Britainís First Heavyweight Boxing Champ

BOOK SUSSEX HOTELS

History on 8th December


RAC Established

Bonnie Prince Charlie Turns Back at Derby

Opening of the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Britainís First Heavyweight Boxing Champ

Wadhurst, Sussex The 8th of December 1863 AD

At the outset it should be stated that in the pre-Marquis of Queensbury Rules era Ė they were used from 1865 onwards Ė title holders can be the subject of much debate, given that bare-knuckle fighting was for some time an illegal pursuit carried on clandestinely; and that champion status was sometimes effectively by acclamation.
Thomas King, born in Stepney in East London , is generally regarded as our first world heavyweight champion. A sailor who became a docker, and not averse to the odd brawl, his reputation as a street-fighter led to training by a retired champion, Jem Ward. King lost his effort to take the English title from Jem Mace in 1862, but succeeded a year later, clearing the way for a crack at the admittedly unofficial title of American John C. Heenan, who in the dubious ways of the times had won or been accorded it in a recent drawn bout.
Their match took place as many did on a remote farm, Cockmounts, near Wadhurst in East Sussex. Heenan was a brawler and grappler, King a puncher with boxing guile. The Briton emerged victorious in the 24th round, a medium-length contest for the age.
For the record the first British world heavyweight champ in the Queensbury Rules era was Bob Fitzsimmons, born in Helston , Cornwall , who took the title in 1896 in a match in Texas; though New Zealand where his family emigrated when he was a child and America where he resided for much of his life have contesting claims on him.

More famous dates here

4440 views since 19th November 2010

Brit Quote:
It is in men as in soils where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not - Jonathan Swift
More Quotes

On this day:
Sacking of Berwick upon Tweed - 1296, End of the Crimean War - 1856, Airey Neave assasinated - 1979, John Major gets on his Soapbox - 1992, 1st Broadcast of Channel 5 - 1997, Queen Mother Dies - 2002
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages

//