The roots of boxing are traceable to the Hellenic Era (323-146 B.C.), but its modern form originated from England and popularized to its heights in America. Boxing is the only game in which the victory is determined by the severity of physical harm done to the opponent. The American, Australian, and British associations clearly call for the banning of this sport as a matter of policy. The 19th century was a bad patch in the history of boxing, and the sport was outlawed in England and America. However, in the second half of the century, the sport was reformed through new rules. John Chambers, a Welsh sportsman, drafted the Queensberry Rules in 1867. It comprised 12 rules drafted separately for 3 categories; the lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. To reduce the risk, the 30-second count was reduced to a 10-second count in these rules.
1. William ‘Jack’ Harrison Dempsey
William Harrison Dempsey, most popularly known as ‘Jack Dempsey,’ was born to Hiram Dempsey and Mary Celia in Manasa, Colorado on June 24, 1895 and died in New York City, New York on May 31, 1983 at the age of 87. Jack Dempsey was one of most famous boxers of the 1920s as he held the World Heavyweight Title from 1919 to 1926. He is best known for his aggressive style and powerful punching. He has been honored at various platforms. He is #10 on the list of The Ring’s all-time heavyweights, and # 7 among the Top 100 Greatest Punchers as well as being one of the most popular boxers. William ‘Jack’ Dempsey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The Associated Press rated him by voting him as the greatest boxer of the past 50 years. He was a school dropout but explored his best capability and became the best boxer of his time.
2. Billy Miske
Billy Miske, whose real name was William Arthur Miske, was also known as ‘Billy’ and sometimes as ‘The St. Paul Thunderbolt.’ He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. on April 12, 1894 and died of kidney failure in St. Paul, Minnesota, on January 1, 1924 at the young age of only 29. He fought 101 fights, won 72, lost 15, and 14 were draws. He fought against Jack Dempsey on September 6, 1920 and lost the World Heavyweight boxing title. It was the first heavyweight boxing match broadcast on radio for the first time. Another match he lost against a champion was between him and Kid Norfolk. It was announced on December 8, 2009 that Billy Miske would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010.
3. Barney Williams
Barney Williams was born Barney Lebrowitz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. on June 10, 1891 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 12, 1949 at the age of 57. He fought 287 bouts, won 196, lost 54, and 37 were draws. Levinsky was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1982. In his time boxing titles were awarded only on the basis of a knockout (KO) and all the non-knockout championship fights were labeled as ‘no decision.’ He loved to fight and all his fights were decisive.
4. Georges Carpentier
Georges Carpentier, nicknames as ‘The Orchid Man’ was born in Lievin, Pas-de-Calais, France on January 12, 1894 and died in Paris, France in October, 1975 at the age of 81. Starting at an early age of 14, he fought in all divisions, and in 1911 he was a professional fighter and Welterweight Champion of France and Europe. In 1912 he was the Middleweight Champion of Europe, and in the year 1913 he was the Light Heavyweight Champion of Europe. He beat ‘Bombardier Billy Wells’ in Ghent, Belgium on June 1, 1913 and became the Heavyweight Champion of Europe. In January, 1914 he beat ‘Gunboat Smith’ and became the ‘White Heavyweight Champion of the World.’ He fought 108 fights, won 88, lost 14, and 6 were draws. As an aviator in World War I, Georges Carpentier was awarded the Croix de Guerre and Medaille Militaire, the highest French Military Honors making him popular in England and America in addition to his popularity in France and Europe.
5. Benny Leonard
Benjamin Leonard (born Bejamin Leiner and nicknamed Ghetto Wizard The Great) was born in New York, New York, United States on April 17, 1896 and died on April 18, 1947 at the age of 51. He was raised in the Jewish Ghetto located in the lower east side of Manhattan, New York. Out of 264 fights, he won 183 fights, lost 70, and 11 were draws. He is the holder of the World Lightweight Championship. the Ring Magazine ranked him at # 8 of the ‘Eight best fighters of the last 80 years’ and at # 7 of ESPNs ’50 Greatest Boxers of All Time’ in 2005. Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network which focuses on sports shows. Leonard was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, World Boxing Hall of Fame, the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Boxing Hall of Fame.
6. Joe Lynch
Joseph Aloysius Lynch was born in New York City, New York on November 30, 1898. He drowned accidentally in Sheepshead Bay in 1965 and found floating in a New York City bay and died on August 1, 1965 en route to the hospital. He defeated Pete Herman and won the world title in 1920. Having later been defeated by Herman, he regained the title from Johnny Buff. He retired in 1926. As an old timer, Joe Lynch was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
7. Paul Fritsch
Paul Francois Fritsch was born on February 25, 1901 in Paris and died on September 22, 1970 at the age of 69 in Boulogene-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He won 20 fights; lost 11 and 10 were draws. He was a 5’2’ (158 cm) tall French featherweight (50 Kgs) professional boxer. He competed in the early 1920’s and won a gold medal in boxing at the 1920 Summer Olympics defeating Jean Gachet in the final. He was affiliated with the Athletique Club de Belfort, Belfort, France.
8. Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson (birth name Walker Smith, Jr., nickname of Sugar) was born in Ailey, Georgia on May 3, 1921 and died in Culver City, California on April 12, 1989 at the age of 67. He was 5’11’ with a 72.5’ reach and fought in all categories including; lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight. He fought 200 fights winning 173, losing 19, while 6 were draws, and 2 were no decisions. The Associated Press named him ‘the greatest fighter of the 20th century,’ and ESPN named him ‘the greatest boxer in history.’ The Ring Magazine ranked him ‘best pound-for-pound boxer of all time.’ Even Muhammad Ali, who repeatedly pronounced himself as ‘The Greatest,’ ranked Robinson as the greatest boxer of all time.
9. Sandy Saddler
Sandy saddler (birth name Joseph ‘Joey’ Saddler) was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 23, 1926 and died on September 18, 2001 at the age of 75. He was an American lightweight boxer standing 1.74 meters tall with a reach of 177.8 cm. He fought 162 fights winning 144, losing 16, with 2 draws. The Ring Magazine ranked him #6 on the list of ‘100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.’ Saddler was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
10. Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong, born as Henry Melody Jackson, Jr. and nicknamed Homicide Hank, Hurricane Hank, Hammer in Hank, was born in Columbus, Mississippi on December 12, 1912 and died in Los Angeles, California on October 22, 1988 at the age of 75. He was educated at Vashon High School. He was 5′ 5.5’ (1.66 m) tall with a 170 cm reach and was rated in the categories including; featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight. He recorded 149 wins, 21 losses, and 10 draws. The Ring and Bert Sugar ranked him as ‘Second greatest fighter of the last 80 years.’ Henry Armstrong was inducted into the St. Louis Hall of Fame.
Fighting in one form or another for self-realization has been human beings’ oldest approach for this purpose, and boxing is one of them. Since ‘doing harm’ is one of the salient features of such sports, many of them have been abandoned, and quite a few of them are controversial. A glimpse over the evolutionary stages of boxing is suggestive of its being further refined in the future or it might become a ‘potentially extinct’ sport.