- 1722 - British fighter Elizabeth Wilkinson enters the boxing ring.
- ca. 1740 Jack Broughton becomes famous for adding the lunges, lateral foot movement, and stop-blocks of German broadsword fencing to "milling," as the English called their prizefights. This said, Broughton's favorite technique remained a hard right fist to the abdomen that his fans called "the Projectile," and later generations would know as the solar plexus knockout.
- 1743: Jack Broughton introduces "mufflers," or leather gloves padded with ten-ounces of horsehair or lamb's wool, to boxing. The reason was his establishment of a boxing school for the Fancy called the Tottenham Court Nursery. An advertisement in the Daily Advertiser for February 1, 1747 claimed that these mufflers would "effectually secure [students] from the inconveniency of black eyes, broken jaws, and bloody noses." If Broughton's mufflers really did all this, then it meant that he was seriously pulling his punches when sparring, as gloves need to weigh at least ten ounces to significantly reduce theblunt trauma injuries resulting from boxing blows.
The name "muffler" comes from cockfighting, where muffles are the covers put over fighting spurs while training the birds to fight. The practice of starting fight cards with the lightest weights first, requiring the players to start from marked positions, and fighting battles-royale, where one man had to defeat all comers to receive a prize, also come from English cockfighting. Fistic battles-royale died out in the early 1910s, partly from prizefighting reforms, and mostly because there were too many complaints about the fighters arranging the results among themselves.
- 1744: To celebrate a bout between Jack Broughton and George Stevenson in which the latter died, Paul Whitehead publishes a mock-heroic poem entitled The Gymnasiad, or Boxing Match. The match described took place in a fairground booth in London's Tottenham Court Road in April 1741. "Down dropp'd the Hero [Stevenson], welt'ring in his Gore," wrote Whitehead, "And his stretch'd Limbs lay quiv'ring on the Floor."
- 1747: Captain John Godfrey of London publishes A Treatise Upon the Useful Science of Defence Connecting the Small and Back Sword With Some Observations Upon Boxing, and the Characters of the Most Able Boxers Within the Author's Time. As the title suggests, the book, the first of its kind, describes the close relationships between the postures of broadsword fencing and English boxing. In it, Godfrey said that boxing's "most hurtful Blows" were delivered under the ear at the angle of the lower jaw, between the eyebrows, and into the pit of the stomach, as the solar plexus was then known. While there were no defenses against the first two blows except agile movement and a strong left arm ("which is a Kind of Buckler"), the effects of stomach punching could be mitigated somewhat by bending forward while tightening the belly and holding the breath before receiving the blow.
- 1750: After wagering £1000 at ten-to-one that a 46-year old Jack Broughton could beat a much younger fighter named Jack Slack, and losing, the Duke of Cumberland has the local magistrate close Jack Broughton's boxing school. A decent boxer when he wanted to be, Slack's favorite technique was a chop to the carotids known as "the Cleaver." As Slack worked as a rabbit butcher, the technique became known as a rabbit punch.
- 1758: An Italian fencer named Domenico Angelo Malevolti Tremanmondo comes to London, where he soon attracts the interest of the Fancy. After defeating an Irish duelist of little ability but great strength named Keys, he then opened a fencing salle known as Angelo's on Carlisle Street. With financial support from his patrons, including the Earl of Pembroke and the Duke of Devonshire, he also set about producing a magnificently illustrated fencing manual called Lí…cole des Armes ("The School of Arms;" first French edition, 1763, first English edition, 1765).
His sons and grandsons were also competent fencers, and members of the family continued teaching foil fencing in London until 1864. They became friends with "Gentleman Jackson" the boxer, and contributed to the success of his parlor at the end of the century by encouraging their students to alternate visits to Jackson's to learn all the manly arts of self defence.
- 1768: The Duke of Cumberland starts awarding silver-plated cups to the owners of champion racehorses. Six years later, he starts awarding similar cups to the owners of champion racing yachts. A crude man, the duke often drank substantial libations from the cups before giving them away.
- 1770: The Swiss make stopwatches that divide seconds into fifths. The reason was that English horse racers wanted to know split times.
- 1777: Anglo-Irish aristocrats formulate the Clonmel Code. This listed the 26 commandments of British aristocratic dueling. Acceptable reasons for dueling included accusations of cheating at cards or horse races, insulting ladies, or receiving blows with the fist. Challenges had to be delivered during the day, probably to ensure that they were more than just drunken rage. While the challenger had the right to choose weapons, swords could be declined in favor of pistols. (And generally were in Britain, although they remained popular in Europe until after World War II.) To prevent cheating, pistols had to be matched, and loaded in the presence of seconds. Although misfires, snaps, and half-cocks were considered shots, intentionally firing into the ground or the air was prohibited. Ranges were open for debate, and, depending on the seriousness and talent of the duelists, could be as near as four or as far as 20 yards. Seconds were charged with reconciling the duelists before the duel and after each firing. Such reconciliation was often successful.
- 1789: With the publication of The Art of Boxing, Daniel Mendoza popularizes "scientific", or "Regency style" boxing in England. The term "scientific" referred to the "science" (e.g., thinking and planning) required for the pugilist to move about the ring instead of simply standing toe-to-toe and slugging. Drawings show the pugilists standing left side forward with one hand high and the other hand low. Their knees were bent and their bodies were thrown back to protect their heads. The straight left was the favorite attack, perhaps followed by a counter, meaning a punch thrown simultaneous with the other fighter's attack. These techniques developed as fighters and trainers accustomed to sword-play became involved in the sport. Cross-buttock throws were common, a tactic probably stemming from the appearance of professional wrestlers such as Adam Dodd and John Tinian in the ring. While rounds ended only when, an opponent fell, the rules did not prohibit pugilists from attacks while breaking from a clinch, or assisting an opponent to the
ground with a knee into the chest or groin.
- 1793: Trap shooting becomes popular in England. The sport involved releasing live birds from traps, then betting how many the shooter would hit before missing, or would hit out of a given number (generally fifty). The dead birds were then collected and sold to local hotels, where they were made into pigeon pie. To further reduce the expense, English shooters started substituting feather-filled glass balls for live birds around 1830.
- 1805 - Englishwoman Alicia Meynell, riding as Mrs. Thornton, defeats a leading male jockey, Buckle, in a race.