Tom Molineaux was born a slave in Virginia in 1784. Trained by his father, Zachary Molineaux, he boxed with other slaves in order to entertain plantation owners. His owner won $100,000 by betting on Molineaux and as a result was granted his freedom and a payment of $500.
Molineaux moved to New York but after discovering he could make more money fighting in England he decided to get a job as a deckhand on a boat sailing for Liverpool.
In his first fight in England took place against Tom Blake on 21st
August, 1810. Molineaux won by knocking out Blake in the 8th round.
In December, 1810, Molineaux fought Tom Cribb at Copthorne, near East Grinstead,
for the heavyweight championship of England. After 19 rounds Molineaux
had Cribb in trouble on the ropes. Cribb's supporters now entered the
ring and during the scrimmage Molineaux had one of his fingers broken.
Molineaux continued to fight and in the 28th round appeared to knock out
Cribb. However, his seconds complained that Molineaux had been hiding
lead bullets in his fists. While this accusation was being disproved,
Cribb recovered and was able to continue. Molineaux still remained
favourite to win but unluckily he slipped and hit his head on one of the
ring posts. He fought on but by the 39th round he was unable to defend
himself and Cribb was declared the winner.
return fight took place at Thistleton Gap in Leicestershire on 28th
September, 1811. A record 15,000 people watched the fight. In the sixth
round Cribb hit Molineaux with a low blow. He never fully recovered from
this punch and in the ninth round Cribb broke his jaw. Two rounds later
Cribb knocked out Molineaux.
After making a full recovery
Molineaux fought and defeated Jack Carter in 1813. This was followed by a
victory over Bill Fuller. However, his boxing career came to an end in
1815 when he lost to George Cooper, a fighter trained by the former
black boxer, Bill Richmond.
Tom Molineaux died penniless in Dublin, Ireland, in 1818.
Edited by pattigurlatl - Feb 07 2013 at 11:49pm