Boxing is a contact sport, a martial art. The bouts take place with special gloves weighing 10 or 12 ounces, depending on the weight class. Women’s Olympic boxing uses a special protective helmet.

Kicks and punches below the waist are prohibited. Athletes compete in a standardised boxing ring whose ropes are 6.1 metres long.

Boxing in the Game program


  • Boxing finally became an Olympic athletic discipline in 1904. The first ever gloved boxing champion was John L. Sullivan.
  • Alexander Pushkin, Vladimir Vysotskiy, and Alexander Rosenbaum all had considerable success in the amateur ring.
  • In 1867, the rules for boxing were drawn up by John Graham Chambers, a member of the Amateur Athletic Club - and they still exist in that form right up to the present day. The project was sponsored by John Sholto Douglas, whose name is associated with the rules governing this athletic discipline.


The earliest evidence of boxing matches can be found in Sumerian, Egyptian, and Minoan relief sculptures. Fistfighting tournaments reminiscent of boxing took place as far back as ancient Greece. Fistfighting became a real sport in Europe in 688 B.C. when it was first included in the ancient Olympic Games. 

Modern boxing originated in England in the early 18th century.  In 1867, John Graham Chambers, a journalist and member of the Amateur Athletic Club, drafted rules for the upcoming London Amateur Championship. John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, supported the author financially and sponsored the widespread introduction of these rules into boxing practice, and the rules have since become associated with his name.

In 1924, the International Amateur Boxing Federation (FIBA) was formed, which in 1946 became known as the AIBA. The first European Championship was held the year the Federation was founded, in 1924, and the World Championship took place 50 years later, in 1974. Before 1991, the World Championship was held every four years; after that, just like the European Championships, it became a biennial event.

Other disciplines