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Sunday, March 15, 2009

31 Days of Moustache: John L. Sullivan

Sullivan in his prime.

Name: John L. Sullivan
DOB: October 12, 1858
DOD: February 2, 1918
Profession: Athlete
Claim to Fame: Last Bare-knucked heavyweight boxing champion, won over 450 fights
Prime YAM (Years Active with Moustache): 1880s

Why It's Awesome:
Look at this guy. Known to his opponents as The Boston Strongboy (he was born in Roxbury, MA), Sullivan made Massachusetts proud in the late 19th century. He was the first American sports hero to become a national celebrity. He was the first American athlete to earn over 1 million dollars.

He even challenged anyone in American to fight him for 500 dollars. Guess what? Few people did and got knocked out. Most didn't because they were scared. Not only of his ferocious right hook, but his moustache.

Only a man in a moustache is man enough to fight people bare-knuckled. Sullivan didn't care. He was ruthless and he was the best in his day. In what would be the last bare-knuckle heavyweight title fight, Sullivan outlasted his opponent in the 75th round. Yes, they boxed until there was a winner.

Final 'Stache Rating (Out of Four Moustaches):

Sullivan is probably the first great athlete to have a moustache. He set the bar for everyone from Rollie Fingers to Steve Prefontaine to Larry Bird. You have to respect that.


Fletch said...

You know what? I think I give him even more points than Fingers. Sure, Fingers 'stache is more famous these days, but not only did Sullivan set the bar, he did it without his looking so damn greasy.

Mikey Filmmaker said...

Damn Fletch, you're on fire. Appreciate all the comments and some solid points. Actually looking this one over, I definitely rated him too low.

Anonymous said...

He was my great grandmother's brother, so, yes, I think he has the best moustache in sports--or any--history! And it looked even better in his later years when it was white!

Mikey Filmmaker said...

That's awesome.