Public boxing tournaments were popular in Ancient Rome, during the reign of Emperor Caligula. The contestants were physically strong slaves, and the winner usually got another slave as an award. Initially, the bouts were fought with bare fists, without gloves. Later, special leather strips were tied around fighters' hands to protect them against injuries. We can say that those were the earliest form of modern boxing gloves.
Before becoming a professional sport, boxing was considered to be leisure activity; the more
injuries the loser had, the greater the winner's prize was. During the fight, the contestants could
hit with their legs and elbows. Hitting an opponent below the waist was also allowed.
The first generally accepted rules of boxing were drafted by the Marquess of Queensberry in
There were many strong points in those rules, thanks to which boxing ceased to be compared
with “fight” and became a sport.
1892 saw the first official professional boxing fight between Corbett and Sullivan. During the
legendary fight, Corbett knocked out Sullivan in the 21 st round.
The shortest boxing match took place in the USA in 1886. It lasted 30 minutes.
The longest boxing match took place in 1855. It lasted six hours and 15 minutes.