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Jab-Backfist-Cross Boxing Combo

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Published on Mar 6, 2013

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. The earliest visual evidence for boxing appears in Sumerian relief carvings from the 3rd millennium bc. A relief sculpture from Egyptian Thebes (c. 1350 bc) shows both boxers and spectators. The few extant Middle Eastern and 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.

The earliest evidence of rules for the sport comes from ancient Greece. These ancient contests had no rounds; they continued until one man either acknowledged defeat by holding up a finger or was unable to continue. Clinching (holding an opponent at close quarters with one or both arms) was strictly forbidden. Contests were held outdoors, which added the challenge of intense heat and bright sunlight to the fight. Contestants represented all social classes; in the early years of the major athletic festivals, a preponderance of the boxers came from wealthy and distinguished backgrounds.

The Greeks considered boxing the most injurious of their sports. A 1st-century-bc inscription praising a pugilist states, "A boxer's victory is gained in blood." In fact, Greek literature offers much evidence that the sport caused disfigurement and, occasionally, even death.

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