Jake Kilrain

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Jake Kilrain
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Kilrain, Jake
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Born John Joseph Killion in Greenpoint, New York, he took the professional name of "Jake Kilrain" to protect his parents from the embarrassment of his questionable career as a prize fighter. He lost the heavy-weight championship to John L. Sullivan in a bare-knuckle fight that went 75 rounds in Richbourg, Mississippi, on August 7, 1889. His name is mentioned in "Lion" and again in Go Down, Moses as a way to describe how the hunters in Yoknapatawpha feel about their sport: "Boon and the conductor and the brakeman talked about Lion and Old Ben as people talked about Sullivan and Kilrain or Dempsey and Tunney" (187, 218).

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