boxing

Samuel Elias (better known as Dutch Sam April 4, 1775 in Petticoat Lane, London – July 3, 1816), was a professional boxing pioneer and was active between the years 1801 and 1814. Known as the hardest hitter of his era, he earned the nickname “The Man with the Iron Hand”
The big word was mill. Milling had already meant any form of beating or thrashing but now it meant prize-fighting – with bare knuckles – and a fight could be a milling-bout or a milling-match. Mill itself meant a fight.

The boxers (buffers) seemed to be built on different lines. Nothing as simple as a head: there was the nob, the attic, the knowledge box, the top-loft, the brain canister and upper crust (fifty years before it began referring to a somewhat different variety of nob). The fist, one’s most vital appendage, was the mitten, the hard dumpling, the famble, the daddle or the prop. The props were the arms. It was also the auctioneer: it ‘knocked things down’.

Knocking down was of course the point. One used nothing so prosaic as a jab, hook or uppercut. Blows could be nobbers or headachers (to the head), mufflers (to the mouth), facers (to the face), props (uppercuts) and chippers (jabs). A simple blow was a fib, which gave fibbing gloak, the boxer (gloak being a variant on bloke) and fibbing, the ‘noble art’ itself all of this was blood. Or claret.

Of all the favourite terms this is perhaps the sole survivor. One could claret one’s opponent or tap their claret, i.e. draw their blood; and the first such blow was the claret-christening; the nose was the claret-jug, claret-cask or claret- spoutJem Belcher (15 April 1781 – 30 July 1811) was an English bare-knuckle boxer and Champion of All England 1800-1805.

In 1807 Belcher lost to the outstanding new talent Tom Cribb in 31 rounds. Virtually ruined by the huge gambling losses he sustained at this fight he caused a fracas after the bout, for which he spent four weeks in prison. He died in London in 1811, a broken man. Tom Cribb. defeated Jem Belcher in 1807. At the end of the match between Cribb & Gregson at Moulsey Hurst, Jem Belcher spat angry words at the new champion, whose lack of skill led him to believe he could come back and regain the title, even if he did have only one eye, and even if Cribb had already beaten him once. Accordingly, the match was made and Cribb beat him again. Pierce Egan called the closing stages piteous and dreadful with Belcher, his hands bleeding and his arm broken, taking a hiding.