The history of boxing

Essay by darkmanxryder December 2002

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There is an evidence of the fact that boxing existed in about the year 1500 BC on the Crete Island. The modern researches allow to insist that such duels had been known much earlier in Africa, particularly in the region of modern Ethiopia. The hieroglyphic scriptures dated back to the year 4000 BC revealed the popularity of this kind of sports throughout the Nile Plateau and all over the Egypt, after the latter had conquered Ethiopia. The enhancement of the Egyptian civilization through the Mediterranean region and the Middle East caused spreading out of boxing. In the year 686 BC boxing was so improved that it was included into the Olympic games program. However that time it was roughly alike a boxing bout we know it today. All fights were carried out on open plots, where the spectators were the "alive arena borders". The fight normally lasted until one of the opponents was physically unable to continue fighting.

Although the first boxers primarily fought for fame, the winner was granted the gold, livestock or other trophies.

To protect their wrists and hands the fighters braided their fists and sometimes two thirds of their forearms with thin soft leather straps. By the 4th century BC the straps were made of harder leather and were used not just as an arm protection gadget but turned the fists into the kind of assault weapon. Lately, in the Roman Empire the leather straps were armored with special copper and iron brackets used in gladiators' fights which usually ended up by the death of one of the fighters.


With the spread of Christianity and the collapse of the Roman Empire fist fights ceased to exist as an entertainment and were forgotten for hundreds years. The first official bout was registered in...