Since its inclusion in the Olympic programme, boxing has been staged at each edition of the Games, except in 1912 in Stockholm, owing to Swedish law, which forbade the practice.
The rules have evolved since the 1980s: 1984 in Los Angeles: protective helmet obligatory; 1992 in Barcelona: set-up of an electronic scoring system to strengthen the objectivity of refereeing; 2007: standardised point scoring.
Women’s boxing will make its debut at the 2012 London Games in London. The current 11 men’s events will be replaced by 10 men’s and 3 women’s events.
New York State introduced rules to clean up the sport. It started with the Fraley Law in 1911, which stated that a fight could only end with a knockout, even though prizefighting remained illegal. In 1920, the Walker Law introduced an athletic commission to oversee the sport and to regulate every fight contested in the state.
Boxing started to gain popularity in the United States when it became an Olympic sport in 1904. The United States won seven gold medals at the 1904 Olympics. As of 2011, the United States has won a total of 47 gold medals since boxing became an Olympic sport.
In 393AD, during the Roman gladiator period, boxing was abolished due to excessive brutality. It was not until the late 17th century where boxing re-surfaced in London.
The Romans had a keen interest in the sport and fighting soon became a common spectator sport. In order for the fighters to protect themselves against their opponents they wrapped leather thongs around their fists. Eventually harder leather was used and the thong soon became a weapon. The Romans even introduced metal studs to the thongs to make the cestus which then led to a more sinister weapon called the myrmex (‘limb piercer’).
In June 2010, the IBF (International boxing Federation) began rating female boxers and crowned its first female champion, Daniella Smith, in November of the same year.
Professional boxing fights are 6–12 rounds with no headwear, and an emphasis on landing hard, damage-inflicting punches. Amateur boxing features just four rounds, headwear, softer gloves, and more importance on landing short, quick punches to score points.
In the year 1866, the Marquess of Queensberry set up new rules of boxing which basically transformed the sport into what it is today. The new rules introduced limited number of 3-minute rounds. However, he is regarded as the "Patron Saint" of boxing and some of the most significant changes were three-minute rounds and the regulated use of approved boxing gloves.
Generally, the origin of boxing can be traced back to ancient Greek period around 4000 BC and then later by ancient Romans. It was found that during that period they had sports called pugilism which is also referred as boxing. The rules were crude then and players often indulged into lethal boxing rounds with leather taped on to their bare hands.