Have you moved to another country and want to know how to make friends in a new city? Here’s one answer for you, talk about boxing. Today, boxing is a multi-billion dollar industry with global fans. Read on to discover some interesting facts, about the incredible sport of boxing in this all-encompassing post.
Do you know what the greatest sporting event of the 20th century was?
The year was 1974, the country was Zaire, and the stage was a boxing ring in a fully jam-packed arena.
The sporting event was the heavyweight boxing match between Muhammad Ali and the then undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman, where Muhammad Ali defeated Foreman in the eighth round by knockout.
The match is also sometimes referred to as “The Rumble in the Jungle” and had a phenomenal live attendance of over 60,000 people. It was an exceptional size of an audience for a sporting event considering the time and settings of the game.
But what is so exciting about boxing sports? What is it about this game that people love it so much? How did it actually originate? Although it’s popular in America, where else in the world is it popular? Who are some of the most famous boxers in the world? And most importantly, what’s the future of the sport, as, after all, it is a sport of two sound-minded humans beating each other up?
Boxing: the sport and the rules
The sport is a famous combat sport where two individuals wearing boxing gloves fight by throwing punches at each other.
We commonly know the sport as boxing. However, the official name of the boxing sport, to your surprise, is pugilism, which means, “practice and skills of fighting with fists.”
The game has set standards and rules and is fought in a dedicated boxing ring which is around 18–22 square feet with pole strands on the four corners of the boxing ring, giving it a square shape. Professional boxing matches are scheduled from anywhere between 4 to 12 rounds, with each round spanning about 3 minutes.
A boxing match ends when a boxer who is meant to play the match is disqualified or the referee ends the match as a boxer is not capable of continuing the fight any further. Meanwhile, the match also ends if the predetermined rounds for the match end, in which case the decision about the winner of the boxing fight is made by a jury decision.
There are a large number of prominent amateur and professional level boxing leagues that are carried out throughout the world year-round.
Although the sport is a popular combat sport globally, the main market for the sport finds itself in countries such as Mexico, South America, the USA, and Africa.
Globally, the sport is governed by four different recognized bodies. The names of these bodies are as follows:
- International Boxing Federation (IBF)
- World Boxing Association (WBA)
- World Boxing Council (WBC)
- World Boxing Organization (WBO)
Cumulatively, over 17 weight classes are offered by these bodies, and there are around 85 titles that can be won.
The origins and history of boxing
In the world of sports, boxing is one of the oldest and most popular. The sport as we know it today is the result of centuries of development.
In what is now Iraq, archaeologists have found tombs from the Sumerian era, which dates back more than 5,000 years, bearing boxed images. The Mesopotamian nations of Assyria and Babylonia also produced similar artifacts, which is evidence enough that the sport of boxing has also existed in these ancient civilizations.
In ancient Greece, two men would face each other with their fists securely wrapped in leather strips. Afterward, they would continue to slug it out until one of them was knocked unconscious or even dead.
The 23rd Olympiad in 688 B.C. marked the first time it was included in the Olympic program.
The Roman gladiators fought in combat with the sole goal of death, wearing metal-plated leather straps around their knuckles. On the other hand, boxing was banned in 393 AD because it was thought to be too violent.
After being banned for a long time, it came back to London in the early 1600s.
Boxing became a way for the English elite to settle their differences with each other. Affluent spectators would cheer on their favorite fighters and place hefty bets on the outcome of the match. The word “prizefighters” was invented here, in fact.
When Jack Broughton became champion in 1734, he started a boxing school for amateurs. He also invented the mufflers, which were the forerunners of the current boxing gloves. He also contributed to the creation of the first set of boxing regulations.
Broughton enlisted the help of wealthy, upper-class males to make the leap from sponsors to participants in the sport.
Until Theodore Roosevelt became a champion of boxing in the early 19th century, the sport was not widely accepted in the United States.
Popularity of boxing in America
In the 2021 Harris Poll, 33 percent of the 2000 surveyed adults said that they are fans of the sport, making it America’s 4th most popular sport only after football, baseball, and basketball.
It comes as no surprise that the United States holds more world titles in boxing than any other country. Currently, the United States holds 15 titles. This includes the heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, as well as the bantamweight champion, Daniel Roman.
Throughout the history of boxing, the United States has been home to more than 430 world champions. This makes the United States the most powerful boxing nation in the world. When people think about boxing legends, they think about North American famous boxers names like Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Sherry Robinson, and Mohammed Ali.
In the 19th century, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th US President, saw great potential in boxing as a sport. During his time as a police commissioner, he urged his officers to learn the art of fighting, or in Latin, “ars pugandi,” to tackle some non-routine situations.
Roosevelt viewed boxing as a way to vent one’s anger and other negative emotions. During his time as the US President, boxing prospered and became more popular among US citizens.
From there, boxing continued to grow in popularity with guidelines and rules put in place to protect fighters, making it the sport we all know and love today.
One of the major reasons for the popularity of boxing among Americans is the glamour and style associated with the sport of boxing. Americans love to follow the swag and the style of their favorite famous boxers.
Which countries participate in boxing?
Well, boxing isn’t just limited to the US alone. It has a global appeal to it as a sport. Here are some important countries, sans the USA, where boxing enjoys exceptional popularity.
Amateur boxing is very popular in the country. Kazakhstan also has a traditional amateur contest that has been going on in the country ever since the Soviet times.
As per the Kazakh Boxing Federation, more than 3000 Kazakhstani athletes are associated with the sport of boxing.
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin is unquestionably Kazakhstan’s finest boxer. “GGG” or “Triple G” are two of his many nicknames.
The Philippines is a country of over 106 million people and, without any doubt, its people have a great passion for boxing. In total, the country has produced over 39 world boxing champions in all weight categories.
Manny Pacquiao is currently the top boxer from the Philippines and has a global fan following. Boxing gurus rank him as one of the finest Filipino professional fighters ever.
Mexico is one of the top three countries where boxing is extremely popular. It has produced over 192 world boxing champions to this day. Canelo lvarez is the best and most well-known top boxer in Mexico.
To name a few famous boxer names from Mexico, Salvador Sanchez, Ruben Olivares, and Julio Cesar Chavez are the most decorated boxers from the country.
Why do people like boxing so much?
There is no denying the fact that boxing is a brutal sport. Sensitive people and those who care for human lives, even if they lie on the opposite side. However, it is also a fact that there are millions of fans of boxing throughout the world. And these fans are really enthusiastic ones.
But the question remains as to how someone could like a brutal sport like boxing, where one is looking to hurt the other.
Here are some of the key reasons why people love the sport:
First of all, it is perceived as being cool, and the movie culture has a lot to do with this. Movies like Apollo, Creed, and Rocky play a major role in socializing the young brain as to what is cool and macho. Also, these movies show that if you want to be manly, you can’t hate fighting.
Also, movies are meant to motivate people. This is why most people feel the emotions of perseverance and motivation after they watch the Rocky movie or even listen to its theme song. It would not be surprising if the theme song from “Rocky” inspires some to visit an online store and look for boxing equipment. This is simply about the power of cinema.
Secondly, if we look past human history, most of the personalities who are portrayed as heroes are warriors and fighters. Literature is filled with stories of the bravery and awesomeness of a certain hero who fought, killed, and defeated his opponents. The primary example of this is the heroic personality of Alexander the Great. So, it all plays at a subconscious level in human brains. Later, when we see a person loving hurtful boxing matches, it is simply a manifestation of that psyche.
Thirdly, a boxing event is an exciting event and there should be no doubt about it. Irrespective of which player one supports, the adrenaline rush is a sure thing. You can see that most of the famous games are also combat sports in nature. So, the simple fact that people love excitement and thrills provides the foundation for the likeability of the sport of boxing.
All-time great boxers from around the world
Boxing heroes are some of the biggest heroes in the world across all spectrums of human life. They enjoy extreme fame and respect from their die-hard fans in the millions. Here is a list of the most famous boxers in the world.
Muhammad Ali, the people’s champion, was a heavyweight boxer who won 56 fights and was defeated in five of them during his boxing career. He was a rarely gifted boxer who had a unique boxing style. Ali won the title 3 different times.
Robinson, Sugar Ray:
Sugar Ray was the ultimate fighting machine with great stamina, a powerful jab and excellent reach enough to knock out his opponents most of the time.
39-0, FMW, or Floyd Mayweather, is the ultimate welterweight champion still alive. He has great stamina, endurance, and defense strategy and is known for finishing the opponent in the first few rounds of the boxing match with full vigor.
The Bottom Line:
Beneficiaries of the multi-billion dollar boxing industry often mention that the sport and the associated training come with a lot of health benefits, such as Cardiac health and overall body conditioning are some of the benefits that supporters of the sport put forward as the reasons that the sport should continue.
Whether I lived in America or living in China, I have taken boxing classes and enjoyed seeing my body become more lean and toned. I’ve also enjoyed watching the strong bodies spar during a boxing match I watch on a rooftop of a boxing gym near me in Shanghai.
Research would suggest though that the sport is losing popularity in the United States. But one should not expect the United States to lose its number one ranking when it comes to heavyweight championships anytime soon.
The sport has evolved into other violent sports such as the UFC MMA (Mixed Martial Art) championship. Nobody can deny the popularity of Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor. I’ve even watched and enjoyed fictional MMA movies like Bruised and Warrior.
MMA fights and athletes capture the attention of a big number of people all over the world since they are televised with tremendous branding and promotion, including post and pre-match conferences. As a result, the number of people interested in this particular combat sport is growing.
Finally, it is safe to say that boxing as a sport is here to stay as a distinct niche. There will be more top boxers and more passionate fans of the sport, as well as more boxing-themed movies to inspire from young to older. And event though it can be tough to make friends in a new city, in the new country you’ve moved to, there are still ways to meet new people and make long-lasting friendships.
-Yes, join a gym or fitness class that meet regularly. There are bound to be boxing or MMA-inspired classes or moves within the class and you will impress or intrigue someone with something you’ve learned in this article.
-Attend a local boxing match. This is a great way to meet people. As I mentioned above, I attended a boxing match in Shanghai. I arrived knowing no one but saw some girls hanging out, who knew one of the boxers, and started chatting about being new in town. Yes, even girls attend boxing matches, so ladies, don’t turn down the opportunity to meet new friends through this avenue.
-Volunteer to throw a movie night at a local sports bar when the umpteenth boxing movie comes out. People can pay the venue to enter, you can create a group in any of the social media apps popular in your locale, and of course name yourself as the point of contact/host. I organized many movie nights in Shanghai (about scifi, I’m such a geek, but I met people that way).
Making friends in a new city doesn’t have to be difficult – just get out there and start meeting people!
In your new city try something new, that’s one of the reasons you moved abroad to another country.
Check out the blog for handy information and a guide to moving abroad and buy the ebook , with a great checklist when moving to another country !
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