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Monday, 19 March, 2001, 11:34 GMT
Boxing cleans up its act
The Queensberry Rules
The Queensberry rules devised by John Graham Chambers in 1865 sought to improve the image of boxing and broaden its appeal to England's upper class.

Until then boxing had been tarnished, despite the implementation of the London Prize Ring rules, by brawling.

Chambers, a member of the Amateur Athletic Club, intended the rules for amateur fighting, hoping that they would emphasise the skill and technique of the sport.

The rules were not published until 1867 but took their name from the patronage of John Sholto Douglas, the then Marquis of Queensberry.

Professionals were initially unimpressed by the new rules and considered them to be unmanly.

Many championship bouts continued to be fought under the London rules but the English authorites who had forbidden professional fighting relaxed their stance with the formation of the Queensberry rules.

Below is what the rules actually entail.

Queensberry rules

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match, in a twenty-four foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.

2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.

3. The rounds to be of three minutes' duration, and one minute's time between rounds.

4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted with ten seconds allowed for him to do so.

The other man meanwhile is to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed, and continued until the three minutes have expired.

If one man fails to come to scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.

7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.

8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality, and new.

9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.

10. A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes.

11. No shoes or boots with springs allowed.

12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.

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