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It was the head of the opponent which was primarily targeted, and there is little evidence to suggest that targeting the body was common.In order for the fighters to protect themselves against their opponents they wrapped leather thongs around their fists.These rules did allow the fighters an advantage not enjoyed by today's boxers; they permitted the fighter to drop to one knee to end the round and begin the 30-second count at any time.Thus a fighter realizing he was in trouble had an opportunity to recover.

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Intentionally going down in modern boxing will cause the recovering fighter to lose points in the scoring system.However, there are detailed records of various fist-fighting sports that were maintained in different cities and provinces of Italy between the 12th and 17th centuries.There was also a sport in ancient Rus called Kulachniy Boy or "Fist Fighting".The first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight in England appeared in 1681 in the London Protestant Mercury, and the first English bare-knuckle champion was James Figg in 1719.

This is also the time when the word "boxing" first came to be used.The earliest evidence for fist fighting with any kind of gloves can be found on Minoan Crete (c.1650–1400 BCE), and on Sardinia, if we consider the boxing statues of Prama mountains (c. In Ancient Greece boxing was a well developed sport and enjoyed consistent popularity.