"It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am." Muhammad Ali (1942-2016).

Several time world champion boxer in the heavyweight category, Muhammad Ali arouses adoration raised to the rank of adulation, as much as he incites criticism.

Even today, the late world champion of boxing ranks at the top as the greatest legend of the sport.

In addition to being undefeated in the boxing ring during his glory days, he embodies a humanitarian model to follow, an intelligence at the service of progress and human rights.

Mohamed Ali remains an immortal boxing great, an icon of the sport.

The great boxers of the 20th century - be it English boxing, boxing (full contact), French savate boxing, Thai boxing or kickboxing, have all largely contributed to the development of boxing amongst combat sports, and elevated the sport to one of the most popular sports disciplines.

According to their boxing equipment - boxing gloves, under-gloves, bandage and mittens, teeth protectors, shin guards, boxing shoes, boxing shorts, chest protectors, cups, boxing helmets - and their physical preparation (warm-up, training of boxing and stretching), the practitioners of the sport train differently than other athletes.

Here in this article is all you need to know about the world of boxing.

The Grand History of the Noble Art!

While hand-to-hand combat has long been mistakenly thought of as an act of violence to let off steam, it is increasingly considered a "circuit training" and healthy sport.

The history of boxing predates anglo-athletic culture and even Europe itself.
The popular contemporary sport actually has ancient origins.

To understand what we are talking about, here are some reminders of boxing history.

Boxing emerged around the 6th century BC, when ancient man began to use punches and kicks as natural weapons.

Practiced in ancient Greek times and during the Roman Empire, boxing was a fight, in its primitive form, the outcome of which often resulted in the death of one of the contestants.

In ancient Greek boxing, the blows were directed at the head, and it was therefore necessary to constantly keep guard. As it developed, the fighters had to strike at all parts of the body, in hand-to-hand combat, and all blows were allowed.

In 408 BC, Polydamas de Scotussa participated in the Olympic Games, becoming boxing champion, and entered the ancient legends as great undefeated champion, though he came to a tragic ending after the fall of Troy.

Boxing is forgotten for fourteen centuries, after the Roman emperor Theodosius I banned gladiatorial games in 392 CE, until the 17th century.

James Figg (1695-1734) was the first boxer who, with his bare hands, combined boxing, wrestling and fencing.

Faced with the deaths that these fights cause, his successors would codify this new sport, including Jack Broughton (1704-1789), who wrote in 1743 the first universal rules of boxing - the London Prize Ring Rules.

Boxing would be marked throughout the 19th century by violence, corruption and cheating. In 1866, the wearing of boxing gloves became mandatory, the size of a ring was fixed, and the fight against opponents on the ground (outside of the ring) became illegal.

From the first round to the last round, the competitors must be able to recover: thus, each round was fixed at three minutes.

Boxing would not be legal until 1891, but jointly, French savate boxing - a mixture of boxing and fencing, in hand-to-hand combat with a cane - developed in France.

This is the beginning of the golden age of boxing: the 20th century, the champions sometimes moving from banditry to international notoriety.

Georges Carpentier (1894-1975) became the first welterweight champion in France and won the world light heavyweight title in 1920.

The list of champions - WBO (World Boxing Organization) and WBA (World Boxing Association) - is long: Mohamed Ali (1942-2016), Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Rocky Marciano, Manny Pacquiao, Jake LaMotta, Georges Foreman, Joe Grazier, Wladimir Klitschko, etc.

Get information about online boxing classes here.

Why Start Boxing? Our 10 Reasons!

Besides the desire to strike with as much agility and power as a great boxing champion to challenge any opponent, training on a punching bag, with bear paws or otherwise, offers a wealth of benefits.

Boxing training will develop your body, your mind and fortitude all at once.
Thai Boxing | Combat sports require you to be in your best possible physical condition. | source: static.pexels.com

Of course, boxing is good for physical and moral health. Here are ten reasons to start boxing, in the English, French or Thai style.

  1. Boxing is one of the most comprehensive contact sports. Whether you do boxing, amateur boxing, professional boxing, Thai or savate form in leisure, you will develop striking upper body strength, while also developing your legs (savate, Burmese boxing, kun khmer, Thai boxing, kick boxing, MMA). It is a sport that allows you to build muscles while developing precision, self-control, self-confidence, agility, fighting skills and strategy, as well as mutual respect (no blows from behind are allowed): to defeat by knockout, one must also be clever and agile enough to dodge the oncoming attack.
  2. Boxing allows you to refine your figure: during a group boxing class, you work more muscles than during a session in a gym: boxing or martial arts can sculpt the body, help you to lose weight, and attain an athletic physique.
  3. Therefore, boxing can help you to slim down: in one hour of boxing, you burn more energy than one hour of swimming.
  4. It is a very complete cardiovascular training: boxing and mixed martial arts or Asian (jujitsu, kung fu, karate, aikido, judo, taekwondo, krav maga, vovinam, etc.) stimulates the physical condition and activates the heart muscle.
  5. It is a sport to let off steam: evacuate stress and channel your energy with punching bags to increase the feeling of well-being and soothe the human body,
  6. It is a high quality muscle building program: all the muscles are reinforced simultaneously, from the calves to the quadriceps, the abdominals, the forearm, etc.,
  7. By going boxing in a sports club, you can learn self-defense, to respond to possible urban aggressions.
  8. Boxing is social: women's and men's boxing are open to all, their sports practice is done in conviviality, it is a sport adapted to the physical conditions of each participant: it is a vector of social linking.
  9. Boxing is a mixed sport: with nearly 30% of women in each boxing club now, boxing is one of the most feminised sports disciplines.
  10. It is also a tactical sport: training in a boxing club requires explosiveness, but above all physical and cognitive qualities to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your partner, to strike most affectively.

Convinced to join the dojo of a boxing gym in the United Kingdom? Any boxing club requires proper sports attire to practice under the best conditions.

The most important piece of equipment: boxing gloves.

What Glove Brands Should You Chose?

Many brands of boxing gloves exist on the sports equipment market.

Good gloves will first of all help you to avoid injury: hitting with bare hands on a mannequin, or a punching bag will damage the tissues of the fist and can cause unpleasant cuts.

Boxing gloves will keep both you and your opponent safe in the ring.
Good gloves will help you achieve great punches, so don't overlook your boxing equipment.

The gloves will distribute the impact of the punch, protecting both the boxer and his opponent: several materials such as leather padding or synthetic leather are provided for this purpose.

You must remember several criteria of choice in order to buy the best boxing gloves:

  • The intended level of practice: an Olympic champion requires more high-end gloves than a beginner romping at the neighborhood sports club for fun.
  • The size of the gloves according to weight: gloves too small increase the intensity of the punch and reduce the guard, too big and they reduce the velocity. From weight categories to super-heavyweight, the size of the gloves ranges from 8 to 12 Oz.

As soon as we have targeted the optimal size according to its objectives, its stature and its weight, we must then begin to compare the products according to their prices.

Boxing glove brands are numerous and offer several ranges of prices, from £10-15  to more than £150.

High-end gloves have a coating made of superior leather, which gives them great durability .

Adidas, Domyos, Everlast, Metal Boxec, Reyes, Twins, Venum, Fairtex, and Ringhorns are all regularly selected brands for every level of practitioner.

Here is an estimated summary of brands and prices to expect:

Great Boxing Quotes!

Many have made their mark in boxing: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and George Foreman are among the most famous top athletes.

But the word of a great boxing champion may be even more engraved in the collective memory than his record, as impressive as it is.

For this word, the most striking quote from the life of a famous individual, reflects his journey in the socio-economic context of the society in which he lives, or has lived.

Ali was known as a great fighter and representative of peace.
The man, the hero, the legend...Ali.

Here, to illustrate our point, a selection of the best punchlines of the greatest boxing quotes.

Five Quotes from Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)

1 / "I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. "

2 / "In the ring we have a referee to stop the fight if one man should become too hurt physically. Boxing is nothing like going to war with machine guns, bazookas, hand grenades and bomber airplanes. "

3 / "You think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned? Wait till I whup George Foreman's behind. Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't, George thinks he will, but I know he won't. I done rassled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone and hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

4 / "It doesn't matter whether you're a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew. When you believe in God, you should believe that all people are part of one family. "

5 / "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up. "

Five Quotes from Mike Tyson

1 / "I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds. "

2 / "As long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want. "

3 / "Real freedom is having nothing. I was freer when I didn't have a cent."

4 / "Everybody's got plans... until they get hit."

5 / "Some people try to get you out of slavery for you to be their slave. "

Four Quotes from George Foreman

1 / "Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it."

2 / "That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy."

3 / "A hero is someone right who doesn't change. "

4 / "I get up in the morning looking for an adventure. "

Six Quotes from Floyd Mayweather Jr.

1 / "I want to be able to separate the average from the good and from the great. I want to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. "

2 / "A true champion will fight against everything. "

3 / "Nobody is faster than me. "

4 / "God did only one perfect thing in this world, and that's my boxing record. "

5 / "Once I'm in the square circle, I'm in my home. "

6 / "Don't ever know who you may meet, or just because a person may not be dressed up all fancy, don't mean they're not an important person. You just don't ever know who you're gonna meet in life. So that's why I look at everybody as equal. Can't just judge. I treat everybody with respect. Every man."

The Top 10 British Boxers

The United Kingdom has developed its own boxing history thanks to these British sportsmen who have entered our collective memory.

The UK is the authority on English boxing and its evolution.
The United Kingdom has no shortage of incredible British boxing champions.

Here are some of these great British boxing champions from the boxing world:

  • Joe Calzaghe
  • Lennox Lewis
  • Ken Buchanan
  • Barry McGuigan
  • Lloyd Honeyghan
  • Ricky Hatton
  • John Conteh
  • Chris Eubank
  • Nigel Benn
  • Naseem Hamed

Boxing Films: The Ring on Screen!

When we talk about boxing, we often think of Sylvester Stallone as boxer Rocky Balboa. If this boxing movie has undoubtedly marked our collective minds, the seventh art form has many more masterpieces in its reels.

Boxing is one of the best represented sports in cinema.
Some of the best films in cinema history have been about boxers and their profession.

From Charlie Chaplin skipping rope to quickly become a new champion, to Clint Eastwood, a boxing coach leading a female hopeful to glory (Million Dollar Baby), here is a selection of ten boxing films to see again and again:

  • The Champion (1915),
  • The "Rocky" series, 8 films since 1976,
  • Raging Bull (1980),
  • When We Were Kings (1996),
  • The Hurricane (1999),
  • Girlfight (2000),
  • Ali (2001),
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004),
  • Cinderella Man (2005),
  • Victor Young Perez (2013).

The interest in boxing is such that we are witnessing an acceleration in the pace of production of the best boxing films: in this top 10, half of them have been produced after the year 2000.

Need a Boxing teacher?

Enjoyed this article?

5.00/5 - 1 review(s)


As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.