Regular price $800.00

John Carmel Heenan (May 2, 1833- October 28, 1873) was an American bare-knuckle fighter born in Troy NY. He boxed under the name "The Benicia Boy" (from his residence in California)[1]. His career lasted from 1858 until 1863. His most notable fights were against champion John Morrissey and Tom King. Heenan claimed Joe Morrissey's title after the latter retired from boxing in 1859. He fought in an early international heavyweight contest when he fought the legendary English fighter Thomas Sayers in 1860. Heenan is claimed by Americans to have been winning that fight when Sayer's supporters entered the ring, causing the contest to be disbanded and declared a draw. Following the draw Champion belts were made for both fighters.[1] The bout is memorable in the history of pugilism and incidentally was the cause of putting an end to bare-fist prize fighting in England.[2] Heenan was later acclaimed as the English Heavyweight Champion. According to Lord Redesdale, who witnessed the fight, Sayers was winning when the Americans rescued Heenan by interrupting the fight. Lord Redesdale described these Americans as 'a very low class, and I am bound to say I did not see an American gentleman among them. The men whom I knew afterwards in New York would have been as disgusted as I was'. Heenan's championship was claimed by Joe Coburn in 1862 after Heenan refused to defend it against Coburn. Heenan fought one last fight against Tom King in December 1863 which Heenan lost in 24 rounds. Heenan died at Green River Station, Wyoming in 1873. Offered here is an original, first generation photograph of John C. Heenan in period dress dated on the reverse March 29, 1861.
This is an original, mounted, first generation photograph. Dated on reverse March 29, 1861. Bold, clear image. Clean front and back. No creases or tears. 2 1/8" x 3 1/2" photo on a mount of 2 5/8" x 3 7/8."

Size: 2 5/8 x 3 7/8

Condition: excellent