When you think of the history of boxing, it’s easy to think that it would be a pretty simple story. The sport has always been two competitors fighting over a number of rounds in the same square ring. But the way we watch, experience and enjoy has changed so much more over the last few decades and even years. Here’s a brief history on how boxing has become much more than a sport.
Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the history of the world. There is even evidence of the sport being played in Ancient Greek times, including in Iraq from the 3rd millennium BCE. Records show that the sport drew big crowds in the coliseums of Ancient Rome. Many of these were unorganised and the competitors just wrapped thin leather around their knuckles before taking part in a fist fight.
The sport we all know and love really started when Marquess of Queensberry rules were drafted in London in 1867. A man called John Chambers came up with many of the basic rules for an amateur championship in the capital city. These included introducing gloves, weight classes, rings, 10 second counts and even the amount and length of the rounds played. The sport was soon outlawed in England, and could only be found in underground gambling clubs. Even then, many of them were often broken up by police before a winner could be crowned.
Of course the sport is now legal and enjoyed by millions of people across the world. Now fans can watch the action on the internet and the TV across the world. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the sports links with gambling. Boxing matches are still held in gambling venues, but they’ve swapped shady clubs for some of the world’s biggest and most glamorous casinos.
The major change over the last few years is now you don’t even have to be at the venue to bet on the outcome of a match. Websites like Betfair offer odds on all the biggest matches across the world which you can win from the comfort of your home or even your smartphone. But there is still a strong link with casino culture, as everyone should know about Betfair and their wide range of online casino games that you can enjoy as easily as their online betting. There’s a wide range of different games, so you’d struggle to think of a game you can’t enjoy on the site.
With a change of location also brings a change of audience for boxing. The fights often attract some of the richest business and most glamorous celebrities packing out stadiums and casinos. If you want a seat at a World Championship fight match, you’re going to have to part with some serious money. Some tickets for one of last year’s big fights, Anthony Joshua vs Charles Martin, were being resold for thousands of pounds after selling out in around 90 seconds. But if you wanted real glamour, some people parted with over 80 thousand pounds just for general admission tickets for Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquaio.
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