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2011

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The Fight Of The Century: The Regulation And Reform Of Prizefighting In Progressive Era America, Margaret Frisbee Aug 2011

The Fight Of The Century: The Regulation And Reform Of Prizefighting In Progressive Era America, Margaret Frisbee

History ETDs

This dissertation considers the symbolic, social, and political conflict between heavyweight prizefighters and progressive reformers from 1892 to 1910. That time frame encompasses the careers of champions 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jeffries, and Jack Johnson. Their fights to win or defend the heavyweight title were planned for California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, and New York, among other places. By protesting them at every stop, reformers sought to prevent the permanent establishment of prizefighting as a legitimate business, even as the fame of these fighters elevated the sport to the highest level of popularity that …