Visual evidence exists indicating boxing, as a sport, originating in Egypt as far back as the Third Millenia B.C., with initial formal rules being established
in ancient Greece for the Olympic Games in 688 B.C. It continued its growth in popularity as a spectator sport, and, 700 years later, was a featured event
in the Coliseum and throughout the Roman Empire.

Boxing continued to flourish, and was refined to the form we are familiar, in England during the mid-19 th century with the introduction of the Marquises of Queensbury Rules in 1867.

These rules, determining, among other issues; weight classes, ring size, gloves and round duration, came to use in the U.S. and Canada in 1889.

Throughout the years, the Heavyweight division was the one that attracted the greatest spectator attention, and, in the U.S. in 1882 (under the older London Prize Ring Rules), John L. Sullivan won the heavyweight championship in a bare knuckles contest against Paddy Ryan. He continued to successfully defend his championship for 10 years, including an incredible 75 round victory (the last of the bare knuckles era) over Jake Kilrain, in what was then called, “The Fight of the Century”.

In, 1892, in his first defense under the Queensbury Rules, Sullivan met James J. Corbett who defeated him gaining the championship.

And here, in the DePace Sports Museum, is the original signed contract for that event.

In 1908 Jack Johnson became the first Afro-American Heavyweight Champion of the World. On display, are many of the personal effects belonging to that history-making athlete.

The boxing section of the DePace Museum is second to none internationally for its collection of boxing memorabilia and original fight used equipment.

Displayed are the robes of Gene Tunney, James “Cinderella Man” Braddock, Mohammed Ali, Larry Holmes, Willie Pep, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Emile Griffith. Here, also, are Joe Louis’s trunks, and the championship belts of Ali, Frazier, Marciano, Louis, in addition to innumerable artifacts relating to boxing’s greatest moments and the kings of the “squared circle”.

Every fan of the “sweet science” will find their visit to the DePace Museum a life time experience not to be missed.

DePace Sports Museum
475 Hurffville - Cross Keys Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
Museum Hours : By Appointment Only.
Call - 856-270-2573
Follow Us

Designed & Developed by : JKO Consulting Inc