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A professional boxing contest (welterweight)A professional boxing contest (welterweight) Boxing is a sport where two fighters attack and defend using padded gloves. They aim punches at the upper body of their opponent until one of them cannot continue or is outscored. Boxing bouts take place in a roped-off square space known as a ring. Fighters must be about the same weight, and they fight for 3 to 12 rounds of three minutes each unless the fight stops earlier. Boxing was included in the Olympic Games of 688 BC. The 2012 Olympics included women’s boxing for the first time.

Boxers in Minoan Crete around 1500 BCBoxers in Minoan Crete around 1500 BC


There are ancient Egyptian carvings from about 1350 BC showing spectators watching fist-fights. The Greeks included boxing in the 688 BC Olympic Games, when bouts continued without breaks until one man held up a finger to give in. Some Roman gladiators fought with their fists, wearing leather bands around their hands. These sometimes had metal pieces sewn in to cause bloody injuries when punches landed.

Bare knuckles

If an ancient Greek boxing match went on too long, boxers could choose to end it by taking turns to punch each other undefended until one gave in. This was called the "klimax".

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