Boxing first appeared as aformal Olympic event in the 23rd Olympiad (688 BCE), but fist-fighting contests must certainly have had their origin in mankind’s prehistory. The earliest evidence of rules for the sport comes from ancient Greece.
These ancient contests had no rounds; they continued until one man either acknowledged defeat by holding up afinger or was unable to continue. Clinching (holding an opponent at close quarters with one or both arms) was strictly forbidden. Contests were held outdoors, which added the challenge of intense heat and bright sunlight to the fight.
Contestants represented all social classes.In the early years of the major athletic festivals, a preponderance of the boxers came from wealthy and distinguished backgrounds.