Sullivan, John L. (1858-1918)

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One of America’s first great sports heroes, he was known first as the “Boston Strong Boy” and then as the “Great John L.” An American of Irish heritage, he became the heavyweight champion in 1882. He was a flamboyant, high living champion. He held the title for ten years.

Photo: The Cyber Boxing Zone (Courtesy Tracy Callis)


Sullivan on the Web:
Encyclopaedia Britannica
A brief overview of Sullivan’s career.

The Cyber Boxing Zone
Lists all Sullivan’s fights from 1877 to 1905.

Picturesque descriptions of a number of his bouts.

Book about Sullivan:
Isenberg, Michael T. John L. Sullivan and His America. Urbana: University of Chicago Press, 1988.
Additional Sullivan Materials:
Gentleman Jim (1942) — A film biography of boxer James J. Corbett. Major segment on his legendary wresting of the championship from Sullivan.