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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

1876
Aug    Walter Watson              London, England                    WF  4

1877
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
          title

1882
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

1883
Jan  2 Roger Wallis               London, England            (11:00)  D  3
          -Gloves were used for this bout
Nov    Charlie Mitchell           London, England             (5:00) EX   

1884
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

1884-1886
          -Knifton defeated several minor opponents

1886
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"

1887
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

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

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