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The Boston Strongboy

John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918), known simply as John L among his admirers, and dubbed the "The Boston Strongboy" by the press, was an American bare knuckle boxer and then gloved boxer recognized as the first Heavyweight champion of gloves boxing reigning from February 7, 1882, to September 7, 1892. He is also generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring Rules, being a cultural icon in América in the late 19th century, arguably the first boxing superstar and one of the world's highest-paid athletes of his era. Newspapers covered his career, with the latest accounts of his championship fights often appearing in the headlines and as cover stories, gave birth to sports journalism in the United States and set the pattern internationally for covering boxing events in media, and photodocumenting prizefights. He was boxings first superstar.


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