OCTOBER 15, 1858 GAVE BIRTH TO A FUTURE "GREAT" OF BOXING, A MAN NAMED JOHN L. SULLIVAN. JOHN L. SULLIVAN WAS BORN IN ROXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS. HE DEBUTED IN 1878 AGAINST "COCKEY" WOODS. HIS DAY OF GLORY CAME ON FEBRUARY 2ND, 1882 IN MISSISSIPPI CITY, MISSISSIPPI WHEN HE GOT A TITLE SHOT AGAINST THE CURRENT BARE-KNUCKLE CHAMPION, PADDY RYAN. THEY FOUGHT UNDER THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES. IN THE 9TH ROUND, "GREAT JOHN L." KO\'ED PADDY RYAN TO WIN THE WORLD BARE-KNUCKLE CHAMPIONSHIP. HE REMAINED THE TITLE-HOLDER FOR THE REST OF HIS CAREER UNDER THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES.

SOME SAY HE WAS THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, BUT OTHERS SAY HE WAS ONLY THE AMERICAN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, SINCE HE HAD ONLY FOUGHT IN ONE INTERNATIONAL MATCH. THAT MATCH WAS ON MARCH 10, 1888 AGAINST CHARLEY MITCHELL. THE BOUT WAS HELD IN CHANTILLY, OISE, FRANCE. HE DIDN\'T WIN THAT MATCH, BUT IT ENDED AS A DRAW AFTER THE 35TH ROUND. AND HE DECLINED TO FIGHT A BLACK AUSTRALIAN NAMED PETER JACKSON. HE NEVER WANTED TO FIGHT JACKSON, BECAUSE HE WAS "A MEMBER OF THE COLORED RACE".

"THE BOSTON STRONGBOY" \'S LAST BARE-KNUCKLE CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT UNDER THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES, TOOK PLACE IN RICHBURG, MISSISSIPPI. HIS OPPONENT WAS JAKE KILRAIN. HE PROVED HE HAD GREAT STAMINA BY ENDURING 75 ROUNDS WITH KILRAIN, IN WHICH HE WON.

WITH BILLY MADDEN AS HIS MANAGER, JOHN L. SULLIVAN WENT ON MANY "EXHIBITION TOURS". HE FOUGHT UN-COUNTABLE NUMBERS OF MEN AT THESE EXHIBITION TOURS. HE WAS SO CONFIDENT THAT HE WOULD WIN, THAT HE OFFERED A $100 PRIZE TO ANY MAN THAT COULD LAST FOUR ROUNDS WITH HIM. HE LATER GOT EVEN MORE CONFIDENT & RAISED THE REWARD TO $500, BUT NO ONE COULD EVER OVERCOME THE ODDS. HE BECAME VERY POPULAR DOING THESE EXHIBITION TOURS & MADE BOXING VERY POPULAR AS WELL AROUND THE UNITED STATES.

ON SEPTEMBER 7TH,1892, JOHN L. SULLIVAN DEFENDED HIS CHAMPIONSHIP AGAINST JAMES J. CORBETT IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. BUT THIS TIME, HE DIDN\'T HAVE AS MUCH LUCK WITH HIM. SULLIVAN WAS KNOCKED OUT IN THE 21ST ROUND & LOST HIS CHAMPIONSHIP. BUT MAYBE THIS LOSS, WHICH WAS SULLIVAN\'S ONLY CAREER LOSS, CAME BECAUSE HE WAS NOT USED TO THE NEW STYLE OF RULES. THIS FIGHT WAS SANCTIONED UNDER THE NEW SET OF RULES; THE QUEENSBERRY RULES.

THE QUEENSBERRY RULES WERE BASED ON USING BOXING SKILLS & STRENGTH RATHER THAN BEFORE, WHICH WAS BASED MORE ON WRESTLING & AGILITY, WHICH MADE IT MORE OF A BRAWLING-STYLE FIGHT. THE QUEENSBERRY RULES STATE:
ALL BOXERS MUST WEAR GLOVES AT ALL TIMES IN THE BOUT
NO WRESTLING
NO HUGGING
NO FIGHTING TO THE FINISH(FIGHTING TO DEATH)
A DOWN MAN MAY NOT BE STRUCK UNTILL BACK ON HIS FEET & READY TO REMAIN FIGHTING
A FALLEN MAN SHALL BE GIVEN 10 SECONDS TO GET BACK ON BOTH FEET
THERE ARE 3 MINUTES TO EVERY ROUND
THERE IS A 1-MINUTE REST BETWEEN EACH ROUND
A FIGHTER WHO REMAINS DOWN OR ON ONE KNEE AFTER 10 SECONDS IS DECLARED THE LOSER
& ALL MATCHES SHALL BE FOUGHT IN A ROPED-IN SQUARE(THE RING) WHICH MEASURES 24FT. PER SIDE

THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES & THE BROUGHTON RULES(USED BEFORE THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES) WERE A BIT DIFFERENT. UNDER THE BROUGHTON RULES, IF A MAN WENT DOWN, HE WAS ALLOWED 30 SECONDS TO GET BACK ON HIS FEET(& COULD BE HELPED UP) & SQUARE OFF. SQUARING OFF WAS A TERM THAT MEANT HE HAD TO BE READY TO REMAIN FIGHTING AT A DISTANCE OF 1 YARD FROM HIS OPPONENT. UNDER THE LONDON PRIZE RING RULES, A DOWNED BOXER HAD 8 SECONDS (IN WHICH HE COULD NOT BE HELPED) TO GET BACK TO THE SCRATCH, A MARK IN THE CENTER OF THE RING, AFTER 30 SECONDS OF BEING DOWN. THESE RULES ALSO STATED THAT A ROUND ENDED AFTER A MAN WOULD GO DOWN. THE QUEENSBERRY RULES HAVE REMAINED PROFESSIONAL BOXING\'S RULES OF CONDUCT EVER SINCE.

JOHN L. SULLIVAN\'S LAST KNOWN FIGHT WAS A BENEFIT IN 1896. BY THE END OF HIS CAREER, SULLIVAN HAD RECORDED 37 BOUTS; 32 WINS, 1 LOSS, 3 DRAWS, & 1 NO-DECISION. 12 OF HIS 32 WINS CAME BY WAY OF KNOCKOUT & THE