Boxing was among the most popular sports practiced in ancient Greece and was one of the former disciplines inside the Olympic Games. Romans adopted this sport as they did with almost all the Greek culture, but in Rome, the contenders wore metal protectors for fighting in order to protect their hands. Such protectors were called “cestus” and they had nail in the exterior so more than once the rival was killed during a boxing match.
Although boxing and fighting have been always confused as exchangeable terms they are different sports since what it was generically called fighting more often refers to wrestling. However, boxing is as older as over 4,000 years BC. The first boxing records come from Egypt and East before it became a classic sport in Greece. In modern times, boxing appears in the records after the Duke of Alberman organized in England a fight between his butler and the butcher around 1681.
From then onwards, boxing only appears, as we know it today until the 18th century when it was practiced for money, but the boxing gloves were not part of the equipment of a boxer yet. However, it is known that the money involved in those matches came from the spectators making bets on the contenders.
In 1719 boxing had its first heavyweight champion, the English James Figg, and another champion John Broughton formulated the first boxing regulations in 1743, regulations that were modified and changed for about a whole century.
In 1865, the Marquess of Queensberry implemented the regulations that remain until today that require wearing gloves, hence the last bare fits heavyweight champion was John L. Sullivan who fought against Jake Kilrain in 1889. Even thought, he lost the championship in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 7, 1892 when he was defeated by James Corbett in a fight in which he had to wear gloves.
The first lighter-weight world champion recognized was the English boxer Billy Edwards who won the title fighting against the U.S. boxer Tom Collins, in a historic fight that began on May 24, 1871 and ended on December 6 of that same year. The day of the fighting the police appeared on the scene and the boxers were arrested, but resumed the match two days later after paying S1000, but later they were taken to prison and only after appealing to the court they regained their freedom and the right to conclude the match that year.
With the turn of the century, boxing became popular worldwide and the first remarkable fighting of 1900 took place in Coney Island with a match between Jeffries versus Corbett. In 1908, Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns in Sidney, Australia, and became their first black boxer to win a heavyweight title in the boxing story.
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