John L. Sullivan vs James J. Corbett | Ring Talk with Lou Eisen
EPISODE: Episode 9
John L. Sullivan vs James J. Corbett | Ring Talk with Lou Eisen
Lou discusses John L. Sullivan who became a legend in his own time. He had won the Heavyweight Championship title in 1882 and had successfully defended it for 10 years.
[, Music, ] hi, i’m lou eisen, and welcome to ring talk today we’re going to discuss a fight the first i guess modern world heavyweight title fight that took place september, 7th 1892 in new orleans and by the way that date september, 7th 1892, probably a date Where my daughter would say that i was born because she thinks i’m very old.
So when she was, you know in university and they’d ask her about abraham lincoln.
She would say she bring my dad in.
He knew him so not quite that old september 7th 1892 new orleans defending champion john el salvador hadn’t fought in three years and he defended against the young james j corbett, now sullivan um.
I’Ve always had a big problem with now no person, except for certain examples.
In history, where somebody’s pure evil is completely, you know, white or black, it doesn’t work that way.
Sullivan was an interesting character.
He was certain he was an alcoholic.
He was boastful a lot of sultan’s attitude in the way he treated people, especially black fighters.
He disliked black fighters referred to them to their face by using the n-word and he he did not like black fighters and he said i’ll, never defend against the negro and i i never have – and i never will and he didn’t so.
I can’t categorically categorically call him the first ever world heavyweight champion because there were other black fighters around then peter jackson, who was the best heavyweight in the world and george gottfried from charlottetown uh, prince edward island, and he wouldn’t fight them and godfrey and sullivan, were About the same size, they were both 5 10.
sullivan would weigh in at 196, godfrey about 175.
godfrey challenged him twice once at madison square garden and once at a they were supposed to fight on a floating barge or in a gym in boston and both times.
The police arrived to break it up, but it was found out years later that was sullivan, who called the police to do it.
What did he not fight them? Out of fear, that’s hard to say that’s very hard to say because sullivan really didn’t know what fear was sullivan just didn’t want to fight a black person because he thought, as he said, why would i lower myself to their level and become one of them? And that’s a very racist, vile thing to say, but sulphan’s attitude was informed because of the time in which he was born and lived.
He was born in 1858 in boston massachusetts, and this is just before the civil war.
James j correct was born 1866 a year after the civil war and what happened after the civil war ended in 1865 was reconstruction and a lot of former slaves moved north new york, boston and cities all along the east coast and also to california san francisco, because Corbett was as much of a bigger the sullivan was, and he kept the color line, as well as just some blackfighter, but a lot of the slaves were at that point.
The irish american immigrants felt that they were being displaced from the jobs by these slaves.
Who would work for less wasn’t that they were working for less? Is that they’ve been slaved to get paid at all was incredible to them, so no one had more hatred and expressed it violently towards the former slaves and african-americans in general than immigrant irish americans, and this was a big problem.
There were a lot of riots, and this is the milieu in which both men came up.
So sullivan was born to immigrant parents that came over from cork, ireland, and he wasn’t really that good in school.
I mean he did all right.
He wasn’t a stupid man.
He just was bored, he didn’t want to be there when the teacher would try to discipline him.
He disciplined the teacher.
He was only five ten, but he had fists the size of the chrysler building.
I mean he was phenomenally strong, and so he would engage in a lot of street fights as a teenager, and you know you have to understand.
Sullivan was 5 10, 5, 10 and a half by the time he was 12 or 13 and when he would engage in the street fights he might fight a guy and beat him and then the guy’s gang would appear.
But, unlike in most situations where the guy would then run sullivan, never ran, he just stood there and said: i’m not afraid of any of you.
I’Ll beat y’all up and he often would he was that’s.
His strength was incredible.
So he embarks on his on his uh career and he’s fighting in fights around boston and places around massachusetts and he’s making picking up a hundred dollars a year.
Fifty dollars here and he starts to do well – makes his trip to new york and gets known and starts fighting around new york and eventually in 1882, he fights patty ryan in in mississippi for the world title, it was known as the american heavyweight title and the Boxing that sullivan engaged in is not the boxing that we know today that we’ve seen this week.
It’S not it’s not any new dinner against new way or edward berlanga.
Last night, you know or devin haney, with that brilliant fight against george cambosis.
That was years in the future, most of sullivan’s fights you’ll, see in the record book was lprr.
That’S what it said.
London prize ring rules most of his fights.
You won’t find on box rack or very few other places.
He had hundreds of fights and exhibitions which were held under london prize ring rules and it’s almost impossible.
People are attempting to and they might be able to find every fight.
But it’s next to impossible.
London prize ring rules were started by jack bretton, now brought the broughton.
He started them around 17, 20, 17, 22 and around that area.
The first two centuries of the 1700s first two decades, excuse me, and in those first few decades a lot of fighters were getting killed in bare knuckle fights, and so what he did was he said.
There’S got to be a set of rules because it was almost like it was uh ufc, a guy would go down and you could stomp him pound him.
Headbutt him and guys were dying and the public wasn’t liking this they like to regularly stand up and fight.
So he brought in a series of rules and those rules existed from around 1722 until 1892, 170 years.
That was the first modern era of boxing.
So when sullivan fought, there were no such thing.
There’S no such thing as three-minute rounds didn’t exist.
A round ended when a person was knocked down, thrown down or just dove to the ground.
To avoid punishment, so around could be 15 seconds.
You hit a guy, he goes down rounds over or around could last 90 minutes.
That’S why some fights five six seven hours also they didn’t, have stools in the corner.
When you went back to the corner, your one of your corner, man would be on all fours.
You sit on his back or be on one knee and you’d sit on his knee.
That’S how it worked back.
Then there was no such thing.
As you know, working i mean they would try to work on cuts, but they didn’t know what they were doing.
Fighters in between rounds were given tea and whiskey to recover and it was bare knuckles and you would fight outside and there were two kinds of fighting there.
They were fighting outside where you either had four rim posts and and two rings, so you have the inner ring and four more ring posts in the other ring, and that was to keep fans of fighters away, because if your fighter was losing, then the fans will Often climb over the ropes and attack and mass the fighter that was winning break his fingers break his arms or worse.
So that was quite common and going to those fights was dangerous because you could get mugged, you could get killed so and also you have to remember.
Boxing was not legal, then it wasn’t legal in england it was outlawed in 21 states in the united states.
It was completely outlawed in france, fights were still held in those countries, but they had to pay off the local constabulary, the police, to get the fights done so sullivan beats patty ryan in mississippi, where boxing was banned, but they paid people off.
They went to a secret location, east american, heavyweight champion 1882.
Real contribution to the sport of boxing is the fact that he, he popularized it all over the world.
He made it global because he was larger than life.
He walked into a bar and say i can lick any son of a in the house and he could.
He was that good and he was strong and he was a um, a prolific alcoholic when they say drink a man under the table that was sullivan.
He could sit there and down two three four: five bottles of gin or whiskey.
His his ability to absorb alcohol which destroyed him was prodigious.
Also, we get another term.
You know the term when a politician’s entering a race, they say he’s throwing his hat in the ring.
This is what happened in the london prize ring rules where you would approach the ring and take off your top hat, throw it into the ring, meaning i’m here and i’m willing to fight.
Also back then, when a fight had to start they’d have a little like a pictures.
You know the pictures mound they have.
The rubber they’d have like that on in the middle of the ring and you’d have to tow the scratch up to scratch.
My friend tony g, the best bare knuckle boxing historian on the planet, wrote a wonderful book about those times.
You’D have both fires would have to go up until the scratch.
Now, when you got knocked down, you had 30 seconds to get up on your own and towed the scratch.
Put your foot on it to let them know you were ready to continue.
However, most of the time, the handlers would help weren’t supposed to hard to get referees.
Referees were usually either some had been referees before, but a lot of them were gamblers, a lot of them were out now crooks and a lot of fights didn’t come off because they just couldn’t agree on the right referee.
So you have sullivan beating paddy ryan and he goes.
He was really one of not the first but the first against american.
He started out doing theater shows where he’s making a lot of money, doing um uh his plague and he didn’t play ever.
He was a terrible actor and he made a lot of money off it, united states.
He went to australia, it didn’t go well, he was booed off stage everywhere.
He went because they criticized him for his acting ability.
They weren’t impressed by the fact it was john o’sullivan because they thought you know peter jackson’s.
The best fighter in the world you’re not going to fight him.
So sullivan holds the title for 10 years, which is a long long time and he he had basically two.
He had several title defenses, but he had some notable ones.
He thought a guy named charlie mitchell from britain.
He hated mitchell more than any other man.
Mitchell knew how to get under his skin, and he would say things to him like.
I saw your wife last night, she’s, really a true blonde.
I understand things like that, and you know he it’s all from returning to curly from the three stooges with the steam coming out of his ears and hitting himself in the face.
He’D have to be restrained.
He literally wanted to hurt mitchell badly.
In fact he said he was the only man in my career that i wanted to end his life.
I was intentionally trying to kill him, so he fights mitchell first madison square garden, mitchell comes out and drops him and sullivan’s, surprise sullivan said no one dropped him except the miner named jack hogan years before, but that wasn’t true, so sullivan gets dropped by mitchell.
He gets up and starts pounding mitchell drops mitchell and then the second round drops him a bunch of times and the third round he’s got him against the ropes and he’s beating him relentlessly.
He won’t knock him out because he wants to destroy him and punish him as much as possible and after the third round the referee just said that that’s it if it goes on any further you’ll kill him four or five years later they meet in chantilly, france, Because they weren’t able to fight in england for fear of the fact that a mob in favor of mitchell would attack sultan.
So they fight the 39 round fight.
But it takes three hours and 10 minutes and it’s fought in unbelievable blizzard conditions and it’s snowing solvents.
Turning blue and, of course, in the in those days in boxing the london prize-winning worlds fighters wore cleats like baseball players, so they had metal on the bottom of their shoes, and you know how fighters sometimes step in each other’s feet.
Well, mitchell stepped on sullivan’s foot, which is in a black boot and spiked them right for the foot, and the boot is filled up with blood, so sullivan had a bloody eye.
His corner man had to suck the blood out of his eye after one of the rounds.
It was a brutal fight and after 39 rounds would which i said, lasted well over three hours.
Representatives of both men met and decided that they would decide, they would say they were willing to accept the draw because both of them had broken knuckles, broken fingers, broken nose and mouthpieces for fighters didn’t come in until ted kid lewis.
You know 1912 1914, and he was looked down upon for that.
They called him a so fighters had their lips shredded.
They were really in terrible shape and it took months and months six months or more to recover from that fight.
But he beats mitchell and he has his biggest fight ever in mississippi again again against jake kilrain, who was a pallbearer at sullivan’s funeral years later that fight went 75 rounds.
The temperature was about 104 degrees, it was blistering hot.
The man’s both fighter’s skin was peeling and they were just taking turns pounding each other and around the 39th, 40th round sullivan goes to his corner and throws up and that and stands up and says.
I feel fantastic and turns around the fight turns and he just pounds the life out of jay kilray, not literally, though sullivan, had been drinking tea whiskey between each round.
Now, when he threw up one of his friends joked, he threw up the tea he kept down.
The whiskey, so this fight rages on it’s so blistering hot, that people sitting in the wooden stands the pine the sap is coming out and it’s burning through their clothing, they’re standing up and they’re.
The rear ends are exposed, men and women because it’s ripping their clothes.
Apart they keep fighting and after the 75th round, sultan just won’t quit.
Kayla rayne goes to his corner.
Where her doctor comes over and says mr kilrain, if you go out for the next round, you will most surely die and kill rain quits.
He can’t even hold his head up, can’t hold his arms up.
He has to be carried back to the hotel where they were staying.
Sullivan, wins he’s trying humphant.
That was the last great victory of his career.
But after that fight he said, that’s it.
I will never again fight a bare knuckles fight, i’ll, never fight under london prize ring rules because then, under london prison rules, you could put a guy in a headlock and hit him.
You could throw him over your hip.
You could elbow him in fact, when he thought charlie mitchell in france.
He’D knock him down and then he’d jump in the air and land on his head with his knees or his feet.
That was illegal, but the referee wouldn’t do anything about it.
Fighters sometimes had their eyes gouged out.
It was not what we call boxing today.
Anything went so he said from now on.
I only fight under the broncos of queensberry rules of clubs, three minute rounds and a referee agreed upon by both parties sullivan, is famous by this time.
People in in boston have given him this famous belt.
The police gazette, which was like the ring magazine back then proclaimed they hated him, so they always proclaim charlie mitchell’s, the champion jake correia’s the champion, but after sullivan beat kareem, they had to admit that he was the best in the world.
James j corbett was born in san francisco in 1866, and the thing about corbett corbett was 6-1 and when he they weighed in you know, sullivan weighed in at 190, 6, corbin or 192, but corbett really was 172.
We had a 20 pound weight in his pocket.
Corbett was always in shape.
Corbett was one of the most intensely disliked fighters by other fighters in boxing history.
In the book on corbett that i read by airmen fields, they mentioned how there were two classes of irish, then in san francisco there was the lace curtain.
Irish, the elite and the shanty irish or the bog irish, who were the immigrant like john l, sullivan so corbett, always looked down on sullivan corbett, was a bit of a dandy.
He was considered a sex symbol in his time.
He had a very good education at sacred hearts: high school in san francisco.
That remembers, he went to college corbett fought mostly exhibition fights.
The thing is: when you look at box wreck corbett’s listed, i think at 17, fights and corbin didn’t have many fights, because most of his fights most of them were exhibitions.
He wouldn’t turn pro.
It was looked down upon.
Amateur boxing was considered the more legitimate sport at the time boy has that changed.
So corbett had a lot of exhibitions.
He turned down money to fight as a pro.
So as a result, a lot of his fights just aren’t counted because they weren’t legitimate professional fights.
So corbett turns professional against his father’s wishes.
Wanted father wanted to become a priest, begged him to stay at the bank because he could move up at the bank corbett fights he has some really great fights.
He has a fight with joe kowinsky jewish, joe kowinsky.
They knew each other, since they were kids, they hated each other and he knocked kwinsky out on the famous fight on a ship on a barge in benicio bay, uh california, fight with 26 rounds corbett has is fighting different fighters.
His most famous fight other than sullivan, was against peter jackson.
He wanted to fight sulf and he knew he could beat sultan and he went to see him in kind, hearts and willinghand sullivan’s play and he went backstage and he spoke to him and sullivan said some things and corbett.
You know had the gall to look at him and say: well, you know you’re you’re, rude you’re, bored, you’re, uncouth and sulfur.
Had this sunny list and like stare that would terrify people and when he did that to corbett corbett just laughed at him.
So he saw them said, let’s spar tonight, in between acts of my play, except we’re going to do it in our tuxedos and they got out in those tuxedos and they were just fooling around.
They weren’t really hitting each other and sultan, walked off stage and said to one of his handlers.
He’Ll, never learn anything from that, but he was wrong because he let solomon do all the leading and – and he looked at sullivan and he watched how sullivan tried to corner and he watched solomon’s footwork.
He learned a lot from that.
No one would fight the great peter jackson from australia, who was 6 1 215 pounds really one of the first modern fighters to use his speed.
You know into the geography of the ring to use his reach and he thought corbett and it was one of the greatest fights.
If not the greatest fight of that era.
It went 61 rounds, but then darkness came.
Both men were exhausted, so they agreed to a draw.
Now, when you look at corbett, people say well, he was the first scientific boxer, that’s not true, and when they say scientific, they mean the first guy that would circle an opponent, would bob and weave and throw a jab and and think steps ahead.
Yes, corbett did think many punches ahead, but the first guy to really do that was daniel mendoza, the jewish fighter, the spanish jew from britain who, in the early 1800s, would start moving around his opponent and circling them, making it more difficult for them because they could Punch well so they need, he knew they needed to stand flat-footed.
They get power on the shots, so he would move and the fighters would stop and corners would complain.
He should be disqualified, he’s not fighting and mendoza said.
There’S no rule that says i have to stand here and let you punch me because that’s what boxing was from the early 1700s until 1892.
guys would stand right in front of each other.
I hit you you hit me corbett changed that by moving and using angles.
He knew how to frustrate his opponent.
Corbett was very smart because, as i said, he thought many moves ahead.
He would study his opponents.
He’D go and watch all of their fights.
He was ready for john l sullivan when he fought john l, sullivan and corbett trained for this fight, like a spartan warrior, corbett was really using modern training methods running 15 20 miles a day every day, thousands of push-ups thousands of sit-ups hitting the speed bag.
Getting the heavy bag a real, strict diet, no sugar, no alcohol, you know fish chicken, vegetables, no sweets, you know getting his sleep, didn’t didn’t read, or i mean he was an avid reader, but didn’t want to hurt his eyesight.
So corvette was training, sullivan was drinking and drinking and drinking.
He was about 250 pounds about four months before the fight, william muldoon, the great wrestler who had trained him for the jake hale rain fight, and he was able to train him because he was physically bigger than sullivan and when sullivan disagreed, he would bear hug him And he could beat sullivan up, he could restrain him so sullivan had to respect him.
The sullivan got down to 205 pounds.
He lost like he before that fight.
He was 265, so he lost 60 pounds and that’s the only reason why he could do that.
He could go.
You know the distance 75 round because he’s in such great shape, so they get someone else to get the world handball champion to come in and he starts to train solvent.
And it’s not easy because he’s he’s trying to hide the boots sullivan still had a little drink at night and he would go out to a bar and have a drink, and then he would also have a cake or two or three or four.
He had prodigious appetite, he could sit down and eat three.
Four: five steaks.
You know the only person i know of throughout history other than henry viii who could eat like that was a jazz musician, charlie parker, who could sit there and down bottle after bottle of straight whiskey and didn’t bother him.
He could just get up and go do what he wants.
Alvin uh used to engage in drinking contests, so his trainer at the time did his best and he got solving down to about 205 208.
He saw them lost about 40 or so pounds, but by by the time the fight the problem was, his wind was gone three flights of spring god.
You know he he was eight years older.
It’S only 34.
You know golovkin’s going to fight canelo again in september and golovkin’s 40, but they have access these days to modern training methods.
They didn’t back then, and also sullivan, didn’t want to train so sullivan thought.
This is just a kid he’s: a punk kid he’s 24.
This was only corbett’s fifth pro fight corbett.
If you look on certain records uh of corbett online you’ll see it said he had 35 40 fights well.
If he had 35 fights in his career, a good 18 of them were exhibitions or amateur fights.
So you can’t count them as professional fights by any means.
This was really only is his fifth pro fight, and – and this is a very important occasion in boxing history, the fight in new orleans was the carnival of champions three fights in three days.
First fight was lightweight champion joe mcauliffe, defending his title, which he did second fight the next day.
September 6 was the immortal canadian george dixon, who for some reason, has not been given a stamp at canada.
Post george jackson was the first black man to ever win a world boxing title.
First black man to lose one in the first black man to regain one.
He was from africville nova scotia.
He invented the speed bag then did the heavy bag.
He was also the first person not just to run distances.
I mean they’ve been doing that beforehand, but he also would run short sprints.
He fought a guy named jack skelly, who was really an amateur, and this was a very important fight, because this was in the deep south and it was the club where they were.
Fighting was restricted, but dixon wouldn’t go on unless they allowed african americans in so they allowed 700 african-americans and who had to sit way up top in the segregated section and dixon, of course, carried skelly for seven rounds and then easily knocked him out.
The next day is the big fight between john l, sullivan and james j corbett.
How important was this fight? There were two 300 reporters from all over the world: france, italy, germany, japan, britain.
This was the most important heavyweight fight since the american, the benicia boy, john cena, had lost to the brit tom sayers in 1860.
This was considered a world championship fight.
It was held in this arena where they had over 60 huge lights and they had special seating.
You had someone to take you to your seat, people arriving in carriages and it was really a big affair.
It was the first it they had a program, one of the first times that had happened in the united states.
It had happened for hundreds of years in britain and these men despised each other sullivan, really despised, charlie mitchell, as i said, but he really hated corbett.
Most people hated corporate joe kowinski hated corbett.
Bob fitzsimmons had to be restrained from shooting corbett.
He just despised him.
Corbett had a way of getting under someone’s skin and just his attitude and putting on airs would really antagonize fighters corbett knew from when he first saw us off and he used to be his hero until he met him and saw how much of a bore he Was that he could beat him, he was old, he was out of shape, he was short sullivan, didn’t have a defense.
He knew nothing about blocking shots, he blocked him with his face.
He tried to catch him with his arms, but barely would do that.
Sulfur had no defense, he was a windmill slugger, like you see in the schoolyard, that’s what he would do he would come in and he he would.
He would just come in and fight and he would um okay.
Well, i’ve been told, there’s something with the audio.
Is the audio corrected uh? Is the audio corrected? Sorry for this? I don’t know i may have been talking to myself, which is something i’m not too unfamiliar with um, so i’ll keep talking until they tell me otherwise we’re good okay.
So here we have this fight, as i said, sullivan would just come out in the windmill.
Corbett was a guy.
He was really the fierce first pure counter puncher.
He was the first guy that would take in the information like you see, fighters do today, he’d watch what you do for the first couple of rounds.
Take the information in and then after he took the information in.
He then would devise a plan for the entire fight, and so the fight starts and sullivan just comes rushing out swinging wildly and corporate laughs at him, and just moves away and sullivan goes flying into the ropes sullivan keeps doing this and corbett doesn’t even throw a Punch he’s just avoiding him and sullivan, says to the referee, make him stand and fight.
This is a real case in point throughout boxing history, the great charlie goldman trained rocky marciano said no one ever invents a game just to be defeated at it.
The whole key of the sport of boxing is to impose your will on your opponent, make him fight your fight, there’s no sense in fighting his fight.
George cambosis said that about devin haney wouldn’t fight.
Well, no he’s not going to stand and slug with you, because that’s your skill, his skill is actually boxing technique and that was james.
J corbett he’s not going to stand and slug with a guy who’s much stronger than him and outweighs him by over 20 pounds.
So this goes on for the first couple rounds.
Two three rounds solvent or corbett throws a couple jabs in the third round, sullivan’s rushing.
He can’t get him and after one of the rushes he puts his arms on his hips and he bends over he’s out of breath.
This is just the third round of a fight.
That’S supposed to be 25 rounds, so corbett moves in and just pounds them to the face repeatedly.
You know he’s hitting him like.
You would hit a speed.
Bag sullivan, doesn’t know how to slip a punch or slide a punch or duck that that’s a scale.
He never learned he didn’t have to.
He just walked out and beat people into the ground, and corbett has no problem pounding him and it’s closing his eyes breaking his nose.
You know cut his ears, shredding his lips and sullivan’s, taking a horrific beating third round.
Fourth round fifth round sixth round he’s going back to the corner after each round and he’s like: oh, you know and they’re pulling his trunk there’s his tights out to let him breathe just keep breathing john and he can’t catch his breath.
He’S gassed after three rounds.
Corbett because he hasn’t trained he’s just he drank he trained by, he lost the weight, but he never worked on his on his lung capacity.
So he’s got no stamina.
He can’t breathe in corbett, who is running 15-20 miles a day every single day, uphill and every other way is in great shape.
He could go 15 rounds and then you know in seventh round eighth round and sullivan’s, getting battered he’s just basically standing there taking a beating and ninth round tenth round and there’s points now in the fight.
Where you see this in some fights today, where, where he’ll get hit a tremendous shot to the heart or right hand to the chin and his head will fly back and the blood will come flying off and they hear the audience go ooh you know.
Maybe someone should stop this, but corbett’s not going to knock him out now he doesn’t want to.
He wants to make him pay for all the insults and for his boorish behavior and he’s pounding sultan relentlessly 15th round 17th round sullivan is being held back to his corner, he’s being given water.
He spits it out, but he can’t really take.
He can’t even take the water because he can’t breathe so he’s more interested in catching his breath, so he’s dehydrating at the same time, and you know if you’re an alcoholic.
Obviously, if you know someone who is one of the problems of alcohol is in the severe dehydration, also destroying your liver as well so sullivan or corbett’s making a point of hitting him left hook to the liver and sullivan can feel that, because he’s taken so much Abuse to his own liver from drinking 19th round 20th round and he’s pounding him and he’s hitting him and solving at this point he’s groggy.
His left eye is completely closed.
He can’t see the right hand coming, so you know corbett’s changing the the way he throws it and he’s coming around, hitting him on the temple and sullivan just can’t.
He can’t catch it and if his eye was fine, he wouldn’t catch it anyways because he didn’t have the skill to do that.
That wasn’t who he was so he’s getting hit tremendous shots and after the 20th round corbett’s manager, william brady says to him.
You know what uh this guy is so loved in america and around the world.
Let’S try to avoid a fatality here, just get rid of him.
Now he goes out in the 21st round.
He courts him against the side.
Ropes hits on the left hook, hits in my right hand, solving bounces from the ropes comes forward.
Hits him a right hook.
Solomon goes down, call bracing himself face first, not on the canvas.
This was on actually a soil ground.
It was a ring, elevated ring, but it was.
The canvas was consisted of red clay, solvent lying in the ground.
The referee’s counting at about the count of five or six sullivan, puts his left arm and right arm and tries to lift up his upper torso and then falls down unconscious into the clay feels like he’s drowning.
He said afterwards and the fight is over and corporates.
The new undisputed world heavyweight champion you have to remember these guys did not like each other, although after the fight sullivan when he was helped to his corner regained consciousness, quieted the crowd and said um, i lost beca, he wouldn’t give corbett credit.
He said i lost because i had too much of the john barley corn too much of the alcohol.
I didn’t train as i should, but if i had to lose i’m glad i lost to a fellow american.
I think, if sullivan was in great shape, the best shape of his life corbett still would have beat him, because corbett was a bigger man and a much more skilled fighter, so sullivan retires after this fight, he’s done goes back and he he travels around the country.
Does temperance terms he does speaking tours uh and gives boxing exhibitions not where he gets in the ring, but he’ll explain to people who gets more classes and exhibitions.
Corporate still got his career in front of him, so corbett has the title 1892 and he holds it until 1897.
He doesn’t really have any fights and then he he goes on stage as well different between corbin, sullivan and other champs.
Before and after corbett was a gifted actor, you know, and he he was a member of actors equity.
He really had talent as an actor.
That’S a surprising thing.
So in those five years he fights one exhibition of sailor, tom sharkey and it’s a four round exhibition.
Then he beats old, charlie mitchell, who was quite old and decrepit at that time, but he hadn’t really fought a hard fight and he’s being challenged by bob fitzsimmons.
They just despise each other fitz simmons is teasing him calling him names.
You can’t fight you’re, a bum.
You won’t fight anyone.
How can you hold the title? I’M the champion, i’m fighting everyone.
Infant simmons, if you saw him, was a physical freak from the waist down he’s a lightweight skinny legs.
You could put your hands around his thighs, but a bit of exaggeration, but from the waist up he was a blacksmith.
He was a big muscle heavyweight and so they they fight and in the fight sullivan.
Excuse me, sullivan fitzsimmons is doing his best, but corbett is too much corbett’s.
Corbett knocks him down in the sixth round, and breaks fits in his nose.
Simmons is bleeding from the mouth above both eyes and he’s barely hanging on and comes out for.
I think it’s the 14th or 15th round and his wife says yells out, hit him in the slats, which meant it was a british term, although he was from cornwall new zealand and trained and learned boxing in australia hit him in the solar plexus.
And so he did the shift where he was an orthodox fighter put his right leg forward.
His left leg back to get leverage hit a left hand into corporate solar plexus.
We never seen that or heard of it being used before it probably was.
But what makes this unique was it was caught on tape.
You can go to youtube and see that punch corbett like anyone who’s been hitting solar, plexus can’t breathe, breathing just stops.
He goes down on one knee.
He gets up, he doesn’t realize.
What’S going on he’s crawling to the ropes he tries to get up, he can’t beat the count and he loses the title now.
Bob fitzsimmons is the world champion.
The heavyweight champion of the world.
Corbett wants a rematch and there could have been a rematch, but simmons.
Just said no, you know he said.
I hate you to such an extent and you were so vile to me.
I don’t want to give you the opportunity to win your title back story doesn’t end there, but simmons holds the title for a short time and then he takes on james j jefferies, who was aspiring partner for james j corbett.
So simmons is cutting jeffries to pieces.
Jeffrey’S is similar to sullivan, except he’s, bigger and stronger he’s six two he’s 225.
matt and hair all over him like a grizzly bear, but simmons is cutting him to shreds because jeffrey’s had no defense.
He didn’t know how to block punches.
He just came forward and uses overwhelming strength to beat you and he’s beating up jeffrey’s until jefferies catches him later in the fight hits him several shots to the chin, knocks fitzsimmons out.
Cold jeffries is the new champ and no one wants to fight him.
He’S too big, no one wants a piece of him and they said well how about james j corbett, you sparred with him and now now garfield is being managed by william h, brady, who was former manager of corbett, and so they fight and once again corbett goes Overdrive and training jeffrey doesn’t train that much because corbett’s older he’s in his middle to late 30s doesn’t think he can beat him and corbett outboxes him for most of the fight until the later rounds into that.
I think the 21st or 22nd round he’s he’s out boxing him and he’s getting tired, but he’s still winning the fight by a wide margin.
If it had gone the distance four more rounds, uh corbett would have been the first fighter to ever regain the world heavyweight title.
Fitz simmons gets him on the side.
Ropes hits him a couple: jabs hits in the right hand, corbett bounces off the ropes, loses his balance and, as he’s coming back fits jeffrey, sits him with a huge, brutal right hand corbett’s out before he hits the ground, and people were amazed that a guy at 37 could give a young 20-something champion a boxing lesson like that, so they have a rematch a while later, except this time he stops corporate in six rounds because corbett’s closer to 40, and he just doesn’t have it left in him to take the punishment that jefferies Is handing out corbett goes and appears on, broadway appears so successfully and he’s got a huge fan base.
He tries to mend fences with different fighters like joe kowinsky, who agreed to be his friend.
Corbett also was in the corner, along with sullivan, not with sullivan but there’s a great video of them when jeffrey’s got destroyed by jack johnson and you could see jeffrey’s uh during the fight.
You could see corvettes yelling at johnson, all these horrible racial vicious things and there’s foam spewing out of his mouth.
That’S how virulent a bigot he was.
The amazing thing about that fight.
Jeffrey’S johnson, is when they show jeffrey’s training camp and it’s the only tape.
I know of john el salvad.
Now you look at him, he’s all all gray, hair, big gray, walrus mustache and i first thought well he’s 75 years old.
At that point he was 51 51 52.
He had aged tremendously and it’s only in those brief five seconds.
You get a glimpse of how he would hold his hands like this, and he would fake a left like this around and come over with the right hand.
That’S the way he fought.
That’S the only glimpse we ever got of it uh they, they weren’t gon na shake hands, and then they both smile and shake hands.
And then the next day corbett was or sorry, general sullivan was banned from the camp by rule of jeffries and corbett.
Because sullivan wrote in a syndicated article that unless uh james j jeffries has mounted calvary and field artillery, there’s no way on earth he’s going to beat jack johnson and he was right.
Corbett lives until 1933 dies of liver cancer at the age of 66.
He lived in bayshore in the borough of queens and he was buried in brooklyn.
The great john l uh lived to the age of 60, where he died in 1918 in boston.
John l was married three times um the last time he was married or the first time excuse me he had a child that died at two years of age from diphtheria and he’s he’s a conundrum, because, although he drew the color line, he really was close friends And a financial supporter of george dixon and when dixon was dying and died before him in in 1908, at bellevue hospital they asked dixon the intake nurse.
Do you have any friends or family? He said john old sullivan’s, the only person on earth that cares about me.
So it’s it’s interesting to look that sullivan.
Who was a bigot and racist still cared a lot about dixon.
A lot of people think it’s because dixon was was light-skinned black man.
I don’t know if that’s true, why he liked him or not, but um.
That was just the way john hill salva wants.
I can’t excuse his racism.
I can’t in my estimation it’s just my opinion – consider him to be the first world heavyweight champion because he loved heavyweight champion because he wouldn’t fight the best fighters out there.
He was the first white, the best white heavyweight in the world at that point, but he wasn’t the best heavyweight in the world.
At that point you could say james corbett was because, although he had drawn the color line, he did fight the great peter jackson.
The two men never made peace, there’s that movie from with errol flynn and ward bond in 1942, where warbonne is general sullivan, comes to his party after and shakes his hand and says you know, i’m proud to have lost to an american like you never happened.
They despised each other to the end.
Uh john l actually became a temperance man, he swore off alcohol after the corporate fight and he kept to his word.
He never touched it again.
However, all the previous abuse he’d taken he given to himself and he taken from the bottle, shortened his life.
This was the first truly modern boxing match, held an arena advertised months beforehand, promoted by professionals that drew the attention not only of everyone in the united states, but the entire world.
Everyone was interested in the outcome of this fight and people were listening all over the world wherever they were what’s going on in the fight what’s going on, and they would go to their local telegraph office uh to find out so september, 7th 1892 james j corbett Knocks out old, john sultan 21st round to become the first modern, undisputed heavyweight champion of the entire world, i’m lou eisen hope you enjoyed this.
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