Boxing is one of the oldest sports in history, with the earliest depictions coming from 3rd millennium BC Iraq. Boxing became extremely popular in Ancient Greece and was introduced as an Olympic sport during 688 BC. The sport waned in popularity over the following centuries, only to be resurrected in England during the 17th century. This form of boxing was bare knuckle and referred to as prizefighting, a sport that had no written rules. Prizefighting gained infamy during the late 1800s and early 1900s, as the sport was outlawed in the UK and the U.S, however thrived in the underground. The sport we know today rose up out of the illegal venues and modern boxing became an Olympic sport in 1904.
One of the most prolific and influential boxers of all time in Muhammad Ali, who began training in amateur boxing at 12. Ali made his debut at the 1960 Olympics at just 18, winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight division. Ali would go on to become the leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century and to this day is the only 3-time lineal champion in that division. He's best known for his groundbreaking fights against Joe Frazier and George Foreman, the latter earning the record for the most-watched live television broadcast at the time. Ali retired from the sport in 1981 and by 1985, a new heavyweight took over the scene: Mike Tyson.
Tyson began his boxing career in 1985 and was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. One of his most notorious fights was against Evander Holyfield in 1997, where Tyson was disqualified after biting his opponent's ear. Tyson retired officially from boxing in 2006, only returning in 2020 to box against Roy Jones Jr.
In today's boxing scene, Canelo Álvarez is the top ranked boxer in the world and heavyweight's champion is Tyson Fury. We even see many non-traditional figures entering the boxing ring, including Jake Paul. In honor of boxing's impressive legacy, take a look at some of our favorite tattoos depicting the sport. Then let us know your favorite boxer of all time in the comments section on social media.