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 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.
- 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.
For an overview of boxing …
takes a look at the history and rules of boxing, as well as a boxer’s moves and training regimen. It’s a British site, so it does tend to focus on British boxing, but much of the information is universal.
covers the early history and the current state of boxing, with information on rules, technique, equipment, and competitions. The content is broken up into several short sections, which are best navigated using the navigation bar on the left-hand side.
gives a good overview of the rules of boxing, terms, strategy, and history along with photos taken from actual fights.
For boxing rules …
covers the Queensberry rules, which revolutionized the sport of boxing when they were created by the Marquess of Queensberry in 1867. The same basic rules are still in use today.
presents amateur boxing rules. It clearly explains amateur boxing’s strict scoring system, which is based on the number of punches thrown and not the power of the punch.
For boxing history …
The International Boxing Hall of Fame
in Canastota, New York, is the more respected of the two international boxing halls of fame. Its site includes biographies of inductees and articles about boxing’s history.
The World Boxing Hall of Fame
in Los Angeles is the oldest international boxing hall of fame, founded in 1980. Its site features short biographies of all its inductees, as well as induction ceremony information and pictures.
has a collection of newspaper articles covering fights from the 1800s to 1955. Many famous fights are covered here, including Johnson–Burns, Dempsey–Tunney, and Louis–Schmeling.
’s “American Experience” presents The Fight
, a documentary on the epic 1938 bout between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. The fight became a symbolic battle between the United States and the Nazi regime, and Louis’s first-round knockout of Schmeling made him an American hero. The site includes an overview of the fight, a timeline, pictures, radio calls of both Louis–Schmeling bouts, and a transcript of the film. It also encourages further study, with a collection of primary sources, further reading, and a teacher’s guide.
also offers Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
, a documentary by Ken Burns. In 1908, Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion of the world, challenging the racist ideals of the white establishment and paving the way for civil-rights trailblazers like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. The site features a walk-through of the documentary, with pictures and selected audio snippets, and a teacher’s resource designed for high school students. The documentary is also available on DVD
The New York Times
has an archive of articles chronicling the life and career of Muhammad Ali, from his first victory over Sonny Liston to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Several book reviews are also included.
Boxing has a complicated maze of governing bodies, which can be confusing even to boxing experts. ... read more »
With all the governing bodies and weight classes, it can be difficult to stay on top of the world ... read more »
Professional and amateur fights are held just about every night, and in all parts of the world. The ... read more »
Whether you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will help you in the ring or a pair signed ... read more »
This section will show you where to find a place to learn boxing, take boxing classes, or find ... read more »
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