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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Boxer (Sportsman)

As a youngster the Ancient Greek mathmatician Pythagoras was a fine boxer. He applied science to boxing knocking out men with upper cuts. He philosophised that a sharp blow delivered from the hip was the most effective method.

Bonnie Prince Charlie was a skilled boxer and physically fit. Whilst living in Avignon, he taught the local people how to box.

Daniel Mendoza, champion in the 1790s, introduces a new subtlety in the style of fighting and even writes a book on the subject (The Art of Boxing, 1789). He lost his title in 1795 to John Jackson, known as Gentleman Jackson.

The poet Lord Byron was a useful boxer, he once sparred with John "Gentleman" Jackson, the former bare knuckled champion in the boxer's Bond Street gym. He was a pupil at the boxing school there.

George Bernard Shaw was fond of prize fighting and indeed he had an expert interest in boxing. The Irish music and drama critic entered the Queensbury amateur boxing championship. He got as far as the programme but not the ring.

The last ever championship bare-knuckle boxing match was held in 1889 when John L. Sullivan defeated Jack Kilrain after 75 rounds. Sullivan never lost a bareknuckle bout.

John L Sullivan was not only the last bare-knuckle boxing champion, he was also the first one to use gloves.

Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Harvard University boxing team. He was runner-up for the Harvard boxing championship, losing to C.S. Hanks. The sportsmanship Roosevelt showed in that fight was long remembered.

In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt was struck in the eye during a boxing fight with an army officer. His eyesight gradually diminished and by 1908 he was totally blind in one eye.

In the United States the first professional to win national recognition as catch-as-catch-can champion was a heavyweight, Tom Jenkins, of Cleveland, Ohio. He ruled as king of his division from the 1890s until 1908, when he lost to Frank Gotch of Iowa.

The US welterweight boxing champion “Kid” McCoy was once challenged by a man in a bar to prove he really is the boxing champion. McCoy flattened him and when the man came round he declared that he was indeed the real McCoy. From this comes the phrase “the real McCoy”.

Galveston “Jack” Johnson became the first black world heavyweight boxing champion in 1908 when he beat Tommy Burns over 14 rounds in Sydney, Australia. Two years, on July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson knocked out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the United States.

With his first professional bout at age 14, Georges Carpentier became welterweight champion of France and of Europe in 1911. He then became middleweight champion of Europe in 1912, and light heavyweight champion of Europe in 1913. On June 1, 1913, he became heavyweight champion of Europe.

In his youth, the French entertainer Maurice Chevalier was a sparring partner to Georges Carpentier. The household wrench was invented by boxing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in 1922.

Sam Langford and Harry Wills fought each other 22 times. Wills won 6 times, Langford 2 times and there were 14 No Decisions.

In his youth, the French singer Maurice Chevalier was a sparring partner to heavyweight boxing champion Georges Carpentier.

Bob Hope fought as a Professional boxer under the name Packy East.

Ernest Hemingway was a keen boxer (he paid local Key West men to spar with him).

The American boxer Henry Armstrong, (1912-88) is the only professional boxer ever to hold three world titles simultaneously in three different weight classifications: He won the featherweight crown in 1937, and in 1938 he added both the welterweight and lightweight championship.

Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World Max Baer wore a Star of David during his title match against Hitler's favorite fighter, Max Schmeling. Baer won the bout and continued wearing the Star of David throughout the remainder of his career.

Preparing to take on Al Couture at Lewiston, Maine in 1946, boxer Ralph Walton was knocked out while still adjusting his gum shield. The fight officially ended after ten-and-a-half seconds - that included the 10-second count.

Rocky Marciano one of the greatest Heavyweights of all time actually took up boxing at 22.

Idi Amin was the Heavyweight boxing champion of Uganda between 1951 and 1960.

Archie Moore (December 13, 1916 – December 9, 1998) was the longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion of all time at nine years, four months and 24 days (December 1952 – May 1962). He had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport, fighting professionally for almost 30 years.

Sugar Ray Robinson became the first five-time middleweight winner in 1958.

The American John Rankin was the tallest ever man to enter a boxing ring at the size of 7 feet 4 inches.In boxing, a championship belt awarded to a fighter who wins a British title fight. If he wins three fights in one weight division, he is allowed to keep the belt permanently. The British heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper is the only man to have won three Lonsdale Belts outright.

Joe Frazier is said to have cut his Olympic boxing gold medal into 11 pieces and given a piece to each of his 11 children.

Leon Spinks won the Heavyweight title in only his eighth pro fight.

Puerto Rican fighter Wilfred Benitez was the youngest professional world champion when he won the light welterweight title in 1976 aged 17.

Because of his slight build and strong accent as a boy, Riverdance star Michael Flatley's father enrolled him in boxing lessons so he could learn self-defense. He excelled at the sport and held the Golden Gloves Championship in the featherweight division in 1977.

When Mike Tyson knocked-out Trevor Berbick in the second round on November 22, 1986, he became the youngest ever world heavyweight-boxing champion. (Tyson was 20 years, 4 months old).

Forty-five year old George Foreman became boxing's oldest heavyweight champion on November 5, 1994 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round of a Las Vegas, Nevada fight.  Foreman dedicated his upset win to "all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail."

Evander Holyfield turned down a role in the movie Rocky 5 purely because his character would be knocked out.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999,

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