Joe Coburn

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Joe Coburn (July 29, 1835 in Middletown, County Armagh, Ireland – December 6, 1890 in New York City, New York) was an Irish-American boxer. In 1862 he claimed the Heavyweight Championship from John Carmel Heenan based on Heenan refusing to fight him. Mike McCoole claimed Coburn's title in 1866 after Coburn retired.

Coburn came out of retirement in 1871 against Jem Mace. The first scheduled fight between the two, in 1864, did not go ahead as Mace failed to show.[1] In the second fight, Mace injured his hand in the fifth round and the fighters agreed to call it a draw.[2] Prize fights were often intervened by police as boxing was illegal until 1901, so Coburn was no stranger to the law, and he served six and a half years of a 10-year sentence in Auburn Prison for the attempted murder of a policeman in 1877.[3] In 2013, Coburn was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York. [4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Carmel Heenan
Heavyweight boxing champion
Succeeded by
Mike McCoole


  1. ^ [1],
  2. ^ Coburn's Record,
  3. ^ From Middletown to Manhattan,
  4. ^ 125 years on from the death of Ireland’s ‘Adopted Son of America',