"Boxer" and "Prizefighter" redirect here. For other uses, see Boxing (disambiguation), Boxer (disambiguation), Boxers (disambiguation), and Prizefighter (disambiguation).
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Boxing Tournament in Aid of King George's Fund For Sailors at the Royal Naval Air Station, Henstridge, Somerset, July 1945 A29806.jpg
Two Royal Navy men boxing for charity. The modern sport was codified in England.
Also known as Western Boxing, Pugilism See note.
Focus Punching, striking
Country of origin Prehistoric
Parenthood Bare-knuckle boxing
Olympic sport 688 BC (Ancient Greece)
Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.
Amateur boxing is both an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport and is a common fixture in most international games—it also has its own World Championships. Boxing is overseen by a referee over a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds. The result is decided when an opponent is deemed incapable to continue by a referee, is disqualified for breaking a rule, resigns by throwing in a towel, or is pronounced the winner or loser based on the judges' scorecards at the end of the contest. In the event that both fighters gain equal scores from the judges, the fight is considered a draw-what in other sports would be referred to as a tie-(professional boxing). In Olympic boxing, because a winner must be declared, in the case of a draw - the judges use technical criteria to choose the most deserving winner of the bout.
While humans have fought in hand-to-hand combat since the dawn of human history, the earliest evidence of fist-fighting sporting contests date back to the ancient Middle East in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE.The earliest evidence of boxing rules date back to Ancient Greece, where boxing was established as an Olympic game in 688 BC.Boxing evolved from 16th- and 18th-century prizefights, largely in Great Britain, to the forerunner of modern boxing in the mid-19th century with the 1867 introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
See also: Ancient Greek boxing
A painting of Minoan youths boxing, from an Akrotiri fresco circa BCE 1650. This is the earliest documented use of boxing gloves.
A boxing scene depicted on a Panathenaic amphora from Ancient Greece, circa 336 BC, British Museum
The earliest known depiction of boxing comes from a Sumerian relief in Iraq from the 3rd millennium BCE.Later depictions from the 2nd millennium BC are found in reliefs from the Mesopotamian nations of Assyria and Babylonia, and in Hittite art from Asia Minor. A relief sculpture from Egyptian Thebes (c. 1350 BCE) sh
ows both boxers and spectators. The earliest evidence for fist fighting with any kind of gloves can be found on Minoan Crete (c. 1500–1400 BCE).
In Ancient Greece boxing was a well developed sport and enjoyed consistent popularity. In Olympic terms, it was first introduced in the 23rd Olympiad, 688 BC. The boxers would wind leather thongs around their hands in order to protect themselves. There were no rounds and boxers fought until one of them acknowledged defeat or could not continue. Weight categories were not used, which meant heavyweights had a tendency to dominate. The style of boxing practiced typically featured an advanced left leg stance, with the left arm semi-extended as a guard, in addition to being used for striking, and with the right arm drawn back ready to strike. It was the head of the opponent which was primarily targeted, and there is little evidence to suggest that targeting the body was common.
Boxing was a popular spectator sport in Ancient Rome. In order for the fighters to protect themselves against their opponents they wrapped leather thongs around their fists. Eventually harder leather was used and the thong soon became a weapon. The Romans even introduced metal studs to the thongs to make the cestus. Fighting events were held at Roman Amphitheatres. The Roman form of boxing was often a fight until death to please the spectators who gathered at such events. However, especially in later times, purchased slaves and trained combat performers were valuable commodities, and their lives were not given up without due consideration. Often slaves were used against one another in a circle marked on the floor. This is where the term ring came from. In AD 393, during the Roman gladiator period, boxing was abolished due to excessive brutality. It was not until the late 16th century that boxing re-surfaced in London.