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Old 01-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
Seamus
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Default John L Sullivan Exhibitions

I am very intrigued for some reason by John L's post Corbett exhibitions and have begun to do some research among the newspapers.

Among the more interesting ones I have researched so far is his Aug 31, 1896 4 rounder with Sailor Tom Sharkey... Here's a review of the action...

"Tom Sharkey made his fistic debut in the East last Monday night in a friendly boxing bout with the redoubtable John L. Sullivan, who long ago gave up active ring work for the more remunerative pursuit of the exhibition business. Sharkey wanted badly to display his ability in New York, and in order to all him to do so Sullivan was picked out as a sort of running mate. Doubtless Sullivan was preferred because he is so popular with the fistic masses, and secondly, because against him it was thought that Sharey could appear to advantage on account of John L's slowness and hog fat condition. But the managers of the sailor man missed their mark, for instead of showing to advantage, the ex-seafarer left the ring without having made a single convert to his ambitious cause... the great Bostonian even showed to better boxing advantage than did his side partner, Sharkey, who was to make the hit of the evening."

Anyone else got anecdotes regarding the exhibition phase of Sullivan's career which lasted up till 1909?
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

Best not to stand in front of him!
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

The Sullivan McCormack fight/exhibition is nothing short of astonishing given his condition and age.

I dont know if that Sharkey Sullivan is the same one, but i read that John L went a few rounds and then explained to the crowd that he had retired and passed the mantle on to the younger fighting brigade.

I think it almost certain that John L was underated in the science department. YOu dont knock out as many people as he did, if you dont have the science to hit people without getting hit. Obviously he wasnt a mover like Corbett, but like tyson, Frazier etc, he wasnt a wild swinging thug etiher. Sullivan was further past prime than the Dempsey that faced Tunney. and corbett may have been on par or better than tunney. I think John L is extremely underated.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boilermaker View Post
The Sullivan McCormack fight/exhibition is nothing short of astonishing given his condition and age.

I dont know if that Sharkey Sullivan is the same one, but i read that John L went a few rounds and then explained to the crowd that he had retired and passed the mantle on to the younger fighting brigade.

I think it almost certain that John L was underated in the science department. YOu dont knock out as many people as he did, if you dont have the science to hit people without getting hit. Obviously he wasnt a mover like Corbett, but like tyson, Frazier etc, he wasnt a wild swinging thug etiher. Sullivan was further past prime than the Dempsey that faced Tunney. and corbett may have been on par or better than tunney. I think John L is extremely underated.
Also, I can't picture a talentless goon being able to make the transition from the London Prize rules to the Queensberry rules and stay on top. I tend to rate boxers in respect to how they dominated their opposition... and few were as dominant as Sullivan. Prime for prime and a good time machine at hand, I'd pick him to beat Jeffries... but it seems that no one who saw them both would say the same thing, so what do I know haha.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

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Originally Posted by Brownies View Post
Also, I can't picture a talentless goon being able to make the transition from the London Prize rules to the Queensberry rules and stay on top. I tend to rate boxers in respect to how they dominated their opposition... and few were as dominant as Sullivan. Prime for prime and a good time machine at hand, I'd pick him to beat Jeffries... but it seems that no one who saw them both would say the same thing, so what do I know haha.
I dont think that is actually quite true. Plenty of people thought John L was better than jeffries,although by the time jeffries retired, most of those left had their views of Jeffries tainted by his domination by Corbett, or even his astonishing but past prime perormance against kilrain. Those who saw prime Sullivan often differed, and for a long time, Jeffries was seen by quite a few to have followed the golden Sullivan, Corbett, Jackson, Fitz glory days, although he was later usually lumped into this period.

By the way, did you know that Sullivan actually campained and challenged Jeffries to a LPR unification bout. I think the McCormick win might have even been in preparation for this. No one realistically gave him a chance, but you got to give him credit. To even consider such an idea at that age, is something to admire. No need to hide behind the pillows for John L.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

I read a report where Joe Goddard offered Sullivan a bet that he could let Sullivan clock him , unguarded, and he (Goddard) would not go down.

Joe Goddard was a goddamned man.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

Sullivan liked to hip toss bareknuckle brawlers off the stage onto a piano.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

The more I learn about the old timers from posts like these the more I respect thier abilities and accomplishments. These men could fight!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: John L Sullivan Exhibitions

Reconstructing John L Sullivan as a fighter, is a bit like trying to work out what a living Tyrannosaurus was like from its skeleton.

You don't know that much about it, but everything you do know points to it being prety badass.
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