The Marquess of Queensberry Rules are a code of rules that most directly influenced duelling and modern contact-sports like boxing. Written by John Graham Chambers, the rules were first published in 1867 under the sponsorship of John Sholto Douglas, ninth marquess of Queensberry, from whom they take their name. The rules are as follows:
To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable.
No wrestling or hugging allowed.
The rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.
If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.
A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the men agree to draw the stakes.
The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction.
A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
No shoes or boots with springs allowed.
The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.
“Sure, there have been injuries and deaths in boxing – but none of them serious.” – Alan Minter