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"... arise From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your 
scattered bodies go..."
-- John Donne

 

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James Figg  (1695-- 1734)
Actor: 
Boxer, Fencer

 

Figg was the first recognized champion of England at fighting with bare fists. Also an expert at wrestling, swordplay, and fighting with cudgels, he became prominent as a pugilist about 1719.

Standing 6 feet (1.8 m) and weighing 185 pounds (84 kg), Figg was a stalwart figure who was always ready to accept a challenge to fight. He lost only one match, and on that occasion he was said to be ill. He opened an academy of arms, including boxing, in London; Figg's Amphitheatre was the prototype of several other 18th-century schools of pugilism. Figg is considered the first heavyweight champion in boxing history, although weight divisions were unknown until long after his time.

 

Text from Biography.com