Exhibition fight

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An exhibition fight is a contact sports non-profit event, usually a boxing fight in which participants fight, normally for three rounds. They may wear large gloves to minimize punch harm or impact on the combatants, headgear, and non-boxing related clothing. Many exhibition fights involve popular current or former world champions, and exhibition bouts are usually carried out for charity purposes or for the public's entertainment. Exhibition fights are usually not listed as having taken place on boxer's career records.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.


In England, such boxers as Jem Mace, Jimmy Wilde and Tommy Farr boxed both official and exhibition bouts at what were called "boxing booths".

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Jem Mace British boxer

James "Jem" Mace was an English boxing champion. He was born at Beeston, Norfolk. Although nicknamed "The Gypsy", he denied Romani ethnicity in his autobiography. A middleweight, he succeeded in outboxing heavier opponents thanks to his dancing style, clever defensive tactics and powerful, accurate punching. Mace has a commemorative plaque in the centre of Norwich.

Jimmy Wilde Welsh professional boxer

William James Wilde was a Welsh professional boxer and world boxing champion. Often regarded as the greatest British fighter of all time, he was the first official world flyweight champion and was rated by American boxing writer Nat Fleischer, as well as many other professionals and fans including former boxer, trainer, manager and promoter, Charley 'Broadway' Rose, as "the Greatest Flyweight Boxer Ever". Wilde earned various nicknames such as, "The Mighty Atom," "Ghost with the Hammer in His Hand" and "The Tylorstown Terror" due to his bludgeoning punching power. While reigning as the world's greatest flyweight, Wilde would take on bantamweights and even featherweights, and knock them out. As well as his professional career, Wilde participated in 151 bouts judged as 'newspaper decisions', of these he boxed 70 rounds, won 7 and lost 1, with 143 being declared as 'no decisions'. Wilde has the longest recorded unbeaten streak in boxing history, having gone 104-0.

In Russia during the early 1890s, aristocrat Mikhail Kister performed at exhibition boxing fights. [1]

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is the largest metropolitan area in Europe proper and one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Early 20th century

Early in the 20th century, boxing exhibitions became popular across the United States. Many times, official fights had to be advertised as exhibitions, due to state laws prohibiting professional boxing. As the century progressed, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson [2] and others fought exhibition fights. Benny Leonard did an exhibition for the United Drive Rally on May 23, 1923. [3]

Jack Dempsey American boxer

William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey, nicknamed "Kid Blackie" and "The Manassa Mauler", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. A cultural icon of the 1920s, Dempsey's aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate.

Jack Johnson (boxer) American boxer, became the first African-American world heavyweight champion

John Arthur Johnson, nicknamed the Galveston Giant, was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). Among the period's most dominant champions, Johnson remains a boxing legend, with his 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries dubbed the "fight of the century". According to filmmaker Ken Burns, "for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth". Transcending boxing, he became part of the culture and the history of racism in America.

Benny Leonard American boxer

Benny Leonard was a Jewish American professional boxer who held the world lightweight championship for eight years from 1917-25. Widely considered one of the all-time greats, he was ranked 8th on The Ring magazine's list of the "80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years" and placed 7th in ESPN's "50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time". In 2005, the International Boxing Research Organization ranked Leonard as the #1 lightweight, and #8 best pound-for-pound fighter of all-time. Statistical website BoxRec rates Leonard as the 2nd best lightweight ever, while The Ring magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #2. Boxing historian Bert Sugar placed him 6th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue.

Late 20th century

Exhibition fights became less common as the 20th century progressed. However, a number of notable ones, many including Muhammad Ali, took place. Ali boxed both well known boxers and celebrities from other walks of life during this period, including Michael Dokes, [4] Antonio Inoki, [5] Gorilla Monsoon, [6] Lyle Alzado, [7] Dave Semenko, [8] and the famous Puerto Rican comedian Jose Miguel Agrelot (with Iris Chacon acting as Agrelot's corner-woman). [9]

Muhammad Ali American boxer, philanthropist and activist

Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Michael Dokes American boxer

Michael Marshall Doakes was an American professional boxer who competed from 1976 to 1997, and held the WBA heavyweight title from 1982 to 1983. As an amateur he won a silver medal in the heavyweight division at the 1975 Pan American Games.

Antonio Inoki Japanese professional wrestler

Muhammad Hussain Inoki is a Japanese professional wrestling and mixed martial arts promoter, politician, and retired professional wrestler and martial artist, best known by his ring name Antonio Inoki. Inoki's ring name is a homage to fellow professional wrestler Antonino Rocca.

About six months after Ali beat him for the world Heavyweight title, George Foreman participated in five exhibition fights in one afternoon: on April 26, 1975, he boxed Jerry Judge, Boone Kirkman, Charley Polite, Terry Daniels and Alonzo Johnson at Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [8]

George Foreman American professional boxer, ordained Baptist minister, author and entrepreneur

George Edward Foreman is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1977, and from 1987 to 1997. Nicknamed "Big George", he is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. Outside the sport he is an ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur.

Daniel Victor "Boone" Kirkman is a former amateur and professional Heavyweight boxer. He fought during the same era as George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Frazier, which is often credited as one of the greatest heavyweight eras of all time.

Alonzo Al Johnson is an American former college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons during the 1980s. Johnson played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. He was a second-round pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL.

On January 1, 1985, a show including several world champion boxers in exhibition fights was staged in Mexico City, Mexico to garner money for the victims of a 1984 gas explosion in Mexico. Among those who fought were Lupe Pintor, German Torres, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Hector Camacho Sr. [10] The latter two would face each other in an actual official fight on September 1992, which Chavez Sr. won by unanimous decision. [11]

21st century

In 2006, Mike Tyson announced he would do a world tour consisting of exhibition bouts. [11] The only one of these fights to actually take place was a bout against his former sparring mate and fellow former professional boxer Corrie Sanders (not the Corrie Sanders who held the World Boxing Organization's world Heavyweight title). This fight took place at Youngstown, Ohio. [12]

In 2009, recently retired boxer Óscar De La Hoya and basketball player Shaquille O'Neal held an exhibition boxing fight as an episode of the television show Shaq Vs..

Late in 2014, Chavez Sr. returned to the ring for an exhibition with Vicente Sagrestano in a bout aimed at collecting toys for poor children. [13] He and former rival Mario Martinez, against whom he conquered his first world championship in 1984, faced each other again on July 3, 2015, in an event to benefit Chavez's two drug rehabilitation clinics. [14]

On December 31, 2018, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa held an exhibition boxing fight at Rizin 14 Saitama.

See also

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