On August 29, 1885, Cincinnati was the scene for the first modern heavyweight championship boxing match using gloves. The Boston Strong Boy, John L. Sullivan, met Dominick McCaffrey at the city’s Chester Park that day and came away with the referee’s decision. By this time, Cincinnati had been a noted boxing site since the Civil War years, and over the next several decades, it developed a remarkable number of fine boxers in both the professional and amateur ranks. Out of the many gymnasiums in Over-the-Rhine and the West End came world champions such as Freddie Miller, Ezzard Charles, Bud Smith, and Aaron Pryor. This book is the story of a fascinating aspect of Cincinnati’s great sports heritage—the boxing game—with all its leather-punching drama. From the frontierlike matches of the 19th-century river town to the urban ethnic and social influences of the 20th and 21st centuries, Cincinnati Boxing brings a rich part of local history to life.
Author Bio: Kevin Grace is the archivist and a sports historian at the University of Cincinnati. Joshua Grace is a longtime boxing fan and works in academic records at Xavier University. Buddy LaRosa, the founder and chairman of LaRosa’s Pizzeria, is active in promoting boxing in Cincinnati.
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