P121Boxing is an ancient sport. The earliest representations date from the Minoan and Mycenian period. In 688 BC, it became an Olympic event and in 616 BC, it was extended to boys.
Greek boxing differed from today’s boxing in several respects. A match had no fixed duration, but ended when one of the fighters submitted. Weight categories were not known, age categories were.
To protect their hands, boxers bound leather thongs around their knuckles. At the inside these gloves were patted with wool, at the outside hard straps of leather were attached to make the blows more efficient. During the training, boxers used soft gloves. Greek boxers trained, just like today, with a punch-ball.

The rules for boxing forbade holds on the opponent (this is wrestling), blows on the male organs and more than the normal reinforcements on boxing-gloves. P011Despite these rules boxers often got wounded and their faces were scarred by the sport. For this reason the Greek considered boxing the most dangerous of the three combat sports.

Famous boxers:

* Kleomedes of Astypalaia
* Kleitomachos of Thebes
* Diagoras of Rhodes & family
* Dorieus of Rhodes
* Theagenes of Thasos
* Melankomas
* Euthymos of Lokroi

© KU Leuven, 2012