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After the abolishment of organized ritual Games of the Ancient World in 395 A.D. boxing declined; however, apparently it never died out completely. There are some records from Italian cities in the late Middle Ages down to the early modern period (12th-17th centuries) mentioning fist-fighting games. However, in an organized form a type of boxing, indeed a bar-knuckle one, called prizefighting, appeared in England in the late 16th or early 17th century. According to the sources noblemen had their servants fight this kind of games, for their own amusement. It was, however, at the end of the 18th century (1794) when Jack Boughton, known since as the Father of Boxing, developed specific rules for boxing a had them published as well. The reason for doing this was that boxing in those days was so harsh that one of the opponents died during a game. Another landmark-figure in modern boxing was John Douglass, who set the modern day boxing rules in 1865. He made 12 prominent rules, the most significant ones being three-minute rounds and approved standards for boxing gloves.
Boxing was not included in the first modern Olympic Games of 1906, but was accepted soon thereafter, in the St. Louis Olympic games in 1904. Shortly before that an English dentist had invented the first mouth guard for boxers, initially used for practicing but soon accepted into official fights as well. Today we distinguish between professional and amateur boxing with the latter being presented at the Olympic Games and the former practiced for betting purposes.
It is a very old discipline and it was practicing in very different cultures, more or less in the same way. Since 688 BC it forms part of the Olympic sports.
In professional boxing, a boxing match consists of 12 three-minute rounds with one-minute recess between them. Points are accorded to each fighter and the fighter with the higher score at the end of the fight is the winner. There is also the option of a knockout. A “standing eight” count rule may also be in effect, in which the referee the right to step in and administer a count of eight to a fighter that he feels may be in danger. For scoring purposes, a standing eight count equals a knockdown. Violations of the rules are considered as “fouls”, ending up in deduction of points or total disqualification. In amateur boxing more or less the above rules are standing, but bouts are typically limited to three or four rounds; scoring is computed by points based on the number of clean blows. Safety of the fighters is a prerogative therefore the latter have to wear protective headgear.