Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, reaching back to the Ancient Greeks, although it has become popular only in the past century or so. But, in some ways, it is a rather complicated sport since – to avoid unnecessary harm – it has been endowed with rules to keep it clean, referees to see the rules are obeyed, and organizations to regulate the sport. Boxing was once largely amateur, although the professional bouts attracted the most attention, but now it is also an Olympic sport. And, over the years, there has been one champion after another who symbolized what boxing was all about, such Joe Louis, Mohammad Ali and Cassius Clay.
Naturally, these champions are the focus of the Historical Dictionary of Boxing as well, and they have the biggest entries in the dictionary section, but they had to fight against someone and there are dozens and dozens of other boxers with smaller entries. More of these boxers come from the United States than elsewhere, but there are others from Europe, Asia and Latin America, and there are also entries on the major boxing countries as well. Plus entries on the rules, on the organizations, and on the technical terminology and jargon you have to know just to follow the bouts. The introduction provides a broad view of boxing’s history while the chronology traces events from 688 B.C. to 2012 A.D. Not all that much has been written on boxing that is not ephemeral, but much of that literature can be found in the bibliography. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the sport of boxing.