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Boxing

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

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.
Shared on Oct 29, 2013 by
Taken in USA in .
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Muhammad Ali certainly did when... more
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Shared on Jul 9, 2012 by
Taken on .
Boxers Fraulein Kussin and Mrs. Edwards posing for the camera before their... more
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Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of Jack Johnson, boxer, full-length portrait, standing in ring,... more
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Shared on Jan 10, 2012 by
A photo of the fly weight boxing champion of the world, Pancho Villa, on the... more
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Shared on Jan 10, 2012 by
Oliver Kirk, American boxer and two-time Olympic gold medal winner
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Shared on Jan 7, 2012 by
Taken at reformatory-ksir, hutchinson, reno County, KS USA in .
Joe Louis in hutchinson, ks 1942 for a boxing fight. The article describes... more
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Shared on Dec 28, 2011 by
Taken in USA on .
Boxer Freddie Hicks in his boxing stance. Freddie Hicks, born 1891, died... more
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Shared on Sep 15, 2011 by
Taken in MD in .
I found this collage photo in the Antique Books Store in Old Ellicott City,... more
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Shared on Dec 4, 2017 by
A photo of Alberto G Cuen, Boxer in Los Angeles Ca who went from local to... more
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Shared on Nov 6, 2017 by
A photo of Tony Longo
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Shared on Apr 29, 2016 by
Taken in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA in .
A photo of "Indian Red" Lopez, Ernie, at the LA Gym training
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Shared on Jul 2, 2015 by
Taken in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA in .
A photo of Danny and Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez, two brothers, welter weight... more
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Shared on Jul 2, 2015 by
Taken on .
Ticket for the Jimmy Clabby - Les Darcy title bout at Baker Stadium (Sydney... more
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Shared on Jan 1, 2015 by
A photo of American Boxers of the Early 20th Century, Composite Photo: Front... more
Shared on Jan 1, 2015 by
Taken in Hammond, Lake County, IN in .
Jimmy Clabby posing circa 1910-1915. Photo is captioned: "Jimmy Clabby... more
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Shared on Dec 31, 2014 by
Taken in .
This photo was taken 1952. I´m pretty sure it was Bernard Neil, please... more
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Shared on Dec 8, 2014 by
A photo of Raymond Arthur Matthew Portors
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Shared on Nov 16, 2014 by
Taken in Logansport, Cass County, IN in .
A photo of Allen T. Sherman. We believe this was taken sometime around... more
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Shared on Oct 9, 2014 by
Taken in San Antonio, Bexar County, TX .
Golden Gloves, amateur and pro Texas State boxing champion, contender for WBA... more
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Shared on Mar 12, 2014 by