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James Figg - Father of British Boxing

James Figg (1684-1734) is credited with reviving the ancient sport of boxing in Britain (where he is known as the “Father of British Boxing”).

Jack Dempsey—the famous American fighter—gave Figg even more credit, calling him the “Father of Modern Boxing.”

In his entire boxing career, Figg was undefeated. That fact gave rise to some of the words in his obituary (following his death in December of 1734):

Last Saturday there was a Trial of Skill between the unconquered Hero, Death, on the one side and till then the unconquered Hero Mr James Figg, the famous Prize-Fighter and Master of the Noble Science of Defence on the other.

The Battle was most obstinately fought on both sides, but at last the former obtained an Entire Victory and the latter tho’ he was obliged to submit to a Superior Foe yet fearless and with Disdain he retired and that Evening expired at his house in Oxford Road. (Quoted by Jon Henderson in Best of British: Hendo’s Sporting Heroes, at page 7.)

Jonathan Richardson created this portrait of James Figg, the "Father of British Boxing." It is maintained at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, University of Oxford.

Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 17, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Nov 14, 2016


Media Credits

Jonathan Richardson created this portrait of James Figg, the "Father of British Boxing."

 

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"James Figg - Father of British Boxing" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 17, 2016. Sep 22, 2018.
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