Correspondence between bantamweight Packey O’Gatty and late 19th century referee and later ring judge Sam Austin revealing that the Marquis of Queensbury did not write the boxing rules that bear his name.

Autograph Letter Signed “Packey O’Gatty,” one page, 8” x 12.5”. New York, May 4, 1946. To Sam Austin, N.Y. State Athletic Commission, New York City. Usual folds, slight nick at upper left edge. On verso, in light pencil, is Austin’s reply, Autograph Letter Signed “Sam C. Austin,” one page, 8” x 12.5”. Tuesday [May 7, 1946]. With the self-addressed stamped envelope O’Gatty enclosed, addressed by O’Gatty to: “Packey O’Gatty / 265 Lafayette St. / New York City 12, N.Y.” Postmarked New York, May 9, 1946. O’Gatty has penned in the upper left: “Sam C. Austin’s reply to me in reference to the Marquis of Queensberry writing the Boxing Rules.” Fine condition. From the Estate of Packey O’Gatty.

Bantamweight Packey O’Gatty (1900-1966) boxed professionally from 1915-1928. Born in Italy as Pasquale Agati, Packey O’Gatty was known as the Speed Demon. O’Gatty’s record was 54 (46 KO) – 9 (5 KO) with 5 draws. Samuel C. Austin was the sporting editor of the “Police Gazette” in the 1890s and refereed numerous boxing matches including World Featherweight and Lightweight Championship bouts. He was later a ringside judge.

O’Gatty writes, in full, “Some years back, I presume it was around 1921 – down at Feltman’s in Coney Island, sitting having some beer & hot dogs, were Jack MacAuliffe, Tom O’Rourke, Jimmy Twyford, my brother Jimmy O Gatty and me. A discussion came up about the Marquis of Queensberry and his boxing rules. In which MacAuliffe says to O’Rourke, ‘Tom, my old pal Charley Mitchell once told me and John L. Sullivan that although the Marquis of Queensbury gets credit with writing the boxing rules, it really was a London sports writer by the name of Charles Chamberlain who actually wrote them’, ‘Jack, when I took little George Dixon over to London in 1890 to fight Nunc Wallace for the Bantamweight championship, I was also told by Jim Mace that Charley Chamberlain wrote the Marquis of Queensberry Boxing Rules,’ replied Tom O’Rourke. Knowing that you at one time was the Editor of the National Police Gazette, you are in a position to answer this one – as I don’t know of a better authority – have you ever heard or known it to be true? Thanking you for an early reply. Yours in sports.”

On verso, Austin replies. In full, “When I was in London in 1892 I talked about this with George Atkinson, the boxing editor of ‘A Sporting Life’ and he told me that when public boxing contests were first permitted in England the British Army boxing rules were used, but these were found to be inadequate to meet the many new angles that arose and it was decided to revise them to meet the new conditions. This was done and the old Army Rules were revised and rewritten by Charles Chamberlain, then the boxing editor of ‘London Sportsman’ who dedicated them to the Marquis of Queensbury who was an ex-Army boxer and a popular patron of the sport. Hope this answers your question!” In a postscript, Austin adds, “It may be that Queensbury suggested some of the changes that were incorporated in the revision!”

Accompanied by two original newspaper columns about the Marquis of Queensberry Rules.

Item: 51879

Price: $750.00
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