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Modern boxing, also known as the “sweet science,” surfaced in England sometime during the 16th century, when bare-knuckled fighters competed without regulation. The sport was reformed in the 1860s after John Douglass, Marquess of Queensury, developed a set of 12 boxing rules making the sport safer and more consistent. By the 1880s, boxing gained popularity in the US and elsewhere, propelling it as an Olympic sport and a major spectator sport in both professional and amateur realms.
Traditional boxing memorabilia includes ticket stubs, posters, programs, trading cards, buttons, and fight-used gear. Also collectible are newspaper articles covering matches, magazines featuring boxers, photos, and original artwork. Films and tapes are considered more modern-day additions to the enthusiast’s shelf.
Each June, the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in Canastota, New York, holds a four-day event with a ceremony welcoming new Hall of Fame inductees. For a collector, this is an opportune time to speak with boxing favorites as well as gather autographs and event souvenirs. Another museum, the World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF) in Riverside, California, holds its induction ceremony each October.
The most coveted boxing card is a 1948 Leaf Rocky Graziano card. Experts say its value may reflect circumstances involving the halt of the card’s production. It’s unknown how many exist, but in 2011, a mid-grade Graziano card sold for $41,125
Boxer Jack Dempsey was the first athlete to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine in September 1923
The gloves worn by Muhammed Ali and Sonny Liston during a 1965 rematch in which Ali made a first-round knockout sold in February 2015 for $956,000