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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/27/2023

Two of the most accomplished heavyweight boxers from the late 1800s were John L. Sullivan and James J. Corbett. Sullivan, a native of Roxbury, Mass., was initially a bare-knuckle brawler dubbed the “Boston Strong Boy” by the local press. He would go on to establish a professional record of 42-1-3 with 32 wins by knockout, although he boxed in hundreds of more matches before records were kept. Corbett, a San Francisco native known as "Gentleman Jim", was seven years younger than Sullivan but battled his way up the ranks to eventually land a prize fight against the undefeated Boston Strong Boy.

Sullivan agreed to fight Corbett in 1892 and defend his title as heavyweight champ. The famous match took place on September 7th in New Orleans with a ruckus crowd of 10,000 men and very few women packed into the arena. The heavyweight contest occurred under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules (no hitting below the belt, holding, tripping, pushing, biting, spitting or wrestling), a monumental for pro boxing as the sport moved out of the shadows of criminality into the realm of acceptable public entertainment. In the first few rounds, the younger and quicker Corbett used a daring technique that enabled him to dodge Sullivan's crouch and rush style. Corbett broke Sullivan's nose in the third round, yet Sullivan was determined to keep going and continued take more punishment in the ensuing rounds. Finally, in the 21st round (no typo!), Corbett landed a smashing left that put Sullivan down for good. Sullivan was counted out and Corbett was declared the new champion.

This lot features a wonderful cut signature display, nicely matted and framed to dimensions of 17” x 17", with images of the two boxers putting their dukes up. It also includes an engraved plaque outlining the night of their famous bout in New Orleans. The cut signature from Sullivan in 8/10 black ink reads, “Yours Truly John L. Sullivan March 20th 1908,” while Corbett's 8/10 black penned autograph states, “Yours Truly Jas. J. Corbett Aug 10/94.” Both signatures are authenticated by Beckett with a full LOA.

1908 John L. Sullivan and 1894 James J. Corbett Pair of Signed, Inscribed & Dated Cuts in Matted Display – Beckett LOA
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $799
Number Bids:3
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