Charlie Mitchell was born on November 24, 1861 in Birmingham, England. Mitchell's career took root in bare-knuckle boxing, but he successfully transitioned into gloved fighting. To build up his boxing expertise, Mitchell fought any opponent he could find in London, until 1880, when he became a boxing instructor in London and later, Antwerp. Thereafter, Mitchell joined boxers Jake Kilrain and Frank “Paddy” Slavin on a tour of Canada and the United States. Together, they put on exhibition matches. In 1883, Mitchell fought John Sullivan, whom he knocked out in the first round.
A rematch occurred 5 years later, but the match was so long and brutal that it was ruled a draw. Mitchell’s most famous bout, however, took place in 1894 against Corbett in contention for the world heavyweight championship. Corbett knocked Mitchell out in the third round. Suffering from tabes dorsalis, a loss of coordination and movement, Mitchell passed away in 1918. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2002.