On 6th June 2021, Floyd Mayweather, widely known as the greatest boxer, pound for pound in the last 25 years took to Hard Rock Stadium for an exhibition match against Logan Paul who is honestly known more for his antics than as a boxer. This exhibition match racked in an estimated $100 million and $20 million for Mayweather and Logan Paul respectively. That is some good money and I certainly do not mind being beaten to a pulp over 10 rounds if I can earn a fraction of that.
With that being said, I decided to “unbox” for myself what boxing is all about so that I can potentially hone my skills and make it big one day(do not think I will but it's always good to dream!)
Origin Of Boxing
Boxing first appeared as a formal event in the 23rd Ancient Olympics dated in 688BC in commemoration of Patroclus, Achilles's childhood friend and wartime companion. However, the act of fist-fighting has its origins dated all the way back to 1350 BC where carvings found in modern-day Middle East shows 2 boxers engaging in a fistfight with spectators present in the background.
The first documentation of combat gloves been wore to aid the boxer dates all the way back to 650BC in Homer’s poem. The poem stated that boxers wrapped their knuckles and fingers with strips of oxhide or himantes as they were known back then. The power generated from those covering was so powerful that Entellus was able to defeat a bull with a single blow.
Rules Of Boxing: The start of something magical
The first evidence of rules for boxing came from the ancient Greek. Those contests held back then had no rounds, instead, boxers simply continued until one man either acknowledged defeat by holding up a finger or they simply could not continue anymore. Also holding your opponent at close range with your hands is also not allowed and so is wrestling. Any blows with the hand are also considered a legitimate move apart from gouging with the fingers (Thankfully. Boxing is already gory enough, do not wish to see loose parts coming off).
Boxers were also not classified by weight and opponents are matched randomly and by chance. Moreover, the Greeks did not enclose the competitors in a ring to encourage fighting in close quarters. Therefore, most boxers fought defensively as opposed to offensively to encourage patience and caution.
Rules Of Boxing: The “Hook” that broke the Boxer’s back.
Boxing continues to not be regulated in rules well into the 17th century. There were no weight divisions or round limits, and no referee. In general, it was extremely chaotic. An early article on boxing published in 1713, by Sir Thomas Parkyns, described a system of headbutting, punching, eye-gouging, chokes, and hard throws. The first boxing rules, known as the Broughton's rules, were introduced by Jack Broughton in 1743 to protect fighters in the ring where deaths sometimes occurred. Under these rules, if a man went down and could not continue after a count of 30 seconds, the fight was over. Hitting a downed fighter and grasping below the waist were prohibited. Broughton also encouraged the use of 'mufflers', a form of padded bandage or mitten, to be used in sparring sessions in training, and in exhibition matches. The rules also allowed fighters to drop to one knee to end the round and begin the 30-second count at any time.
The London Prize Ring Rules formulated in 1838 introduced measures that remain in effect for professional boxing to this day, such as outlawing butting, gouging, scratching, kicking, hitting a man while down, holding the ropes, and using resin, stones or hard objects in the hand and biting.
Rules Of Boxing: The new normal established.
In 1867, John Chambers drafted a set of rules for the amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London for Lightweights, Middleweights and heavyweights which have since come to be known as the “Marquess of Queensberry Rules.” This set of rules regulated that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square or similar ring. Rounds were three minutes with one-minute rest intervals between rounds. Each fighter was given a ten-second count if he was knocked down, and wrestling was banned. It also reiterates that any hit below the waist is illegal and punishable by points deduction. The “Marquess Of Queensberry” rules have come to form the basis of how modern boxing is conducted and refereed today and is still in effect today.
Boxing has indeed come a long way. From the tumultuous times where death is commonplace and boxing fights are illegal to today where boxing is and would continue to be a lucrative martial art for all to enjoy. This journey of “unboxing” boxing has taken us through the origins and rules of boxing and it sure would not stop there! Next part, we will explore the various techniques and moves used in boxing and you would not want to miss out on the chance to pick those moves up and impress your friends (or date 😉)! Check us out at The Jungle MMA to learn some boxing moves!