The earliest known depiction of boxing comes from a Sumerian relief in Iraq from the 3rd millennium BC. Later depictions from the 2nd millennium BC are found in reliefs from the Mesopotamian nations of Assyria and Babylonia. A relief sculpture from Egyptian Thebes (c. 1350 BC) shows both boxers and spectators. In Ancient Greece boxing was a well developed sport and enjoyed consistent popularity. In Olympic terms, it was first introduced in the 23rd Olympiad, 688 BC. Boxing was a popular spectator sport in Ancient Rome, too. The Roman form of boxing was often a fight until death to please the spectators. Records of Classical boxing activity disappeared after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight in England appeared in 1681 in the London Protestant Mercury, and this is also the time when the word "boxing" first came to be used. Contests in that time, in addition to fist fighting, also contained fencing and cudgeling. In 1681, the first recorded boxing match took place in Britain when Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle engineered a bout between his butler and his butcher with the latter winning the prize. The first boxing rules were introduced by champion Jack Broughton in 1743. In 1867, the Marquess of Queensberry rules were drafted by John Chambers for amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London.
Organised amateur boxing officially began in 1880, when, in England, the Amateur Boxing Association (A.B.A.) was formed. This is the first mention of “amateur boxing” and it held its first championships the following year. Internationally, boxing spread steadily throughout the first half of the 20th century. Boxing first appeared at the Olympic Games in 1904 and, apart from the Games of 1912, has always been part of them. When the first international body, the Fédération Internationale de Boxe Olympique (FIBA) was formed there were only five member nations. In 1946, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) was formed in London, and the first World Championships were staged in 1974, in Havana, Cuba.