The Boston Strong Boy

The Boston Strong Boy

Regular price $900.00

18"x24" oil on canvas by Phil Lear

JOHN L. SULLIVAN
“THE BOSTON STRONG BOY”

In those days when a boxing exhibition came to town, the professional would stand center-ring and declare he could lick any man in the crowd. Usually a paid actor would take up the challenge, go a few rounds and be duly knocked out. One on instance however a nineteen-year-old street tough kid, unaccustomed to this typical ruse, accepted the challenge and climbed into the ring. As he extended his hand to shake, the boxer sucker-punched him with an uppercut, much to the crowd's delight. The kid returned with a wallop that knocked the professional man clear into the orchestra pit.

America's first sports celebrity had arrived.