BillRichmond, a.k.a. "The Black Terror", the first black boxer to gaininternational recognition, was born in Cuckold"s Town (now Richmondtown), on Staten Island, NewYork, on August 5, 1763. In 1777 when the Englishtroops held New Yorkduring the revolutionary war, he served their General Earl Percy, afterward theDuke of Northumberland. When Percy returned to Englandhe took young Bill with him and sent him to school in Yorkshire.He also served as an apprentice to a cabinet maker.
The firstglimpse of the talent he possessed with his fists came into view against DockyMoore, a soldier who insulted Richmond,and was promptly challenged to fight. Although considerably outweighed, Richmond thrashed the soldierand soon enjoyed similar success against others who attempted to insult him inensuing years.
Richmond had his first professional fight in Januaryof 1804, when he was 36 year old. He witnessed veteran boxer George Maddox inaction and declared he could defeat him. Given the opportunity he failedmiserably. Maddox stopped him in threerounds. Undeterred, Richmondentered the ring in May of 1805 and defeated a Jewish boxer known as "FightingYoussep." This contest gave him a reputation as a pugilist, and he was soonmatched with boxer Jack Holmes, who was credited with giving Tom Cribb, one ofthe leading pugilists in England,one of his toughest fights. The win over Holmes after 26 grueling rounds setthe stage for a match with Cribb in October 1805.
Now 42 yearsof age, Richmonddemonstrated excellent footwork and sound defense against Cribb before enduringwithering punishment from his 24 year old foe and succumbing to defeat in the25th round. It was Richmond"ssecond and last defeat. In 1808 Richmondfaced and defeated Jack Carter at Epsom Downs near London. In 1809 he had a rematch with George Maddoxat Wimbledon Common and won after 52 rounds. Richmond married after this fight and with his winnings bought a pub,the Horse and Dolphin in Leicester Square, London. Richmond also opened a boxing academy and onoccasion he