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  1. Sul·li·van, John L.
    IPA[ˈsələvən]
    • 1. (1858–1918), US boxer; full name John Lawrence Sullivan. Fighting with his bare knuckles, he was proclaimed the world heavyweight champion in 1882. In 1892, when boxing rules changed and padded gloves were used, he fought James J. Corbett for the heavyweight championship and lost, being knocked out in the 21st round.