At the height of his career, John Sullivan was so popular that many suggested he run for Congress. Although he was not nominated, he issued the following public statement of his qualifications.
September 5, 1889
A good deal has been said about my becoming a candidate for Congress. I write to say that after thinking the matter over I have decided that when the time comes to elect a new Congressman in Boston I will be a candidate on the democratic ticket if the nomination is offered to me. There are several reasons which have induced me to adopt this course.
. . . Any man who doubts my popularity with the American people has only to travel about with me to get rid of that notion.
Some may criticize my occupation in life. They don't know what they are talking about. My business is, and always has been ever since I came before the public, to encourage physical culture.
. . . What I feel to be more important than all else is the work I have been doing to keep up the reputation of America among other nations. The best men from everywhere have tried to beat me, but failed, and since I first began, I have kept the pugilistic championship of the world in this country.
. . . A man who can quiet a crowd in Madison Square garden as I have done can make his presence felt in Congress or anywhere else on earth.
I therefore announce my willingness to enter political life.
Champion of the World
Quoted in John L. Sullivan and His America, by Michael Isenberg (University of Illinois Press, 1988).