Bare-knuckle boxing (also bare-knuckle for short or fisticuffs) is the original, now rather antiquated form of boxing, more closely-related to ancient combat sports. It involves two individuals fighting without any gloves or other form of padding on their hands.
The practice of Pygme Pyx (Greek bare knuckle boxing) dates back to Ancient Greece. It is difficult to demonstrate a linear historical connection between the ancient Greek version of the sport and the revival of boxing in England (see below) but a documented, continual tradition of bare-fist fighting was present in Italy from 200-1800 A.D.
Specific standards for bare-fisted fighting began to form in the mid-18th century when Jack Broughton began to apply rules to make contests both safer and fairer. These rules dictated that a round ended when a fighter took a knee or was knocked down and failed to rise before the thirty count. There was no time limit, so the actual fight ended when a fighter could not get up before the count of ten or was unable to present himself to his opponent for the next round under his own power after thirty seconds of recovery. This was how a majority of these massive bouts ended. At the height of bare-knuckle's popularity in the mid-19th century, nightly fights lasting sixty to one hundred rounds or more were not uncommon.
By the 20th century, the practice had all but disappeared, replaced by its much more regulated descendant, modern gloved boxing. However, some underground bare-knuckle clubs still exist. Many small venues appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s; Many people cite the movie Fight Club as inspiration for this.
Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.