James Figg was born within the small Oxfordshire city of Thame in 1684 throughout the reign of William III. Little is understood of Figg’s early upbringing, apart from the truth that he made his title as a grasp swordsman and prize-fighter in his native space by taking over all-comers at Oxfordshire gala’s. At one such honest, Figg’s abilities have been found by the third Earl of Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, who provided to fund Figg’s exploits. By the beneficiant donations of Mordaunt, Figg was capable of transfer his enterprise to London, organising his personal prize-fighting sales space at Southwark honest.
By 1719 Figg had defeated all who dared to face him and proudly proclaimed himself heavyweight champion of England (the primary to be formally recognised as such). That very same 12 months, Figg would set up the English College of Arms and Artwork of Self-Defence Academy referred to as Figg’s amphitheatre on Tottenham Court docket Highway. Right here, Figg would cross on his experience of sword, workers and knuckle to eager college students of pugilism and maintain common bouts and sparring exhibitions for public leisure.