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The Academy guide to Olympic boxing
Around the Academy:

Boxing was part of the Ancient Olympic Games over 600 years before Jesus was even born!

688 BC to be exact!

But after the fall of the Roman Empire boxing disappeared from the record books until the 17th century.

In those primitive times boxers didn't wear gloves - leather straps were tied round their hands.

But they did train with simple versions of today's punch bags.

During Roman times metal studs were added to the leather straps which led to the sport becoming more and more violent until it was banned.

Cassius Clay (second right) won Olympic Gold in 1960
Cassius Clay became better known as the great Muhammad Ali
Organised amateur boxing came about in the 19th century when the eighth Marquis of Queensberry devised a new set of rules.

At the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 boxing was not included in the programme of events.

The Athens organisers said it was "ungentlemanly, dangerous and practised by the dregs of society".

Boxing made a comeback at the Olympic Games in 1904 and became a staple part of the programme in 1920.

Since then a host of future professional boxing champions have made names for themselves at the Olympics: Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and Audley Harrison.


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