Born two years after his older brother Tom, in 1783 at Hanham, Bristol, George Cribb was unfortunately always in the shadow of Tom, the recognised Champion of England from 1807-1822 and two others of his own middleweight division, Tom Belcher and Dutch Sam, with all three going on to great success roughly around the same time of George entering the prize ring.
George Cribb weighed around 154lbs and stood around 5’ 9” and has the dubious recorded ring career of losing all his fights, although one or two record books state that he was recognised as the leading middleweight contender! This may be because he fought some of the better middleweight claimants of the day with courage and a certain amount of skill, although Tom Belcher and Dutch Sam disposed of some of these claimants, with Belcher being recognised as the champion from 1805-1813, although Dutch Sam beat him twice in 1807, he did not lay claim to the title.
George’s first recorded fight was against the heavier George Horton, at Sea Mills, Bristol in 1807 and losing a 50 guinea purse over 15 rounds. Cribb fought bravely against the two handed local butcher, although both were slow, ponderous sluggers. His next fight was in 1808 against Dan Dogherty at Highgate Common, London, where the superior Dogherty won easily for a subscription purse over 20 rounds.
Over a year later in 1809 he came up against Bill Cropley for another subscription purse and in a fierce short battle at The Reculvers, Margate of 8 rounds lasting 16 minutes, the more scientific Cropley overcame Cribb, although Cribb was reported to be the better man for much of the contest. The unfortunate Cribb now faced Dan Dogherty again in an organised room fight at Bob’s Chop House, London in 1810, where a purse of £20 was raised by the guests and once again Dogherty defeated Cribb, this time over 27 rounds and taking in 56 minutes. Later that year he took on the well respected Dick Hall at Old Oak Common near Uxbridge for a 50 guinea purse, but again he was the loser in a closely fought fight up until about the 10th round when Cribb, now tiring, stretched it out to 41 rounds by constant bending of the knee, eventually giving in.
His last recorded fight was in 1811 against Ned Maltby at Thistleton Gap, Leics. after his brother’s second fight against Tom Molineaux and again he kept up his 100% record of losing when he was beaten over 13 rounds for a purse of £20.