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Boxing

19th and 20th century photos of people who participated in the sport of boxing - also called pugilism. Read more >>

Modern boxing is supervised by a referee. There are usually 8 to 12 rounds in a professional match, consisting of one to three minute intervals with a one minute rest period in between. Also known as pugilism, the result is decided when an opponent is deemed by the referee to be incapable of continuing, an opponent is disqualified for breaking a rule, one of the boxers resigns by throwing in a towel, or by the judges' scorecards at the end of a bout.

Boxing gloves, in their current form a relatively recent piece of equipment (for centuries, boxers fought barehanded or with smaller, less padded gloves), are actually more dangerous than bare hands and have resulted in more deaths. Gloves protect boxers' hands, allowing them to throw stronger punches and cause more damage to opponents' heads/brains.

From local boxing rings to amateur bouts to professional boxing, the sport is still popular after thousands of years with both participants and spectators. The rules vary depending on the type of boxing and yet the general form remains the same - knocking out your opponent is the goal. These are some interesting facts about the sport:

  • Len Wickwar of Great Britain fought 463 bouts between 1928 and 1947. He holds the record for the most wins - 336 - and the most losses - 127 - of any boxer.
  • American boxer Joe Louis, nicknamed the Brown Bomber, defended the heavyweight title 26 times - a record.
  • In 1949, a man and a bear fought an official boxing match. The bear won.
  • Amercan boxer Archie Moore - nicknamed "The Mongoose" - holds the record for most knockout wins during a career - 141.
  • Sugar Ray Robinson, a Hall of Fame boxer, tried to withdraw from a fight because he had a dream that he was going to kill his opponent in the ring. After the promoters of the fight brought in a priest - or a priest and minister according to some - he was convinced to fight. He went into the ring and and knocked out his opponent, Jimmy Doyle, in the 8th round. Doyle never regained consciousness and died 17 hours later.
  • Canadian boxer George Chuvalo - despite fighting some of the greatest boxers, fighting 93 fights, and losing 18 times - was never once knocked down or knocked out in a fight.
  • It is claimed that Guglielmo Papaleo, known in boxing as Willie Pep, is the only boxer to ever win a round without throwing a punch. Though the claim is disputed, Willie did tell reporters before the match that he would win the third round without throwing "a punch of anger."


Stroll through these photos of boxers of the 19th and 20th centuries - men and women, amateur and professional.
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"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Muhammad Ali certainly did when he took on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17th, 1942 is one of the most famous professional boxers of all time. Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964. In 1967, just a few years after the boxer won the World Heavyweight Championship, he refused to be drafted into the U.S. military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War.
People in this photo:
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
Jan 17, 1942 - Jun 3, 2016
Boxers Fraulein Kussin and Mrs. Edwards posing for the camera before their boxing match on March 7th, 1912
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A photo of Jack Johnson, boxer, full-length portrait, standing in ring, facing slightly right.
People in this photo:
Jack Johnson
Born: Mar 31, 1878
A photo of the fly weight boxing champion of the world, Pancho Villa, on the left, boxing with Flores, Philippine Islands. "Pancho Villa" weighed 114 lbs and was 5 ft 1 inch.
People in this photo:
Francisco Guilledo
1901 - 1925
A photo of boxer George Robinson
People in this photo:
George Robinson
Born: 1892
Oliver Kirk, American boxer and two-time Olympic gold medal winner
People in this photo:
Oliver Leonard Kirk
Apr 20, 1884 - 1958
Joe Louis in hutchinson, ks 1942 for a boxing fight. The article describes that while in Hutchinson, he visited the Kansas State Reformatory to talk to the inmates.
People in this photo:
Shared on Dec 28, 2011 by:
Boxer Freddie Hicks in his boxing stance. Freddie Hicks, born 1891, died 1967, was a middleweight boxer from Detroit, Michigan. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Bain News Service
People in this photo:
Freddie Hicks
Born: 1890
Shared on Sep 15, 2011 by:
A photo of Leroy M Jerles
People in this photo:
Leroy M Jerles
Jan 11, 1909 - Apr 2, 1970
Pennsylvania, United States
Arthur Willkings Newkirk, Jr. - Golden Gloves boxer and Paris Island Boxing Champion, USMC
People in this photo:
Arthur W. Newkirk Jr
May 11, 1923 - Mar 24, 1966
A photo of Francis (Frank) Martorano who lived to age of 90 with a full head of silver hair and beautiful white teeth. Born in Sicily and immigrated to the USA In fighting trim
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A photo of Ed Wells and his son Orin Wells. Worked at Acme Brick Co. at Bennett, Parker Co., TX.
People in this photo:
Ed Wells
Feb 11, 1850 - Dec 31, 1937
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
Jack Dempsey
1895 - May 31, 1983
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
Jack Dempsey
1895 - May 31, 1983
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
Jack Dempsey
1895 - May 31, 1983
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
Jack Dempsey
1895 - May 31, 1983
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
Jack Dempsey
1895 - May 31, 1983
I found this collage photo in the Antique Books Store in Old Ellicott City, Maryland. The one article mentioned East Baltimore. I did a bit of research and found he was born in 1910 in Tennessee. Seems he was quite a lightweight boxer in his day.
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A photo of Alberto G Cuen, Boxer in Los Angeles Ca who went from local to state and lost by decision. Moved to Delano Ca there after
People in this photo:
Albert G Cuen
Sep 28, 1908 - Jun 24, 1997
Delano, CA
A photo of Tony Longo
People in this photo:
Anthony "Tony" Longo
around Aug 20, 1958 - Jun 20, 2015
A photo of "Indian Red" Lopez, Ernie, at the LA Gym training
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A photo of Danny and Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez, two brothers, welter weight boxers 1960s
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A photo of American Boxers on steps of Sydney, Stadium: Top pugilists who fought for Snowy Baker (front right). Next to Baker is Jeff Smith. Behind Smith is Dave Smith (Australian Heavyweight Champion), then Tommy Burns and Jimmy Clabby
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Top American fighters, including Jimmy Clabby-front row second from right. Others include Tommy Burns, who held the World Heavyweight Title, Jeff Smith and Fritz Holland.
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Ticket for the Jimmy Clabby - Les Darcy title bout at Baker Stadium (Sydney Stadium) Sydney, Australia held on October 23, 1915
People in this photo:
James Clabby
Jul 14, 1890 - Jan 19, 1934
A photo of American Boxers of the Early 20th Century, Composite Photo: Front Row L-R Eddie McGoorty, Ray Bronson and Jimmy Clabby
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Jimmy Clabby posing circa 1910-1915. Photo is captioned: "Jimmy Clabby Welterweight Champion."
People in this photo:
Jimmy Clabby
Jul 14, 1890 - Jan 19, 1934
This photo was taken 1952. I´m pretty sure it was Bernard Neil, please correct me if i´m wrong. Robert Miller, on the right, was my father-in-law.
People in this photo:
Robert Miller
Aug 6, 1925 - Jan 18, 1997
Mobile, AL
A photo of Platt Walker Landis
People in this photo:
Platt Walker Landis
Apr 2, 1909 - Jul 8, 1943
A photo of Raymond Arthur Matthew Portors
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A photo of Allen T. Sherman. We believe this was taken sometime around 1910-1915 near Logansport, IN but aren't sure. Buck did box as a young man so this may have been taken for that.
People in this photo:
Allen T. Sherman
Jun 6, 1889 - Dec 12, 1967
Rochester, IN
Golden Gloves, amateur and pro Texas State boxing champion, contender for WBA middleweight title, Hall of Fame BSWC referee, acclaimed public speaker, member of American Legion, 40/8 and Veteran Boxers Association.
People in this photo:
A photo of Darrell L Davidson
People in this photo:
Darrell L Davidson
Aug 26, 1942 - Mar 2, 1993
Amarillo, TX
Photo of JOHN JOSEPH "Rinty" MONAGHAN, Flyweight champion. Promotional material for the boxing match between World Flyweight Champion Rinty Monaghan and the European Flyweight Champion Maurice Sandeyron which took place at the King's Hall in Belfast on Tuesday April 5th 1949.
People in this photo:
John Joseph "Rinty" Monaghan
Aug 21, 1920 - Mar 3, 1984
A photo of Zackary Soof.
People in this photo:
Zackary Soof
Mar 28, 1911 - June 1983
Detroit, Michigan
I don't know this person, I know its a relative of the Stanford family, taken in 1931. He's in boxing gear. Can you identify him?
This is a photo of Boxer at Wash. Barracks added by Ancient Faces on January 11, 2012.
This is a photo of The great prize-fight between Morrissey and the Benicia... added by Ancient Faces on January 11, 2012.
This is a photo of The champion slugger--"Knocking 'em out" / Edw. W.... added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.
This is a photo of ["Tut" Jackson and Jack Johnson meet on battleground] added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.
A photo of the 1924 American Olympic Boxing Team
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