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Marquess of Queensberry Boxing Rules

As a rule, the sport of boxing accepts the Marquess of Queensberry rules as a recognised code of ethics.

John Sholto Douglas was a Scottish nobleman and the 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

He first endorsed the code publicly in 1867. They later became a written code of ethics by the sportsman John Graham Chambers.

What is bare knuckle boxing?

Most people know bare-knuckle boxing as prizefighting or ancient fisticuffs. This was the original form of traditional boxing also related to some ancient combat sports.

Two individuals fight each other in bare knuckle boxing. But, unlike modern boxing rules, the fighters do not use boxing gloves or any other padding on their hands.

These 12 standard boxing rules were first established in 1867 by the Marquess of Queensberry.

  1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24 foot ring or as near that size as practicable.
  2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.
  3. The rounds to be of 3 minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.
  4. If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted. Ten seconds gets allowed to do so and the other man meanwhile must return to his corner. When the fallen man is back on his legs the round is to resume and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 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 (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the 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 gets 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 get governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.


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Marquess of Queensberry Boxing Rules