Snapple fact #150: the first sport to be filmed was boxing in 1894
As a sports fan in this day and age, you never really give much thought to what the first sport to be filmed. Sporting events have always been readily available I my lifetime and from what my research tells me, it sounds like it’s been around for longer than the rest of us as well. It’s hard to imagine the Super Bowl or The Masters taking place without seeing the game in real time. I don’t believe that sports would have the impact that they would today if we all had to huddle around a radio to tune in.
The first boxing match and sporting event ever filmed took place on June 14, 1894. The match had to be arranged so that way it could be filmed due to normal boxing matches lasting longer than the technology available would have allowed to be filmed. The fighters agreed to six rounds consisting of one minute each.
Another video (link) is footage from the second boxing match ever filmed and is in the Library of Congress. It’s known as Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph. This too was a shortened match like the first and only consisted of six, one minute rounds.
The boxing attire is vastly different from todays modern sport. It’s hard to see Mike Tyson wearing shorts like that or gloves with such little padding. Rules and regulations have adopted over time to make the sport more safe while managing to inflict the most amount of power in the punches. It is a really interesting look into history to see how far we’ve come in a relatively short amount of time.