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How Boxing evolved as a popular sport

By Randy Collins Subscribe to RSS | December 15th 2011 | Views:

The ancient Greeks were at it several thousand years ago. Bashing up one another turned into a sport and later came to be called Boxing. Hermes a Greek God was the patron of sports among many other things. He is credited with inventing Boxing and was very fond of his creation. He was actually an Olympian God who was the patron God of all athletes. His fondness for boxing probably originated from the sense of triumph one gets after bashing up the opponent. He is the person or God who devised the various steps and thrusts and upper and lower cuts that are very much in use today. We do not know if the killer punch was created by this great specimen of perfect physique. The Egyptians, Babylonians and Mesopotamians produced their own share of boxers who actually fought with their bare fists. They ended up injuring each other’s faces and fists as well. However, what was introduced as a pastime sport has emerged as one of the largest revenue generating sport in the world today.

Boxing, which is also called pugilism, is a sport that has two participants who fight each other using their fists. The boxers are required to wear special gloves which are made for the purpose. They are designed in such a way as to not inflict grievous injuries. However, there have been numerous instances where people have had their noses squashed and jaws dislocated while trying to down each other in one bout or the other. The sport was patronized by the Roman Emperors who added excitement to the game by offering prize purses to the winners. The amount offered got bigger depending on the intensity and excitement each match created. The whims and fancies of the ruler had to be satisfied. If he wanted to see any particular contestant dead, he would order the match to continue till one of the fighters dropped dead. Eventually, with the passage of time, when the Roman Empire declined, boxing almost disappeared from the scene. It was replaced by a much more exciting and dangerous sport which was armed combat. This ensured that the fighters mauled each other even more horrendously which added to the amusement of the monarch viewing the duel.

Long due recognition for this sport was accorded by the Greeks when they included it in the Olympic Games in 688 BC. The sport further got a fillip when it surfaced in England in the 1700’s as bare-knuckle boxing and was also referred to as prizefighting, probably due to the prize money involved. The first such fight was reported in a journal called the London Protestant Mercury that gave graphic details of this bloody sport. The first person in England to be declared a boxing champion was James Figg and the term boxing got an official status.

Furthermore, it was in the 1830’s that the sport got a semblance of some sort of order and was codified and the London Prize Ring Rules came into being and fights had to be confined to a roped-in area, otherwise called a boxing ring which was actually a square of 24’. A fighter could not afford be down for more than 30 seconds if he wanted to continue fighting. He needed to use his own steam to get up and finish or be finished. The fighting itself became highly technical with fighters using deft maneuvers like slipping, bobbing and angling. These were defensive moves that prolonged the fights, thus adding to the excitement. The fights acquired a dubious distinction and were banned and had to be held at secret venues that were no more than gambling dens.

Today the sport is extremely popular with incredibly high stakes. Besides which, there is rampant official and unofficial betting. While the professional boxers and their managers were making a pile of money, the ex-boxers started academies that trained aspiring boxers. Some of the most famous fights are regularly aired by most popular service providers like Dish TV.

Randy Collins - About Author:
Randy Collins is a freelance writer who keenly watches boxing matches on Dish TV

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