FRANCIS PATRICK SLAVIN was born of Irish parents at Maitland, New South Wales, Australia, in 1862. He stands 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches in height, measures 43 1/2 inches around the chest, and in condition weighs about 190 pounds. He was apprenticed when a lad to the trade of blacksmithing, but soon forsook the anvil for the more adventurous life of a gold digger. He soon figured in athletic sports and acquired a good reputation as a runner and walker.
In 1885 he left New South Wales and went to Queensland, where he first appeared as a boxer, making his debut in the ring by besting Martin Powers in thirteen minutes in a match for $250 (L150) a side. He afterwards met and defeated Tom Burke, in four rounds; Shannon, of Gympia, in two rounds; Sam. Burke of Rockhampton, in ten rounds; Prof. Bables, in a round and a half; Tom Taylor in a round and a half; and Jem Fogarty, "The Jaw Breaker," in three rounds. He also fought a draw with Martin Costello.
Upon the arrival of Jack Burke, the "Irish Lad," in Australia, in 1889, he and Slavin were matched for a finish fight, which came off February 4, 1889. Burke was outclassed, and was easily defeated in eight rounds. After this battle Slavin sailed for England, where he was immediately matched with Bill (Chesterfield) Goode. This fight came off October 17, 1889, at Westminster Bridge Road, London, and was for $2,000 (L400) a side. Goode was knocked out in the third round.
He was immediately matched with Jem Smith, champion of England, the contest ending in a wrangled draw at Bruges, Belgium, December 23, 1889. It was for $1,000 (L200) a side. Joe McAuliffe was his next opponent. They met before the Ormonde Club, London, England, September 27, 1890, for a purse of $5,000 (L1,000) and the International Championship Belt. McAuliffe lasted one and a half rounds, occupying six minutes.
In the spring of 1891 Slavin came to this country, and was immediately matched to meet Jake Kilrain. Their fight was with gloves for a purse of $ 10,000 (L2,000), to be equally divided. It came off June 27, 1891, at Hoboken, New Jersey, Slavin winning in nine rounds, lasting thirty-five minutes. Returning to England he was matched in a glove contest with Peter Jackson, for a purse of $12,500 (L2,500). The contest came off May 30, 1892, at London, England, Jackson winning in ten rounds, lasting thirty-nine minutes. On May 29, 1893, he met Jim Hall, in a glove contest for $13,500 (L2,700), at London, England, being defeated by the latter in seven rounds, lasting twenty-seven minutes.
Slavin has expressed his determination of challenging the winner in the Corbett-Jackson fight, if the two men ever meet, but on September 8, 1894, he refused to meet "Pony" Moore’s Unknown, supposed to be Charley Mitchell, and his backer withdrew the forfeit of $5,000 (L1,000).
Portrait Gallery of Pugilisits of America by Billy Edwards,
Pugilsitic Publishing Company, 1894.
Copyright © 2005 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.