Was Broughton the most popular boxer until Sullivan?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Melankomas, May 15, 2024.

  1. Melankomas

    Melankomas Prime Jeffries would demolish a grizzly in 2 Full Member

    Dec 18, 2022
    Pugilistica implies Broughton's downfall was the downfall of boxing within high society.

    We have already said that the downfal of Broughton was the downfal of
    public pugilism in the metropolis ; whatever there was of good in the art to
    a great extent perishing at the caprice of a prince and the power of a few
    aristocrats. If these are necessary concomitants to its existence, it would not
    have been worth preserving, but it has survived the frowns of power, and
    had a better support in the favour of the people.

    Broughton was a revolutionary figure for boxing like Sullivan was for his own time, with his popularity making the sport mainstream and it's techniques more reputable, and pugilism also seemed to have a dark age after he lost to Jack Slack. How popular was Broughton compared to the famous pugilists that proceeded him like Mendoza, Belcher, Cribb, Molineaux, Sayers, Heenan, Mace?
    Last edited: May 15, 2024
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  2. Dorrian_Grey

    Dorrian_Grey It came to me in a dream Full Member

    Apr 20, 2024
    I'm not qualified to answer the question and I'm sure many posters here are much better informed on the early, bare-knuckles iterations of boxing but I do want to say I'm glad you shared this quote because it offers a very raw and profound insight into the essence of boxing in a sense I think. Victorian Era and Turn of the Century boxing literature is so verbose and profound from the scraps I've stumbled onto that it really brings into perspective that boxing attracted so many different types and classes of people, as well as the deep impact it has had on many great artists and writers over the years.
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  3. JackSilver

    JackSilver Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    How many followers on instagram an facebook did he have?
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  4. Senya13

    Senya13 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Not really. Even his rules weren't mentioned as being the ruleset in the agreements for fights until 1822 or so and the appearance of Bell's Life in London.