Boxing is one of the world’s most popular sports, with millions of people tuning in to see the biggest fights. However, boxing has changed dramatically since its origins in Ancient Greece in 1500 BC, and it’s those changes that we’ll be looking at in this article.
One of the most significant changes that boxing has seen is the introduction of boxing gloves. Professionals now wear 8oz or 10z sponge gloves, depending on their weight class, which helps minimise hand damage. Previously, boxers wrapped their knuckles and wrists in leather straps to protect their hands, leaving their fingers free, which led to a lot more hand injuries. In Ancient Greek boxing, these straps were called himantes and were used by Greek warriors, like the characters you might find in the Ancient Warriors Slot. However, some people disagree with the introduction of gloves, as it allows fighters to attack the head without injuring themselves, which can lead to brain trauma in their opponent.
Another significant change to boxing was the introduction of the rounds system. Professional boxing matches can last up to twelve rounds, and Olympic boxing matches can last up to three rounds. A points system declares the winner if both fighters are still standing. Before this system was introduced in the early 20th century, fighters would continue boxing until one of them couldn’t continue. In the old days, holding up one finger used to be the universal sign of throwing in the towel, as boxers had use of their fingers before the introduction of gloves.
It’s strange to think that there was no official boxing ring in earlier iterations of the sport, but it’s true! You’d think that the person losing would be able to run away, but as far as we know, there aren’t any records of that happening. Rather than a roped-off ring with a springy floor like we have now, older boxing rings used to be dedicated areas outside. The brightness and heat of the sun were other factors that competitors had to face, often making the bouts more physically demanding.
A lot has changed over the years for us to reach the ballet-like movement of modern professional fighters. In the first iteration of boxing, opponents would sit opposite each other, trading blows. It was only later that they started to stand. Things like clinching were forbidden in earlier boxing, as fighters had to remain separated at all times. Fighters used to aim for the softer areas of their opponent, as their hand straps didn’t provide enough protection to go for the head.
Over the years, boxing rules have changed to keep up with the times. More rules have been introduced for the safety of the boxers, such as being compulsory to wear boxing gloves and mouthpieces. Rules such as the standing eight count were also introduced to give the referees agency if they thought a boxer was unfit to fight. While boxing is still a dangerous sport, the rules have been changed to help make it safer for the fighters.
Boxing has come a long way since its origins as an Ancient Greek sport and has developed into a bonafide professional institution. Organisations such as the WBA, WBO, WBC, and IBF have grown the sport tremendously in the past few decades, and we expect to see even more growth in the future.