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Boxing in historical perspective:

Boxing was started when a person lifted his fist against another during play. Since then it has turned into a sport. The ancient Greeks were the first to recognize boxing as a sport and they believed fist fighting was one of the games played by the gods on Olympus, which is why it became part of the Olympic Games in about 688 BC.

Ancient Greece and earlier evidence:

They have roots that go all the way to ancient Greece and Rome. At that time fighting was only done using bare fists with a hint of leather strapped around their hands. This way the fight was more brutal and gruesome. Nowadays safety is the top most concern and the boxers and the associations focus on the safety of the hands and knuckles as well as the faces.

Historical evidence shows that boxing started around 1500 BC on the Crete Island. Some present day research scholars believe that these fights were popular in Africa, the center of these fights was modern Ethiopia. So in this way, the boxing fights even predated the fights in Greece. The data goes back to 400 BC. This shows that the game was very famous throughout the Nile Plateau and across Egypt as Egypt had conquered Ethiopia. The advancement of the Egyptian civilization helped in spreading the influence of the game. Around 686 BC boxing was made a mandatory part of the Olympics. But boxing played in the ancient times hardly resembles the present day game. Almost all fights were played in open spaces. The fight had no fixed hours. The fighters played till one of them was critically wounded. The first boxers fought essentially for glory but the winner was also awarded the gold, livestock or some other trophies.

Boxing and Christianity:

As Christianity spread and the Roman Empire vanished, the fights were not staged simply as an entertainment and were not even remembered for many centuries. The first registered bout was staged in England in 1681. And since that period boxing matches were regularly played in the Royal Theatre in London.

London as focus of boxing:

As times passed London became the focus for provincial boxing matches and players came to London to seek fame, glory and also in the process minted money. This incentive helped in the development of boxing, especially in London. In those matches, the money to be paid to the boxers was also settled.

Boxing without gloves:

The fighters played without boxing gloves. They did not observe any rules. The weight of the boxers was not fixed. As a result, there was only one announcement of the champion. The lightweight boxers were frequently thrashed. Though there were some rounds fixed only fluidly. A fight usually went on until one of the players was not in a position to carry on the fight. Another feature of these fights was that the fighter did not cease to attack his opponent even after he was sprawled on the ground. Such conditions lasted until the middle of the 16th century.

Boxing popularity even though legally banned:

Though the boxing was officially declared an illegal game, its popularity continued to rise. In 1719, James Figg became the champion of England and the title was held by him for 15 years. Jack Brownton was a follower of James Figg and he tried to transform fist fighting matches into an athletic contest. Brownton composed the first Code of Rules in 1743. These rules continued to be used until 1838 with slight changes. Then they were substituted by the London Prize Ring Rules (LPRR). These rules cancelled all the rules used earlier. They preferred to use their hands only in the fights. The boxers were not allowed to punch below the waist. According to Brownton’s rules, the fights continued until one of the fighters was knocked down. If he was later not able to come into the ring and take his stand within a one-yard distance from his opponent, he was announced a loser.

Boxers’ use of gloves:

But these days the game has become safer than its earlier precedents. The boxers’ hands are covered with proper boxing gloves. There are inner mitts also under the gloves. These precautions save the players from being seriously hurt. In addition, the players can use punch bags during practice to tone up their boxing skills. There are even free standing punch bags available in modern times for people who do not have a place to hang the traditional heavy bag.