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John Carmel Heenan

The Heenan Hall of Fame

John Carmel Heenan

Heenan was a clever boxer with tremendous punching power; The Benicia Boy was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954



 United States of America


The Hall of Fame:
James Heenan
Sidney Allen Heenan
John Carmel Heenan

Heenan Genealogy

Genealogy Forum
Tipperary Clan

Coat of Arms

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The American Champion John Heenan versus
the British Champion, Tom Sayers, Farnborough, 1860

click on picture to see larger image

BORN : May 2 1835; Troy, New York
DIED : October 28 1873; Green River Station, Wyoming
Buried: November 2 1873; Albany County, NY (St. Agnes Cemetery)

HEIGHT : 6-2 WEIGHT : 182-195 lbs

Heenan defeated many local men and was recognized as an outstanding fighter

Mar 15 John "Cocky" Woods   [Boston, Massachusetts]

Mar 17 John "Cocky" Woods   [Boston, Massachusetts]

Oct 20 John Morrissey   [Long Point, Canada]
Heavyweight Championship of America; Heenan broke his right hand early in the contest and fought at a disadvantage

Heenan "married" Adah Isaacs Menken, a famous actress

Apr 4 John Morrissey

Apr 17 Tom Sayers   [Farnborough, Hampshire, England]
Heenan seemed to have the advantage - though both men were injured - when the crowd broke into the ring and stopped the fight.

May 20 Awarded duplicate Championship Belt

Dec 10 Tom King   [Wadhurst, Kent, England]
Heavyweight Championship of England; This bout was held at "Cockmounts Farm"

Apr 4 Tom King   [Lewes, England]
This bout was scheduled but cancelled

Sep 4 Mike McCoole
This bout was scheduled but cancelled 1869-1870

Heenan and Jem Mace toured America giving exhibitions.

Feb 11 Jem Mace   [New York, NY]

Based on information taken from  The Cyber Boxing Zone, with thanks. Permission sought, but email addresses all bounce. Date of first publication unknown. Published here, 06 March 2000

Tom Sayers was a famous prize-fighter, and lives on in the song 'Heenan and Sayers' whose first verse runs:

Come all you lovers of the fisticuff
Attention to my song,
For I'll sing to you a verse or two
It won't detain you long.
It's to describe a champion fight,
Your time I now employ,
Which took place between Tom Sayers
And the bold Benicia Boy.

So! Hurrah my boys for Heenan
And Tom Sayers we will sing,
For they are the best and bravest
Ever fought in a British ring!

Heenan was an Irish-American who came to England to fight Sayers for a purse of £1000, and was known as the Benicia Boy. The fight took place at Farnborough, Hampshire on April 17th 1860 and went on for over an hour. By then Heenan could no longer see and Sayers had a broken arm. The crowd intervened at this point and declared the result to be a draw.

This information taken, with thanks, from   The Tipton Slasher .
Permission granted. Date of first publication unknown.

Published here, 29 May 2002 updated 2010

Nominations for the Heenan Hall of Fame are welcome, and should be sent to Andrew Heenan. While I am happy to make up a page for any Heenan Achiever, I cannot do the research. Please include what details you can, and the web address of any pages with further information.

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