Billy Edwards

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Billy Edwards (December 21, 1844 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England – August 12, 1907) was a standout lightweight of the late 1860s and 1870s in England.

Professional career[edit]

Nicknamed "Make-Believe Billy", Edwards began boxing at the age of 14 and fought Sam Collyer on August 24, 1868 for the American Lightweight Championship. Edwards won the fight in the 34th-round to win the title.

Edwards fought Hall of Famer Charlie Mitchell in 1884, losing in the 3rd round.

Life After Boxing[edit]

Following the Mitchell bout, Edwards retired from the ring but remained in boxing by training John L. Sullivan for several winning contests.

Edwards was a successful real estate investor after retiring. In 1894 Edwards appeared as himself in the Edison Company's kinetoscope film Billy Edwards and the Unknown Boxer, in a pre-determined-outcome exhibition match against a random boxer.[1] This film survives and is preserved in the Library of Congress.


Edwards died of Bright's Disease on August 13, 1907 in Brooklyn.[2]


Edwards has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ Billy Edwards and the Unknown Boxer (1894); August 24, 2018
  2. ^ Everett Morning Tribune, Everett, WA, USA, August 21, 1907

External links[edit]