History of Boxing
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Boxing is usually deemed as the masculine sporting activity of self-defense between two persons, in which they throw punches against each other with the help of fists encased in gloves. A referee supervises a boxing match over rounds, a series of intervals that usually last from one to three minutes. The entire contest has a set number of rounds that usually last three minutes long and a rest period between rounds lasts one minute. The outcome is decided when a referee considers an opponent as incapable of continuing the competition, when a boxer gets disqualification for breaking rules, finishes a fight by throwing a towel, or judges pronounce a loser or winner showing scorecards at the end of the competition. Boxing remains a popular combat sport worldwide; it is exciting competition of will, reflexes, endurance, speed, and incredible strength by hitting each other with gloved hands.
Boxing has served as a metaphor for individuals who oppose. The struggles between two people, their opposing values, qualities, and ideas usually occur before the audience for money. The boxing match involves politics, ethnicity, nationality, religion, race, and various interpretations of masculinity. Boxing originated when man first raised his fist against another person in a play. The use or non-use of fist coverings distinguishes different eras of boxing. From the very beginning, boxing was nothing more than just meager and bare fistfight between willing and unwilling competitors. As a sport, fighting arose thousands of years ago in some parts of Africa and Ancient Egypt before developing in the countries of Southern Europe. The early evidence of rules of boxing as a sport came from the ancient Greece. Far back in the past, the ancient Greeks believed that boxing was the most injurious kind of sport. They considered fist fighting as a game played by Gods on Olympus. Boxing originated in 688 BC and became an integral part of the Olympic Games (Sweet, 1987). While the Ancient Greeks considered boxing as a game widespread among Gods, the Romans also had a keen interest in fighting that soon became a popular spectator sport competition now known as boxing.
Boxing began to flourish on a grand scale during the Roman times. Usually, in Ancient Rome, the fighters were slaves and offenders, who took part in a contest in order to win and gain independence. Boxers of that time used leather bands around fists for protection and wore leather and metal-filled hand coverings that often resulted in the bloody battles, comparable to a duel. Boxing in the Roman Empire usually took place in both the gladiatorial and sporting arenas (Poliakoff, 1987). Roman soldiers were often boxing with each other for sporting interest and training hand-to-hand fighting. The gladiatorial pugilism sometimes ended with the death of a boxer who lost. With the concurrent fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, the boxing contest as entertainment ceased to exist for a long time. After the decline of Rome, boxing significantly diminished. However, boxing was revived in the eighteenth-century England, and it became a very popular kind of sport. During the Industrial Revolution, boxing became a sport of working men since boxing matches for prizes usually attracted spectators and competitors from the working class.
In the 16th-18th century, boxing evolved fights for prizes mostly in Great Britain. Later, modern boxing developed in the mid-19th century in America (Grasso, 2014). During Enlightenment, Europeans were interested in recovering the traditions and knowledge of antiquity. People’s curiosity brought a revived interest in professional and amateur boxing, particularly in England that the world now knows as the birthplace of modern fighting for the prize.
Amateur boxing as a common fixture in main international games is both a Commonwealth and Olympic sport. Moreover, boxing as a sport has its World Championship. The early boxing history represents the establishment of ideas about grotesque, honor, beauty, spectatorship, courage, and ritual that are still in the use nowadays. Women, who were welcome competitors in the eighteenth-century boxing because of no gender separation, now re-enter the sporting arenas as spectators. Throughout the 17th-19th centuries, money motivated boxing matches since boxers competed for prize money and spectators bet on the desired outcome. The contemporary Olympic movement revived people’s interest in amateur sport, and, in 1908, non-professional boxing became an Olympic sport (Jenkins, 2008). In their present form, amateur and Olympic boxing bouts are limited to three, sometimes four, rounds.
At the time when society felt that manliness was on the wane, boxing became wildly popular, and people saw it as the iron for strengthening a feminine culture. The initial name of boxing was pugilism that meant sweet science. Sometimes, people recoil because of brutality that boxing demonstrates and see the sport as evidence of cruelty and barbarity with the perception of being enlightened for such contest. Such legendary boxers as Rocky Marciano, Mickey Walker, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis, along with many other prizefighters and stars, have produced the worldwide recognition and fame to boxing as a sport.