News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

Nevada was the first state to legalize professional boxing in 1897. The sport was supposed to bring money and economic development at a time when mining and ranching both struggled, and Nevada’s tiny population had started to shrink.

The relationship between boxing and the Silver State grew stronger with the addition of gambling. And although the sport has waxed and waned in popularity over the years, Las Vegas remains a center of boxing culture, and the site of many big fights.

The Main Event: Boxing in Nevada from the Mining Camps to the Las Vegas Strip will be released this spring by University of Nevada Press.

Support comes from


Richard O. Davies, retired history professor, UNR

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.

More Stories

KNPR's State of Nevada
A detail of a dog on what appears to be some kind of skateboard-like contraption.
NPR History Dept.
KNPR's State of Nevada