Boxing Glove Logo
You will enjoy reading these historic
and articles. Some of the
greatest boxing events
from the 1800's
through modern history.

The Sun



Speeches by Both the Great Men - Our Hero
Tells the Crowd he Thinks he Can Lick
the Briton - Then he Dons the Gloves and
Hammers Jack Ashton in Terrific Style.

_ LONDON, Nov. 9.- The two greatest men
on this earth met tonight in London. That is,
the two greatest from the prize fighter's point
of view. John L. Sullivan, the pride of Boston
and of America, who has proven so often with
his right duke, and his left duke, and with both
dukes together, that he is the greatest knocker
out among men and the shining sun of the
fistic firmament, nodded at and was formally
introduced to Jem Smith of England, the man
who hopes to wrest the master's title from him,
and whose lustre is brightest among the host of
bruising planets that revolve around the great
prize-fighting luminary. It was a sight to melt
the lover of true sport to gentle tears, one
which in olden days could have been sung by
minstrels with striped legs of different colors,
and woven into dingy immortality by high-
waisted maidens bending over their embroid-
ery. Even in this nineteenth century there
was emotion. Strong men held their breath,
as though looking into the works of a favorite
watch, and when it was all over the roaring
and cheering brought all the dime novel stories
about Comanche war whooping into real life.
_ It was in St.James Hall, and there was a
fine big stage for the great men to strut about
on. Sullivan and Smith stood side by side in
the middle of it, and it was a fine chance to
compare the two representatives of muscle.
The men were in many respects exact oppo-
sites. Smith is short and chunky, with big
swelling chest, thick, short legs, with tre-
mendous calves defying the tailor's law that
men shall now wear their trousers flowing
short bull, neck, square jaw, low forehead,
smooth face, expression good-humored, but
lacking intelligence, not quite the full-
fledged great man, plain clothes, short
jacket of coarse material, thick boots, pot hat
and a few diamonds, indicating a desire to
soar above the ordinary British prize fighter, a
perfectly developed specimen of the bulldog in
human nature, but with a most lovely set of
white teeth. Those teeth are all of Smith's
beauty, and in smiling he displays them with a
success and grace which might have been vied
by Judic and copied by Kyrle Bellow.
_ A different picture must be drawn to give
Americans an idea of what Sullivan, the United
States fistic plenipotentiary, looked like. Im-
agine a man as calm and quiet as though the
earth were his and all the rest of us his ten-
ants; not a wonderfully tall man, but one who
looks very tall; a body so well shaped that it
seems not unusually muscular, and with the
wonderful power spread out all over it like
electricity in a battery, not stored in knobs
and bunches of muscle, as in the ordinary
strong man. Sullivan looked and acted like
the man who is used to creating more excite-
ment than kings and presidents, and who
knows that to bask in his presence is
a pleasure to many thousands. His face is a
better one than that of any man in his profes-
sion, and one in which good nature often
struggles through the satisfied expression
born of ability to beat anything on earth.
Everything about Sullivan told of the man
nurtured in the soft lap of Madison Square
Garden gate receipts. No plain brown hat,
but on of glistening silk, tall and very
curly brimmed. He was in evening dress,
such is worn by dukes or brokers, or men
who lecture on astronomy and one not out-
done by any in scientific curving, hollow back-
edness, or other becoming qualities. Far past
the diamond, hankering that accompanies
sudden prosperity, Sullivan had disdained all
jewelry and appeared simply himself, fixed up
in the best clothing gate receipts can buy.
_ With Sullivan was Mr. Phillips, his backer,
who skillfully steers his wayward star past the
many temptations and bewildering brands of
a new big place. Everybody was introduced
to Sullivan, Smith, and Phillips, and then the
fighters bowed solemnly and shook hands with
a pomp and solemnity that recalled the his-
torical mind Henry VIII and big King Francis
on the field of the cloth of gold. The audience
which framed the picture was grand. Rows
and rows of young men, some with titles and
some without, but all with red faces, white
shirt fronts, and small heads, piled high up in
the ten-dollar seats, every one of which was
taken. Then there were rows of stalls white
with the overflow of shirt fronts from the two-
guinea seats, whose owners had paid more than
they could possibly afford and did not regret
it. All these yelled for a speech, and Sullivan
made one. Its lengthy and elaborate charac-
ter was most surprising to all the great man's
_ "Gentlemen," he said, "I'm much obliged to
you for this applause. [Every one had been
yelling.] I am much pleased with this country
and with the reception you have given me, and
I hope I'll continue to deserve it. As far as Mr.
Smith here is concerned, of course, I hope I'll
best him, and go home leaving him licked;
and of course he hopes and you hope, being
patriotic, that he'll get the best of me, and send
me home beaten. I can only say I hope the best
man will win, and I'm afraid you'll be badly
disappointed. [Loud yells, and cheers and
laughter.] Gentlemen, I'm so much obliged
to you for this, that I won't undertake to ex-
press it. So I just wish Mr. Smith success in
his go with Kilrain, and thank you one and all."
 It took much loud pleading to get Smith to
stop twirling his hat and say this:
_ "I can only say I'll try my best to beat Kil-
rain, and then, when I've beaten Kilrain, I'll
try my best to beat John L. Sullivan."
_ It struck the crowd as pithy, and won great
_ Then there were the usual incidents of a
pugilistic feast - small sparring matches to
sharpen the appetite for the big one - and at
last Sullivan came on. He was naked to the
waist, and all the red-faced young gentlemen
saw the most perfect body they had ever
looked at. Sullivan's body, neck, and arms
were perfectly pink, a peculiarity of his own,
and harmonized beautifully with the pink silk
tights that he wore. A silk American flag
tightly rolled was worn as a belt, and on
his hands were gloves so big and soft as to
look almost attractive. Jack Ashton was there
to be knocked about, and Sullivan went at him.
_ He had promised the Londoners the best ex-
hibition seen in their lives, and he gave it to
them. Sullivan's wonderful lightness, and his
way of throwing all the weight of his 230 pounds
into his fist at every blow, was a revelation.
He banged Ashton all over the stage, and
wound up the first bout of four rounds in a
storm of applause. All the way through the
exhibition was carried out on Sullivan's plan
of going at the most friendly opponent as
though that opponent's life had already been
unduly prolonged. It was painful for Ashton,
but grand for the spectators. It was a real
Sullivan exhibition, and there was no one to
_ In watching the sparring of Kilrain, Smith
had done some very gay smiling. He did not
smile as he followed closely the quick move-
ments and heavy blows of the big American.
His face, on the contrary, was that of the gen-
tleman who listens to the reading of a rela-
tive's will, in which his name is not mentioned.
It grew more gloomy as Sullivan proceeded in
his best manner, and, despite the fat accumu-
lated on his voyage.
_ To illustrate how foolish it is of other men
to want to be champion, the end of the exhi-
bition left every impartial judge convinced
that Sullivan is what Americans know he is,
the man appointed by nature to knock his fel-
lows out. Smith said, "He's a big 'un and a
good 'un," and limited his remarks to that.
He was evidently thinking meanwhile.
_ Sullivan in his dressing was playing his ac-
customed role of a great man. Two kneeling
youths undid his boots, a fond attendant
rubbed his pink body pinker, and all the little
men with big names trooped in to shake him
by the hand and say flattering things, which
were taken as a matter of course, Any one who
has heard a boy in algebra discuss the arith-
metical ability of his little brother still plunged
in the dark night of the Rule of Three knows
just how Sullivan talks of all his brother
fighters. He talks kindly and gently of
them, and encourages them all he can.
He said Smith looked to be good, a
very hard man for his size, but rather
smaller than he expected. It never occurred
to the big fighter that any individual could
possibly entertain any doubt as to his finish-
ing up Smith as he has every one else. If Sul-
livan were well enough acquainted with
Shakespeare he would quote as his own senti-
ments what Caesar says about his resemblance
to the Polar star, and he would mean it, too,
from the bottom of his heart.

Historic boxing newspapers and articles.