John L. Sullivan, age 54, who long reigned as heavyweight champion of the world during the bare-knuckle era, and whose last title fight was his 1892 loss to “Gentleman Jim” Corbett under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, was asked in Boston yesterday whether he’d “like to be back in the game.” His answer was no, according to this story in the Detroit Free Press:
“[T]he fight game is not what it was,” Sullivan said. “It’s nothing but business now. All fixed up. How much will you pay me to lose? That’s it. Nothing like the old times when the game was straight.”
Surely as our society evolves in the next century the staging of fake fights as a money-making business will cease to be of interest to American sports fans.