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Crime or Sport? . The Development of Modern Prizefighting. I. The Cultural and Legal Setting. Legal and Religious Opposition Specific legislation barring prizefights Prizefighting moves southward Popular urban sport Role of profit-seeking promoters --Richard Kyle Fox

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crime or sport

Crime or Sport?

The Development of Modern Prizefighting

i the cultural and legal setting
I. The Cultural and Legal Setting
  • Legal and Religious Opposition
  • Specific legislation barring prizefights
  • Prizefighting moves southward
  • Popular urban sport
  • Role of profit-seeking promoters

--Richard Kyle Fox

--National Police Gazette

ii the father of american prizefighting
II. The Father of American Prizefighting
  • John L. Sullivan’s early boxing career
  • Modernized the “manly art”
  • Gradual, steady progress for boxing
  • Refusal to fight Jake Kilrain
ii the father of american prizefighting cont
II. The Father of American Prizefighting (cont.)
  • Sullivan-Kilrain fight (July 8, 1889)
  • Fight brings boxing national prominence
  • Aftermath of the fight and the arrest of the fighters
  • Appeal of the arrests
iii boxing comes of age
III. Boxing Comes of Age
  • Athletic Clubs sponsor “clean and decorous” fights
  • Boxing takes on corporate concept
  • New Orleans’ Olympic Club
  • Sullivan vs. “Gentleman” Jim Corbett (September 7, 1892)
iv reform backlash
IV. Reform Backlash
  • Debate between Spencerian and Reform Darwinism
  • Suit brought against the Olympic Club
  • Trial testimony
  • Comparison to football
  • Final Olympic Club fight
  • Modernization of boxing
v boxing moves westward
V. Boxing Moves Westward
  • More conducive to the atmosphere of the American frontier
  • First possibility: Texas
  • Corbett vs. Fitzsimmons in Nevada
  • Prizefighting western style
v boxing moves westward cont
V. Boxing Moves Westward (cont.)
  • Referee Wyatt Earp
  • Boxing moves to California
  • Fitzsimmons vs. Sharkey in San Francisco
  • Post-fight controversy
vi the east s last gasp
VI. The East’s Last Gasp
  • Success in the West made fans and promoters in the East envious
  • Jeffries vs. Fitzsimmons on Coney Island (1899)
  • Problems in Cincinnati
  • California as boxing capital of the world
  • Emergence of John “Jack” Johnson