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Johnny Kilbane Statue in Cleveland

Johnny Kilbane Statue Unveiling
Battery Park - Cleveland Ohio
September 28, 2014

John "Johnny" Patrick Kilbane (April 9, 1889 – May 31, 1957) was a featherweight boxer who held the world featherweight title from 1912 to 1923, the longest period in the division's history. He was the second longest world title holder in boxing history, behind only Joe Louis.

The statue by world-renowned sculptor Rowan Gillespie, reflects 3 eras of Kilbane's life: as a child, a boxing champion and as statesman.

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio


Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio


young boy part of Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio

Young Johnny Kilbane


The inscription under the young Johnny Kilbane reads: "I was probably the skinniest kid in the parish. I scarcely made a shadow when the sun shone and the kids at school were forever poking fun at my thin legs."

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio


Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio - young Johnny

The inscription under the boxing champion part of the Johnny Kilbane statue reads: "Show me a business where I can make more money than I can in the ring and I'll never fight again. I don't fight because I like it. I fight because it means a living for my family and myself."

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio


Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio



The inscription under the statesman part of the Johnny Kilbane statue reads: "My life has been a very happy one. Ninety-nine percent of this is because of my wife and the other one percent is the Luck of the Irish."

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio


Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio



There are 2 rocks by the statue with inscriptions. The first is signed by sculptor Rowan Gillespie and is titled Johnny Kilbane - Fighting Heart. It reads: "For when the chips of life are down and troubled waters mount, A fighting heart will see us through However long the count."

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio - Fightinh Heart plaque


The other rock lists the donors and supporters of the project.

Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio - Fighting Heart plaque


Johnny Kilbane Statue in Battery Park in Cleveland Ohio - Fighting Heart plaque



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Johnny Kilbane Statue Main Page

Video and more photos of the unveiling of the Johnny Kilbane statue in Battery Park

Photos of the people at the event and posing with Johnny Kilbane




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