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Adrian, Richard William [known as Kid Tanner] (1911x14–1963), boxer  

Gary Shaw

Adrian, Richard William [known as Kid Tanner] (1912–1963), boxer, was born in Fellowship, British Guiana (later Guyana), on 16 March 1912, 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  

Gary Shaw

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

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Cover Belcher, James [Jem] (1781–1811)

Belcher, James [Jem] (1781–1811)  

Maker: unknown artist

In 

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

Article

Belcher, James [Jim, Jem] (1781–1811), prize-fighter prize-fighter  

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

Belcher, Thomas (1783–1854)  

See Belcher, James [Jim, Jem]

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Cover Broughton, John (c. 1703–1789)

Broughton, John (c. 1703–1789)  

Maker: unknown engraver

In 

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

Article

Broughton, John (c. 1703–1789), pugilist  

Tony Gee

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 ...

Article

Bryan, Benjamin [nicknamed Big Ben] (1753–1794), prize-fighter  

Adrian N. Harvey

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 ...

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Cover Caunt, Benjamin (1814–1861)

Caunt, Benjamin (1814–1861)  

Maker: unknown engraver

In 

Benjamin Caunt (1814–1861) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Caunt, Benjamin (1814–1861), pugilist  

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 ...

Article

Cockell, Donald John (1928–1983), boxer  

Mark Pottle

Cockell, Donald John (1928–1983), boxer, was born on 22 September 1928 at 46 Ouseley Road, Balham, London, the son of Kate Cockell, a domestic servant, of 44 Havelock Terrace, Battersea. He never knew his father. Cockell was apprenticed to a blacksmith and developed a strong physique well suited to boxing. He showed promise as a footballer, but earned money from fighting in fairground booths on Saturday nights, and after rising through the amateur ranks he turned professional in 1946....

Article

Cooper, Sir Henry (1934–2011), boxer  

Matthew Taylor

Cooper, Sir Henry (1934–2011), boxer, was born on 3 May 1934 at the Lying-In Hospital, York Road, Lambeth, London, the elder identical twin and second of three sons of Henry William Cooper, tram conductor, and his wife, Lily, née Nutkins. At the time of his birth registration the family lived at ...

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Cover Cooper, Sir Henry (1934–2011)

Cooper, Sir Henry (1934–2011)  

Maker: Jim Gray

In 

Sir Henry Cooper (1934–2011) by Jim Gray, 1966 © Jim Gray / Keystone / Getty Images

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Cover Cribb, Tom (1781–1848)

Cribb, Tom (1781–1848)  

Maker: Douglas Guest

In 

Tom Cribb (1781–1848) by Douglas Guest, 1810–11 unknown collection; photograph Sotheby's Picture Library, London / National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Cribb, Tom (1781–1848), pugilist  

G. C. Boase

revised by Julian Lock

Cribb, Tom (1781–1848), pugilist, was born at Hanham in the parish of Bitton, Gloucestershire, on 8 July 1781, the son of Thomas and Hannah Cribb (he had three brothers and three sisters). He moved to London at the age of thirteen and worked as a bellhanger, then became a porter at the public wharves, and was afterwards a sailor. From the fact of his having worked as a coal porter he became known as the ...

Article

Downes, Terence Richard [Terry] (1936–2017), professional boxer and businessman  

Matthew Taylor

Downes, Terence Richard [Terry] (1936–2017), professional boxer and businessman, was born on 9 May 1936 at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, the only son of Richard Downes (1909–1964), a motor mechanic, and his wife Hilda Amelia, née Horwood (...

Article

Driscoll, James [Jim] (1880–1925), boxer  

Gareth Williams

Driscoll, James [Jim] (1880–1925), boxer, was born on 5 December 1880 at 12 Ellen Street in Newtown, Cardiff's main Irish quarter, the second son of the four surviving children of Cornelius Driscoll (1856–1881), a railwayman on the docks who died in an accident at work soon after ...

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Cover Dupree, William Thomas (1909–1992)

Dupree, William Thomas (1909–1992)  

Maker: David Redfern

In 

William Thomas Dupree (1909–1992) by David Redfern, 1990 © David Redfern / Getty Images

Article

Dupree, William Thomas [known as Champion Jack Dupree] (1909–1992), boxer and blues pianist  

John A. Hargreaves

Dupree, William Thomas [known as Champion Jack Dupree] (1909–1992), boxer and blues pianist, claimed in official documentation to have been born on 4 July 1909 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, the son of George Dupree and his wife Georgiana, née Washington, whose plantation names revealed their slave ancestry. His father was reputedly of part Congolese and his mother of part Cherokee Indian descent. Other sources have cited both earlier and later variations of his date of birth. The uncertainty derives in part from a lack of definitive evidence and possibly also ...