Boxing (pugilism, prize fighting, the sweet science or in Greek pygmachia) is a martial art and combat sport in which two people engage in a contest of strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and will by throwing punches with gloved hands.
Amateur boxing is an Olympic and Commonwealth sport and is a common fixture in most of the major international games – it also has its own World Championships. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds. The result is decided when an opponent is deemed incapable to continue by a referee, is disqualified for breaking a rule, resigns by throwing in a towel, or is pronounced the winner or loser based on the judges’ scorecards at the end of the contest.
The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Boxing evolved from 16th- and 18th-century prizefights, largely in Great Britain, to the forerunner of modern boxing in the mid-19th century, again initially in Great Britain and later in the United States. In 2004, ESPN ranked boxing as the most difficult sport in the world.