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exhibition

Tom Molineaux (1784–1818)

The slave who fought his way to freedom

On 4 August 1818, an African-American bare-knuckle fighter named Tom Molineaux died destitute in the band room of an army barracks in Galway town. Aged just thirty-four, it was a tragic end for a man who had fought in the first ever world title fight less than a decade earlier.  

Described by boxing legend Mike Tyson as “the first black champion who earned his freedom through fighting”, Molineaux was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997. He lies buried in an unmarked grave in a Galway suburb.

“If there were a more tragic figure in the history of the Prize Ring than that of Thomas Molineaux, it would be difficult to unearth it. His was a tale of bondage and freedom, of poverty and success, of grand victory and tragic defeat, of heroic stature and human frailty.”


Exhibition Panels

Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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Tom-Molineaux-Panel

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