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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- English Bare Knuckle Champion

John "Jack" Knifton
(John Knifeton; the "81-Tonner")

BORN   January 22 1855; St. Cyrus, Scotland (Some sources report January 30, 1856)
DIED May 6 1896; London, England
HEIGHT 6-1 1/2 (Some sources report 6-2 1/2)
WEIGHT 190-230 lbs



Knifton was a big man and a strong puncher but not much of a boxer; He was not fancy, slick, quick or polished but he was "bull strong" and very tough; During his career, he won the Heavyweight Championship of England

"Jack" defeated such men as Walter Watson, Tom Scrutton, Wolf Bendoff and Jack Massey

Aug    Walter Watson              London, England                    WF  4

May 12 Jem Madden                 London, England                    KO  2
May 19 Walter Watson              London, England                    TK  1
May 19 Tom Tully                  London, England                     W  3
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
          as part of a Heavyweight Championship Competition
Sep  4 Tom Scrutton               London, England                     W  9
          -Heavyweight Championship of England;
          The fight was stopped by crowd disturbance;
          Another site was chosen to finish the fight;
          Scrutton did not show; Gloves were used;
          Weights: 198 - 210

Sep    -Knifton was challenged by Tom Allen for the
          Heavyweight Championship of Britain; Knifton
          could not raise the money; Allen claimed the

Dec    Wolf Bendoff               London, England                     W  3
Dec 21 William "Coddy" Middings   London, England                     L  3
          -This bout was part of a Billy Madden Heavyweight
          Competition; Gloves were used

Jan  2 Roger Wallis               London, England            (11:00)  D  3
          -Gloves were used for this bout
Nov    Charlie Mitchell           London, England             (5:00) EX   

Jul 10 Jack Massey                Pulborough, England        (40:00)  W 38
          -Heavyweight Championship of England;
          Bare-knuckles were used
Oct 14 Wolf Bendoff               London, England          (1:20:00) TK 10
          -Reports vary - "W 3" - "NC 3";
          Queensberry rules and gloves were used;
          Police intervened

          -Knifton defeated several minor opponents

Jul    -Knifton and Jem Mace went on an exhibition tour of Britain
Sep 23 Jem Mace                   Newmarket, England                 EX   
Dec  1 Jem Smith                  in France                         SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but not hold;
          Police prevented the bout
Dec  6 Jem Smith                  London, England                     D   
          -Police arrived at the site and arguments arose;
          Smith wanted to fight; Knifton decided not to;
          The fight was called a "draw"
Dec 11 Jem Smith                  London, England                   SCH   
          -Heavyweight Championship of England;
          This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Police intervened

Feb 15 Charles "Toff" Wall        London, England                     L  3
          -Championship bout of a Catchweight Competition
Feb 16 Charlie Mitchell           London, England                    EX  3
Feb 17 Charlie Mitchell           London, England                    EX  3

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