Bill Richmond, Pugilist
Sitter in 1 portrait
At the end of the eighteenth century boxing offered one of the few opportunities for men from ethnic minorities to escape servitude and anonymity. Born a slave in Staten Island, New York, Richmond became one of the most accomplished and respected boxers of the early nineteenth century. He honed his fighting talent in response to the racist abuse he had endured and became a professional boxer. He was brought to England by Lord Percy in 1777 and fought a famous match against the British champion Tom Cribb in 1805. He continued to fight until the age of 55 but retired from the ring in 1818 to establish a boxing academy in London.