Boxing in England in the 18th century was a strange animal far removed from from Boxing today, but in many ways even from native folk wrestling that existed at the same time. There's no firm evidence but it might be an outgrowth from the Guild-Like Corporate Masters of Defence from the previous century's which lost their Monopoly over teaching and eventually lost influence and patronage when foreign masters teaching other weapons including rapier came on the scene. In order to be acknowledged as a Scholar/Free Scholar (and eventually Provost and Master) they had to play the prize at its were Prize Playing - Wikipedia A test of arms to show the public and Peers that they weren't full of ....... and were capable in multiple disciplines, though crucially boxing wasn't one of the disciplines. This was Revived (did it ever stop?......mmmm) later on, but somewhere along the line Rough and Ready Boxing was included along with the traditional English backsword and Staff. Its interesting that my favorite HEMA swordsman and the treatise I most study from The Scotsman Donald McBane was a contemporary of James Figg and recent scholarship has unearthed he fought on a same occasions (with him/against him?source is unclear. McBane like Figg was a combat master, though remembered for fencing rather than his boxing, But he only started playing the Prize after he came back from his Wars in Flanders. Previously he was a Artillery Sargent/Fencing instructor/Collateral Pimp. Boxing/Playing the Prize might have been a residual test of strength in British culture for the hardmen and martial artists of their day to prove to their peers and the public that they were worthy of teaching. The smallsword masters from France might have their certifications and patents du Roi to prove their expertise, but Mcbane or Figg to my knowledge had no Paper documents to prove their strength of arms.