Boxing

19th and 20th century photos of people who participated in the sport of boxing - also called pugilism.
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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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A photo of a boxer and a man.
Added Oct 29, 2013 by: Wilma Ray
Wilma Ray
348 favorites
"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:
Jan 17, 1942 - Jun 3, 2016
Boxers Fraulein Kussin and Mrs. Edwards posing for the camera before their boxing match on March 7th, 1912
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Jack Johnson, boxer, full-length portrait, standing in ring, facing slightly right.
People in this photo:
Mar 31, 1878 - Unknown
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:
1901 - 1925
A photo of boxer George Robinson
People in this photo:
1892 - Unknown
Added Jan 7, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
Oliver Kirk, American boxer and two-time Olympic gold medal winner
People in this photo:
Apr 20, 1884 - 1958
Added Jan 7, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
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:
1914 - 1981
Added Dec 28, 2011 by: Terry Stafford
Terry Stafford
388 favorites
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:
1890 - Unknown
Added Sep 15, 2011 by: Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna
3.05k+ favorites
A photo of Leroy M Jerles
People in this photo:
Jan 11, 1909 - Apr 2, 1970
Added Jul 13, 2019 by: Bernadette Robbins
Bernadette Robbins
3 favorites
Arthur Willkings Newkirk, Jr. - Golden Gloves boxer and Paris Island Boxing Champion, USMC
People in this photo:
May 11, 1923 - Mar 24, 1966
Added Feb 21, 2019 by: Keith O
Keith O
62 favorites
Topics:
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
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 26, 2019 by: Gaye Thomas
Gaye Thomas
341 favorites
Topics:
A photo of Ed Wells and his son Orin Wells. Worked at Acme Brick Co. at Bennett, Parker Co., TX.
People in this photo:
Feb 11, 1850 - Dec 31, 1937
Added Oct 3, 2018 by: James Taylor
James Taylor
68 favorites
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
1895 - May 31, 1983
Added Aug 19, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.0k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
1895 - May 31, 1983
Added Aug 19, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.0k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
1895 - May 31, 1983
Added Aug 19, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.0k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
1895 - May 31, 1983
Added Aug 19, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.0k+ favorites
Topics:
A photo of Jack Dempsey
People in this photo:
1895 - May 31, 1983
Added Aug 19, 2018 by: Amanda S. Stevenson
Amanda S. Stevenson
10.0k+ favorites
Topics:
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.
People in this photo:
1910 - Unknown
Added Dec 4, 2017 by: Suzanne Farabaugh
Suzanne Farabaugh
13 favorites
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:
Sep 28, 1908 - Jun 24, 1997
Added Nov 6, 2017 by: Jesse Cuen
Jesse Cuen
8 favorites
A photo of Tony Longo
People in this photo:
around Aug 20, 1958 - Jun 20, 2015
Added Apr 29, 2016 by: Chloe Longo
Chloe Longo
8 favorites
Topics:
A photo of "Indian Red" Lopez, Ernie, at the LA Gym training
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
A photo of Danny and Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez, two brothers, welter weight boxers 1960s
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
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
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 1, 2015 by: James Clabby
James Clabby
25 favorites
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.
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 1, 2015 by: James Clabby
James Clabby
25 favorites
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:
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
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Jan 1, 2015 by: James Clabby
James Clabby
25 favorites
Jimmy Clabby posing circa 1910-1915. Photo is captioned: "Jimmy Clabby Welterweight Champion."
People in this photo:
Jul 14, 1890 - Jan 19, 1934
Added Dec 31, 2014 by: James Clabby
James Clabby
25 favorites
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:
Aug 6, 1925 - Jan 18, 1997
Added Dec 8, 2014 by: Baer Miller
Baer Miller
94 favorites
A photo of Platt Walker Landis
People in this photo:
Apr 2, 1909 - Jul 8, 1943
Added Nov 17, 2014 by: Landis Legacy
Landis Legacy
14 favorites
A photo of Raymond Arthur Matthew Portors
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Nov 16, 2014 by: Ralph Jordan
Ralph Jordan
6 favorites
Topics:
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:
Jun 6, 1889 - Dec 12, 1967
Added Oct 9, 2014 by: Dave McDougle
Dave McDougle
6 favorites
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:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Mar 12, 2014 by: John Reinhard Dizon
John Reinhard Dizon
17 favorites
A photo of Darrell L Davidson
People in this photo:
Aug 26, 1942 - Mar 2, 1993
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:
Aug 21, 1920 - Mar 3, 1984
A photo of Zackary Soof.
People in this photo:
Mar 28, 1911 - June 1983
A photo of Hetherington Martin Eddy
People in this photo:
Unknown - Unknown
Added Feb 22, 2013 by: Karen Jones
Karen Jones
3 favorites
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?
Added Sep 2, 2012 by: Michael Stanford
Michael Stanford
3 favorites
This is a photo of Boxer at Wash. Barracks added by Ancient Faces on January 11, 2012.
Added Jan 11, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
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.
Added Jan 10, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
This is a photo of ["Tut" Jackson and Jack Johnson meet on battleground] added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.
Added Jan 10, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
A photo of the 1924 American Olympic Boxing Team
Added Jan 7, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
322 favorites
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