The "Boston Strong Boy" looks quite dapper in this better quality 1890 cabinet photo card. The last of the "bare-knuckle" champions, the legendary John L. Sullivan captured the heavyweight boxing title in his eleventh professional bout in 1882 against Paddy Ryan and remained champion for a decade before going down in his final fight versus James J. Corbett in 1892. Sullivan is pictured in grand style in offered card.
One of several Sullivan cabinet types, this profile pose edition proves the most interesting, as it is documented on the reverse with a career summary titled "Record of John L. Sullivan", which provides an account of his fights up through his penultimate bout against Jake Kilrain in 1889. This leads to the reasonable belief the card was released circa 1890-1891 before the championship torch passed to Corbett.
Dressed in formal attire, Sullivan looks the part of distinguished champion on a card presenting in remarkable (EX-MT) condition with a solid, completely intact backer. Showing pleasing gloss, the photo image remains clear right down to the great gladiator's unmistakable handlebar mustache and a facsimile autograph on the bottom border is printed boldly. Though the text on the reverse is somewhat muted, all content remains discernible and gold gilt accenting on the edges is bright and glistening, resulting in a very desirable example.