John C. Heenan

John C. Heenan

John Camel Heenan, aka the Benicia Boy (2 May 1834–28 October 1873) was an American bare-knuckle prize fighter. Though highly regarded, he had only three formal fights in his entire career, losing two and drawing one.

Heenan is best remembered for his second contest, when he travelled to England to fight British champion Tom Sayers. The bout, generally seen as boxing’s first world championship, ended in chaos when spectators broke into the ring and the police intervened. The referee finally called a draw.

The Benicia Boy came home to a hero’s welcome, but later returned to England where he had just one more fight, losing controversially to new British champion, Tom King. He died at Green River Station, Wyoming Territory in October 1873, and is buried at St Agnes Cemetery, Albany, NY.

Read more about John C. Heenan:  Early Years, Prize Ring Career, The Big Fight, Later Life, Career Record

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