I FOUGHT THEM ALL The Life and Ring Battles of Prize-fighting Legend Tom Sharkey
In the 1890s the fight game was changing.
The prize-fighters and bare-knuckle brawlers were disappearing as the new “scientific” boxers emerged to fight under the Marquis of Queensberry rules.
Irishman Tom Sharkey was the never-say-die fighter who bridged the gap between old and new.
Within a short time of arriving in America he took on all the top boxers of his day: his hero John L Sullivan, Gentleman Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons and the man who would become not only his greatest foe but his best friend, Jim Jeffries.
Their 25-round world title fight at Coney Island was one of the most gruelling and compelling encounters ever seen inside a ring.
I Fought Them All prints the fact and the legend, and is chocked full of the rich characters who dominated the sport and politics of the period, from Wild West gunman Wyatt Earp to Tim “Dry Dollar” Sullivan of New York’s Tammany Hall.
It is the story of an Irish immigrant, a sporting celebrity who won and lost a fortune, and of a man described by the New York Times as a “ring immortal”.
"Hugely entertaining and exquisitely researched, I Fought Them All shines a penetrating and long-overdue spotlight on one of the most fascinating figures in boxing history. Revelations about Sharkey’s private life are eye-popping, and the book is especially thorough in covering the Earp controversy. ‘Sailor’ Tom himself would growl his approval, and his massive chest would swell even larger. 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. ‘Sailor’ Tom Sharkey was an aggressive, relentless and powerful heavyweight who ranks among the greatest who ever entered the ring. He was an earlier version of the splendid fighter, Rocky Marciano. Tom had the misfortune of fighting when boxing legends Jim Jeffries and Bob Fitzsimmons were at their best. Had he fought at any other time in history, he very likely would have been heavyweight champion of the world.”
Tracy Callis, boxing historian