The letter below to National Police Gazette manager Steve Westlake from Scott Burt of the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame speaks for itself:
In 1889 John L. Sullivan trained in our barns for the World’s last-ever Bare Knuckle Championship fight. He defeated Jake Kilrain in a 2 hour 15 minute slugfest that went 75 rounds outside in 104 degree weather. Sullivan was trained here for that fight by the famous wrestler and health guru of the time, local man William Muldoon, who later became boxing commissioner from 1921-24. The fight has famously been called “The Brawl That Started It All” and that is true; your publication was more than just instrumental in making it so.
The National Police Gazette is iconic in the sport of bare knuckle boxing. Those verbal battles and power struggles between Richard K. Fox and John L. Sullivan in the 1880s made legends of both of them. Simply put, boxing would not be what it is today without the influence of the Gazette. This letter is to inform you that The National Police Gazette has been unanimously chosen by the BKBHOF committee as one of our 2016 Original Pioneer Inductees! You are the FIRST and ONLY publication to ever receive our induction as an ORIGINAL PIONEER. One would have a tough time mentioning boxing’s start without talking about the Gazette, that’s for sure. Our event is scheduled to be held Saturday, July 9, here in Belfast, New York. We hope you will accept being inducted into our Hall of Fame, can make it to attend our award ceremony that day, and tour the barns with us.
The award presented will be a wonderful massive sculpture of William Muldoon lifting a medicine ball, which he invented. We would be honored if you or a representative would be able to accept it on behalf of The National Police Gazette.
We are all excited at the possibility of you coming to accept the award. I can’t wait to give you a tour of the barns where Sullivan trained over 125 years ago; to have you walk the same floor boards he did, handle his equipment, see the “cell” where he was chained down to dry out when he had a touch too much to drink, and hear the stories.
Scott Burt, President
BARE KNUCKLE BOXING HALL OF FAME
It goes without saying we immediately accepted Mr. Burt’s invitation, and look forward to the ceremony on July 9th. For more info, visit Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame online, Facebook, and Twitter.