Boxing (or hand-to-hand) is a primal form of athletics that has been around for centuries. Its roots go all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome when fights took place without gloves but just leather taped on to the hands. This resulted in gruesome, deadly battles.
The first documented “boxing match” took place in 1681 in Britain when the Duke of Albermarle engineered a bout between his butler and his butcher. In the coming years, bare-knuckle boxing contests would be held in amphitheaters all over England. Jack Boughton, also known as “the Father of Boxing,” developed the first set of rules for the sport and published them in 1743 following a bout in which he killed is opponent.
The most revolutionary change in the sport came in 1865 when John Sholto Douglass, the Eighth Marquis of Queensbury, drew up new rules of boxing, basically transforming the sport into what it is today. He is regarded as the “Patron Saint” of boxing and some of the most significant changes were three minute rounds and the regulated use of approved boxing gloves. After this the popularity of boxing continued to spread.
Boxing was included in the St. Louis Olympic Games in 1904 for the first time, and after that talented fighters from all over the world would meet and fight for sanctioned titles throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st.
In 1927 the National Boxing Association (NBA) became the first “sanctioning body” to govern the sport. Sanctioning bodies ranked fighters and arranged matches between champions and the most deserving challengers, for a healthy sanctioning fee. Today three “recognized” sanctioning bodies control the world of boxing. The WBC, IBF and WBA are the only bodies whose athletes are recognized worldwide as “champions.”
Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents.
Boxing’s Knockout Punch
“We sized them up. We measured them, top to bottom. We’ve done our own Tale of the Tape, and we’ve come to a surprising conclusion. Pound for Pound, the toughest sport in the world is…Boxing.”