Boxing Lives Project
born: 19/11/1879, Canning Town
Born in Canning Town in September 1876 Pedlar Palmer, the son of a dock labourer father and an alcoholic mother, began boxing as a child, sparring with his younger brother Matt as part of a variety act known as 'Palmer's Midgets'.
As an amateur he won several tournaments organised by Professor D'Arcy Brennan at his gymnasium on Barking Road, Plaistow. He turned professional in May 1893, taking on Walter Croot at the National Sporting Club who he KO in the 17th round.
On 25 November, 1895, Pedlar defeated Billy Plimmer, of Birmingham, to win the world bantamweight title aged just 19, he was the youngest ever world champion at that weight.
Pedlar successfully defended his world title for four consecutive years against English and American challengers. He finally lost his title in controversial circumstances to the 'Brooklyn Terror', Terry McGovern, at Tuckahoe, New York, in September 1899; it was his first ever professional defeat.
In the early 1900s Pedlar's boxing career went into decline and was finally finished following his conviction for manslaughter in 1907 at Guilford.