Saturday, January 7, 2012

Things to Know About Boxing in US

Boxing has a rich tradition in the United States, as many of the sport's great champions have originated in America. In the early days of the sport, Americans had to travel to Britain to compete in organized boxing, as American laws did not permit the sport. Boxing has since evolved to the point where it is less brutal, making it a popular spectator sport.

Early Days
During most of the 1800s, boxing gloves did not exist, so matches were conducted between bare-knuckled competitors. In 1811, an African-American former slave named Tom Molineaux became the first American to compete for a major title in Great Britain. His exploits, however, did not receive much press in the United States -- he remained largely unknown in popular culture.
Olympic Boxing
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.
Walker Law
Since the early days of boxing did not feature many rules, 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.
The various boxing organizations that have caused issues in determining boxing champions came to the forefront in the United States during the 1920s, when the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) refused to join the National Boxing Association (NBA), which later became the World Boxing Association (WBA). NYSAC instead awarded its own championship belts, which led to disputes regarding the true champion in each weight division. Over time, the athletic commissions in other countries disagreed with the fact that both of these organizations started in the United States, so they created the World Boxing Council (WBC) to give other countries a voice. The WBA then split into the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO). Each of these organizations features 17 different champions, although boxers can hold more than one belt at a time.
Muhammad Ali
Over the years, some of the greatest fighters in history have come from the United States, including Muhammad Ali, largely considered the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time. Ali defended his heavyweight title 19 times in total. He remains the third youngest heavyweight champion of all time as of 2011, as well as the second oldest.

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