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The auctioneers surmised that the group represented the New Orleans 1892 world heavyweight title fight between James J. Corbett and John L. Sullivan: the first world title fight under Queensberry rules (requiring gloves). Sullivan – variously known as ‘Great John L.’ and ‘The Boston Strongboy’ – was world champion from 1882-92 and earned over $1m through boxing; he won the last bare-knuckled title fight against Jake Kilrain in 1889 (a 75-round bout lasting 21/4 hours) but lost out in New Orleans against ‘Gentleman Jim’ Corbett, whose reign continued until 1897.