Why boxing was invented?

Why boxing was invented?


A fight with fists, boxing is one of the oldest forms of combat although its rules and social importance have evolved over the centuries. The oldest forms of boxing date back to Antiquity first in the Euphrates region and later in the Hellenic games. The practice then turns into brutal entertainment intended to satisfy the low instincts of the public in Greece following the Romanization (ANTIC PUGILAT).

In the Middle Ages boxing also knew a popular interest in Eastern Europe especially a Russia and in the Polish-Russian border area (box of ancient Russia). Despite its ancient origins, boxing as we know it today develops especially in Anglo-Saxon countries first in England and subsequently in the United States. To talk about the old forms of boxing, we should therefore use the term “” and finally emphasize historical and cultural differences.


The word boxing comes from the English verb to box which means punching with the fist. In England the name was used in reference to barefoot combat sport. However, the etymology remains obscure. Three theories exist on the origins of the word box.

The first and simplest claims that the word is a onomatopic representation of sound produced by impacts as in the ancient Greek word Pyks used in reference to the same type of sound.

The second theory claims that the word is a pan-German expression used in England similar to the old German word baksen, modern baksen, boxen, or Danish axis or even Swedish baxas, boxas.

The third theory is based on another German word, namely the ancient Teutonic Boki, the Dutch beuk, the Dutch means boke, böke, and the Dutch high medium boken. Regardless of all these hypotheses, the word box or Boxing acquired its modern meaning in England from the 16th and 17th centuries. The best example of the use of the word boxing in the English language is contained in R. Harvey’s book: “”. The oldest purely sporting reference was discovered in the translation of 1657 of Sénèque Hippolytus made by J. Studley: “”.

In 1765 in Tucker’s book, titled is the following fragment “”. The English translation made by the English poet W. Cowper contains the following fragment: “”.


The battles that gave birth to modern English boxing and then spread all over the world were never linked to other similar European traditions.

Modern boxing developed rapidly in Great Britain thanks to the cultural and social conditions which also lead to the development of modern sport in general.

The natural common sense of human beings in confrontation was transformed into a system standardized by the English aristocracy which, by organizing boxing matches, tried to create a coherent spectacle on the organizational and aesthetic level.

The first written mention comes from January 1689: “”. Basic rules and technical terminology developed at that time. In 1719 James Figg considered the father of modern boxing challenged anyone who wanted him for the title of champion of England.

This initiative resulted in series of championship matches during J. Figg managed to keep his title until 1730. In 1719, a first boxing school served as a model for twelve famous other schools operating in London until 1729.

In 1721, after the death of the boxer named G. Stevenson, J. Broughton (1704-1789) established new rules limiting the brutality of boxing. They introduced the ban on hitting below the waist, the 30-second break after a knockout and finally the square ring surrounded by ropes. These rules were published in 1743, and considerably reviewed in 1838 by the London Prize Ring – the largest performing company promoting boxing matches. The new rules remained in effect until 1865 when A. Chambers, the Marquis boxer of Queensberry and J. Chamberlain the journalist, prepared another regulation which was widely accepted in Great Britain and adopted in 1873 in the United States. The rules introduced 3-minute rounds, protective gloves and three weight categories. They also prohibited pulling the hair and kicking. A separation between amateur and professional boxing also became more visible.

Professional boxing

Amateur boxing separated from professional boxing in the second half of the 19th century. At first she appeared in England as an applied mode and sports art, one of the subjects taught to future gentlemen. Boxing has always been a professional sport in England and the United States. Irregular and lowest paid boxing matches were transformed in the 19th century into a highly marketed and well-organized entertainment industry.

The professional world championships date back to the American-British matches organized in the years 1810 to 1870. The first unofficial world championship fight opposed T. Cribb and T. Molineaux (Cribb victory). The following world championships often took place, but irregularly, they were often accompanied by disputes between managers, promoters, and boxers themselves over the rights of particular countries to organize these fights and to award the title of world champion.

Until 1834 these matches were exclusively organized in Great Britain then after J. Burke’s visit to the United States in 1835 the two organizing countries in turn the world championships. The matches were generally played according to the rules of the London Prize Ring, in 1885 replaced by the rules of the Marquis of Queensberry. The first world championships organized according to the rules of the Marquis of Queensberry opposed J.L Sullivan and the D.F MacCaffery in 1892. The development of professional boxing was hampered by the fact that several countries had made public fist fighting illegal. In the United States this ban was canceled by the State of New York in 1896.

From then on the world boxing championships became one of the most popular public performances, the spectators identifying themselves with the boxers, this sport therefore exerts a stronger influence than other sports. This trend was accentuated with the development of various media, Radio, cinema, television.

The first film on boxing consisting of a report on the fight between an African-American boxer J. Johnson and J. Jeffries which took place in 1910. The black fighter’s victory over a white man has greatly helped to overcome racial barriers in sport. From the 1920s the radio broadcast the matches live. The image and sound of television ended “the so-called player era” to open up the spectator era. “. As a result, several boxers including Jack Dempsey – world champion in all categories in the years 1919,1926 after defeating the French G. Carpentier, J.J Gene Tunney – world champion from 1926-1928 and J. Barrow Joe Louis – world champion from 1937-1949, were raised to the rank of celebrities. With television boxing became more popular than ever but at the same time with close images, the fighters lost their appearance of mythological heroes. Boxing introduced more and more elements specific to the world of entertainment. The first boxer to gain glory through television was Rocky Marciano world champion after defeating J. Walcott. Mohamed Ali, name taken by Cassius Clay after his reconversion to Islam, world champion on several occasions is one of those who tried on his own to take advantage of the media.

Until the end of the 19th century boxing fights were often organized and promoted by small businesses, often ephemeral, established solely for a championship.

In the second half of the 19th century, the largest combat organizer in the USA was the New Orleans Olympic Club. Boxing entrepreneurs appeared in large numbers, for example J.W Coffroth from 1898 until 1910, especially in California, who later turned to horse racing.

The most famous of them was G. Tex Rickard, the first manager to win more than a million dollars in a single fight (Dempsey against Carpentier in 1919). During his career Rickard organized four other fights which again brought him over a million dollars. After his death his assistant Mr. Jacobs resumed his business and also became an eminent promoter. He founded the Twentieth Century Sport Club which took over the monopoly on the organization of the most important fights in the United States. This company under the leadership of Mr. Jacobs organized five hundred and fifty professional fights, and was later sold to J.N. Norris who called it the International Boxing Club of New York, with branches in New York, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis.

With the arrival of television, the era of great promoters and managers ended. The world championships began to be organized by large associations such as the World Boxing Council, established in 1963. Soon, she was challenged by the World Boxing Association, WBA, which replaced the American National Boxing Association (established in 1926). There are other international associations such as the International Boxing Federation (IBF, established in 1983), and the World Boxing Organization (WBO established in 1988).

In addition, in the United States, there are several organizations that aspire to acquire a monopoly on international matches, such as the United boxing Association (NBA), the New-York State Athletic Association. Europe also has the European Boxing Union. The top three organizations, the WBC, the WBA and the IBF are the most important, and compete fiercely with each other to attract the most famous boxers and thereby expand their market share. They very rarely cooperate to assign championship titles. Until 1978 the three organizations awarded titles of “super champion”, then they each organized their own world championships, which sometimes gave a total of six heavyweight world championships per year !

After 1990 they recognized each other, but these agreements only referred to the heaviest categories. In 1991, for example, out of the fourteen weight categories in which the three federations organized world championships, they recognized only the “super champion” in lightweight (Evander Holyfield) and light (P. Whitaker) . The WBC and IBF also agreed to recognize champions in two categories, half-medium (USA Brow) and half-middle junior (J.Ch Caesar of Mexico). The most popular champions of the 1980s and 1990s were Mike Tyson, WBA champion in 1986 and 1988, and Riddick Bowe, 1992 WBC champion. In 1991 Evander Holyfield became WBA and WBC champion

The most prestigious boxing events often take place at Madison Square Garden in Las Vegas.

The professional European championships have been organized since 1913 and the winners often became world champions, for example I. Johansson of Sweden (European champion 1956 and of the world in 1959) and L. Lewis of Great Britain (Champion of Europe 1991 and world champion 1992).

Given the modifications introduced in the Olympic Charter which dismisses professionals until 1991, the difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing is confused and real amateur boxers, under the wing of the AIBA either the possibility of s ” express at the highest level. JO participants receive bonuses is also monetizing the results with the media and other sources.

The WBC, WBA and IBF therefore organize individual world championships, challenge matches, while the AIBA maintains the ordinary system of competition with playoffs. The AIBA world championships are organized every four years, so boxing fights generally give a fragmented and confused image with world champion titles awarded by many organizations.

The first known female fight took place in London in 1720. Another famous fight pitted Nell Saunders and Rose Harland against the Hills Theater in New York in 1876

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