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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- English Bare Knuckle Champion

Jem Ward
(the "Black Diamond")

BORN   December 26 1800;
DIED April 3 1884;
HEIGHT.. 5-10
WEIGHT 175 lbs
BACKERS Sir Bellingham Graham, Mr. Hayne

Ward was a natural boxer with great ability; He was fast, strong, tough and game but dishonest; He was suspected of taking part in two fixed fights

Jem was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1963 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995

It is not clear as to why the International Boxing Hall of Fame Hall elected Jem Ward in 1995. He took a dive in two of his early fights and was probably involved in one otherfixed fight. Ward's last fight (a 77-minute victory over Simon Byrne), was described by Gilbert Odd as "a disgraceful affair."

The contemporary view of that fight was expressed in verse which commemorated Byrne's 1833 loss to Deaf Burke:

              On Thursday, May the 30th day, brave Simon took the ring.
              Backed by Jem Ward the champion, likewise by gallant Spring,
              to fight Burke two hundred pounds, a man of courage bold,
              To stop reports that with Ward the battle he had sold.

In addition, Ward was not exactly a man of his word. Ward had agreed to turn over his championship belt to the winner of the Byrne-Burke fight, but when his fighter lost, (Byrne died following the fight), Ward reneged on his promise and kept the belt.

On a separate note, the Press Kit distributed by the Hall claims that Ward was the first fighter to be presented with a championship belt. This is incorrect -- Tom Cribb had been presented with a belt in 1822.

1998 The Cyber Boxing Zone
1816
May  6 George Robinson           Stepney Fields, Eng         (45:00)  W   
Jun 18 Bill Wall                 Limehouse Fields, Eng     (2:00:00)  W   

1817
Jul 27 George Webb               Limehouse Fields, Eng        (3:00)  W  1

1819
Feb 12 Jack Murray               Shadwell Fields, Eng        (45:00)  W   
Jul  4 Nick Murphy               Barking, Eng                (35:00)  W   

1820
Sep 29 Mike Hayes                Isle of Dogs, Eng           (40:00)  W   
Oct 20 Jack Delaney              Bow Common, Eng             (30:00)  W    

1822
Jun 12 Dick Acton                Moulsey Hurst, Eng          (14:30)  W  6
Sep 10 Jem Burke                 Harpenden, Eng               (7:00)  W  7
Oct 22 Bill Abbott               Moulsey Hurst, Eng                   L 22

1823
Feb  4 Ned Baldwin               Wimbledon, Eng              (19:00)  W 20
Jul  4 Joe Rickens               Lansdown, Eng               (15:00)  W  8
Aug 20 John Johnson              Shirley Common, Eng         (18:00)  W  8
Nov 11 Josh Hudson               Moulsey Hurst, Eng          (36:00)  L 15

1824
Jun 21 Phil Sampson              Colnbrook, Eng              (50:00)  W 25
Dec 28 Phil Sampson              Park Lodge, Eng             (37:30)  W 27

1825
Jul 19 Tom Cannon                Warwick, Eng                (10:00)  W 10
          -Championship of England

1826
Jun 30 Phil Sampson              Norwich, Eng                         W 10

1827
Jan  2 Peter Crawley             Royston, Eng                (26:00)  L 11
          -Championship of England

Jan  4 -Crawley retired from the ring and refusd to meet
          Ward in another Championship fight; Ward reclaimed
          the Championship of England when Crawley abdicated

1828
May 27 Jack Carter               Shepperton Range, Eng       (32:00)  W 17
          -Championship of England

1829
Mar 29 Simon Byrne                                                  SCH   
          -This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Ward refused to fight and forfeited
          the Championship of England

1831
Jul 12 Simon Byrne               Willeycutt, Eng           (1:17:00)  W 33
          -Championship of England

1832
Jun 25 -Ward announced his retirement from the ring

Record courtesy of Jan Skotnicki, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
 

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