The "Boston Strong Boy" looks quite dapper in this 1890 cabinet photo card. The last of the "bare-knuckle" champions, the legendary John L. Sullivan captured the heavyweight boxing title in his eleventh professional bout in 1882 against Paddy Ryan and remained champion for a decade before going down in his final fight versus James J. Corbett in 1892. Sullivan is pictured in grand style in offered card.
One of several Sullivan cabinet types, this profile pose proves the most interesting, with a career summary titled "Record of John L. Sullivan" printed on the back, providing an account of his fights up through his penultimate bout against Jake Kilrain in 1889. This leads to the reasonable belief the card was released circa 1890-1891 before the championship torch passed to Corbett.
Dressed in formal attire, Sullivan looks the part of distinguished champion on a card presenting as (GD-VG) with a solid and intact backer. Though moderate age appropriate fading is evident, the image remains clearly discernible right down to the great gladiator's unmistakable handlebar mustache and a facsimile autograph on the bottom border remains bold.