Jorge Luis Borges explained his inspiration for the story Monk Eastman, Purveyor of Iniquities (actual Monk Eastman here). My understanding is that an adaptation of that story serves as the introduction to the new edition of Gangs of New York.
William Muldoon beat up a barekuckle boxer.
Muldoon is another fascinating character. He developed his wrestling in friendly matches at camp while serving during the American Civil War. Later, he went to Paris to serve as a volunteer in the French army during the Franco-Prussian war. While in France he learnt Greco-Roman, which became his main style thereafter.
When he returned to NYC he was appointed to the Police Department by John Morrissey (thus the connection to the above post). Muldoon served in the NYPD for five years, toward the end of which he won the world GR title and decided to go professional. He retired undefeated some years later and started working as a trainer for boxers and wrestlers, most famously getting John L. Sullivan in shape for his big fight against Jake Kilrain (the final bareknuckle London Prize Rules match for the championship).
In 1921, after boxing was re-legalized in NY, Muldoon became the inaugural Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. There's a 1927 profile online at the New Yorker (subscription required), and the following year a biography was published for which Jack Dempsey wrote the foreword.
In any case, the text of the articles above is taken from a collection of historical news related to boxing at the website of the Vermont Boxing History & International Pugilist Review; it's stuffed with savory morsels like these:
From: January 31, 1811, Boxing, Etc.Quote:
A most sanguinary battle for 100 guineas, and a subscription purse of twenty, in imitation of the London amateurs, was fought on Monday, in the presence of an immense concourse of spectators at Hazely common, Hants, between an Oxfordshire man of the name of Woodcock, and a professional bruiser of fame in the county of Somerset of the name of Tring, who was backed by the amateur Capt. Hicks. In the first round which lasted four minutes, Tring was knocked down after a dreadful conflict, and the two sebsequent rounds were as courageously maintained. In the fourth round both combatants were blind, and they fought in that state twenty minutes, when Tring[e] got a broken jaw, and was beaten nearly lifeless.
From: (Plattsburgh) Republican, May 31, 1811Quote:
A fatal pugilistic contest took place on Wednesday sevennight, at Rollestone, near Burton upon Trent, in the county of Stafford. On the preceding evening, Charles Beale, a farmer from Strenton, and Stringer Tonks, a basket-maker, of Repton, having quarrelled, agreed to meet the next day at Rollestone, to decide their dispute. The constable of the parish was present as stakeholder! The combatants fought with a determination and courage seldom witnessed, until the 31st round, when Tonks struck Beale a dreadful blow under the ear, and death terminated the fight.