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Future boxing champion John L. Sullivan born to Irish immigrant parents in Boston

John L. Sullivan
10/15/1858
John Lawrence Sullivan, who would go on to be America's most famous boxing champion of the nineteenth century, was born this day in Boston to Michael Sullivan and Catherine Kelly Sullivan, both immigrants from Ireland. He would be the last heavyweight champion under bare knuckle rules and held the new gloved championship under the Queensbury rules from 1889 to 1892, although he infamously refused to defend his title against African-American Peter Jackson on racial grounds.  He lost his title to the young "Gentleman Jim" Corbett in a twenty-one round bout. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Michael T. Isenberg, John L. Sullivan and His America (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 17-18.

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