Big thanks to Bloody Elbow for pointing this fine article out to us.
Brian Phillips is a sports writer for grantland.com who writes predominantly about football (soccer for you Yankee Doodles), but also upon occasion will write interesting little pieces about various other sports. His writing style is refreshingly entertaining and his knowledge and passion really show through everything he writes.
This article in particular tells the story of former American slave Tom Molineaux and his journey to England in the early 19th century to challenge champion prize-fighter Tom Cribb. The comparisons Phillips makes between those early pre-Queensbury days and modern combat sports are brilliant. It’s actually rather rare for a sports writer that doesn’t specialise in boxing or MMA to have such a solid understanding of what combat sports are truely about. The article is also incredibly well researched, and a very entertaining read. Well worth a few minutes of your time gents.