New York: Harper's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper, 1860. 1st Edition. Very Good. Item #900105
An exquisite May, 1860 large double-page, centerfold engraving of the very first World Championship title fight between American John Heenan and Englishman Tom Sayers at Hampshire, England.
The fight was eagerly anticipated, illegal, and lasted nearly 3 hours, ending in a draw when police stormed the ring and the boxers and crowd fled into the surrounding countryside.
The two men split the 400lb purse.
"Who also beat a hasty retreat that morning was the 19-year old Prince of Wales, Charles Dickens, WM Thackeray and the prime minister, Lord Palmerston, who, within days, was being asked pertinently sharp questions in the House of Commons. The outcome was a serious call for new codes of conduct, and by 1865 the "Dozen Rules", drawn up by the London Amateur Athletic Club, was accepted by parliament – in essence those we know today: three-minute rounds with a minute's interval; gloves worn and ringside stanchions padded; 10-second counts at any knockdown, and "no cross-buttock throwing whatever". John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry sponsored the new disciplines and said he'd be very happy for them to bear his name." - The Guardian
The Heenan-Sayers fight ushered in the era of modern boxing and remains one of the most legendary fights of all time.
This issue also contains a headline report of the match. This offering includes the entire 16-page issue. The engraving measures 22" X 16" and is perfect for framing and display!