History of American Boxing

Boxing―the sport itself creates an image of swollen appendages and a bruised face. However, the flip side of the coin is that this sport has also enabled many a country to create a niche in the world of sport, and many a sportsperson to find true self-expression. The sport originated from typically primitive hand-to-hand combats of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The earliest forms of expression of the sport probably rose out of the need to declare supremacy of the physical body, and the extent to which it can be resilient. The sport is believed to have become a part of the American world of sport and history in the 18th century. The pugilism was passed on when the British colonized the Americas. The sport ‘arrived’ via the youth of wealthy southern families.

The Early Days

The earliest recorded history of boxing in America is one of a public spectacle. At that point in time, the matches were fought bare knuckles. There were no-holds-barred combats that were encouraged. The boxing exhibited then included wrestling. Spectators formed the ring, and the absence of a referee and time limit made the sport a brutal affair. The primitive sports psychology applied was ‘fight till one man is finished’. Boxing bouts used to last for hours. The boxers were allowed to choke, throw, and kick their opponents. There was no ‘weight’ category, and neither were victors recognized officially. The sport was brutal and bloody.

African-American boxing involved bouts between Black American and Hispanic American boxers, and at times, even Native Americans who were victims of slavery. They were betted on by their wealthy southern masters. The first great slave fighter known was Tom Molineaux. He won his freedom after knocking out a rival from an adjoining plantation. The fights were soon categorized into sports betting or prize fighting and sparring. In the former, the boxers fought for money, with bare knuckles. The bouts were often against local laws. In sparring, the combatants wore gloves and displayed a new kind of ‘science’ associated with the moves in the ring. The techniques were used, not for a purse or to inflict bodily harm, but to take the sport to the next level. Sparring was exhibited as a genuine sport at exhibitions and private gymnasiums. This was probably the era that marked the beginning of extreme sports.

Earliest Rules

The earliest set of rules laid-down included:

  • No hitting below the belt
  • No hitting an opponent who was ‘down’ in the ring
  • No wrestling holds below the waist
  • 30-second rest periods
  • Knockdown spelled round over

In 1866, the Marquis of Queensberry laid down a set of glove fighting rules that included:

  • Compulsory use of gloves
  • No wrestling
  • Rounds lasting three minutes
  • Rest period of one minute
  • Recovery period of ten seconds after knockdown

The Early Heroes of American Boxing

Tom Molineaux, a slave boxer: He ‘won his freedom’ in 1809 and went to England. There, he fought several times between 1810 and 1811, finally losing out to Tom Crib, the English champion.

Christopher Lilly: He is best remembered for defeating Thomas McCoy in a bout that lasted for a whole two hours and forty-one minutes! McCoy died in the 77th round due to fluid from wounds draining into the lungs. He had ‘drowned’! However, the match attracted immediate legal response.

John C. Heenen and Thomas Sayers: They enhanced their sports careers on becoming the first recorded joint winners of a bout. The fight took place on April 17, 1860, in Hampshire, England.

John L. Sullivan: Popular as the ‘Boston Strong Boy’, he became America’s first ‘sports hero’. He was known to be an honest fighter, who could adapt to any set of rules. He refused to fight a black, and knew nothing of the science of the ring, but he had a knockout punch.

American boxing developed out of sheer show of strength, but evolved into a sport that enabled many strong-willed and able-bodied men to ‘find’ the power of resilience.

Boxing Equipment Explained

Equipment Used in Boxing

Ireland Country Pride Heavy Bag
This is manufactured from patented synthetic leather. All seams are sewn from nylon and double stitched. D-ring tabs are reinforced triple times for stability and durability. A special blended filler absorbs impact and adds resiliency.

Heavy Bag Stand with Adjustable Speed Bag Platform
This is made from 2⅜-inch tubular powder coated steel. Also, there is a 24-inch wooden speed bag platform. There is a shortened base that provides unrestricted access to the speed bag. Screw-down plates are used for solid floor mounting.

TKO Boxing Training Set
This includes a pair of bag gloves, a mesh carrying bag, two leather focus targets, and a jump rope. This set is a great starters-kit for boxing enthusiasts.

Johnny Sockitomee

  • There is a flex neck collar that provides maximum flexibility and resilience to absorb the impact of punishing blows.
  • It has a sturdy base that holds up to 24 gallons of water.
  • The high-density base is rounded for an easy roll-away.
  • The nevatear outer shell overcomes mildew and wipes clean with a damp cloth.

Brain Pad Pro+Plus

  • Upper and lower bite channels.
  • Double mouth guard.
  • Strap and strapless mouth guard with two straps.

Power hands

  • This is manufactured from high-quality and washable Nubuck leather.
  • The Terry-lined palm provides additional padding and protection.
  • The design is fingers-free, and decreases heat and moisture buildup. There is an absence of the bulky feel as compared to other gloves.
  • A wide 2-inch cuff secures the wrists in a safe and ergonomic position while training.

6-piece Speed Bag Set

  • This has extremely durable powder-coated enamel brackets.
  • Vinyl bag gloves.
  • Nylon jump rope.
  • One pair of natural color hand wraps.
  • Upgraded plastic swivel.
  • 24-inch, smoothly furnished, adjustable, and wooden drum.

Types of Boxing Gloves

The main use of gloves is to safeguard the knuckles of the fighter. Nowadays, extra padding is used that coerces the boxers to input extra strategy, rather than use pure brute force. Given below are some types of gloves used in this sport.

Practice Boxing Gloves

  • Elastic wrist furnishes a secure fit, and there is no necessity of laces.
  • High-density foam is both lightweight and shock-absorbing.
  • Tied thumbs.
  • Cotton-fiber cushioned grip for additional contact.

Laceup Boxing Gloves

  • Comfortable fit with handwraps.
  • Laces for a tight, professional fit.
  • Ideal for sparring, cardio programs, or simply practicing on the bag.
  • Soft-cell foam for superior protection and comfort.

Bag Gloves

  • Soft-cell foam for superior protection and comfort.
  • Ideal for use on speed bags, heavy bags, double-end bags or focus mitts.
  • Good for power training and speed.
  • Powertek material construction for durability.

Fight Boxing Gloves
French style full contact fight gloves with a wide elastic closing.

Boxing Sports Gloves
Sparing glove with padding at the palm area. A short hook and loop wrist closing for easy on and off.

Punching Boxing Gloves
Super sparring gloves specially devised for the modern game, and has thick padding at the back and extra padding at the palms to absorb kicks while training for Thai boxing.

Boxing Bag Gloves
All-time favorite sparring gloves manufactured with extra cushions on the inside for hand comfort and a snug fit.

Leather Boxing Gloves
Professional fighting glove with multiple-layer rubber padding, lace style, and extra piece foam for added comfort.

Training Boxing Gloves
Heavy hitter lace-up training boxing gloves with soft, extra-thick high-density rubber padding for the gloves.

Focus Mitts

  • Full hand pocket.
  • Wrist wrap and adjustable buckle.
  • Shock-absorbing foam.
  • Useful for boxing, kickboxing, boxing aerobics, or MA needs.

Boxing Headgear

  • Rubber padding which absorbs shock.
  • Thickly-padded with cheek protection.
  • Designed protection and durability with velcro closure.
  • Adjustable.


  • Reinforced loops.
  • Laceup for easy bladder removal.
  • Triple-stitched seams to ensure quality and durability.
  • 9 inches in size.
  • Lined for additional durability.

Depending on the type of boxing and your training routine, you need to choose the right gear to suit your needs.