How Boxing Evolved From Blood Sport To The Sweet Science

Boxing has been with us as a sport since the beginning of human history; the earliest recorded depiction of a boxing match dates back to 3000 BC. Over thousands of years, the sport has evolved from little more than a brawl to the precise, strategic, and fast sport of BKB. Here’s how the sweet science has changed over the course of human history.

Before 1500 BCE: Boxing is depicted across human civilization; evidence of it as a popular sport has been found in Greece, Asia Minor, and Italy. In fact, giant statues of boxers were erected by the Sardinians to celebrate the sport.

1500 BCE: Boxing gloves are invented, as depicted in Minos in a fresco.

688 BCE: Boxing is introduced to the Olympics; combatants sit on rocks, facing each other, and fight until one of them is killed. Leather straps were used to protect the hands of the survivor; otherwise, they were naked.

The Roman Era: Boxing becomes one of Rome’s most popular sports. The ring is first introduced as a circle scratched into the sand of the arena; boxers can’t fall outside of it.

393 CE: Due to the introduction of the myrmex, or “limb-piercer,” boxing competitions in Rome become so bloody and violent the sport is abolished for public consumption. Boxing goes underground, in the back streets and illegal arenas of Rome, and records of boxing are largely lost during the dark ages.

1681 CE: Boxing first reappears in the West, with an account documented in an English newspaper.

1719 CE: James Figg, credited by Jack Dempsey with inventing modern boxing, becomes the first modern boxing champion.

1734 CE: In an effort to protect the fighters, who were rapidly becoming professionals, the current champion Jack Broughton creates Broughton’s Rules, which defined the first knockout and mandated the use of gloves.

1838 CE: The boxing ring as we know it is formally created under the London Prize Ring rules.

1867 CE: Boxing begins to have a hard time gaining acceptance as a sport, a problem that would continue into the twentieth century. As a result, The Marquess of Queensberry rules are instituted, creating the concept of weight classes and rounds in a boxing match.

1897 CE: Boxing has the dubious honor of being the first sport to be censored on film; fights out of Nevada are not allowed to be shown at theaters.

1900 CE Onward: With the rules put in place and public tastes changing, boxing becomes one of the most popular sports in America. Little changes in the sport in terms of rules or technology for nearly a century.

The Future Now: Boxing will always be with us, but as we can see, the sport has evolved to become more exciting over time. The square boxing ring of decades past, for example, is being set aside in favor of new arenas. The BKB Pit, for example, is a circle with no corners to flee to, nowhere to run or hide. You don’t get in the Pit unless you can stand and fight. And as you fight, custom chips in the gloves sense the force and other crucial statistics about each punch, giving boxing fans more insight into the sport than ever before. It’s innovation that will drive the sweet science ever forward, and make it more exciting than ever. Visit BKB for more about how they’re changing boxing.