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Bare-knuckle boxing (also known as bare-knuckle, prizefighting, or fisticuffs) is the original form of boxing, closely related to ancient combat sports. It involves two individuals fighting without boxing gloves or other padding on their hands. The difference between a streetfight and a bare-knuckle boxing match is an accepted set of rules, such as not striking a downed opponent.
The first bare-knuckle champion of England was James Figg, who claimed the title in 1719 and held it until his retirement in 1730. Other noted champions were Jack Broughton, Daniel Mendoza, Jem Belcher, Hen Pearce, John Gully, Tom Cribb, Tom Spring, Jem Ward, James Burke, William "Bendigo" Thompson, Ben Caunt, Tom Sayers, Tommy Ray Handley and Jem Mace.

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While boxing has always included punching, historically it also included grappling techniques like throws, arm locks, chokes as well as kicks. These techniques were banned during the several rule changes which turned Classical Pugilism or Bare Knuckle Boxing, into the modern sport of Boxing.
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