Kid Parker

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William Elroy Parker
Kid Parker vegetarian 1902.png
  • Denver Kid Parker
  • Vegetarian pugilist
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Born(1877-01-20)January 20, 1877
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights49
Wins by KO26

William Elroy Parker (born January 20, 1877), better known as Kid Parker, was an American professional boxer, physical culturist and promoter of vegetarianism.



Parker was born on January 20, 1877 in Boston. [1] [2] Parker was considered the best boxer in Denver. [3] He had an 18-match undefeated streak. [4] In 1900, he fought a ten-round draw with Matty Matthews. [1] Parker became a vegetarian in 1901. [5] He stated that a strict vegetarian diet increased his physical endurance and increased his mental power. [6] He was the first vegetarian boxer. [1] [7]

In April 1902, The Vegetarian Magazine published a letter describing Parker's conversion to vegetarianism. [8] He became known as the "vegetarian champion" and "vegetarian pugilist". [7] [8] [9] [10] Parker's vegetarian diet consisted of cereals, fruit, milk, nuts, vegetables and a liberal amount of eggs. [11] [12] In April, 1903 Parker authored an article on physical culture in the San Francisco Call , advocating a vegetarian diet for health reasons. [12] He declared he would still be boxing at 35 and live to be 100 years old because he is vegetarian. [12] In 1905, Parker was described as "one of the most gentlemanly fighters in the prize ring today". [13] Parker's wife was also a boxer. [14] [15]

Parker's last ring appearance was in 1906. [1] After his boxing career ended Parker was institutionalized in an asylum at Norfolk, Nebraska as he suffered from hallucinations. [16] [17] Parker would repeatedly punch the wall in his padded cell so was given boxing gloves to protect his hands. [18]

Selected publications

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Original Vegetarian Was Champ Kid Parker. Charleston Mail (January 26, 1915).
  2. Andrews, Thomas Stora. (1924). Ring Battles of Centuries. Tom Andrews Record Book Company. p. 114
  3. Lang, Arne K. (2012). The Nelson-Wolgast Fight and the San Francisco Boxing Scene, 1900-1914. McFarland. p. 96. ISBN   978-0-7864-7003-7
  4. Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. ABC-CLIO. p. 183. ISBN   978-0-313-37556-9
  5. Parker Turns Vegetarian. The Topeka State Journal (February 05, 1902).
  6. Shprintzen, Adam D. (2013). The Vegetarian Crusade: The Rise of an American Reform Movement, 1817-1921. University of North Carolina Press. p. 199. ISBN   978-1-4696-0891-4
  7. 1 2 Freddie Welsh Not the First Vegetarian in Ring History. The Bridgeport Evening Farmer (January 20, 1915).
  8. 1 2 "The Conversion of a Noted Pugilist". The Vegetarian Magazine. 6 (7): 147. 1902.
  9. "A Vegetarian Pugilist". The Dietetic & Hygienic Gazette. 18: 408. 1902.
  10. Rube Ferns, Former Walter Champion, Had Brief Reign at the Top. The Bridgeport Evening Farmer (January 20, 1917).
  11. Rice Earned the Decision Over Callahan. The St. Louis Republic (February 16, 1902).
  12. 1 2 3 Exercises for Women. The San Francisco Call (April 5, 1903).
  13. "Kid" Parker Hits Town. The Evening Statesman (September 13, 1905).
  14. Mrs. Parker Will Box. The Salt Lake Herald (August 27, 1901).
  15. Rouse, Wendy L. (2017). Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement. New York University Press. p. 36. ISBN   978-1479828531
  16. Kid Parker in Asylum. Honolulu Star-Bulletin (October 19, 1912).
  17. Baker, Mark Allen. (2017). Battling Nelson, the Durable Dane: World Lightweight Champion, 1882-1954. McFarland. p. 209. ISBN   978-1-4766-6372-2
  18. Kid Parker, Once Great Fighter, Is Now Insane. Barton County Democrat (June 21, 1912).