Contact sports have been a part of human civilization for centuries. When there were no state-of-the-art weapons, fighting was done one on one. The one left standing at the end was always the winner. That concept is more or less what applies to boxing. As one of the oldest sports in the world it has a special place among fans around the world. Every year witnesses the best fighters in the world step inside hallowed rings around the globe to cement their place at the top of the ladder. It will be more of the same this time around as well so sit back and get ready for another season of pulsating action.
A Brief History
Historians have found pictorial evidence that sheds light on the origins of boxing. Carvings on walls at some ancient sites show two combatants fighting with what look like gloves. These carvings are from the Minoan civilization that used to be based at the islands of Crete and also Sardinia. Over the period of time Romans turned fighting into a bit of a spectacle for the masses where the action used to take place in front of the public.
Evolution of Boxing
Between twelfth and seventeen centuries fighting with fists became a common occurrence in some parts of Italy. During this era a form of fighting known as prizefighting also started to gain prominence in England somewhere during sixteen century. Those fights used to be fought without any gloves and James Figgs in the year 1719 is widely credited to be the the first ever English champion.
The rules to protect the fighters were not in place during that era so it was more or less free-for-all where anything and everything was allowed. As the sport started to grow in popularity, the need for rules became imperative. Jack Broughton then stepped up to the plate and in the year 1743 jotted down what are widely considered to be the first ever rules of boxing. The idea was to protect the fighters so for the first time gloves with pads were introduced. Not only that, but a thirty second limit was also put in place for a downed boxer to get up. In case of him not being able to do so the, the fight would be stopped.
The rules played a big part in increasing the profile of the sport among the public and it was further improved in 1838 when London Prize stipulations were introduced. As per these new guidelines it was decided that a fight will take place inside a twenty four feet ring with four sides. Also low blows, head butting and biting were banned. Marquees of Queensberry rules called for introduction of fair size gloves to give more protection to fighters.
The changes have played a big part in boxing's rise as a global sport. It isn't about just hitting the opponent as hard as possible. There are now a lot of tactics involved. Fights are now contested on two levels amateur and professional. Amateur level provides more protection to combatants with head gears and and just clean punches are awarded points. Professional boxing offers no such liberties. There is no head protection, it is longer in duration and the physical contact is much more intense.
Boxing has come a long way since it first came up centuries ago. A lot of that is down to the rule changes and more importantly, the fighters who have given their all every time they have stepped inside the ring. The likes of Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr, Carlos Monzon, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Muhammad Ali among many others have given fans some of the most iconic moments in boxing history. These are guys who have sold boxing tickets whenever they have fought because those bouts are nothing short of the stuff legends are made of. If boxing is your sport then get ready because another action packed season is now coming straight to you.