Regency Man Monday – Tom Cribb

Tom Cribb etching.jpg
Tom Cribb (July 8, 1781 – May 11, 1848)

Tom Cribb was an English bare-knuckle boxer of the 19th century, so successful that he became world champion.

Cribb was born near Bristol but moved to London before starting professional fighting. He undertook a series of fights between 1805 and 1812.   

In 1810 Cribb was awarded the British title. On 10 December 1810 he fought an American, former slave Tom Molineaux, at Shenington Hollow in Oxfordshire. Cribb beat Molineaux in 35 rounds and became World champion. The fight was controversial for two reasons: Molineaux was injured when the crowd invaded the ring, and Cribb at one point seemed to have taken longer than the specified time to return to the centre of the ring. Cribb retained his title in 1811 by beating Molineaux at Thistleton Gap in Rutland in 11 rounds before a large crowd. Cribb had also beaten Molineaux’s trainer Bill Richmond. 
In 1812, aged 31, he retired to become a coal merchant (and part-time boxing trainer). Later he became a publican, running the Union Arms, Panton Street, close to Haymarket in central London. His career has been commemorated with the name of a pub and in literature.

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