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Adrian, Richard William [known as Kid Tanner] (1911x14–1963), boxer, was born in Fellowship, British Guiana (later Guyana), on 16 March, probably between 1911 and 1914 though some reports give 1916, the son of James Adrian, variously described as a joiner and a prison warder. He later told boxing reporters that aged fourteen, he had become an apprentice auctioneer but by sixteen had embarked on a successful amateur boxing career. Records indicate his first professional contest was in ...

Article

Bassey, Okon Asuguo [known as Hogan Bassey, Hogan Kid Bassey] (1932–1998), boxer and sports administrator, was born in Creek Town, Calabar, Nigeria, on 3 June 1932, the eldest of five sons of Chief Asuquo Bassey. He was educated at Creek Town School, Calabar...

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Okon Asuguo Bassey (1932–1998) by Bernard Zimmerman, 1958 [left, with Jules Touan] © News International Newspapers Ltd

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James Belcher (1781–1811) by unknown artist, c. 1800 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Thomas Seccombe

revised by Dennis Brailsford

Belcher, James [Jim, Jem] (1781–1811), prize-fighter, was born at his parents' house near St James's churchyard, Bristol, on 15 April 1781. His mother was a daughter of John Slack (c. 1721–1768), the noted pugilist, who defeated John Broughton in April 1750. Jim (or Jem) Belcher...

Article

See Belcher, James [Jim, Jem]

Article

Broughton, John (c. 1703–1789), pugilist, was born of unknown parents, probably in London, although claims have been made for Baunton in Gloucestershire. He was apprenticed rather late in life (31 May 1723) to John Martin, a Thames waterman, and assigned the same day to the latter's brother ...

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John Broughton (c. 1703–1789) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bryan, Benjamin [nicknamed Big Ben] (1753–1794), prize-fighter, sometimes named Benjamin Brian or Brain, was born in Bristol; nothing is known about his parents or upbringing. It is unclear whether he had any formal education; however, letters (apparently from Bryan) which appeared in the press towards the end of his life suggest that he was literate. During his early years ...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by Julian Lock

Caunt, Benjamin (1814–1861), pugilist, was born in the village of Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire, on 22 March 1814 (some sources give 1815), the son of Robert Caunt, a labourer, and his wife, Martha. He was baptized on 15 May 1814. His father, a tenant of ...