Benjamin Brain

Professional Boxer, Boxer

1753 – 1794

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Who was Benjamin Brain?

Benjamin Brain was a bareknuckle prizefighter. A collier by trade, he was a valiant fighter whose career spanned twenty years. Brain was born in Bristol, England, at which point his surname was "Bryan" or "Brian": later in life this was sometimes corrupted into "Bryant" and also "Brain".

Prior to moving to London in 1774 in order to work as a coal porter at a wharf he had already defeated Jack Clayton, the champion of Kingswood, Bristol. and also a fighter called Harris.

His career as a prizefighter started properly in 1786, when he fought John Boone, who was known as “The Fighting Grenadier”. Toughs broke into the ring and ganged up on Brain. In the resulting melée, Brain suffered a beating that almost closed one of his eyes. When order was restored and a surgeon had lanced the swelling around the eye, he resumed fighting and within ten minutes had forced Boone to quit in defeat.

He fought a man called Corbally at the end of 1788 in Navestock and then, in 1789, Brain was scheduled to fight the English champion, Tom Johnson for a prize of £500. When Brain fell ill and cancelled the bout, he forfeited the £100 he had put up for the fight.

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Born
1753
Bristol
Profession
Lived in
  • Bristol
Died
Apr 8, 1794

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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