Boxing has been around for centuries; in fact it was one of the sports in the ancient Olympic games of Greece. There is evidence that the sport of boxing was around as early as 688 B.C., although it differed somewhat from the sport we see today. Here are a few interesting facts about boxing and professional boxers that you might not know.
Boxing matches are held on a stage known as a ring, but, of course, this stage or surface is not circular but square. The reason why it is called a ring is because that many years ago spectators surrounded the two opponents, basically forming a ring around the two fighters. This didn’t really work well because people tended to get too close to the boxers. It was decided that the rope should be secured with posts, and thus it was arranged in a square, but the word ring still stuck and does to this day.
The boxing ring is neither a ring nor even circular, so how did this term emerge? Well, it all dates back to the earliest days of professional boxing when those watching a fight would circle around the fighters, forming a ring. Of course, this just didn’t work out particularly well, so a stage of sorts was devised with ropes being set up. This was more to help force the spectators away than to keep the fighters in the ring.
It takes a lot of work to train for a fight, and the fight itself will take a lot out of you. So while the physical demands are tough, there are still a decent amount of pros out there that have fought in more than 100 boxing matches. Len Wickwar, however, surpasses them all. This British pugilist fought 467 bouts during a 19-year period, which is more than one per month. He won about 70% of his fights with 337 wins.
There are many great boxing magazines on the market today, but the oldest boxing publication is Boxing News, which began more than 100 years ago in England. The weekly publication has been bought and sold numerous times, but its commitment to covering all of the news in the boxing world has never wavered. The United States oldest boxing publication is The Ring, which has been in circulation since 1922 and is partially owned today by boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya.
Boxing fans love to talk about great rematches such as any of the fights between Leon Spinks and Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali, and, of course, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. There other great rematches that include fighters other than Ali, but he certainly has had his share of noteworthy rematches. However, he never fought the same fighter as many times as Harry Wills. Because of segregation, Wills was prevented from really showcasing his boxing skills in world professional fights. He held the World Colored Heavyweight Championship title three separate times. He also met Sam Langford in the ring nearly two dozen times, racking up more rematches than any other boxer in modern history.