oxing, also known as pugilism or the sweet science, has roots that go all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. Back then fights would take place without gloves but with just leather taped on to the hands. This resulted in even more gruesome, deadly battles.
The first documented "boxing match" took place in 1681 in Britian when the Duke of Albemarle engineered a bout between his butler and his butcher.
In the coming years, bare-knuckle boxing contests would be held in ampitheatres all over England. Jack Boughton, also known as "the Father of Boxing," developed the first set of rules for the sport and published them in 1743 as a result from a bout where he killed his opponent in 1741.
The most revolutionary change in the sport came in 1865 when John Sholto Douglass, the Eighth Marquess of Queensbury, drew up new rules of boxing which basically transformed the sport into what it is today. He is regarded as the "Patron Saint" of boxing and some of the most significant changes were three-minute roundsand the regulated use of approved boxing gloves. You can read the whole set of 12 rules here.
At this point the popularity of boxing continued to spread. It was included in the St. Louis Olympic Games in 1904 for the first time ever. From here on, talented fighters from all over the world would meet and fight for sanctioned titles all throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st.
In 1927 the National Boxing Association (NBA) became the first "sanctioning body" to govern over the sport. These sanctioning bodies ranked fighters and arranged matches between champions and the most deserving challengers, all for a healthy sanctioning fee of course. Today, three "recognized" sanctioning bodies control the world of boxing. The WBC, IBF and WBA are the only bodies whos titlists are recognized worldwide as "champions."