|Rated at||160 lb (73 kg)|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Born||5 July 1764|
|Died||3 September 1836(aged 72)|
Before Mendoza, boxers generally stood still and merely swapped punches. Mendoza's style consisted of more than simply battering opponents into submission; his "scientific style" included much defensive movement. He developed an entirely new style of boxing, incorporating defensive strategies, such as what he called “side-stepping”, moving around, ducking, blocking, and, all in all, avoiding punches. At the time, this was revolutionary, and Mendoza was able to overcome much heavier opponents as a result of this new style. Though he stood only 5'7" and weighed only 160 pounds, Mendoza was England's sixteenth Heavyweight Champion from 1792 to 1795, and is the only middleweight to ever win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. In 1789 he opened his own boxing academy and published the book The Art of Boxing on modern "scientific" style boxing which every subsequent boxer learned from.
Mendoza helped transform the popular English stereotype of a Jew from a weak, defenceless person into someone deserving of respect. He is said to have been the first Jew to talk to the King, George III. Mendoza was second for Tom Molineaux, a freed Virginia slave, in his fights.
His early boxing career was defined by three bouts with his former mentor Richard Humphries between 1788 and 1790. The first of these was lost due to Humphries’ second (the former champion, Tom Johnson) blocking a blow. The third bout set history in another way. It was the first time spectators were charged an entry payment to a sporting event. The fights were hyped by a series of combative letters in the press between Humphries and Mendoza.
Mendoza's memoirs report that he got involved in three fights whilst on his way to watch a boxing match. The reasons were: (a) someone's cart cut in; (b) he felt a shopkeeper was trying to cheat him; (c) he did not like how a man was looking at him.
In 1795 Mendoza fought "Gentleman" John Jackson for the championship at Hornchurch in Essex. Jackson was five years younger, 4 inches taller, and 42 lbs. heavier. The bigger man won in nine rounds, paving the way to victory by seizing Mendoza by his long hair and holding him with one hand while he pounded his head with the other. Mendoza was pummelled into submission in around ten minutes. Since this date boxers have worn their hair short.
After 1795 Mendoza began to seek other sources of income, becoming the landlord of the "Admiral Nelson" pub in Whitechapel. He turned down a number of offers for re-matches and in 1807 wrote a letter to The Times in which he said he was devoting himself chiefly to teaching the art. In 1809 he and some associates were hired by the theatre manager Kemble in an attempt to suppress the OP Riots; the resulting poor publicity probably cost Mendoza much of his popular support, as he was seen to be fighting on the side of the privileged.
Mendoza made and spent a fortune. His memoirs (written in 1808 but not published until 1816) report that he tried a number of ventures, including touring the British Isles giving boxing demonstrations; appeared in a pantomime entitled Robinson Crusoe or Friday Turned Boxer; opening a boxing academy at the Lyceum in the Strand; working as a recruiting sergeant for the army; printing his own paper money; and being a pub landlord.
Mendoza made his last public appearance as a boxer in 1820 at Banstead Downs in a grudge match against Tom Owen; he was defeated after 12 rounds.
Intelligent, charismatic but chaotic, he died at the age of 72, leaving his family in poverty.
Halls of Fame 
In 1954 Mendoza was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame.
In 1990 he was inducted into the inaugural class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Personal life and family 
Mendoza was born in Aldgate in July 1764 to Abraham Mendoza (1731–1805) and Esther Lopez (1731–1813) and was a Sephardic Jew. He was the third son of seven children: Benvenida (1752–1784), Aaron (1754–1759), Isaac (b. 1758), Sarah (b. 1760), Raphael (b. 1772) and Miriam (b. 1774). The family belonged to Bevis Marks Synagogue.
In May 1787 Mendoza married Esther and they had nine children: Abraham, Sophia, Isabella, Daniel, Jesse, Louisa, Aaron, Isaac and Matilda. Several of his children were transported to Australia. He has no descendants in Britain, although many of his brother's descendants remain in London   .
The New Christian Mendoza family had fled the Seville Tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition in 1700 or 1701, arriving in Amsterdam in 1704 and openly reverting to Judaism. The family moved to London in the early 18th Century. Dan's great-father moved to Ireland, where possibly his grandfather was born, but the family returned destitute to London in 1749.
References in popular culture 
One of Mendoza's fights is mentioned in the 1934 The Scarlet Pimpernel film.
Mendoza is a minor character in T. Coraghessan Boyle's 1982 novel, "Water Music".
A film based on the life of Dan Mendoza is due for release in 2013.
See also 
- Gee, Tony (2004). "Mendoza, Daniel (1765?–1836)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 January 2013. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- Sephardic Genealogy website 
- Mendoza Family History Group 
- National Portrait Gallery 
- Jewish Museum, London 
- OpenPlaques.org 
- Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A ... Jew, by Ted Merwin, Jewish Week, 18 March 2009 
- YouTube 
- A Treasury of Jewish Folklore: Nathan Ausubel
- Memoirs of the life of Daniel Mendoza OCLC 2963035
- The Sportsman's magazine of life in London and the country, Volume 1. London. 1845. p. 106. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
Further reading 
- Edwards, Lewis (1939-1945). "Daniel Mendoza". Transactions (Jewish Historicall Society of England) (Jewish Historical Society of England) 15: 73–92. JSTOR 29777842. (subscription required)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Daniel Mendoza|
- Daniel Mendoza at the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
- Extracts from Daniel Mendoza's Boxing Manual hosted at the Linacre School of Defence website.
- Daniel Mendoza at J-Grit.com.