John Broughton followed Figg as world heavyweight champion and is arguably the greatest figure in the history of the sport. Conscious of the need to mitigate at least some of the nascent sport's unrestrained brutality, Broughton established a code of conduct, "Broughton's Rules," that held sway over the sport between 1743 and the widespread adoption of the London Prize Rules in 1838.
Broughton's rules established a designated space for bouts to take place and outlawed any but the fighters, a chief second and "two umpires" from entering that space. The rules established fall by throw or blow as a pause in the action, at which time both fighters were required to return to their neutral corner. If a fallen fighter could not make it back to his neutral corner by a count of 30 seconds, he lost.
Broughton's set of rules also outlawed blows or grappling below the waist, moving the sport further from free-for-all fighting and closer to the sport of today. Fights were still waged until one man could no longer continue and hence the sport remained extremely brutal, but it was a move toward modern principles of sportsmanship and fair play.
Broughton also introduced the innovation of "mufflers," or boxing gloves, to be worn during sparring. In The Heavyweight Championship, Fleischer refers to Broughton as "The Father of the English School of Pugilism."