CP English 12
March 14, 2013
Boxing wasn’t always the clean safe sport that it is today. Back then it was a violent match between two men and sometimes fights to the death. What changed the sport was the introduction of rules that made it safer. Boxing, a seemingly barbaric sport, has its roots in ancient Rome. Over time, however the sport has underwent many changes to make it safer.
The sweet science of today is not the type of boxing it began as. Boxing had its start in Rome in the Olympic Games. Boxing first appeared as a formal Olympic event in the 23rd Olympiad (688 bc), but fist-fighting contests must certainly have had their origin in mankind’s prehistory (Boxing). Boxing can be seen from the 3rd millennium BC which was carvings from ancient Sumerians. The sport was fought with two people set against one another and the fight was won when either man could not continue fighting. A 1st-century-bc inscription praising a pugilist states, “A boxer’s victory is gained in blood.”(Boxing).
The safety of this sport at this time was lacking. There were particularly no rules governing the fighting. Along with no gear, that Boxer of today has protecting them from most of the serious injuries. Egyptian depictions are of bare-fisted contests with, at most, a simple band supporting the wrist; the earliest evidence of the use of gloves or hand coverings in boxing is a carved vase from Minoan Crete (c. 1500 bc) that shows helmeted boxers wearing a stiff plate strapped to the fist (Boxing). As if the sport wasn’t unsafe enough they would wrap leather studded straps around their fists. Gladiators would wrap their hands and forearms with leather straps sometimes studded with metal shards (the cestus), and battle it out, often until death (Mckay).
After the fall of Greek and Rome, Boxing fell into obscurity for many centuries. Until it was brought back in London with the introduction of a few...