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BOXING. The exercise of fighting with the fists, either naked or with a stone or leaden ball grasped in them. It coincides with the pugilatus of the Romans. A century ago it formed a regular exhibition, encouraged by the first ranks, and tolerated by the magistrates. A booth was erected at Tottenham Court, in which the proprietor, George Taylor, invited the professors of the art to display their skill, and the public to be present at their exhibition. The bruisers then had the reward due to their prowess, in a division of the entrance money, which sometimes amounted to 100/. or 150/. The general mode of sharing was for two-thirds to go to the winning champion, and the remaining third to the loser; though sometimes, by an express agreement of the parties, the conqueror and the vanquished shared alike. The success of Taylor's booth induced Broughton, in 1742, who was then rising into note, to open an amphitheatre in Oxford Road : part of the expenses of this building was defrayed by the subscription of a number of the nobility and gentry. It bore the name of Broughton's New Amphitheatre, and was very commodious. Besides the stage for the combatants, it had seats corresponding to boxes, pit, and galleries. After a course of years, however, these exhibitions became gradually less patronised and frequented. Once, indeed, they seemed to be reviving, and for some time considerably engaged the attention of the public.

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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