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John Morrissey officially relinquishes his U.S. heavyweight boxing title and retires from the ring

John Morrissey, detail
04/04/1859

John "Old Smoke" Morrissey, so called because of a famous barroom brawl during which he had rolled in the coals of a fire, was an Irish-born enforcer for the New York City bosses.  He had won the heavyweight boxing championship of the United States the previous year against John C. Heenan in Canada. His wife persuaded him to retire and he began a career as a gambling proprietor and politician. He helped found the Saratoga Racetrack and served two terms in Congress. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 
Steven Reiss, City games : The Evolution of American Urban Society and the Rise of Sports (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1989), 20-21.

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How to Cite This Page: "John Morrissey officially relinquishes his U.S. heavyweight boxing title and retires from the ring," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/23567.