History of boxing

Boxing (English: boxing, origin box — ‘'box, box compartment, closed space’), also fisticuffs, is a sport in which there is a fight between two boxers. It takes place in a special ring and there are special gloves on the hands of the boxers, amateurs also wear a protective helmet.

Boxing is currently one of the most popular types of martial arts in the world. The most expensive commercial fights and shows are organized in the boxing discipline, it is sufficient to mention the Pacquiao – Mayweather fight in spring 2015, with a budget and revenue of over 400 million US dollars. Everybody knows the legendary boxers – Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), Mike Tyson and others. The legendary Hollywood film Rocky (and its sequels) is one of the greatest films of the 20th century.

The idea and basic nature of boxing has not changed for centuries. The rules, equipment and ring have all changed in small ways but the idea has remained the same – a fistfight between two sports persons.

Boxing dates back to 4000 BC in North Africa, in the Mediterranean basin the origins of boxing date back to 1500 BC.

The first documented evidence of boxing was in Greece in 900 BC. A Greek ruler organized entertainment, watching fisticuffs between two men. The fight could continue up to the moment, when one of the participants was killed in fighting. It was decided by the ruler.

Looking into the history of boxing we see that there have been very significant changes in the use of equipment – both clothing and hand protection. In ancient times, the fight took place without gloves and hand wraps. Consequently, the fight was much more ruthless and traumatic.

Boxing is one of the first Olympic sports. Already in the ancient Greek Olympiads (also in 668 BC) fisticuffs or boxing was one of the basic disciplines. Instead of gloves, hands were wrapped in leather straps to minimize injuries, however it certainly did not reduce the injury to the opponent caused by hitting.

In more recent boxing history, in 1681 there took place the first attempts to arrange competitions similar to modern boxing. Fighting took place with bare hands – only in 1743 were the first efforts to reduce injuries to the sports persons involved by introducing partial equipment.

The rules provided that a sportsperson had to get up within 30 seconds after a knockout. In this period there the use of the first boxing gloves was initiated.

With the increasing popularity of boxing competitions were organized with monetary prizes. The transformation of fisticuffs continued until the late 19th century, when boxing became similar to nowadays. In such a form, it was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens.

Amateur boxing differs from professional boxing in that amateurs win by scoring points, while professionals try to knock the opponent out during their fight (a professional fight has more rounds than an amateur fight).

Many amateurs, who have won in continental championships, world championships and the Olympic Games, continue their career in professional boxing.