Just wanted to mention "Master Of the Ring - Graham Gordon" I am 3/4 way through it and would highly recommend it to any fan of boxing/MA/MMA history.
It follows the life story of Jem Mace 1st world boxing (LPR) champ. It gives a great idea of life in the 1800's, the origins of what we now call boxing and formation of the Queensbury Rules.
Also, some good accounts of the fights themselves (some 4-5 hours long!).
From what I have read so far Jem Mace cross trained in wrestling and fencing to improve his boxing skills and advocated the use of the "jab and move" over brute force slugging.
All in all a great life story and information on the formation of the sport and those involved (Langham, Sullivan, Jackson, Fitzsimmonds, lord lonsdale etc)
Also to me looks like Mace was involved in what we may term MMA type fights way back then under London Prize Ring rules throws were allowed and fighters were bareknuckle, bare chested and with studded boots! This guy was tough; taking on larger opponents, pickling his hands and still fighting into his late 50's , from the book it seems an innovator and an inspiration ...
There you go ! Would like to hear if anyone else has read or is reading it and what you think.