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Believe it or not, Boxing is surely one of the oldest known sports today, with 2,000-year-old depictions on the walls of tombs in Egypt and stone carvings indicating that Sumerians—who lived in what is now Iraq—boxed at least 5,000 years ago. Boxing got its start as an exhausting and brutal spectacle.
In ancient Greece, two men would sit face to face with their fists tightly wrapped in strips of tough leather. They would then hit each other until one of them fell to the ground unconscious, or even worse, dead.
And of course the Roman fighters or gladiators, on the other hand, fought with the primary intent to kill their opponent, wearing leather straps around their fists plated with metal. However, boxing was soon abolished around 393 AD because it was deemed too savage.
Boxing didn’t really resurface again until the early 16th Century in London. You see, the English aristocracy developed a keen interest in recovering the knowledge and tradition of antiquity, so boxing became a means to handle disputes among the rich.
However the Wealthy patrons would support their pugilists and put large wagers down on their fights. This is actually where the term ‘prizefighters’ was coined.
One of the legendary boxer, Jack Broughton, who happened to be the reigning champion from 1734 to 1758, was the first person to introduce a boxing school. He also helped to formulate the first set of boxing rules and was the inventor of mufflers, the precursors of modern boxing gloves.
Don’t also forget that Broughton of course invited high society gentlemen to make the change from sponsoring fighters to becoming fighters themselves. So when boxing moved across the sea in the early 19th century into America, it wasn’t very popular at the start, until Theodore Roosevelt became an advocate.