History of Sports in America
Newspaper Assignment: July 5th, 1910
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Pugilism is perhaps the most violent of sports invented, testing the strength of a man in an all out brawl, sometimes resulting in the loss of limb or life. Overtime, the sport became more regulated with three sets of rules being established during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. The sport has remained relatively unchanged since 1867 when rules regulating the use of gloves and a standard ring size were implemented. One of the greatest modern day boxing matches, touted as “Battle of the Century”, occurred on Independence Day 1910. This was no ordinary fight as it pitted a white man versus a black man. In an era where veterans of the civil war were still alive and fifty years before the civil rights movement, this fight was far more than one for the championship, it was also a fight for racial equality. The fight took place in Reno, Nevada. Yet, everyone across the country was anxious to hear the outcome anyway possible. The local papers, including the Cleveland Plain dealer, were a primary source of information for the historic occasion. In 1910 Cleveland was the 6th largest city in the United States with a population of over 560,000 people. On July 4th, 1910 thousands of fans packed the streets between East 6th and Superior Avenue, which was the home of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. They gathered to hear the news bulletins describing the fight, which were being read aloud off the wire seconds after they occurred in Reno. The fight was so popular in Nevada that an estimated 20,000 people saw the fight live, with the wealthy paying as much as $50 a ticket. Camera crews paid $110,000 to film the fight. The attendance and payout were the largest the sport had ever seen to date. Jim Jeffries, who had been coaxed out of a 4 year retirement to attempt to reclaim the title for the white race, was outclassed throughout the entire fight. One reporter wrote of...
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