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Blakeview: 'the second Battle of New Orleans'

"Gentleman Jim" and John. L Sullivan faced off in 1892

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This week marks the 125th anniversary of a boxing match promoted as the "Second Battle of New Orleans." It was credited with reinventing the sport of prizefighting and solidified New Orleans' place in boxing history. Prior to the fight between "Gentleman Jim" Corbett and reigning heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan, boxing was seen by many as a brutal blood sport and was illegal in much of the country. The Sept. 7, 1892 fight at the Olympic Club on Royal Street in Bywater drew a crowd of about 10,000 people. It was preceded by two other title fights and was billed as a three-day "carnival of champions." The Sullivan-Corbett fight was the first heavyweight championship fought under the modern rules of boxing, which mandated the use of gloves, 3-minute rounds and a 10-count. Though Sullivan had been the heavyweight champ for more than a decade and was a 4-1 favorite, Corbett was eight years younger and wore down Sullivan for an easy knockout in the 21st round to win the $25,000 purse.

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