Tough Little Specimens of the Light Weight Order: The Establishment of Lightweight Prize-Fighting in the United States during the 1850s
by Hunter M. Claypatch
Hunter M. Claypatch recently finished an article on lightweight prize-fighting in the United States during the 1850s. The article contains significant, and previously unpublished information, on this early era of lightweight boxing.
Abstract: The 1850s were a pivotal decade for lightweight prize-fighting in the United States. Records of these athletes originate from contemporary newspaper publications and primary source documents. These publications, particularly the New York Clipper, reveal a great deal about cultural sentiments towards this popular, yet, illegal sport. In this article, I utilize these documents to argue that athletes such as Patrick Brannigan, James Hart, John Monaghan, Charley Lynch, and ‘Young’ Barney Aaron laid the foundation for American lightweight prize-fighting in subsequent decades. The careers, and lives, of these athletes have seldom, or never, been discussed since the time they were active in the prize-ring.
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