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Sports Bizarre

The unruly early days of boxing

Sports Bizarre
Sports Bizarre

In the seventeenth century in England, the earliest form of modern boxing emerged, a wild free for all style of fighting that included eye gouging, hair pulling, spitting, head-butting, shin-kicking, stomping and kicking downed opponents.

Out of this world emerged the first heavyweight champion, James Figg who fought a total of 270 fights and lost only once.

Titus O'Reily and Mick Molloy look at the early days of boxing, the first ever rules, the invention of boxing gloves and the first championship "belt"—made of lionskin and sterling silver.

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