They found James Ambrose dead in his cell,
a gaping gash in his arm had drained him down to hell.
No one knew for sure if Ambrose was his name.
They called him Yankee Sullivan in early days of fame.
He'd known the game of fisticuffs had always treated him right .
But no one knew the men who came and took his life that night
He'd spent some time in Botany Bay atoning for his sins.
He fought a bout with Hammer Lane and took a tainted win.
He was the hero of the Bowery, a prince of lawless times.
Then was battered by the "Butcherman" in 1849.
He knew the game of fisticuffs, he knew the game of might.
But no one knew the men who came and took his life one night.
He knew the game of fisticuffs.
Lilly and McCoy were shy of a hundred and forty pounds.
In 1842 they went a hundred and eighteen rounds.
They begged McCoy to cash it in, he said that he would not.
Got up and fought one more round then died right on the spot.
He knew the game of fisticuffs, he knew the game of fight.
But no one knew the game would come and take his life that night.