Although the origins of the sport date back to prehistoric times, the earliest evidence of boxing comes from Egypt and Mesopotamia. The first recorded reference of a "prizefight" is in Homer's Greek epic "The Iliad."
Ancient Greeks celebrated boxing as a sport played by the gods on Mount Olympus, and it was first included as part of the Olympic Games around 688 B.C. It resembled the modern sport, but it was far more primitive, with no ring, rounds or rest periods. The sport of boxing also became quite popular in ancient Rome, where gladiators battled with leather straps tied to their arms.