Monday, 18 March 2013

Golden Gate Exposition 1939


These three fascinating photographs show Irish boxing legend Tom Sharkey as a guest of honour at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.
The fair was held in San Francisco and celebrated, among other things, the city's two newly-built bridges: the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge which had been dedicated in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge (1937).
The exposition featured months of events - but what was Sharkey’s role?


Anyone know anymore?

Monday, 4 March 2013

WHAT'S THE BEST BOXING MOVIE EVER MADE?

Really enjoyed Danny Leigh's Boxing at the Movies documentary from the BBC.

Danny wisely didn't try to rate the films for the punch they packed - but if we were to try which movie would take the title?

'Top 10' lists are always subjective - for instance, I - gulp - don't really like Rocky that much... (ducks)

For what it's worth, here's my top 3:

1) Raging Bull (predictable, I know)

2) When We Were Kings

3) The Fighter (because Christian Bale is immense)

Agree or disagree? Let me know. I can take it.

* By the way, you can see Danny Leigh's documentary on the BBC i-Player. Follow BOXING AT THE MOVIES.

Monday, 26 November 2012

For Historians of Ireland, New York and Boxing

The new e-book of our award-winning Tom Sharkey biography I FOUGHT THEM ALL does not include an index but we thought it might be helpful for historians of Ireland, New York and Boxing to know what is in it.


INDEX OF PEOPLE AND PLACES

Allen, George 
Armory Hall, Vallejo 
Armstrong, Bob
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Australia
Australia (steam ship)

Baker, Henry “Slaughterhouse”
Baltimore, Maryland  
Bangor           
Barrington, Jim
Beecher, Harry
Belfast
Bellows, George
Braddock, James
Brady, Bill     
Broadway      
Broadway Athletic Club
Brooklyn        
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brown, Alex (referee)
Brown, Charles “Sailor”        
Burley, Nick   
Burns, Tommy           
Burroughs, Chuck      
Bush Street Theatre, San Francisco   

Cape Horn
Carr, Frank
Carroll, Patrick Joseph (Joseph James Sharkey)
Carson City    
Casey, M        
Cattanach, Jack
Cavanagh, John J       
Chicago          
Childs, Frank “The Crafty Texan”
Choynski, Joe 
Claremont Villa
Clark, John S  
Cleveland, Ohio
Clifton, Lord Talbot  
Cohen’s Hotel
Colorado Athletic Association
Colville, Jimmy
Coney Island
Connolly, Buck
Connolly, Eddie
Conroy, “Stockings”
Considine, George
Corbett, James           
Corneille, Marguerite 
Craig, Joe
Creedon, Dan 
Cripple Creek
Cullen, Frank (referee)

Daniel, Dan    
Davies, Parson           
Delaney, Billy
Dempsey, Jack “Manassa Mauler”
Dempsey, Jack “Nonpareil”
Denver           
Derry  
Detroit
Devery, Chief of Police
Dixon, George                       
Dublin            
Dundalk
Dundalk Museum      
Dunkhorst, Ed           
Dunn, Jim

Earp, Wyatt
Eckhardt, Johnny
Edward VII, King
Everett, “Mexican” Pete

Finnegan, Jack           
Fitzpatrick, Sam
Fitzsimmons, Bob
Fitzsimmons, Rose
Fleischer, Nat
Foley, Ted
Fort Dearborn Athletic Club, Chicago
Fox, Richard K

Gans, Joe
Gardner, Jack
Gibbs, Jim
Goddard, Joe 
Gosling, James
Grand Central Palace, New York
Graney, Ed     
Gray, George 
Greater New York Athletic Club      
Great Northern Railway, Ireland       
Green, George
Greggains, Alec
Groom, Jim
Guilder, Jim   
Gunst, Moses 

Hall, Jem        
Hall, Jim         
Hallen, Fred   
Harrison, Billy
Hartford, Connecticut
Hart, Hugh S
Hart, Marvin  
Harvey, Charley         
Harvey, Jim    
Heenan, John C          
Herford, Al    
Herman, Paul 
Holtman, Jake            
Honolulu        
Horton Law   
Hotel Bartholdi, New York   
Hotel Warwick, Broadway

Ice Palace, Manhattan
Industrial Hall, Philadelphia

Jackson, Peter
James, Tom    
Jeffords, Jim  
Jeffries, Jim    
Jester, Louis   
Jimmy Wakeley’s Saloon, New York            
Johnson, Jack             
Jordan, Billy
Julian, Martin 

Kelly, “Honest” John
Kelly, Margaret (Tom Sharkey’s mother)      
Kelly, “Spider”                      
Kenny, “Yank”                      
Kilrain, Jake   
King, Alva
Knickerbocker Athletic Club, San Francisco 

Langley, Jack 
Lansing, Tom 
Lavigne, George “Kid”
Lazay, Vic      
Lenox Club (Manhattan)       
Lewis, Warren            
Lexington Avenue, Manhattan          
London          
London Prize Rules   
Louis, Joe       
Louisville, Kentucky  
Lowry, Pete   
Lucky Baldwin’s Hotel, San Francisco         
Lynch, Danny
Lynch, Tom    

Mace, Jem “Gypsy”
Madden, Billy
Madison Avenue        
Madison Square Garden
Maher, Peter   
Manhattan      
Manzoni, Florence     
Marciano, Rocky        
Marks, Jack    
Marquis of Queensberry Rules
Martin Hotel, Broadway        
Masterson, Bat
McAuley, Jack                       
McCarty, Dan “White Hat”   
McConnell, Sammy   
McCormick, Frank     
McCormick, Jim                     
McCourt, Pat 
McCoy, “Kid”           
McGovern, Terry       
McGrath, Tim
McIntosh, Katherine  
McKane, John Y        
McKittorick, Tom      
McLaglen, Victor       
McVey, Con
Mechanic’s Pavilion, San Francisco   
Miller, Colonel Harvey L “Heinie”    
Miller, Jerry    
Miller, John “The Terrible Swede”    
Mitchell, Charley       
Monroe, Jack  
Mulverhill, Martin      

Nation, Carrie
National Athletic Club, San Francisco          
National Sporting Club, London       
Nealon, Fred  
Needham, Danny       
Nevada           
New Orleans  
Newry
New York City

O’Brien, Dick
O’Brien, “Philadelphia” Jack 
O’Donnell, Steve
Olympic (ship)           
O’Neill, “Reddy”       
O’Rourke, Tom

Palace Athletic Club, New York
Pardello, Leo  
Pardy, George T
Parks, Tom
Parks, TV       
People’s Palace, San Francisco
Philadelphia
Philadelphia American League Club 
Pickett, J
Poole, Bill

Quinn, “Scaldy” Bill  
Quinn, John    

Raines Hotel Law (New York)
Reich, Barney            
Rocap, Billy (referee) 
Roche, Billy   
Roeber, Ernest                       
Root, Jack      
Ruhlin, Gus    
Russell, Fred
Ryan, Paddy  
Ryan, Tommy

Sagamore Hotel, Coney Island
Salt Lake City
San Francisco 
Scanlon, Jim   
Scully, Pat      
Seaside Sporting Club                       
Sharkey, Elizabeth (Tom’s sister)
Sharkey, James (Tom’s father)           
Sharkey, James (Tom’s brother)
Sharkey, John (Tom’s brother)           
Sharkey, Mary (Tom’s sister)
Sharkey, Owen (Tom’s brother)        
Sharkey, Patrick (Tom’s brother)       
Sharkey, Richard (Tom’s brother)
Sharkey, Rose (Tom’s sister) 
Sharkey’s Bar 
Sheepshead Bay         
Siler, George  
Sing, Sing       
Slavin, Frank  
Smith, “Australian” Billy       
Smith, “Denver” Ed   
St Louis          
Stuart, Dan
Sullivan, Dave            
Sullivan, Jeremiah “Yank”     
Sullivan, John L         
Sullivan, Senator Tim             
Sullivan, William “Spike”      
Sweeney, Eddie         

Tammany Hall            
Tanforan racetrack     
Tate, Bill        
Tattersall’s, Chicago  
Tenderloin      
Thompson, “Rough”  
Thorne, Jeff    
Tuttle, Fred    
Tuttle, Jennie  
Tyson, Mike   

US Navy
USS Drum     
USS Independence
USS Philadelphia
USS Saginaw

Vallejo            
Van Buren’s Hotel     
Van Court, DeWitt    
Vanderbilt Hotel        
Vaughn, Punch          
Vermont (ship)           

Walcott, Joe   
Walsh, Jack    
Warrenpoint   
Washington, George (boxer)  
West Baden Springs  
Westchester    
West Point     
White, Charley           
White, Johnny (referee)         
White, Tommy           
Whitman, Police Captain Charles W 
Willard, Jess   
Williams, Jim (Salt Lake City)           
Woodward’s Pavilion, San Francisco

Yosemite Athletic Club, San Francisco

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Story of "Real McCoy"


Writing Tom Sharkey's biography meant we got to "meet" many of the great characters of old-time boxing.
Sharkey wasn't the only wild character among them.
One of our favourites was "Kid" McCoy – real name Norman Selby - who faced Sharkey in January 1899 as a boyish-looking 26-year-old who had fast become one of the most notorious figures ever to step in the ring; a talented fighter, yes, but a trickster too. 
According to Patrick Myler: “The numerous stories told about his trickery, mostly apocryphal, are a treasured part of boxing folklore.” 
He was said to have once filled his mouth with loose teeth and spat them out during a bout, horrifying his opponent and delivering a knockout punch on his unguarded chin. 
He also scattered thumb-tacks on the canvas when he took on a fighter who fought in bare feet. 
One particularly dirty trick involved Peter Maher. McCoy sent him a fake telegram, shortly before they were due to fight, saying there been a sudden death in the Irishman’s family. 
As another writer, Graeme Kent, has noted: “McCoy was a brilliant boxer and an extremely shrewd operator who had sailed close to the wind on a number of occasions.”
His name lives on with us to today as a way of describing the genuine article. Myler reckons this relates to confusion with a lesser-known fighter named Peter McCoy, who was also known as “Kid”. He says a newspaper once ran the headline, ‘Choynski is Beaten by the Real McCoy’ and the phrase stuck. Kent prefers a story more in keeping with ‘Kid’ McCoy’s trickster image. He says that McCoy, trading on the drawing power of his name, sometimes booked himself to appear in different places at the same time and sent along ringers. 
“Promoters had grown wise to this ploy and had insisted on the Kid being less generous with his doppelgangers,” notes Kent. “To reinforce this point they had taken to billing the boxer as ‘the real McCoy’, a phrase which later entered the lexicon.”

Saturday, 15 September 2012

"A Great Contribution to Ring History"

We've collected some of the reviews for the hardback version of 'I Fought Them All'.

"Hugely entertaining and exquisitely researched... It's a great contribution to ring history." --Pete Ehrmann, boxing writer, contributor to The Ring

"I Fought Them All is an excellent read. It's well-researched and is good news for boxing fans everywhere." --Tracy Callis, International Boxing Research Organisation

"It emits quality from the first opening crack of the hard cover until its final satisfying closing." --Marty Mulcahey, Max Boxing

"Gun-slingers, shipwrecks, tragic love stories, gambling, acts of heroism and, of course, gruelling fights. I thoroughly recommend this book."
--Glenn Wilson, Cyber Boxing Zone

E-book now available here.

EARLY FIGHTS IN THE US NAVY


I Fought Them All – authors' extras #1
A series of articles accompanying the e-version of the biography of Tom Sharkey

Our award-winning biography of Tom Sharkey, entitled ‘I Fought Them All: The Life and Ring Battle of a Prize-fighting Legend’, is sold out.
However, it is now available as an e-book.
These short articles are based on some of the extensive additional notes published in the hardback version only and are printed here for the benefit of those interested in the e-book.

EARLY FIGHTS IN THE US NAVY

Tom Sharkey enlisted in the United States Navy on November 28, 1892, and it was there he would hone the skills which would see him later challenge the best fighters of the day.
“I boxed more than ever,” Sharkey said later. “I put on the gloves every chance I had – tackled five or six men one after another.”
In fact, in that first year in the navy, Sharkey knocked out fellows named Jack Gardner (in four rounds on March 17, 1893), J Pickett (in two on April 7), Jack Langley (four on May 3), Jim Harvey (also two on May 27) and Jack Walsh (August 21) and J Barrington (September 10), both in the first.
There would, of course, never be any records of these first fights on board ship or in the dockyards.
It is generally claimed that Tom was undefeated or at least had by far the better of these fights. His subsequent record in the professional game would obviously support that.
However, an obituary for 53-year-old Father William Henry Ironsides Reany, ‘The fighting chaplain of the US Navy’, which was published in the New York Times on November 19, 1915, claimed: “He was said to be the father of boxing in the Navy and also introduced other athletics among the sailors. Fr Reany was always ready to put on the gloves with the sailors and was a very proficient boxer. It is related of him that he was the only man in the navy who ever defeated Tom Sharkey.
“The story is that Sharkey was obstreperous and interrupted divine services and the priest ‘called him down’. As soon as the services were over he reproached Sharkey for his disturbance and the upshot of the matter was that they put on the gloves.
“Fr Reany with his clean hitting and scientific knowledge of the sport, soon placed the pugilist hors de combat and from that time on never had any further trouble with Sharkey.”
The obituary provoked a strong response from a Helen Manzone, of Brooklyn, who was angry not at the claim that Tom might have been beaten but had been rude.
She wrote to the newspaper’s editor: “I have read your tribute to Fr Reany. I take pleasure in attempting to correct that statement relative to Tom Sharkey. You have put it before the public that Fr Reany had to upbraid Tom Sharkey for being turbulent. That is false. Such thing is against Tom Sharkey’s principle.”

Buy 'I Fought Them All' on Kindle




Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Award-winning boxing biog now available as e-book

We can't believe the crazy prices now being asked for the few remaining hardback copies of our Tom Sharkey biography I Fought Them All.

Take a look at Amazon.

It's enough to floor Sharkey and Jeffries with a single punch.

Anyway we promised an e-book so here it is.

Come 'n' get it!


I Fought Them All: The Life and Ring Battles of Prizefighting Legend Tom Sharkey


$12.87 in the US; £8.04 in the UK; and available for your Kindle wherever you are.

New cover especially designed for the Kindle version: