William Richmond, a boxing pioneer

William Richmond
Fri, 1763-08-05

*William Richmond was born on this date in 1763. He was a Black boxer.

From (Cuckold's Town) near, Richmond, VA, he moved to Staten Island, New York where he became a free black and the first black professional boxer in America. Richmond worked as a shipyard laborer and was noticed by a British commander named Hugh Percy on the docks having a fight with a dock sailor. Percy convinced Richmond's parents to let him travel to England where he could establish a better life. Richmond became a cabinetmaker, and took up boxing for self-defense.

Known as "Black Terror," Richmond knocked out his first Englishmen in just 25 seconds. By 1800, Richmond had become a recognized semi-professional boxer. After enough wins, he was booked to fight the English champion Tom Cribb. The Richmond/Cribb fight brought in thousands of English fans including dukes and nobles. The hype of the fight of October 8, 1805 was immediately publicized as Cribb and Richmond (The Black). Richmond was 41 at the time, lost his fight to Cribb, and "the crowd was pleased that a Black man had been put in his place." Richmond continued boxing until he was 52.

William Richmond died on Dec. 28, 1829.
Boxing Album: An Illustrated History
by Peter Brooke Bell
Smithmark Publisher, 1995
ISBN 0831748109

To become a Professional Athlete