What sport were lonsdale belts awarded?
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Asked in Boxing
What is the history of the Lonsdale Belt?
The Lonsdale Belt was a boxing prize introduced by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, to be awarded to British boxing champions. It is still awarded to British champions today. Lord Lonsdale organised boxing matches and was the first president of the National Sporting Club. In 1909, he introduced the Lonsdale Belt as a new trophy for the British champion at each weight division. The belts were crafted from porcelain and twenty-two carat gold and were only to be held by a fighter as long as he was British champion. However, a British champion was allowed to keep his Lonsdale Belt if he defended his title successfully two times. Later belts were made from nine carat gold rather than twenty-two carats as the first ones were. A total of 22 Lonsdale belts were issued by the National Sporting Club, and of these 20 were won outright. The holders of the first Lonsdale belts were:- * Flyweight - Sid Smith, 1911 * Bantamweight - Digger Stanley, 1910 (retained) * Featherweight - Jim Driscoll, 1910 (retained) * Lightweight - Freddie Welsh, 1909 (retained) * Welterweight - Young Joseph, 1910 * Middleweight - Tom Thomas, 1909 * Light-heavyweight - Dick Smith, 1914 (retained) * Heavyweight - Bombardier Billy Wells, 1911 (retained) The three above belts that were not retained by the holders were eventually held and retained by Jimmy Wilde (flyweight), Johnny Basham (welterweight) and Pat O'Keefe (middleweight).