Officially, boxing started as a match between two men, 3 minute rounds, gloves and a bout until the ‘finish’. The first official fight, credited by many historians, was between James Corbett, also known as ‘Gentleman Jim’, and John L. Sullivan. Though Sullivan was much more impressive in stance, ‘Gentleman Jim’ proved that lofty footwork and supreme hands could overcome a bigger, overpowering man. In the 21st round, James put down Sullivan and proved that skill overcomes.
Though there were many bouts before this, this fight opened the door for modern era boxing.
“Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish that your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round – remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.” –Gentleman Jim