Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Scientific Fisticuffs

The modern sport of boxing goes back to the 18th century, when Jack Broughton proposed the first formal rules for matches. These were replaced in 1839 by the London Prize Ring rules, which banned kicks, bites, and head butts. The modern forms of the sport emerged in 1867, when John Graham Chambers proposed new rules that banned wrestling moves and required padded gloves; the Marquess of Queesberry allowed their publication under his name, hoping to make boxing respectable. Prizefighter did not accept the new rules until 1892, when John L. Sullivan insisted on the in his championship fight against Gentleman Jim Corbett. Sullivan motives were not entire disinterested, bare knuckles fighting was illegal throughout the United States, and his 1889 championship fight against Jake Kilrain had cost him $18,760 in fines and legal costs.

Boxing was always popular with the working classes, especially in the United States. From the beginning it was open to Irishmen, Jews, and other outsiders - two former slaves from the United States, Bill Richmond and Tom Molineaux, boxed professionally in England before 1815. Boxing offered a man with good physical attributes and a high pain threshold a way to better himself economically.

The idea of boxing as a science was created by Daniel Mendoza, a 160 pound English Jew, whose quick footwork and left-handed jabs enabled him to take the championship from much stronger opponents.

Stoddard, W.H. (2000) - Gurps Steampunk, pg. 54, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]
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