Boxing hasn’t ever been seen as a safe sport, and even more so in the periods in history when the use of a boxing glove was uncommon for a person who wanted an organised fistfight. But when were they invented?
The boxing glove, in its earliest form, were basic ‘hand protectors’ for the then-new game of boxing, created as far back as the Ancient Greek times of 3000 years ago, and it was Amycus, son of the God Poseidon, who was credited with the innovation of wrapping leather around fighter’s hands, made to protect the person throwing the punch more than the one on the receiving end, a theory that is employed to this day with modern boxing gloves, as a punch can still hurt the person applying the force.
The Greek invention was expanded on by the Romans, who, always looking for ways to make weapons more painful than normal, added a layer of metal under their version of the glove (the gladiatorial cestus), although it was soon banned, with the sport of boxing also outlawed a few centuries later.
The sport of boxing would make a comeback in 17th century Britain, but almost all fights would be bare-knuckle, until the publication of the Marquess of Queensbury Rules (which are still followed today) in 1867. English bare-knuckle fighter Jack Broughton is credited with the invention of the modern-day version of the boxing glove (then known as a pair of ‘mufflers’) in the late 18th century, and the basic design has been brought forward with the sport as it developed. Nowadays, if you want a legal and official boxing fight, a pair of boxing gloves must be worn, though there is criticism that the padded gloves do nothing other than change the type of damage that could be caused (the most common of these is brain damage over cuts and wounds), but is still seen as a more acceptable alternative to fighting ‘naturally’.
For proof that boxing can be dangerous no matter what you have on your hands, here is a compilation of some of the most famous (and painful) professional boxing knockouts in history. Don’t try this at home!