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Smith circa 1885
|Weight(s)||170 to 212 lb (77 to 96 kg)|
|Height||5 ft 8.5 in (1.740 m)|
|Born||21 January 1863|
Shoreditch, London, England
|Died||10 September 1931 68) (aged|
Willesden, London, England
|Wins by KO||4|
Jem Smith (21 January 1863 – 10 September 1931) was a bare-knuckle prize fighter and Heavyweight Champion of England in the late 19th century and into the early 20th century. In 2010 he was inducted into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame.
In 1881 he fought his first bare-knuckle prizefight aged 18 years. In 1889, he won the last internationally recognized bare-knuckle prizefight that was fought in Bruges, Belgium.
Smith fought his first heavyweight title fight in 1884 against Woolf Bendoff in the West End of London, England and won by TKO in the 13th round. He fought Jake Kilrain in 1887, in defence of his heavyweight title. The match lasted 2 hours 16 minutes and after 106 rounds the bout was called a draw due to darkness.In 1891 he fought his last BBBC fight against Ted Pritchard in New Cross, also in London, England and lost by a TKO in the 3rd round.
James "Deaf" Burke, was one of England's earliest boxing champions. He was also deaf.
Bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing, closely related to ancient combat sports. It involves two individuals fighting without boxing gloves or other padding on their hands.
John Lawrence Sullivan, known simply as John L. among his admirers, and dubbed the "Boston Strong Boy" by the press, was an Irish-American boxer recognized as the first lineal heavyweight champion of gloved boxing, de facto reigning from February 7, 1882, to 1892. He is also generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring Rules, being the cultural icon of the late 19th century America, arguably the first boxing superstar and one of the world's highest-paid athletes of his era. Newspapers coverage of his career, with latest accounts of his championship fights often appeared in the headlines, and as cover stories, gave birth for the sports journalism in the United States and set the pattern internationally for covering boxing events in media, and photodocumenting the prizefights.
Thomas "Tom" Molineaux, sometimes spelled Molyneaux, was an African-American bare-knuckle boxer and possibly a former slave. He spent much of his career in Great Britain and Ireland, where he had some notable successes. He arrived in England in 1809 and started his fighting career there in 1810. It was his two fights against Tom Cribb, widely viewed as the Champion of England, that brought fame to Molineaux, although he lost both contests due to foul play on Cribb’s end. His prizefighting career ended in 1815. After a tour that took him to Scotland and Ireland, he died in Galway, Ireland in 1818, aged 34.
James "Jem" Mace was an English boxing champion, primarily during the bare-knuckle era. He was born at Beeston, Norfolk. Although nicknamed "The Gypsy", he denied Romani ethnicity in his autobiography. Fighting in England, at the height of his career between 1860–66, he won the English Welterweight, Heavyweight, and Middleweight Championships and was considered one of the most scientific boxers of the era. Most impressively, he held the World Heavyweight Championship from 1870-71 while fighting in the United States.
John Jackson was a celebrated English pugilist of the late 18th century. He became the 17th bare-knuckle boxing champion of all England on 15 April 1795, when he defeated Daniel Mendoza.
Paddy Ryan was an Irish American boxer, and became the bare-knuckle American heavyweight champion on May 30, 1880, after he won the title from Joe Goss. He retained the title until losing it to the exceptional John L. Sullivan on February 7, 1882.
John Joseph Killion, more commonly known as Jake Kilrain, was a famous American bare-knuckle fighter and glove boxer of the 1880s. He was elected to the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009 and to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
Tom King also known as "The Fighting Sailor" was an English boxer who fought both bare-knuckle and with gloves. Strong, fast, and durable he was a skilled pugilist. One of his quirkier pre-fight rituals was to drink a tot of gin before every bout. He retired from the ring in 1863, as the Heavyweight Champion of England, following his defeat of the reigning champion Jem Mace and American contender John C. Heenan.
Jem Ward was an English bare-knuckle boxer. "A fine fighter and powerfully built man", he was the English heavyweight champion from 1825 until 1831. He became known for being one of the first boxers to be officially sanctioned for deliberately losing a fight. During his fighting career he was nicknamed "The Black Diamond". In his retirement he became a successful artist.
Tom Spring was an English bare-knuckle fighter. He was heavyweight champion of England from 1821 until his retirement in 1824. After his retirement he became landlord of the Castle Inn at Holborn in London, where he arranged the patronage and contracts of many of the major boxing events of the period while overseeing fair play in the ring.
Joe Goss was an English bare knuckle boxer. After defeating Tom Allen in Boone County, Kentucky, he held the American and what many boxing historians now consider the World Heavyweight boxing championship from 7 September 1876 to 30 May 1880. Although he rarely scaled more than 160 pounds, the clever and aggressive Goss routinely fought men both bigger and heavier than himself.
George Godfrey, nicknamed "Old Chocolate" by the press of the day in the last stage of his long career, was a Black Canadian heavyweight boxer who held the distinction of being World 'Colored' Heavyweight Champion during his career. He is not to be confused with the American heavyweight George Godfrey who claimed the same Championship 42 years after his Canadian namesake. Godfrey was inducted into the PEI Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Charles Watson Mitchell was a world heavyweight boxing title contender.
Billy Madden (1852–1918) is best known as a champion American boxer or pugilist, and pugilistic trainer, and manager. He was also a playwright, writer of books and newspaper articles, the producer of sporting events other than pugilistic, such as wrestling matches and women's marathon bicycle races.
John Mahan, also known as Steve Taylor, was a 19th-century Irish-born American bare-knuckle boxer and pugilist. He was a noted heavyweight fighter in the Northeastern United States during the 1870s and billed as having "an unbeaten record" until his prizefight with future heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan in 1881. Sullivan rose to national prominence as a result of his victory while Mahan went into semi-retirement, taking part in numerous exhibition bouts during the 1880s. Mahan later toured the U.S. with Sullivan and became one of his chief sparring partners.
Henry "Hen" Pearce was an English bare-knuckle prizefighter who fought under the London Prize Ring rules and was the recognised English Champion from 1804 until his retirement due to ill health in 1807.
Laurence 'Larry' Foley was a nearly undefeated Australian middleweight championship boxer. An exceptional boxing instructor, his students included American champions Peter Jackson, and Tommy Burns, the incomparable English-born triple weight class champion Bob Fitzsimmons and Australian champion Mike Dooley. Due to his success as a boxing champion and internationally acclaimed instructor, and for introducing his country to the modern Queensberry Rules, he is often referred to as the "Father of Australian Boxing".
The Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame is a museum and hall of fame in Belfast, New York, dedicated to the sport of bare-knuckle boxing. It is housed in barns that were once owned by the Greco-Roman wrestling champion and physical culture pioneer William Muldoon. The heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan, who fought in both bare-knuckled and gloved boxing contests, trained in these barns under Muldoon's guidance for his championship bout against Jake Kilrain in 1889. The barns were originally across Main Street from their current location, on the grounds of the Belfast Catholic Church. They were bought, moved, and restored by Scott Burt when the church became no longer interested in maintaining them. Burt opened the Hall of Fame in 2009, when it had its first induction class.
James Wharton was a Moroccan boxer. Wharton boxed from 1833 to 1840 and had a career record of 8 wins and 1 draw. He was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
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