Arthur Frederick Bettinson

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Vanity Fair caricature, 22 November 1911

Arthur Frederick "Peggy" Bettinson (1862 - 1926), the 1882 British Amateur Boxing Association's lightweight champion, boxing promoter and founder of the National Sporting Club in London.


  • Bettinson lays out opinions on new weight classes and championship belts: "The question of uniformity of weight is most desirable" says Bettinson, "but there are other matters that also demand attention. So far weights are concerned, if a lad at 8st 8lb has proved himself best at that weight and is willing to dispute the premiership with any other boxer in the world, he is as much entitled to call himself champion of the world at 8st 8lb as is the equally unbeatable champion who is 2lb heavier. But yet we cannot afford to have too many classes for recognised world’s championship titles, and the eight divisions suggested by the ‘Sporting Life’ seem ample to meet all requirements. Let the weights be decided later, however.

I agree that the present vast number of boxers makes it necessary that a couple of extra classes added to the six at present acknowledged, but for these extra classes there should be a distinctive nomenclature. To call a man light-heavv-weight conveys the meaning, but it is a paradoxical term at best.

One very important rule that should be established and rigorously enforced is the elimination of all 'win, lose or draw’ demands of title holders. A boxer holding the title should be compelled to defend it against a bona-fide challenger, who has genuine backing within a period of three to six months after the challenge has been issued. Should the holder decline to meet his rival, then the title should pass forfeit to the challenger provided the latter signifies his intention to defend it against all legitimate claimants.

lt is probable—and it would be good for the sport—that a series of belts representing the various championships should follow; the belts to be held by the title holders during their tenure; these belts, of course, to pass from one title holder to his successor, with the exception that when one holder has successfully defended it for certain number years, or against a certain number of challengers, the belt should become his permanent property, and a new one obtained for his successor. It would good idea to launch these belts into the sport by way a tournament, conducted in manner similar to wrestling tournament be held the Alhambra, but in boxing tournament it might difficult to gather tho best men in the world. Still, it would be a most excellent idea if i it could carried out, and should like see it."

These new weights and belts would later be introduced in 1909 by the National Sporting Club. The belts are now known as the Lonsdale belts.

  • Sporting Life 22 January 1909.
  • I was the baby of a large family, and as a youngster fresh to an infant school my mother tried to break me of lefthandedness. I always held my knife in the left hand and fork in the right. One day at dinner my mother said, ' You're not a boy; you must be girl to eat your food like that. We shall have to call you Peggy.' My elder brothers, always glad to take it out of me, carried that name to school, where the other boys seized upon it, and it has stuck to me through a life-time, though it is years since anybody was curious enough to ask how I got it.
  • Sunday Post 26 December 1926

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