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1824 Jan 8
Tom Spring defeated Jack Langan in a British championship boxing match that lasted 2½ hours.
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1838
The London Prize Ring Rules were instituted with bare-knuckle rounds of unspecified length. Rounds ended when a fighter touched ground with a knee. The rules were based on those drafted by Britain's Jack Broughton in 1743, and governed the conduct of prizefighting/bare-knuckle boxing for over 100 years. They were later superseded by the Marquess of Queensberry rules (1865), the origins of the modern sport of Boxing.
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1860 Apr 17
English boxer Tom Sayers (1826-1865) fought John Heenan (1833-1873) of the US for 37 rounds in an international bare-knuckle match at Farnborough, Hampshire, that was called a draw. Heenan was later acclaimed as the "World Boxing Champion."
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1865 Nov 8
Thomas Sayers (b.1826), English bare-knuckle fighter, died. He was the first boxer to be declared the World Heavyweight Champion.
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1872
California banned boxing but fights continued to take place on boats and open fields and anywhere that police could be avoided.
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1886
Peter "Black Prince" Jackson (1861-1901), St. Croix-born boxer, won the Australian heavyweight championship. In 1892 he won the British Empire title.
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1889 Jul 8
In Mississippi Jake Kilrain (1859-1937) fought boxing champion John L. Sullivan in the last world heavyweight championship prizefight decided with bare knuckles under London Prize Ring rules in history. Sullivan defeated Kilrain in a match that went to 75 rounds.
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1891 May 21
James J. Corbett fought Peter "Black Prince" Jackson (1861-1901), in a much-heralded bout between San Francisco cross-town rivals. Since Corbett and Jackson were boxing instructors at the two most prestigious athletic clubs. They fought to a draw after 61 rounds. Jackson had won the Australian heavyweight championship in 1886 and the British Empire title in 1892.
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1892 Sep 7
In New Orleans the 1st heavyweight-title boxing match, fought with gloves under the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury [Queensberry], aka John S. Douglas, ended when James J. Corbett (1866-1933) knocked out John L. Sullivan (1858-1918) in the 21st round. In 1891 Corbett had fought Peter Jackson to a draw after 61 rounds. Corbett lost his title to Robert Fitzsimmons in 1897.
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1897
John Arthur “Jack” Johnson (1878-1946), Texas born boxer, fought in his first professional prizefight.
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1899
California started allowing athletic clubs to stage boxing exhibitions.
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1905 Sep 9
In Daly City, Ca., Battling Nelson, the "Durable Dane," kayoed Jimmy Britt in the 18th round at the Sickles St. Arena of James W. Coffroth. A film of the event recorded by the Miles Brothers made over $100,000.
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1906 Sep 3
Joe Gans (1874-1910), born as Joseph Gant, defended his lightweight boxing title against Battling Nelson in Goldfield, Nevada. He was the first African-American World Boxing Champion, reigning continuously as World Lightweight Champion from 1902 to 1908. In 2012 William Gildea authored “The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing’s First African-American Champion.”
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1907 Jul 4
Heavy weight champ Tommy Burns (1881-1955) knocked out Bill Squires of Australia in the first round in Colma, Ca.
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1908 Dec 26
Jack Johnson (1878-1946) of Texas knocked out Tommy Burns in Australia to become the 1st black world heavyweight boxing champion. He was not officially given the title until 1910 when he beat Jim Jeffries in Las Vegas. In 1913 Johnson fled the US because of trumped up charges of violating the Mann Act's stipulations against transporting white women across state lines for prostitution. Johnson held the title until 1915. In 1920 he returned to the US, was arrested and served a one year sentence in Leavenworth in Kansas, where he was appointed athletic director of the prison.
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1910 Feb 8
James W. Coffroth (1872-1943), SF boxing promoter, arrived in SF from London winning a bet that he could make the trip in ten days.
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1910 Jul 4
African-American Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries in the 15th round of a heavyweight boxing match in Reno, Nevada. As Johnson entered the ring a band played “All Coons Look Alike to Me.” Johnson’s victory prompted race riots in major cities across the United States leaving as many as 26 people dead. Jack London covered the match and coined the phrase "The great white hope" in his story.
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1913 Nov 26
San Francisco Chief of Police White issued an order prohibiting women from visiting local pavilions during local prizefights.
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1918 Feb 2
John L. Sullivan (59), American former heavyweight boxing champ, died.
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1924
In San Francisco Billy Newman (d.1984) opened Newman’s Gym on the ground floor of the Cadillac Hotel at Leavenworth and Eddy streets. In 1984 there was a move to designate the oldest boxing gym in the US as a historic landmark.
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1926 Sep 23
Gene Tunney (1897-1978), an ex-marine, defeated Jack Dempsey for the World Heavyweight Boxing championship in Philadelphia. Tunney defeated Dempsey again in a 1927 rematch and retired undefeated in 1928. In 2006 Jack Cavanaugh authored “Tunney: Boxing’s Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey.”
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1927 Sep 22
Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in 10 rounds in the famous "long-count" fight in Chicago. Referee Dave Barry stopped his count in the 7th round. Boxer Gene Tunney was down; but Jack Dempsey, had not yet returned to his corner. By the time the ref was able to resume counting, Tunney was able to get to his feet. He got an extra 2 to 5 seconds....just what he needed. Tunney won the fight and retained his world heavyweight boxing championship.
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1930 Aug 25
Max Baer (1909-1959) knocked out Frankie Campbell in the 5th round of a boxing match in San Francisco. Campbell died and Baer was jailed, but then cleared by a grand jury. On Oct 1 a municipal judge dismissed manslaughter charges against Baer.

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1932 Nov 10
Roy Scheider (d.2008), boxer and actor (Jaws, French Connection, Marathon Man), was born.
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1933 Feb 18
James Corbett (b.1866), American heavyweight boxing champ, died. He is best known as the man who defeated the great John L. Sullivan in 1892. Corbett’s 1926 memoir was titled “The roar of the Crowd: the True Tale of the Rise and Fall of a Champion.”
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1935 Mar 8
In San Francisco a boxing match between Joe Lewis and Red Barry was stopped after Barry collapsed under punches from Lewis. Close to 8,000 fans watched the bout at Dreamland where Lewis won close to $3,650 with Barry getting about $1,200.
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1935 Jun 13
James J. Braddock claimed the title of world heavyweight boxing champion from Max Baer in a 15-round fight in Long Island City, N.Y. In 2005 Jeremy Schaap authored “Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in boxing History.” Braddock soon lost his title to Joe Louis.
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1936 Jun 19
Max Schmeling of Germany knocked out Joe Louis in their first fight in NYC.
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1938 Jun 22
US boxing champion Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their heavyweight rematch at New York City's Yankee Stadium. Schmeling had won their first fight in NYC on June 19,1936.
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1945 Nov 21
Bummy Davis (b.1920 as Albert Davidoff), former middleweight boxer turned thug, died after taking on 2 hoodlums in Brooklyn, NY. In 1951 W.C. Heinz's wrote "Brownsville Bum," an account of the Bummy Davis tragedy for True Magazine. In 2003 Ron Ross authored Bummy Davis vs. Murder, Inc.”
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1946 Jun 10
Jack Johnson, 1st black heavyweight champion (1908-1915), died in car accident. In 2004 Geoffrey C. Ward authored “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.” In 2005 Ken Burns premiered the PBS documentary: “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.”
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1946 Jun 19
The first title match in boxing to be televised takes place in New York City, as Joe Louis defeated Billy Conn for the heavyweight championship. Three NBC TV stations carried the fight.
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1949 Oct 14
Pat Valentino (1920-2008), SF boxer, was knocked out by Ezzard Charles in the 8th round at the Cow Palace in a boxing heavy-weight match before a crowd of 19,950.
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1951
Idi Amin became the heavyweight boxing champion of Uganda, holding the title until 1960.
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1955 May 16
Rocky Marciano (1923-1969) defeated Don Cocknell in 9 rounds in San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium to retain his world light heavyweight title. This was the 1st international light heavyweight bout in Kezar since 1940.
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1955 Sep 20
Rocky Marciano knocked out Archie Moore in the 9th round in NYC.
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1955 Dec 6
NY psychologist Joyce Brothers (28) won the CBS "$64,000 Question," by answering 7 questions on boxing.
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1955 Dec 9
Sugar Ray Robinson won the middle-weight boxing crown for the third time when he knocked out Carl "Bobo" Olson in Chicago.
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1956 Apr 27
Light heavyweight boxer Rocky Marciano announced his retirement. Marciano, with 43 knockouts to his credit, retired having won every fight in his professional career.
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1957 Mar 2
Boxer Carlos Ortiz won a technical knockout against Lou Filippo (1925-2009). Filippo was originally awarded a victory in the 1st bout against Ortiz after being hit after the bell, but a Times reporter questioned a member of the California State Athletic Commission about that ruling, and the no-contest decision was invoked. Filippo lost the next fight to Ortiz about a month later, and retired at 23-9-3 with 8 knockouts and one no-contest. Both were later named to the Boxing Hall of Fame. Filippo went on to play a role in all five of the “Rocky” movies.
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1959 Nov 21
Max Baer (b.1909), US boxer, died. His son, Max Baer Jr., played Jethro Bodine in the “Beverly Hillbillies” TV series.
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1963 Mar 21
Boxer Davey Moore was killed by Sugar Ramos in Dodger Stadium during a nationally televised boxing match. In 1964 Bob Dylan wrote his song “Who Killed Davey Moore?”
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1968 Feb 26
Lionel Rose (1949-2011) outpointed Fighting Harada in Tokyo and became a national sports hero and an icon for Australia's indigenous community. Hundreds of thousands lined Melbourne's streets to welcome him home after his title triumph. He lost the world bantamweight title to Mexican Ruben Olivares in a fifth-round knockout in August 1969.
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1969 Aug 31
Boxer Rocky Marciano died in a light airplane crash in Iowa, the day before his 46th birthday.
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1970 Jun 28
Muhammed Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, stood before the Supreme Court regarding his refusal of induction into the Army during the Vietnam War.
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1971 Jan 5
Sonny Liston (b.1932), World Champion boxer (1962-64), was found dead in his Las Vegas home.
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1971 Mar 8
Joe Frazier fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship at Madison Square Garden. Frazier won. They fought rematches in 1974 and 1975. In 2001 Mark Kram authored "Ghosts of Manila," and account of the Frazier-Ali boxing matches.
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1971 Jun 28
The Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali.
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1972 Jan 15
Heavyweight Joe Frazier (b.1944) KO’d Terry Daniels.
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1973 Sep 10
Muhammad Ali defeated Ken Norton in a heavyweight boxing match and avenged a loss to Norton the previous March.
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1974 Oct 30
Muhammad Ali and George Foreman held their "Rumble In the Jungle" boxing match in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round of a 15-round bout to regain his world heavyweight title, that was taken from him for refusing military service.
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1975 Oct 1
Muhammad Ali beat Joe Frazier after 14 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title in Manila.
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1976 Jul 31
"Sugar" Ray Charles Leonard (b.1956), American boxer, won an Olympic gold medal in Montreal.
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1976 Sep 28
Muhammad Ali kept his world heavyweight boxing championship with a close 15-round decision over Ken Norton at New York's Yankee Stadium.
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1978 Feb 15
Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight crown.
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1978 Nov 7
Gene Tunney (b.1897), former heavyweight boxing champ (1926-28), died. In 2006 Jack Cavanaugh authored “Tunney: Boxing’s Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey.”
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1979 Jun 26
Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (b.1942) confirmed to reporters that he'd sent a letter to the World Boxing Association resigning his title, saying his third announced retirement was indeed final.
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1980 Feb
Mohammed Ali (b.1942) toured Africa as Pres. Carter's envoy.
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1980 Mar 14
a Polish airliner crashed while making an emergency landing near Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.
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1980 Nov 25
Sugar Ray Leonard regained the World Boxing Council welterweight championship when Roberto Duran abruptly quit in the eighth round at the Louisiana Superdome.
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