7 Famous Personalities Associated With Cockfighting

As cockfighting has been around for centuries, it is no wonder that this practice has caught the eye of a lot of famous personalities – from kings to presidents to businessmen. Let’s unravel the popular faces in the realm of cockfighting.


Famous Personalities Associated with Cockfighting

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was famous for being passionate about cockfighting, introducing the blood sport to Rome and England. He noticed that the Britons kept gamefowls for cockfighting, and wrote in his account how the gamefowls of Britons were better than those of the Romans.

King Henry VIII

When King Henry VIII became king in the Renaissance period, he had a cockpit constructed at the Palace at Whitehall. Exclusive schools were required to teach students about aspects of cockfighting. By 1816, the cockpit turned into a sporting center.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Famous French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte staged cockfights before major battles. It is said that he did that to inspire his soldiers to emulate the courage, bravery, and perseverance of gamefowls, teaching them to fight to the bitter end at all costs, mindless of victory or defeat.

Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan and his crew were the first to witness modern cockfighting during their voyage of discovery of the Philippines. It was documented for Westerners by his chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta.

George Washington

It is often said that the prominent George Washington was a cockfighter. In his diaries, Washington confirms that he attended a cockfight when he was 19 years old. While he left that cockfight early, historian John P. Riley noted that there are vague references to cockfighting elsewhere in Washington’s writings.

Roy Jones Jr.

American professional boxer and considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time, pound for pound, Roy Jones Jr. integrated cockfighting into his boxing style. He grew up watching cockfights, with his father gifting him a blue-feathered gamecock.

In his boxing career, he often used exaggerated feints to catch his opponents off-balance and could land punches from odd angles that his opponents failed to see. At present, Roy Jones Jr. says his cockfighting days are over but he takes good care of his roosters in his farm in Louisiana.

Charlie “Atong” Ang

In the Philippines, Charlie “Atong” Ang is renowned for elevating the status of the cockfighting industry. He co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Cock Championship (UFCC), and he also finances cockfighting teams to send them to high-roller competitions.

When COVID shut down most cockfighting operations in the country, Atong Ang became known for establishing Pitmasters Live, an online cockfighting platform that streams matches round-the-clock. Online cockfighting rapidly rose in popularity in the Philippines due to the ease and convenience of watching matches and placing bets.


Final Note

Cockfighting is an activity that many people are enthusiastic about, whether they’re famous or not. The interest that the aforementioned popular personalities had in cockfighting helped the blood sport to become more integrated into various cultures and become more known worldwide.