John Sholto Douglas, the eighth Marquis of Queensberry (1844-1900), gave his name to a code of fair play for boxing. The marquis had a longstanding interest in boxing and, according to a quotation from the Duke of Manchester, was said to have «been the finest amateur boxer of his time». He was reputed to have knocked out a «gigantic cowboy» in California.
The actual rules were first formulated in 1876 by British amateur athlete John Graham Chambers under Queensberry’s supervision. Because Chambers performed yeoman service in devising the rules, some believe that his is the name that should have been honored instead of Queensberry’s.
The rules remained in effect from 1867 to 1929, when they were superseded by those issued by the British Boxing Board of Control. The Chambers rules included the three-minute round, the ten-second count after a knockdown, and, unquestionably the most important, the outlawing of fighting with bare knuckles. The proscribing of bare knuckles and the prescribing of boxing gloves saved the sport.
The first world championship bout in which gloves were used was staged at Cincinnati in 1885. At that time John L. Sullivan successfully defended his title against Dominick McCaffery.
The Queensberry rules are now a synonym for «fair play in any sport».