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
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. This film survives and is preserved in the Library of Congress.
Edwards has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Billy Edwards and the Unknown Boxer (1894); IMDb.com..Retrieved August 24, 2018
- Everett Morning Tribune, Everett, WA, USA, August 21, 1907
- Professional boxing record for Billy Edwards from BoxRec
- IBHOF Bio 
- chewing tobacco card
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