Known" Heavyweight Champion
James Figg, an Oxfordshire-born Englishman, is regarded as
the first heavyweight champion in the sport's history.
According to news sources, in 1719, Figg helped popularize
boxing by opening a training academy in London. He taught the
sport to countless pupils and accepted the challenges of all
comers. He retired as undefeated champion in 1734.
A series of British fighters held the heavyweight crown after
Figg. One of the more prominent pugilists was James Broughton,
who fought from 1729 to 1750. He was recognized as a heavyweight
champion and he too was the proprietor of a successful boxing
academy. He is also considered the father of boxing because he
was the first to establish rules, encouraged the use of gloves
and set up the bouts in an area between ropes. Broughton's
rules touched off a chain of reform in boxing that led directly
to the Marquis of Queensberry rules. The Queensberry
regulations, established in 1867 and the foundation of boxing as
we know it today, introduced three-minute rounds and helped
facilitate the transition from bare knuckle fights to gloved
contests. Figgs is the EARLIEST known fighter whose records
still exist. (Source: Legends and Lores, ęCopyrighted -
Broughton Writes First British
In 1743, Jack Broughton, who was well-educated, ran a
boxing school in London. Broughton wrote the first British
Boxing Rules. He made it illegal in the book of rules that a
fighter could not hit "below" the belt, or that the fighter
could not wrestle an opponent was was down, and only permitting
above the waist techniques. Broughton also put in the rules rest
periods of 30 seconds. According to news sources, these rules
were used in England until 1889 when the last bare-knuckle
championship bout was fought.
The FIRST Reported "Fixed"
Fight in History!
WBAN has found news sources that report that the the earliest
allegations of a fixed fight was in England on May 18, 1771,
when Peter Corcoran knocked out Bill Darts in the first round.
Apparently, Colonel Dennis O'Kelly, a gambler paid Darts
100 pounds the day before the fight to lose the match, and that
O'Kelly ended up winning several thousand pounds on the match.
Molineaux Given His Freedom Tom Molineaux, born in
1784, and died in 1818, was born a slave. Molineaux
gained his freedom from slavery when he began boxing other
slaves while the plantation owners bet on who would win.
Molineaux defeated a slave from a rival plantation, and was
untimately give his freedom and a sum of $500. In 1809
Molineaux left for England to pursue his dream of boxing.
Molineaux won two fights in England and was then offered to
fight British heavyweight champion Tom Crib. In December
of 1810, Molineaux fought Crib, and after 39 rounds he collapsed
from exhaustion. Molineaux rematched Crib on September 28,
1811. Monlineaux lasted only 11 rounds and was KO'd against Crib
and Crib retained his title. In 1814, Molineaux fought
William Fuller, and it was reported that the fight went two
rounds that lasted over an hour. In 181, Monlineaux died
in Dublin, Ireland.