How televised prizefighting started.
In his 84 years, American inventor Thomas Edison acquired a record number of 1,093 patents (singly and jointly) he was the driving force behind such innovations as the light bulb and one of the earliest motion picture cameras.
It was with the motion picture camera that Edison created a platform for boxing to be seen by people from all continents.
In 1897 Edison sold a film of a Jim Corbett fight all over the world. Gentleman Jim was paid $4700 after Edison cashed in a massive profit of $30,000. Fantastic money for back then. This was thought by many as the start of televised prizefighting.
By the 1920’s the sport had come on leaps and bounds. A Jack Dempsey fight would generate millions. In 1921 Jack Dempsey faced George Carpentier. This was the first million dollar gate. Tickets were being sold for as much as $60. Comparing that to the average monthly wage in 1921 which was around $80, it gives us a good idea of potential the sport had.
Then in 1975 when Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought, each were paid 5 million dollars. That’s as much as Joe Louis made in his entire career.
Due to the sport being viewed by millions all around the world today, we now have astronomical numbers. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao grossing almost $600 million.
Thomas Edison seems to be a forgotten name in the sport of boxing but should be remembered as one of its pioneers.
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