Born July 20, 1835 in Middletown, County Armagh, Ireland.
Coburn came to the United States at an early age and settled in New York City. He became an apprentice bricklayer and during his spare time studied the prize ring. He was soon getting the best of the top local sparring partners and turned professional in 1856. In his first recorded bout he met Ned Price at Spy Pond in Boston. The two battled for 3 hours and 20 minutes before the sun went down and darkness ended the fight (D 160). Coburn, who stood 5’ 9” and weighed between 185-192 pounds, was an extremely fast fighter with instinctive boxing skill and a great ability to absorb punishment and battle on. Undefeated throughout his career, Coburn defeated Mike McCoole on May 5, 1863 in 67 rounds and twice drew with the great Jem Mace in 1871. Following his last tussle with Mace, Coburn retired from the prize ring. Over a decade later, he participated in exhibition bouts with John L. Sullivan in New York and Boston.
Coburn, considered one of the very best in the history of American Prize Ring, died on December 6, 1890 in New York.
Born: July 20, 1835
Died: Dec. 6, 1890