Sullivan, John L. – at Boxing


The John L. Sullivan mug is part of a biographical series profiling unique athletes in a variety of arenas from baseball to rodeo.  An image of John L. Sullivan and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

Clear selection


John Lawrence Sullivan, born in the South End of Boston, was the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing.  In 1889 he became world champion when he beat Jake Kilrain in the 75th round of their 80-round bout in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Sullivan won more than 450 fights and was the first American athlete to earn over one million dollars.  The first defense of his title was against “Gentleman Jim” Corbett under the Marquess of  Queensberry Rules in which the boxers wore gloves.  Corbett beat Sullivan in the 21st round after which Sullivan declared: “If I had to get licked I’m glad I was licked by an American.”  After retiring Sullivan purchased a bar and worked as a stage actor, sports reporter and baseball umpire.

This John L. Sullivan History Mug is part of our Athletes series.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.


Additional information


Small, Large


White Deco, Black Lined Deco, Black Lined & Handle Deco, All White-Full Photo, Black Lined-Full Photo, Black Lined & Handle-Full Photo, All Black