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Boxing: History and origins

The origins of boxing history suggest that the sport has existed for as long as humans have existed on this planet. Originally a necessity that took place between two opponents (sometimes willing, other times not so), bare knuckle fighting eventually shifted from a method of self-preservation into a spectator sport. But when did the sport of boxing as we know it today first begin to take shape?

Research suggests that evidence of boxing history can be seen as far back as Roman times. Indeed, the Romans were extremely fond of the sport, which would often be hosted in amphitheatres as a form of gladiatorial combat. During this time, fighters would wrap their fists with a sturdy leather material to protect themselves, though a hardier leather was later adopted to injure their opponents as blood sports became more popular in Rome.

Gladiatorial combat was by its very nature a dangerous sport, and the spectators of the time liked nothing more than watching a violent fight in which one (or sometimes both) fighters could potentially be mortally wounded. Eventually, the boxers in Roman times adopted even more dangerous methods to hurt and maim their opponents, one of which involved adding metal spikes to their ‘gloves’. As a result, in most cases the sport of boxing was often a fight to the death.

By 393AD, boxing eventually became less popular due to its severely high mortality rate. The sport of boxing as we know it today did not surface for another 1200 years later; in the 1600s, the sport resurfaced in London (albeit a far less brutal one). The rest, as they say, is boxing history.

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