Boxing and kickboxing are a martial art and combat sports in which two combatants fight each other by throwing punches while trying to avoid receiving punches themselves. In contrary to other combat sports, boxers are allowed to fight exclusively with their gloved hands according to the code of boxing rules. Failure to comply with the rules can result in deduct points or possibly even disqualification, depending on the severity of violation. The contest is won by the boxer who knocks out the opponent or gets the most points if the last round ends without a knock-out.
The sport of boxing has a long history. The earliest known fist fights involving the use of hand covering date back to ancient Greece. The martial art was also popular during the Roman period but it almost disappeared after the fall of Rome. It was revived only in the 17th century in England when became popular the so-called bare-knuckle fighting which, however, did not involve the use of gloves or other form of hand covering. Boxing gloves were made mandatory only by the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the 1860s which also form the basis of the modern sport of boxing.
Boxing is divided into amateur and professional boxing. The latter is fought for money, while amateur boxing is fought for recreation and enjoyment although it is also a discipline at the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games. In contrary to professional boxing bouts which consist of at most twelve three-minute rounds, amateur boxing matches are fought in three to at most four two-minute rounds. Amateur boxing is often played at the collegiate level, while the boxers are obliged to wear protective headgear which, however, is forbidden in professional boxing. As a result, professional boxers can sustain severe injury although the referee can stop the contest if he evaluates that one of the contestants is unable to safely continue to fight.
Boxing can be trained at home, the gym or more commonly at a boxing school which offers boxing training classes at all levels. The “boxing students” are taught the basic boxing techniques including attack and defence strategies under the guidance of an experienced trainer and instructed how to improve their strength, endurance and speed, etc., while the best ones are provided with an opportunity to join the fighting squad, take part in a strength and conditioning course and represent their school on amateur boxing competitions. Boxing schools are generally open to everyone regardless of their experience with boxing and age. They also provide students with all the necessary training equipment with the exception of personal equipment which includes a pair of boxing gloves, hand wraps, protective headgear, boxing shoes, a mouthpiece and comfortable clothing.