Broughton rules

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The first known set of boxing rules, the Broughton rules, were created by Jack Broughton, a bare-knuckle champion, in 1743 after allegedly killing a man in the ring. Owen Swift, recording Broughton's rules in his book in 1840, states that Broughton codified his rule set in order to quell disputes which he claimed were "constant" and "continually arose amongst the supporters of the art."

Broughton's rules

  1. That a square of a yard be chalked in the middle of the stage; and every fresh set-to after a fall, or being parted from the rails, each second is to bring his man to the side of the square, and place him opposite to the other, and till they are fairly set to at the lines, it shall not be lawful for one to strike the other.
  2. That in order to prevent any disputes about the time a man lies after a fall, if the second does not bring his man to the side of the square within the space of half a minute, he shall be deemed a beaten man.
  3. That, in every main battle, no person whatever shall be upon the stage, except the principals and their seconds; the same rule to be observed in bye-battles, except that in the latter Mr. Broughton is allowed to be upon the stage to keep decorum, and to assist gentlemen in getting to their places, provided always he does not interfere in the battle; and whoever presumes to infringe these rules, to be turned immediately out of the house. Every body is to quit the stage as soon as the champions are stripped, before they set to.
  4. That no champion be deemed beaten unless he fails coming up to the line in the limited time, or that his own second declare him beaten. No second is to be allowed to ask his man's adversary any questions, or advise him to give out.
  5. That in bye-battles, the winning man to have two-thirds of the money given, which shall be publicly divided upon the stage, notwithstanding any private agreement made to the contrary.
  6. That to prevent disputes, in every main battle, the principals shall, on coming on the stage, choose from among the gentlemen present two umpires, who shall absolutely decide all disputes that may arise about the battle; and if the two umpires cannot agree the said umpires to choose a third, who is to determine it.
  7. That no person is to his adversary when he is down, or seize him by the ham, the breeches, or any part below the waist. A man on his knees to be reckoned down.