FATHER OF MODERN BOXING
Mace Grecian Statues
The Knockout Tour
Bolton, Lancashire. 1864
Jem Mace's Circus is in town. Its proprietor, Champion of England, is touring the country challenging all-comers to last 3 three-minute rounds with him and offering a cash prize. Mace insists he is certain to knockout all his challengers. Innovating the ten count, he flattens them all but this time a foundryman nearly lasts the distance- till Mace finds an unusual shot to finish him off.
John L. Sullivan will copy Mace's idea -- 20 years later!
The Demand for Gloves
Liverpool. 1865
At the Myrtle Street Gymnasium, Mace teaches amateur boxers and publicly urges the use of gloves for professionals -- 2 years before the publication of the original Queensberry Rules.
But Mace's eagerness to protect his hands is not down to boxing reasons alone..
The First Professional Boxing Bout
Virginia City, Nevada. 1876
Thousands of indoor spectators watch Mace outpoint Bill Davis in a historic clash between professionals under Queensberry Rules.
Bullion Bonanza King John W. Mackay's role will indicate how, in future, fights will be made.
Peter Jackson
The First of Australia's Golden Generation
Sydney. 1881
At Larry Foley's gym, The White Horse in George Street, Mace's former protege runs the earliest of the great boxing gyms, from which will descend Stillman's and the Kronk.
Peter Jackson, aged 20, born in the West Indies but an adopted Australian, learns by watching Mace and Foley spar. 10 years later, John L. Sullivan will preserve his world heavyweight title by refusing to meet Jackson on grounds of race.
But other Australian boxers, taught exclusively in Mace's style, will capture world titles at other weights.
A Unique Discovery
Timaru, South Island, New Zealand. 1882
Taking boxing into the theatres of New Zealand, Mace is the first in the world to hold open tournaments. He discovers nineteen-year old Bob Fitzsimmons and teaches him a unique punch.
Fitzsimmons will become a world champion at three separate weights.
Mace and trophies Forest Gate (1890)
Double - crossed but Defiant
Glasgow. 1890
Scheduled to fight a purely exhibition bout, Mace is double crossed by the notorious prizefighter Charlie Mitchell. Mitchell tries for a shock KO as the bell sounds. Mace is stunned but uses his great defensive skills to keep the vicious Mitchell at bay until the end of the fourth round. With no proper points system yet in operation, the way is open for a disgraceful decision.
Astonishingly, Mace is 58, fully twice as old as Mitchell. Yet, only two years before, in a world title fight, Mitchell had fought a draw with John L. Sullivan.
The National Sporting Club Rules
London, King Street. 1891
Mace, preoccupied by a love affair and the decimation of his fortune, cannot attend N.S.C committee meetings. But, from these, the Queensberry Rules of Endurance are drawn up -- professional boxing is at last equipped with stipulated maximum rounds and a specific points system. These are the real Queensberry Rules, not the original ones of 1867-whose flaws Mace has consistently pointed out. The Marquess of Queensberry had no interest in scientific boxing. He preferred brutality and sat at ringside, bawling for more blood!

But Mace's fingerprints are all over these rules. The triumvirs of the N.S.C. were:

Lord Lonsdale -- who was taught to box by Mace as a boy of 11
John Fleming -- who picked Mace's brains for years in the sporting pubs of London
A.F. Bettinson -- who watched all Mace's exhibitions and based the points system -- in terms of defence -- entirely on Mace's style
Mace and Corbett meet (1894)
The Acclamation of an American Legend
New York. 1896
On his previous trip to America, Mace had slipped up by bringing the inept New Zealand giant Herbert Slade to challenge John L. Sullivan. As a result, Sullivan's travesty of the Queensberry Rules was boosted and Mace's reputation suffered.
But now Jim Corbett, Sullivan's successor as world champion, welcomes Mace to New York to fight for the veterans championship and pays him a unique compliment.
Student of the master
Birmingham. 1902
With Mace publicly acknowledged, by Corbett and Kid McCoy, as the role model for all skilful American boxers, Philadelphia Jack O'Brien goes one further. He takes a working vacation at Mace's pub and is taught by the 70-year-old maestro.
Three years later, O'Brien shows exactly how much he has learned.
Mace and Sam Langford (1907)
No truck with racism
London, King Street. 1907
In a sport notorious for the racism of John L. Sullivan, Mace welcomes the great black Canadian fighter Sam Langford to the National Sporting Club and champions his claims to a shot at the world title.
But, within a year, a campaign will begin which will earn Mace's contempt.