Jonny Walker (boxer)

Jonny Walker (boxer)

Johnny Walker (Born: January 1 1819; England; Died: September 18 1888; London, England) was a lightweight bare-knuckle boxer. He weighed around 133 pounds, and stood 5’ 5 ½” (Some sources report 5’ 8”).

Early life

Walker was born with the name Johnny Badman. He was given his name by the great boxer Peter Crawley who owned a boxing school.

Boxing career

We first hear of Walker’s pugilistic career when he challenged Jack Hannan for the Lightweight Championship of England. The contest was held on November 1 1838 at Oxfordshire. Walker was defeated in 31 rounds and 2 hours and 54 minutes. He again challenged Hannan for the title on April 2 1839 near Newmarket. [Police News, October 1888] This time Walker was defeated in 39 rounds and 3 hours and 48 minutes, after his shoulder was dislocated after a heavy throw . [ Fleischer, Nat and Sam Andre A Pictorial History of Boxing. New York: Bonanza Books, 1989. ]

In 1841 Hannan lost his championship to Johnny Broome, who then retired from the ring in 1842. Following his losses to Hannan, Walker defeated W. Jones on June 2 1841, Fred Mason on January 18 1842, and Ned Adams on July 5 1842. [Police News, October 1888] With these three victories Walker established himself as the rightful successor to Broome’s title, and was thereafter never defeated. [ Fleischer, Nat and Sam Andre A Pictorial History of Boxing. New York: Bonanza Books, 1989. ]

Sometime around 1850, Walker relinquished his title and traveled to the United States with his brother Alf. Walker. There he opened a bar in Philadelphia, PA. While owning the bar, “one of his favorite amusements was to stand against the wall and bet any one the drinks for the house that he could not strike him in the head with his fist. He was very quick at dodging, and seldom lost.” [Police News, October 1888] He returned to England in 1853, where he planned a comeback, which never occurred. [Police News, October 1888]

Later life

Although widely respected in his day, Johnny Walker died a poverty stricken man in a London hospital on January 18 1888 . [Boston Herald, September 1888] The great fighter did produce a son, Tommy Walker, who was also a pugilist. [Police News, January 1890]

Outside sources

Go to for a complete ring record of Johnny Walker.

ee also

*List of bare-knuckle boxers


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