Mike "Twin" Sullivan
|Mike "Twin" Sullivan|
|Real name||Michael Sullivan|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Born||September 23, 1878|
|Died||October 31, 1937 (aged 59)|
|Wins by KO||17|
Mike "Twin" Sullivan (September 23, 1878 – October 31, 1937) was an American boxer frequently credited with taking the Welterweight Championship of the World on April 23, 1907 when he soundly defeated William "Honey" Mellody in Los Angeles in a twenty-round bout. He vacated the title in the late fall of 1908, when he could not make weight. Many, though not all sanctioning bodies active today recognize his claim to the title during this period.
Sullivan is most recognized as a world champion among American boxing historians. He had an impressive knockout percentage and record and fought some of the greatest boxers of his era including Joe Gans, while he was the reigning lightweight champion, as well as welterweight champion Harry Lewis, and leading welterweight contenders Jimmy Clabby, and Jimmy Gardner whom he defeated.
Mike "Twin" Sullivan was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 23, 1878, and resided in neighboring Boston for much of his career. He had a twin brother Jack, the origin of his nickname, "twin", and was the youngest in an Irish family of several siblings. His twin Jack was an accomplished middleweight boxer as well, once claiming the Middleweight Championship of the World when he defeated Tommy Burns on March 7, 1905. Jack fought top talent as did Mike, and they shared a few of the same opponents. His brother Dan was a less well known boxer.
The "Twin" began his career around March 25, 1901, by defeating Jack Dwyer in Boston, Massachusetts in ten rounds. The following month he beat Belfield Wallcott, brother of Joe, at the same Business Man's Athletic Club in Boston in another ten-round bout.
Sullivan had three historic bouts with Hall of Famer and reigning lightweight champion Joe Gans, in September 1905 and January and March 1906 with the first in Maryland and the last two in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Significantly, Sullivan lost the last two bouts to the lightweight champion by knockout and technical knockout, though their first bout was a close draw. In the San Francisco fight, Sullivan's first sanctioned Welterweight World Title match according to BoxRec, Gans won by knockout in the fifteenth of twenty rounds. In an important note, the Rock Island Argus wrote of the San Francisco fight, "Gans showed wonderful form and was easily the master of his white antagonist at all times." It did allow that the first three rounds were fairly even fighting. After his fights with Gans, Sullivan met Rube Smith, an accomplished welterweight contender three times in April, July, and August 1906 in Colorado, winning in an eighteenth round knockout in April, but drawing in the other two matches.
Sullivan lost to future welterweight Harry Lewis on February 21, 1907 in a ten-round points decision in Denver. Lewis would use this victory and his subsequent knockout of Honey Mellody one year later on April 20, 1908 to establish what most boxing historians consider a legitimate claim to the World Welterweight Title. Many boxing sanctioning organization today simply fail to list World Welterweight champions prior to 1910 or 1915, as most of these organizations did not exist during that period, and there was less widespread recognition of world champions.
Winning the Welterweight World Title
Sullivan met Honey Mellody, probably in his most historic bout, on April 23, 1907 in a Welterweight World Title match in Naud Junction Pavilion in Los Angeles. He won the twenty round bout refereed by Charles Ayton. The Shreveport Caucasian wrote of the bout, "At all stages Sullivan showed unmistakable superiority and out generated Mellody in infighting. Mellody's tactics were confined to rushes generally ending in clinches where Sullivan used right upper cuts and short hand jabs to the face with telling effect". The Washington Evening Star noted that "during the early rounds Mellody had an even break with his clever opponent", but "Sullivan came back strong and from the twelfth had it all his own way." "The "Twin" was immediately recognized as a World Champion in the state of California, and has since been recognized widely by American boxing historians including widely recognized authority Nat Fleischer and a host of newspapers. Sullivan relinquished the title around October or November 1908 according to BoxRec as he was above the welterweight limit.
Boxing two leading welterweight contenders
He fought Jimmy Gardner , a welterweight contender at least four times. Gardner was another welterweight during the period who attempted to claim the world title as his own. They met on December 18, 1902 and January 27, 1903, with one fifteen round draw, and one five round newspaper win. On November 24, 1905, he beat Gardner on points in 20 rounds in San Francisco. He beat Gardner again in what was deemed a Welterweight Title match on April 22, 1908 in a twenty five round points decision at Jeffries Arena in Vernon, California, with the legendary heavyweight ex-champion Jim Jeffries as referee. Sullivan fought Gardner again on November 29, 1909 at the Grand Opera House in New Haven, Connecticut, in a twelve round draw by newspaper decision of the Boston Globe.
Sullivan fought Jimmy Clabby on February 4, 1910 at the National Athletic Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a ten round draw by newspaper decision. According to the Calumet News, Sullivan was ten pounds heavier than Clabby, demonstrating that Sullivan was fighting above the Welterweight limit, and according to BoxRec had been fighting above the Welterweight limit since around December 1908. Clabby was a serious contender for the Welterweight Championship himself, and one of several boxers who believed he had a claim to it in later years, though his claim was never widely recognized. Sullivan fought Clabby again on June 3, 1911, in Buffalo, in a close ten round bout that the Buffalo Times, wrote Clabby had a "slight shade," implying he won by a small margin.
World Middleweight Title bout with Stanley Ketchel
Fighting as a light middleweight at 150 pounds, he lost a Middleweight Title Bout against reigning Middleweight Champion Stanley Ketchel by first round knockout, on February 22, 1908 at Mission Street Arena in Colma, California. It was rare for Sullivan to lose by knockout, and made the bout more memorable for supporters of Ketchel. Some boxing critics believe that Sullivan's career began a slow descent after this loss.
On September 1, 1910, Sullivan fought a bout with contender Paddy Lavin, which resulted in a draw. There was an edge by Sullivan in the ten round bout in Buffalo, New York, according to the Los Angeles Herald of September 3. Sullivan showed his power, knocking Lavin to the canvas for a count of eight in the first round. The two fought another ten round bout at the same location on October 6, with the Buffalo Times giving their decision for both fights to Sullivan.
Professional boxing record
|63 fights||28 wins||6 losses|
|63||Loss||27–6–16 (12)||Roddy MacDonald||KO||4 (12)||Feb 15, 1914||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|62||Draw||27–5–16 (12)||Mickey MacIntyre||PTS||12||Jan 01, 1914||Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|61||Win||27–5–15 (12)||Paddy Lavin Imposter||KO||2 (10)||Dec 15, 1913||American Hall, Dover, New Hampshire, U.S.|
|60||Win||26–5–15 (12)||Joe Geary||NWS||6||Nov 14, 1913||Portland, Maine, U.S.|
|59||Win||26–5–15 (11)||Jack Tresser||KO||4 (10)||Jan 22, 1913||Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|58||Win||25–5–15 (11)||Jim Kince||KO||5 (10)||Jan 05, 1913||Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|57||Win||25–5–15 (11)||Joe Baker||KO||1 (10)||Dec 20, 1912||Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|56||Loss||24–5–15 (11)||Kid Henry||TKO||2 (10)||Jun 12, 1911||Knickerbocker A.C., Albany, New York, U.S.|
|55||Loss||24–4–15 (11)||Jimmy Clabby||NWS||10||Jun 03, 1911||International A.C., Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|54||Loss||24–4–15 (10)||Jack Dillon||NWS||10||Mar 17, 1911||International A.C., Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|53||Loss||24–4–15 (9)||Bob Moha||NWS||10||Mar 10, 1911||Shubert Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|52||Win||24–4–15 (8)||Dixie Kid||NWS||10||Jan 17, 1911||Harmonia Hall, Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|51||Win||24–4–15 (7)||Young Loughrey||NWS||10||Jan 02, 1911||International A.C., Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|50||Win||24–4–15 (7)||Paddy Lavin||NWS||10||Oct 06, 1910||International A.C., Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|49||Win||24–4–15 (6)||Paddy Lavin||NWS||10||Sep 01, 1910||International A.C., Buffalo, New York, U.S.|
|48||Win||24–4–15 (5)||Dennis Tighe||NWS||10||Aug 25, 1910||Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|47||Draw||24–4–15 (4)||Jimmy Clabby||NWS||10||Feb 04, 1910||National A.C., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|46||Draw||24–4–15 (3)||Jimmy Gardner||NWS||12||Nov 29, 1909||Grand Opera House, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.|
|45||Win||24–4–15 (2)||Terry Martin||PTS||12||Sep 21, 1909||Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|44||Draw||23–4–15 (2)||Harry 'Kid' Krantz||PTS||6||Jul 13, 1909||Piedmont Pavilion, Oakland, California, U.S.|
|43||Draw||23–4–14 (2)||Kyle Whitney||TKO||8 (10)||May 25, 1909||Dreamland Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|42||Win||23–4–13 (2)||Allen Mahoney||TKO||8 (10)||Nov 05, 1908||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|41||Win||22–4–13 (2)||Tom Foley||PTS||10||Jul 23, 1908||Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|40||Win||21–4–13 (2)||Jimmy Gardner||PTS||25||Apr 22, 1908||Jeffries' Arena, Vernon, California, U.S.||Retained world welterweight title|
|39||Loss||20–4–13 (2)||Stanley Ketchel||KO||1 (25)||Feb 22, 1908||Mission Street Arena, Colma, California, U.S.||For world middleweight title|
|38||Win||20–3–13 (2)||Kid Farmer||KO||13 (20)||Nov 27, 1907||Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.||Retained world welterweight title|
|37||Win||19–3–13 (2)||Frank Fields||TKO||20 (20)||Oct 31, 1907||Goldfield, Nevada, U.S.|
|36||Win||18–3–13 (2)||William "Honey" Mellody||PTS||20||Apr 23, 1907||Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, U.S.||Won world welterweight title|
|35||Loss||17–3–13 (2)||Harry Lewis||PTS||10||Mar 21, 1907||Denver, Colorado, U.S.|
|34||Win||17–2–13 (2)||Jack Dougherty||KO||19 (20)||Sep 03, 1906||Butte, Montana, U.S.|
|33||Draw||16–2–13 (2)||Rube Smith||PTS||20||Aug 15, 1906||Denver, Colorado, U.S.|
|32||Draw||16–2–12 (2)||Rube Smith||PTS||10||Jul 03, 1906||Pueblo, Colorado, U.S.|
|31||Win||16–2–11 (2)||Rube Smith||KO||18 (20)||Apr 18, 1906||Pueblo, Colorado, U.S.|
|30||Loss||15–2–11 (2)||Jimmy Gardner||TKO||10 (20)||Mar 17, 1906||Chutes Park, Los Angeles, California, U.S.||For world welterweight title claim at 142lbs|
|29||Loss||15–1–11 (2)||Jimmy Gardner||KO||15 (20)||Jan 19, 1906||Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.||For a claim to the world welterweight title at 142lbs|
|28||Win||15–0–11 (2)||Jimmy Gardner||PTS||20||Nov 24, 1905||Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|27||Draw||14–0–11 (2)||Joe Gans||PTS||15||Sep 15, 1905||Lyric Theater, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
|26||Win||14–0–10 (2)||Beth McCloud||TKO||6 (15)||Jul 19, 1905||Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|25||Win||13–0–10 (2)||Tom Corcoran||KO||4 (10)||Apr 27, 1905||Portland, Maine, U.S.|
|24||Win||12–0–10 (2)||Otto Sieloff||TKO||5 (12)||Mar 24, 1905||City Hall, Lewiston, Maine, U.S.|
|23||Win||11–0–10 (2)||Joe Angeli||TKO||7 (10)||Sep 30, 1904||Woodward's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|22||Win||10–0–10 (2)||Gus Gardner||TKO||10 (15)||May 16, 1904||Burt's Opera House, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.|
|21||Win||9–0–10 (2)||Sammy Phillips||KO||5 (10)||May 12, 1904||West End A.C., Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
|20||Win||8–0–10 (2)||Billy Moore||PTS||6||Apr 08, 1904||Battery D Armory, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|19||Win||7–0–10 (2)||Dick Fitzpatrick||PTS||6||Mar 26, 1904||Chicago A.C., Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|18||Draw||6–0–10 (2)||Jack Blackburn||PTS||15||Dec 31, 1903||Chelsea A.C., Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|17||Loss||6–0–9 (2)||Willie Fitzgerald||NWS||6||Nov 14, 1903||National A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|16||Draw||6–0–9 (1)||George "Elbows" McFadden||PTS||10||Mar 24, 1903||Criterion A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.||Prearranged draw|
|15||Draw||6–0–8 (1)||Belfield Walcott||PTS||10||Feb 24, 1903||Health & Physical Culture A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.||Prearranged draw|
|14||Win||6–0–7 (1)||Jimmy Gardner||NWS||5||Jan 27, 1903||Bay State A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|13||Draw||6–0–7||Jimmy Gardner||PTS||15||Dec 18, 1902||Alameda, Bath, Maine, U.S.|
|12||Draw||6–0–6||Belfield Walcott||PTS||15||Sep 23, 1902||Alameda, Bath, Maine, U.S.|
|11||Draw||6–0–5||Belfield Walcott||PTS||15||Sep 16, 1902||Bath, Maine, U.S.|
|10||Draw||6–0–4||Jack Carrig||PTS||10||Jul 03, 1902||Cambridge A.A., Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|9||Win||6–0–3||Dan Littlejohn||TKO||9 (15)||Jun 25, 1902||Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada|
|8||Win||5–0–3||Arthur Cote||PTS||15||May 09, 1902||National Hall, Biddeford, Maine, U.S.|
|7||Draw||4–0–3||Billy Gardner||PTS||6||May 05, 1902||Bowdoin Square A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|6||Draw||4–0–2||Tim Kearns||PTS||6||Apr 19, 1902||Lenox A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|5||Draw||4–0–1||Arthur Cote||PTS||15||Apr 17, 1902||Lewiston, Maine, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Jack McKeever||TKO||14 (15)||Jan 21, 1902||Bath, Maine, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Joe Flaherty||PTS||6||Jan 20, 1902||Lenox A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Belfield Walcott||PTS||10||Apr 08, 1901||Business Men's A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Jack Dwyer||PTS||10||Mar 25, 1901||Business Men's A.C., Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
- "Mike "Twin" Sullivan". BoxRec. Retrieved 19 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Paloolian, Mark, Brutality, (2007). Copyright by Mark Paloolian, First Choice Books, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Pgs. 86-89.
- "After Bouts for Brothers", Bismarck Daily Tribune, Bismarck, North Dakota, pg. 6, 17 February 1910
- "Joe Gans Proves the Better Man", Rock Island Argus, pg.7, Rock Island, Illinois, 20 January 1906
- ""Twin" Sullivan Wins",The Caucasian, pg. 3, Shreveport, Louisiana, 25 April 1907
- "Sullivan Bested Honey Mellody",Washington Evening Star, pg. 9, Washington, D.C., 24 April 1907
- Callis, Tracy, and Johnston, Chuck, Boxing in the Los Angeles Area, 1880-2005, (2009), Trafford Publishing, Victoria, B.C., Canada, pg. 25
- Fleischer, Nat, and Andre, Sam, An Illustrated History of Boxing, (1959). Kensington Publishing Corporation, New York, New York, p.264
- "Sullivan and Clabby Draw", Calumet News, pg. 1, Calument, Michigan, 5 February 1910
- "Mike Twin Sullivan and Lavin Have Ten Rounds", Los Angeles Herald, p.10, Los Angeles, California, 3 September 1910.
William "Honey" Mellody
| World Welterweight Champion
April 23, 1907 – October 1908
Title last held byWaldemar Holberg