History of Boxing

Corbett (“Gentleman Jim” Corbett).

Owing to his contribution to the sport, Jack Broughton is known as the ‘Father of English Boxing’.

In order to avoid such gruesome situations, in 1743, a set of rules were introduced for all boxing matches which were supposed to be played thenceforth. His fights, particularly with Richard Humphreys fetched a lot of audience as both of them would block attacks, taunt each other (both during the match and in the newspaper bytes that they gave the night before the match) and wave their bodies in a unique way for the purpose of self-defense.

The new generation of boxers are also an energetic and spectacular breed. Later on, though, it was included in the Olympic games and thus became a full-fledged sport rather than making ceremonial appearances. Despite being an underrated sport today, boxing still finds a huge fan following amongst fierce and passionate boxing lovers.

In countries like Cuba, North Korea and Norway, professional boxing still remains banned.

Soon enough, boxing grew to international heights and ‘professional boxing’ emerged in many countries.

One such controversial boxing legend during the 1960s was Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), who embraced Islam and was charged with evasion of not serving the U.S. These rules came to be recognized as Broughton’s rules named after an English bare-knuckle champion Jack Broughton, who formalized them. However, the sport itself fell into a state of obscurity after the downfall of the Roman Empire. He also has a record of winning 73 matches in a row. Possibly, the very fact that it is a brutal combat sport, wherein participants take on each other, one on one, plays an important role in creating the hype that exists around modern boxing.

The Beginning

The 18th century Revival. Willie Pep (1940-1966): This Italian-American boxer has a record of 229 victories out of the 241 matches that he played.

The ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ borrows the name from the 9th Marquess Of Queensberry, Sir John Sholto Douglas.

In 1838 came the introduction of the ‘London Prize Ring Rules’ which were to be revised later in 1853. Boxing event organizers, promoters and managers generated a heavy amount of finance through their work. Numerous boxing schools and academies sprang up all across England and, not surprisingly, most of them were soon overflowing with applications. Fighters from Cuba, Russia, India and USA have shown some serious talent in the recent times, and the world has witnessed several women’s boxing tournaments as well. But at the same time, he is also a classic case of how too much of publicity and adulation can be extremely bad for a person.

What started off as a competitive sport mainly played for betting, boxing has come a long way from what it used to be. The 90s paved way for many talented newcomers like Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Whoever wished, could take part, and anybody could fight anyone. He brought with him, his unique style of boxing footwork and counter punches.

The 1867 draft of the ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ paved the way for a number of amateur competitions at popular venues throughout London. He, however, returned to the boxing ring in the 1970s.

A Leap Forward

Boxing, today, is a multimillion dollar sport that has inspired and garnered millions of passionate followers throughout the world. Sometimes, the fights became so intense and vehement that they resulted in the death of one of the fighters.

The first officially recorded boxing match took place in England, where Christopher Monck, an English politician set up a contest between his butler and his butcher. A major part of this physical sport then involved fencing and cudgeling.

The Torch is Lit

After Jack Broughton’s era as a bare-knuckle champion, the interest of English aristocracy in boxing faced a decline. A professional British boxer, Amir Khan, shot to fame quickly with the WBO Intercontinental, Commonwealth and WBA International titles to his name. This was the period when the people of Europe looked keenly into their ancient sources of knowledge and wisdom and tried to incorporate them in their daily lives. It was one of those competitive sports wherein contestants either lived or died, or in some cases suffered irreparable injuries. The modern professional boxing scene saw many legends showcasing their talent since 1920s. These rules were eventually succeeded by ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ that set the parameters for modern-day boxing. This definitely makes him one of the greatest boxers of all times.

Rocky Marciano (1948-1955): One of the hardest punchers of all times, Marciano remained undefeated in all the 49 matches which he played. These stalwarts in my opinion are men who have fought for guts and glory and forever left an indelible mark in the minds of fans. When one of the boxers was too tired and injured to fight any further, the other one was declared the winner. The code of these rules was penned down in 1865 by a Welshman called John Graham Chambers, who was an all-star athlete and sportsman excelling in boxing, cycling, wrestling, rowing and billiards. work by Homer, illustrates how boxing was a sport that was played in the form of ‘prize-fight’ during funerals. Players were prohibited from wearing boots with springs or even from hugging the opponent or wrestling with him. commenced in the 70s which could be viewed live on color television sets. As a result, owing to the development of boxing as a white-collared sport in England and the valuable contribution of their very own Jack Broughton to it, boxing also re-emerged, alongside many other things, with force and double the energy. However, the following Anglo-French war for colonial dominance that took place during the 1780s, triggered a strong nationalist sentiment in the people of England in general. In this quest of gaining knowledge from the sources of antiquity, the curious Europeans stumbled upon ancient references to boxing which triggered a renewed interest in the sport. Television had made its way in a majority of homes and international network providers featured live sport broadcasts. He described his unconventional and distinctive style of fighting as ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.

What had commenced on dingy streets and shady taverns, evolved into a stage with cheering spectators and spotlights; Boxing had officially arrived!

Despite the establishment of the ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ and the soaring popularity of the sport, boxing in the late 19th century came to be outlawed in U.K. Yet, he steadfastly voiced his opinion about being against the whole idea of the Vietnam War and went on to inspire the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. Because it essentially involves fist fighting, the practice may have existed, not as a sport, but as a form of violent encounters, even during the prehistoric times. In the following years, a lot of boxers stemmed from controversial pasts. This shows how ceremonially important the sport may have been in ancient Greece. and Oscar De La Hoya hailing from countries such as Britain and Canada, who carved a niche for themselves. One famous incident was the 1938 match between Max Schmeling and Joe Louis that resulted in Schmeling’s defeat after which he was compelled by Adolf Hitler to enroll in the German armed forces. But popularity always has a price to pay. Braddock, Jack Dempsey, Jess Willard and Georges Carpentier amongst many others.

Journey Thenceforth

Roosevelt wanted all men of America to be strong and sturdy and regarded boxers to be “men as hard as nails”.

The ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ then transitioned as the foundation of boxing governance into the USA and Canada. This was followed with the establishment of boxing commissions, legal sanctioning and governing bodies.

Sugar Ray Robinson (1940-1965): One of the few sportsmen who have a commemorative stamp in their name, he is regarded as one of the greatest boxers to ever have set foot inside the ring.

Mike Tyson (1985-2005): As a boxer, there was no question that Tyson makes an important part of this list. However, the sport itself is mired with stories, controversies, contradictions and of course, personal enmities. But still, boxing was in a very rudimentary form, in that there were no defined rules and regulations about any aspect of the sport. Corbett emerge as the victor.

With the dawn of the 20th century, Germany emerged as an epicenter for boxing with a number of talented boxers to its credit.

Establishments like World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) began pitching competitions against each other. Gambling and betting on the fighters came to be a rage with huge stakes involved. The ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ were finally published in 1867. Shortly after this era, in the 20th century, boxing, through its highs and lows came to be recognized as a prominent part of society and featured many influential promoters and legendary champions.

Muhammad Ali (1960-1981): Possibly a living example of why boxing is called a lethal sport, Muhammad Ali has been revered all over the world as one of the greatest boxers ever. Everyone was suddenly very curious to know about their roots and the origin of things. Several legendary fights of all time are still reminisced upon by ardent fans and spectators. Also, Theodore Roosevelt advocated boxing to a large extent. However, a lot of prominent promoters were either involved with the Mafia, or were the Mafia themselves, and boxing transitioned into an intense and notorious backdrop.

The ‘Gillette Friday Night Fights’ program that aired live boxing matches from around the globe on NBC and later on the ABC network, was a rage.

In the 1950s, the world had started finding its feet economically after World War II. Matches for boxing titles in accordance to divisions such as lightweight, heavyweight, etc. The combat took place between two such slaves and the one who won was released from the bonds of slavery.

Glamor to the Glitz

As a sport, boxing has given the world great men and excellent sportsmen. England became the birthplace of what came to be known as ‘prizefighting’, wherein the two contestants fought on behalf of their patrons, sometimes even to settle their patrons’ personal grudges. Ali was stripped of boxing title and license, after which he did not make a ring appearance for four years. Despite all this, in the 21st century, the glory that boxing once achieved and enjoyed, seems to have diminished considerably with other more glamorous and supposedly elitist sports such as cricket and football coming to the forefront.

18th century Europe saw the age of Enlightenment. On the contrary, the one who lost was either killed in that combat or was retained as a slave for the rest of his life. But, will there be another iconic era for boxing? Only time will tell!

Did you know?A British periodical, London Protestant Mercury, featured the victory of James Figg in bare-knuckle championship in 1719 for the first time ever in the history of prizefighting. Some sources also tell us that in ancient Rome, where slavery was deeply rooted, boxing matches were arranged for those slaves, who sought freedom.

Though many people thought that such kind of dance-like moves gave a crude tint to the otherwise white-collared gentleman’s sport, the sport did manage to get a considerable fan following of the young and the old alike.

Men began looking at boxing as a way of defending themselves from hooligans who menaced all across the streets of London.

The popularity of boxing was thus increasing at a tremendous speed. While he himself was trained in boxing as a young man, he also promoted it as a manly sport. The result of the match saw James J. Regardless of this, he never managed to score high ranks but still his winning record brought to his name, a lot of glory.

Mike Tyson, in 1986, was reigning supreme at the peak of his career with the World Heavyweight Champion title to himself.

Boxing in the 1980s and 1990s featured some of the most magnificent matches, primarily financed by the corporates.

So, in ancient times, boxing was in a very primitive stage. It was officially ranked as the most difficult sport by ESPN in 2004. The ‘Marquess of Queensberry Rules’ was a set of 12 rules which called for the mandatory use of gloves during the boxing match, a standard size of the boxing ring, dividing a boxing match into different rounds of three minutes each and a count of 10 seconds for a complete and an undisputed victory. Moreover, every new kid on the block, brought with him his own style of fighting (staying within the framework of Broughton’s rules) which gained more and more fame for the sport. Sullivan (Boston Strong Boy) and James J. The Greek epic Iliad, an 8th century B.C. Suddenly, everybody wanted to do things that they thought were truly ‘English’. It became the sport of the masses, a sport in which men from every race, class and creed could participate. The whole vibe and accord of times that saw these champions in action is ineffable and still vests in the hearts of many. Vijender Singh, a small town boy from India was also recognized by the International Boxing Association which announced him as the top ranked boxer in the annual middleweight category in 2009. The introduction of gloves changed the entire pulse of the game. A lot of money was involved in such fights, with the victorious individual winning hefty amounts. J. But again, these contests were not based on any kind of rules and regulations. An immortal legacy has been shaped by various champion boxers, who came, reigned and left. Owing to this, boxing took one more leap forward. The rules, however, revolved around bare-knuckle boxing only and upheld Jack Broughton’s legacy for a little over a century.

Gladiator contestants wrapped their hands in leather straps embedded with metal shards, sharp enough, to injure their opponent.

An interesting take on boxing, as a mortal combat event, comes from ancient Rome where it was included in the gladiator contests, where the contestants fought until one of them died, or was severely injured. The attack and defense strategies, gradually began to change from their orthodox bare-knuckle counterparts. The resurrection of boxing finally came about. This was when the term ‘boxing’ was coined.

The first solid evidence of boxing has been recorded way back around 3000 B.C, and comes from Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Boxing is one of the oldest contact sports known to mankind. This was the first true revolution that happened in the field of boxing. One such name that rose to prominence was a London-based pugilist called Daniel Mendoza. In 1892, in New Orleans, the title for the first heavyweight champion under the Queensberry Rules was spectacularly fought between John L. Boxing Championships were now, not only limited to the United States and England but was also hosted by many other countries like South Africa, Japan, Australia and Argentina. The upper class elites indulged in more noble forms of entertainment and regarded boxing as a savage sport.

During World War II, a boxing ring became a major battlefield for champions hailing from different countries. Boxing has also been controversy’s child through time. Chambers was also an honored member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. More and more people wanted to learn the sport and be an active part of it. Some of these boxers included Henry Armstrong, Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, James. Army during the Vietnam War.

Daniel Mendoza was a Jewish fighter and so was often referred to as ‘the Jew’.

A lot of fights began to be arranged during this time leading to a lot of new pugilists rising to popularity. as the law was a little skeptical about the motive of this prizefighting sport that was usually held at shady venues. The butcher eventually won and was rewarded.

The wealthy English aristocrats began to patronize bare-knuckle fights among the boxers whom they chose. Boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Durn and Marvin Hagler continued to intrigue the spectators. The competitors were divided into lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight in accordance to their physical characteristics which broadened the possibilities of participation. People from all walks of life would flock to the venues and this spectator sport was usually held at underground locations like the Lillie Bridge in London which was often subject to raids and arrests by the local police. Some of the basic rules that shaped conventional boxing since then, includedThe use of ‘mufflers’ or padded gloves, Prohibition to attack and grapple an opponent below the waist, and Disqualifying a player if he was unable to get up and fight back within a prescribed time limit of 30 seconds, after being knocked down by his opponent. Broughton is said to have formalized these rules after he injured an opponent in a prize-fight so severely that he eventually died. It did make minor appearances in the form of bare-knuckle fighting during the Renaissance age in 16th century Europe, but did not manage to gain enough popularity, as it was then practiced predominantly by the lower classes

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