“The art of attack and defense with the fists practiced as a sport.”
Boxing also known as the art of self-defense or pugilism (fist fight), is one of the most popular sports today. Its origins are tracked back 4000 years BC in North Africa. It is known as ‘The Sweet Science’, a martial arts discipline that comprises of punching combinations, upper body movement, defense, and fluid footwork. Two men climb into the ring with the sole objective of knocking each other out or winning enough rounds to earn a decision. Some say it is the purest test of one’s physical ability.
Through time, heroes have been born in the ring — like the great Muhammad Ali, heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano, and the powerful Roberto Duran. The list goes on and on. These men have sought glory and fame inside the squared circle, overcoming difficult stretches of training and competition, flanked by the promise of infinite possibilities
HISTORY OF BOXING
The earliest appearance of boxing in history comes from Sumerian artifacts found in Iraq, originating from the 3rd millennium BCE. Similar relics were also discovered originating from the Mesopotamian nations of Assyria and Babylonia. These etchings showed two men punching each other with wrapped fists for the first time in sport.
Boxing was eventually acquired by ancient Greece and became a well-loved and developed sport enjoyed by the people. It was first introduced as an Olympic sport in the 23rd Olympiad in 688 B.C. Back then, boxers used leather thongs to wrap their hands to provide protection.
Matches did not consist of rounds like we know them today. Instead, fighters competed until one of them conceded defeat or could no longer continue. There were no weight divisions, which means men of all sizes could face anyone, with the naturally larger competitors understandably dominating.
The traditional boxing stance was introduced, with the lead leg slightly forward and the lead hand semi-extended as a guard. The dominant hand would then be drawn back ready to strike. This comprises the classic boxing stance of to
The sport of boxing as we know and love today is followed by millions all over the world. It is one of the most popular combat sports in modern times. Within the space of four ring posts and a stretched canvas, countless tales of bravery and courage have been told.
PLAYERS AND EQUIMENTS
The exact specification of certain equipment varies according to the sanctioning body but the ring (ironically, of course, usually square) is generally around 16-25 feet (4.9-7.6m) along each side. The posts at the corner are 5ft above the level of the ring and the ring itself is usually about three or four feet off the ground on a raised platform.
Boxers wear gloves and although there has been a long history of bear-knuckle boxing, hand protection dates to Ancient Greece. Modern gloves are usually 12oz, 14oz or 16oz and are designed to protect the hand and the opponent, although there are arguments that they actually increase brain injuries by facilitating a boxer receiving more damaging blows.
Boxers are divided according to their weight with the different governing bodies having different weights and names for the groupings. Fighters only fight opponents of similar weights as physical size is so crucial to the contest.
RULES OF BOXING
- In professional boxing, bouts take place over 12 three minute rounds with one minute rest between rounds.
- The only method of attack is punching with a clenched fist and you may not strike below the belt, in the kidneys or the back of your opponents head or neck.
- You cannot use the ropes for leverage.
- You cannot hit an opponent when they are down.
- A boxer hit with a low blow can take five minutes to recover.
- If an unintentional foul (such as a clash of heads) ends the fight before four rounds are completed this is a “no contest”, from the fifth onwards the decision goes to the judge’s cards and is either a technical decision for either fighter or a technical draw.