Today we remember John Sholto Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry and the creator of the first rules in the history of Boxing. He was born in Florence, Italy, in 1844 and died in 1900 after suffering a stroke. He became Marques de Queenssberry in 1858, in succession of his father.
He was a controversial man throughout his life. He was educated in large British institutions such as Magdalen College and although he did not graduate he always stood out for his performance in obstacle courses, cricket, and hunting.
He always moved into the higher social organizations but he became unpopular in London society due to his scandals such as a divorce for adultery, atheism, and his fondness for boxing.
Another controversial point was his legal dispute with writer Oscar Wilde due to a relationship that the Irish native had with his son Lord Alfred Douglas. The marquess was arrested due to Wilde’s lawsuit for defamation, as John Douglas called him a sodomite and seducer of children. However, the lawsuit had to be withdrawn because Wilde learned of the Marquis’s strategy to take several prostitutes, who had had relations with him in Ireland.
Despite his controversial life, Douglas left a great legacy to boxing and implemented modern rules, such as the three-minute rounds, the 10-second counts for falls, the better quality gloves, and weight divisions.