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A Brief History of Boxing

The sport of boxing has been around for a long time. Here we have condensed the history into a short timeline. See also about the history of boxing equipment.

Pre 1500 BC: evidence of boxing as a popular sport has been found in ancient Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy.

1500 BC: Boxing gloves are invented, as depicted in Minos in a fresco.

688 BC: Boxing was introduced to the Ancient Olympics; in which combatants sit on rocks, facing each other, and fight until one of them is killed. Leather straps were used to protect the hands.

1681: Boxing first reappears in the West, with the first documented "boxing match" taking place in Britain when the Duke of Albemarle organized a bout between his butler and his butcher, which was won by the butcher.

1719: James Figg, credited by Jack Dempsey with inventing modern boxing, becomes the first modern boxing champion.

1734: Champion boxer Jack Broughton created Broughton's Rules, which defined the first knockout and mandated the use of gloves.

1838: The boxing ring as we know it is formally created under the London Prize Ring rules.

1867: The Marquess of Queensberry rules are instituted, creating the concept of weight classes and rounds in a boxing match.

1880: the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) was founded

1892: The first world heavyweight champion under the Queensberry Rules was "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, who defeated John L. Sullivan at the Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans.

1897: Boxing has the dubious honor of being the first sport to be censored on film; fights out of Nevada are not allowed to be shown at theaters.

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1904: boxing appear on the program at the modern Olympics for the first time

1927: the National Boxing Association (NBA) became the first "sanctioning body" to govern over the sport.

2012: women's boxing was added to the program for the 2012 London Olympic Games

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