NOT QUITE AN AMERICAN
Mace San Francisco
Jem Mace visited the U.S. many times and considered settling in either New York or San Francisco. He named one of his sons Benjamin Franklin Mace and he adorned his boxing booth in England with the Stars and Stripes.

But Hollywood neatly airbrushed out his status as the Father of Boxing. As an Englishman, he did not fit the need for an all-American father for the ultimate American sport. Biopics such as 'The Great John L.' and ' Gentleman Jim' would install Irish- Americans John L. Sullivan and Jim Corbett in the fistic pantheon.

But it was not Sullivan- a fighter proclaiming his allegiance to the Queensberry Rules but ready to flout them when it suited his purposes- who transformed the outlawed sport of prizefighting. Nor was it Corbett, who freely admitted that the transition from prizefighting to glove boxing was principally the work of Mace.

Few of America's future boxing heroes would be able to name Jem Mace as the father of their sport but, in the ghettos and barrios of America's great cities, his legacy has endured.