“Gentleman” John Jackson (1769 – 1845) was a champion bare-knuckle boxer in the late 18th century. He won the Champion of England title in 1795 by defeating Daniel Mendoza in one of the shortest, but hardest fought, main battles – lasting only 10 minutes. Jackson never fought again. At the time, pugilism was governed by the Broughton rules written by Jack Broughton, the famous English pugilist: “That no person is to hit his Adversary when he is down, or seize him by the ham, the breeches, or any part below the waist: a man on his knees to be reckoned down.”
After his win against Mendoza, Jackson opened a boxing saloon for gentlemen at 13 Bond Street, next door to Angelo’s Fencing Academy (see pic of Academy, 1821). His saloon was frequented by the nobility and gentry where his gentle manners and dress made him extremely popular. It was considered an honor to spar with Jackson himself. Jackson was a personal friend and correspondent of Lord Byron who, fearing gaining weight, swore by boxing as the best exercise. Prinny appointed Jackson to provide security for his coronation which the former boxer did by hiring 18 large boxers and stationing them prominently .
Tomorrow, Angelo’s Fencing Academy Rita Bay