another KO.   One that left the Brown Bomber headed for early retirement.


At the age of 27 he was known throughout Asia as pound for pound the best amateur fighter in the sub continent.  Dubbed by sports writers as the the "KILLER" and the KO KID.  An outstanding record of over 500 documented fights, yes that's right 500 documented fights probably the longest record of any amateur boxer in the world.


I quote "there was a time during the war (World War 2) that I boxed every night against American G.I.'s.  Sometimes two or three fights a night!"  end quote.


Often referred to in the press as the most destructive fighting machine on the continent Sydney's lightning fast fists and his patented "Pay Off Punch" were the crowd pleasers.  Described as having Herculean shoulders and a unmatched ring sense made him a formidable opponent, no matter who he faced.


For all his prowess Sydney was very affable outside the ring and in, one head line read "THE KILLER REFUSED TO KILL TONIGHT"  Instead of punishing his already beaten opponent Sydney asked for the fight to be stopped.  When being interviewed by the press during one Olympic appearance Sydney said.  "if you are going to write about me, will you also add something about my teammates?"  When asked if he ever considered becoming pro, Sydney answered, " Yes back in 1947 an American approached me and asked to represent my interests in the US, but my parents wouldn't allow it"


In one highly publicized bout Sydney faced the more experienced Stkr Dunn, a match that everyone was predicting Sydney to take a beating in.  In the second Round with Dunn trying to confuse Sydney by switching from his natural right to a south paw and back, Sydney swiftly delivered his patented hay maker.  It was described by the announcer like this: "you cannot divert the course of a swiftly flowing stream with a small pebble"


Described by another sports writer as the "widely travelled fistic marvel" and by the same writer later as the "fistianas King"  was the young Pakistan who knows what he wants and has the deadly fists to get it.


Sydney today resides in Calgary Canada where he has lived and raised a large family for over thirty years.  He is still the shy affable man, he may be older and a bit rounder but to those who know him they can still see that gleam in his eye that petrified and astounded over five hundred of his opponents.  When asked about the number of fights he is quick to inform you that he is proudest of the fact that he never once hit the canvas in any of them.  Not only has he never been knocked out he has never even been knocked down!  Even at the age of eighty I sure as hell don't want to be the one to try it!

Anyone who would like to give a birthday wish to a former boxer just e-mail us the information and we will review it for publication.