Although his association with boxing was rather tangential, John Sholto Douglas, the eighth Marquess of Queensberry, gained lasting fame when he sponsored the rules compiled by his friend John Graham Chambers. Douglas became acquainted with Chambers at Magdalene College at Cambridge and in 1867, he agreed to lend the new rules his name and patronage.
The Queensberry Rules, as they came to be known, did much to establish universally recognized standards of fairness by which boxing matches could be conducted. The rules, the basis for the boxing regulations of today, included the establishment of three-minute rounds with one-minute rest periods between rounds. They also ushered out the bare-knuckle era by mandating the use of boxing gloves.
An avid boxing enthusiast, Douglas succeeded to his hereditary title in 1858 and died in 1900.
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Excerpted with permission from 'The Boxing Register' by James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt, copyright © 1999 by McBooks Press. All rights reserved.