Dutch Sam

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Dutch Sam

Samuel Elias (better known as Dutch Sam April 4, 1775 in Petticoat Lane, London – July 3, 1816), was a professional boxing pioneer and was active between the years 1801 and 1814. Known as the hardest hitter of his era, he earned the nickname "The Man with the Iron Hand".[1] Dutch Sam also earned the nickname "The Terrible Jew" with reference to his Jewish ancestry.[2]

Early life[edit]

Dutch Sam was born in Whitechapel, London, to a family of Jewish emigres from Holland.[2] Sam suffered anti-semitism like many Jews by the working class whom he lived around.[2] At a young age, like many Jews from the East end of London, he joined the Mendoza's boxing academy and quickly learnt self-defense.[2]

Pro career[edit]

Dutch Sam is known as "the discoverer of the right hand uppercut. In his day it was called an undercut. Dutch Sam created havoc with the new blow until a new way was found to block it." [3]

Dutch Sam was "feared as the deadliest puncher of the London Prize Ring" [4]

The foremost prizefight reporter of the period, Pierce Egan, declared that Sam was a fighter unsurpassed for ‘force’ and ‘ponderosity’, and that his ‘blows are truly dreadful to encounter’ (Boxiana, vol. 1).[5]


Dutch Sam was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, "Pioneer" Category.

In popular culture[edit]

Dutch Sam features as a character in Rodney Stone, a Gothic mystery and boxing novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


Dutch Sam's son, Young Dutch Sam, was also a boxing pioneer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Boxing Register. McBooks Press. 2006. p. 782. ISBN 978-1-59013-121-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ken Blady (1988). The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. SP Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-933503-87-8. 
  3. ^ Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA, USA) Jan. 1, 1924
  4. ^ An Illustrated History of Boxing Sixth Revised Edition published in 2001
  5. ^ David Snowdon, Writing the Prizefight: Pierce Egan's 'Boxiana' World (2013)