London Prize Ring Rules

The London Prize Ring Rules was a list of boxing rules promulgated in 1838 and revised in 1853. These rules were based on those drafted by England's Jack Broughton in 1743 and governed the conduct of prizefighting/bare-knuckle boxing for over 100 years. They were later superseded by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, the origins of the modern sport of boxing. Fights under these rules were typically contested with bare knuckles. The rules also allowed for a broad range of fighting including holds and throws of the opponent. Spiked shoes, within limits, were also allowed. Also included were provisions dealing with how wagers would be resolved if various events such as interference by the law, darkness, or cancellations occurred. In contrast with modern boxing rules based upon the Marquess of Queensberry rules, a round ended with a man downed by punch or throw, whereupon he was given 30 seconds to rest and eight additional seconds to "come to scratch" or return to the centre of the ring where a "scratch line" was drawn and square off with his opponent once more. Consequently, there were no round limits to fights. When a man could not come to scratch, he would be declared loser and the fight would be brought to a halt. Fights could also end if broken up beforehand by crowd riot, police interference or chicanery, or if both men were willing to accept that the contest was a draw. While fights could have enormous numbers of rounds, the rounds in practice could be quite short with fighters pretending to go down from minor blows to take advantage of the 30-second rest period. The Marquess of Queensberry rules is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. They were named so because John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code,[1] although they were written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers. The code of rules on which modern boxing is based, the Queensberry rules were the first to mention gloves in boxing.[2] The Queensberry rules are intended for use in both professional and amateur boxing matches, thus separating it from the less popular American Fair Play Rules, which were strictly intended for amateur matches. In popular culture the term is sometimes used to refer to a sense of sportsmanship and fair play. [edit]History The boxing code was written by John Graham Chambers a Welshman, and drafted in London in 1865, before being published in 1867 as "the Queensberry rules for the sport of boxing".[3][4] This code of rules superseded the Revised London Prize Ring rules (1853), which had themselves replaced the original London Prize Ring rules (1743) of Jack Broughton. This version persuaded boxers that "you must not fight simply to win; no holds barred is not the way; you must win by the rules" (17, sect. 5, pt. 1). One early prize fighter who fought under Marquess of Queensberry rules was Jem Mace, who won the English heavyweight title under these rules in 1861. In 1889, the Queensberry rules came into use in the United States and Canada.