Pugilism was originally introduced by the Greeks and has formed part of their Olympic games since around 688 BC; the sport became increasingly popular as a recreation during Roman times. Pugilists in those days, did not have access to Boxing gloves, head gear or other protective equipment as seen today, the hands were covered with leather hand straps later to be replaced by the Boxing glove. In the 1800th century prize fighting became popular in England it was not governed and had no written rules, formal ring, weight divisions, time limitations round structure, or formal referee, Boxing was a dangerous and uncontrolled activity where deaths sometimes occurred and it was not unusual for fighting amongst spectators to break out at the ringside. In 1741 following an unfortunate death in the ring Jack Broughton’s rules were introduced, this more formalised structure became known as the “Broughton's rules”. Fist Mufflers were worn for the first time which provided some respite for the competing pugilists. The Prince of Wales George IV witnessed a bout in 1788 contested at Smitham Bottom, Croydon, between William Futrell and gentleman John Jackson. I have been unable to find any authentic boxing memorabilia from this long gone era. The man regarded as the Patron Saint of Boxing the eighth Marquees of Queensbury John Sholto Douglas drew up a new set of rules in1865 which led to Boxing becoming the sport we know today, this saw the introduction of referee, three-minute rounds, ring structure, no springs attached to footwear and the regulation of approved boxing gloves, which fitted correctly were not oversized were of high quality and condition. Gentleman Jim Corbett became the first World Heavyweight Champion under the Queensberry rules defeating John L. Sullivan in New Orleans in 1892. Boxing as a sport was included St Louis Olympic games in 1904 this created a Nationwide fan base and generated much comment and interest. Today there are three official sanctioning bodies the WBC, IBF and WBA, they are the only organisations whose boxing titles are recognised worldwide. Boxing memorabilia includes match worn fight attire, Boxing posters, programmes, Real Photos, Pictures, Postcards, Presentations, Medals and Awards, many signed by Boxing legends. Boxing collectables are probably the second most popular in the growing range of Sports Memorabilia. Boxers featured on our display usually include Icons such as: Sonny Liston, Tommy Farr, Jake La Motta, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, Gene Tunney, Georges Carpentier, Sugar Ray Robinson, Billy Walker, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Jack Dempsey , Muhammad Ali. George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Sir Henry Cooper, Steve Collins Ricky Hatton, Roberto Duran, Brian London to name but a few heroes past and present. I hope this introduction gives readers an insight into the pleasure of collecting and enjoying Boxing Memorabilia.
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