Jack Broughton

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For the British Royal Air Force navigator, see Jack Broughton (RAF officer). For the British psychologist, see John M. Broughton.
Jack Broughton

John "Jack" Broughton (c. 1703 or 5 July 1704 – 8 January 1789) was an English bare-knuckle boxer.

He was the first person to codify a set of rules to be used in such contests; prior to this the "rules" that existed were very loosely defined and tended to vary from contest to contest. His seven rules of how boxing would be conducted at his amphitheatre (the largest and most influential at that time) evolved later into the London Prize Ring rules which are widely regarded as the foundation stone of the sport that would become boxing, prior to the development of the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the 1860s.[citation needed]

Broughton inflicted a heavy defeat on George Taylor, who was the head of Figg's amphitheatre after the latter's death.[1]

As a result of his status in boxing, and with help from a number of wealthy patrons, he opened his own amphitheatre in 1743, in Hanway Road, near Oxford Street. Here, Broughton and his team staged boxing exhibitions.[2]

Broughton drew up a set of rules for the sport that were regarded as definitive for around 100 years. The rules stipulated that a round would last until a man went down, and there was to be a 30-second interval between rounds.[1]

In 1750 he fought Jack Slack. After 14 minutes of the fight, as a result of a blinding punch, Broughton was unable to see his man, and thus had to retire from the bout. The Duke of Cumberland, Broughton's patron at the time was said to have lost thousands of pounds on the match. After the fight he closed his amphitheatre, and instead ran an antiques business.[3]

Broughton was one of the original inductees of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, inducted as a pioneer of the sport.


  1. ^ a b Mitchell Rawson (20 February 1961). "The Bare-knuckle Legacy Of Boxing: The early years of the prize ring were filled with mayhem, skulduggery and brutal fights". Turner - SI Digital. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Jack Broughton". Famous Fights. Retrieved 18 July 2012. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Jack Broughton". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  • Roberts, James B. & Alexander G. Skutt (2002). Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book. London, McBooks Press. ISBN 1-59013-020-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hennell, Reginald (1904). The History of The King's Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. 
  • Mee, Bob "Bare Fists" pug. Collins Willow 1998
  • Miles, Henry Downes "Puglistica" Pub. John Grant (Edinburgh) 1906
  • Sawyer, Tom "Noble Art" pub. Unwin Hyman, ltd. 1989
  • Godfrey, Captain "A Treatise on the Useful Art of Self-Defence", 1740 (reprint)