History of Boxing – Women, Minorities and Film
Boxing goes back to ancient Egypt around 3000 BC and in the 7th century boxing arrived in ancient Greece. During this time soft leather thongs were used to protect boxers’ hands. When boxing arrived in ancient Rome, metal-covered gloves were used by boxers and when Rome fell, boxing disappeared from the scene until the 1600s.
During that era England reintroduced the sport of boxing and set the stage for what is now called amateur boxing in the 1880s. In 1904 boxing was introduced to the Olympic Games and the United States won all the boxing medals that year.
Did you know that women’s boxing has been around for at least over 136 years? In 1876 the New York Hills Theater held the first female boxing match between Nell Saunders and Rose Saunders, and the winner received a silver butter dish. In 1954 Barbara Buttrick was the first female boxer to be featured on national television and in 1975 Eva Shain became the first female judge in a boxing match. That same year Nevada issued the first boxing license to women. At the 2012 Olympics in London women’s boxing will make its’ first debut.
Aside from the United States, Cuba is another major country where boxing reigns supreme. Boxing is considered a team sport in this country and Cuba has earned more medals in boxing than other nations, including the U.S. Cuba has won seven out of nine Olympic heavyweight boxing medals over the past few years. Of the 104 gold medals issued in men’s heavyweight boxing during the Olympic Games since 1972, Cuba won 32 of them.
Here is some information on some of the best-known boxers in history. Jack Johnson was the first African-American boxer to win a heavyweight championship in 1908 and held this title until 1915. His trailblazing victories paved the way for future African-American boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield. Oscar de la Hoya paved the way for future Hispanic-Americans who have already entered the boxing profession.
It’s also interesting to note that boxing has made its’ presence known in film history. All five of the Rocky sequel movies pertained to boxing and The Great White Hope was a film about the life of boxer Jack Johnson. Other boxing movies include The Prizefighter and the Lady, The Joe Louis Story, Million Dollar Baby and The Contender.
Here are some common boxing phrases throughout history that people now use for other purposes. One common boxing term that people use is “on the ropes”. Traditionally this meant that a boxer is hurt but now this means that a certain situation is troublesome. When people say “down but not out”, they mean that adversity has struck someone but they’ll recover from it.
In conclusion, boxing is an international sport that may seem brutal to some people. However, the story of boxing is a story of triumph over tough battles and it’s a good parallel to the everyday struggles all people face.