The history of boxing

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Boxing

To the casual observer, boxing is a simple sport: two competitors standing toe to toe in a ring, exchanging punches. In reality, however, boxing is much more complex, and fighters spend their entire careers mastering the intricacies of this “sweet science.” Fortunately, the Web can make it easy to understand the sport, both inside and outside of the ring. It can teach you the rules of boxing, boxing history, help you follow professional boxing, show you how to learn to box your self, and where to buy boxing equipment.

The history of boxing

The history of boxing traces back to ancient Greece, where it was part of the Olympic games. It experienced a revival of popularity in the 18th century in bare-knuckle form, but it wasn’t until the Marquess of Queensberry published rules in 1867 that boxing took the form we see today. This section shows you the evolution of boxing and introduces some historic events that have greatly affected the boxing world and modern society.

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  • There are distinct differences between professional and amateur boxing, Olympic-style boxing. Professional boxing fights are 6–12 rounds with no headwear, and an emphasis on landing hard, damage-inflicting punches. Amateur boxing features just four rounds, headwear, softer gloves, and more importance on landing short, quick punches to score points. Most amateur bouts are decided by the judge’s scorecards—much more so than professional fights, which often end in knockouts.

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The World Boxing Association and other governing bodies

Boxing has a complicated maze of governing bodies, which can be confusing even to boxing experts. The Web sites in this section aim to teach you what these bodies are, which fights they sanction, and what fighters top their rankings.

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  • Governing bodies sanction bouts and award championship belts.
  • The glut of governing bodies, and their championship belts, is often mentioned as a reason for the decline of professional boxing’s popularity. The “alphabet soup” of these organizations’ initials creates confusion and leads to multiple world champions. Furthermore, belt holders are often required to fight the top contender within the governing body instead of the champion of another governing body. This frustrates many fans because it hinders the search for a true champion and prevents some potentially great fights.
  • There are frequent reports of corruption within governing bodies, which are known to accept bribes and favor one promoter’s fighters over others.
  • For further reading on the issues surrounding boxing’s governing bodies, including the alphabet soup champions, the lack of oversight, and the corruption, see these articles from the New York Times, East Side Boxing, and Irish-Boxing.com.
  • For a list of governing bodies not listed here, see BoxRec’s Boxing Encyclopedia.
  • Each professional boxing governing body’s Web site has a brief history, fighter rankings, schedule, results, a list of current champions, federation by-laws, and rules and regulations.

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Boxing news and statistics

With all the governing bodies and weight classes, it can be difficult to stay on top of the world of professional boxing. This section can help you find boxing news, boxer statistics records, previews of upcoming fights, and post-fight analysis from respected commentators.

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  • The best source for official rankings is the Web sites of governing bodies like the WBA, WBC, and IBF.
  • Renowned boxing analyst Max Kellerman hosts a call-in show on ESPN Radio, during which he often talks about boxing. To download podcasts or listen live, visit the official ESPN Radio Web site.

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Boxing on TV and live boxing matches

Professional and amateur fights are held just about every night, and in all parts of the world. The sites we’ve included in this section tell you what fights are coming up and where you can watch boxing on TV or in person.

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  • To order pay-per-view events, visit the Web site of your cable or satellite provider. Depending on your service, either order directly online or find information on how to order over the phone or using your TV remote.

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Boxing equipment

Whether you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will help you in the ring or a pair signed by Smokin’ Joe Frazier to display in your home or office, this section can help you find the best boxing equipment the Web has to offer.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • We list two different types of boxing equipment sites here. The first are general boxing retailers, which carry equipment from multiple manufacturers. They make it easy to compare brands and often feature lower prices. The second are manufacturer sites, which often feature equipment not found in the retail stores.
  • Not sure what boxing equipment you need? Boxinggyms.com has advice on buying boxing gloves, including information on handwraps and glove care.

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Learn boxing

This section will show you where to find a place to learn boxing, take boxing classes, or find boxing training sessions near you.

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  • Most of the sites we’ve included below are designed for beginners, many of whom are boxing without very personalized teaching or without a trainer at all. By the time you’re ready to learn more advanced techniques, you should have a trainer teaching you.
  • If you can’t find a suitable gym in the directories we highlight in this section, use a search engine with some of the following terms: boxing, gym, club, trainer, training, lessons, and instruction.

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