Tracy Callis
Andrew R. English

This book about the famous bare-knuckle fight between John L. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain is a well-researched and well-written account that reads smoothly and is wonderfully informative. The assortment of photos make the fight come alive again.

Sullivan and Kilrain as well as other boxing personalities are described succinctly and sufficiently. Various attitudes of the people and on-going events prior to the fight are talked about, including those of legal persons. Businessman, sawmill owner and land owner Charles Rich's plans to handle the contest are covered in interesting detail - construction of the ring, transportation of fight fans to and from the site, etc. The fight itself, The Fight of the Era, is described round-by-round with particulars included.

There are ten chapters plus an introduction and epilogue. The introduction sets the stage for the fight and describes some book content and sources of data. The epilogue discusses what happened to a number of the men at various times following the fight. The five appendices contain such information as the names of seconds, bottleholders, timekeepers, umpires, backers and jurors for the trials of Sullivan and Kilrain. Also included is a poem (LOWRY AROUSED) about Mississippi Governor Lowry from The Pearl River News of August 22, 1889 and the Revised London Prize Ring Rules. Marvelous Endnotes provide valuable information for further research as does the Bibliography.

Andrew R. English received a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984 and a Master's degree in History from the same institution in 1987. He is a retired Major of the United States Air Force, a veteran of many tours and a recipient of the Bronze Star.

His first book All Off for Gordon's Station: A History of the Early Hattiesburg, Mississippi Area was published in 2000.

His second book was an account of a civil war steamship. Chasing The Fox: The Chronology of a Blackade Runner was published in 2004. Here is some comments on the book:


"English's style is warm and engaging. He enlivens his book with numerous black-and-white illustrations and a color plate, and the Endnotes are a goldmine for those wishing to delve deeper into this fascinating and heretofore little-known chapter of Civil War history."  -- John Sledge, Mobile Register, June 5, 2005

"Challenged by a paucity of reliable records and the many name changes and incorrect reports, the author has composed a detail-rich tale that is good history and a cracking good read."  -- Lynda Lasswell Crist, The Journal Of Southern History, November 2006



This is the third book by Andrew R. English. It is interesting, informative and worth reading. Boxing fans who read this book will not be disappointed!!!

To order, contact the author at

150 pages, softcover

Numerous photos, excellent Endnotes, appendices, bibliography with internet sources



Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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