As iconic as watching the matches themselves, photographs of some of the most spectacular moments in history serve for the best memories. 

Boxing, as a sport, was first seen as an Olympic event in the 23rd Olympiad of 688 BCE. The photographs of boxing events only date back to as far as the invention of the camera, but the first visual representations of the iconic sport, and fist fighting, can be seen as far back as in Sumerian carvings in the 3rd millennium BCE.

Moving along time, a sculpture by Egyptian Thebes in 1350 BCE depicts a match of boxers, and spectators alike, and show the fighters fighting simply bear knuckled adorned with only a band around each wrist. Boxing gloves only entered our history, from the visual depictions available, in 1500 BCE when an image was carved onto a Minoan Crete vase showing the two fighters wearing stiff plates around their fists.

With the advent of the camera, we have some spectacular imagery of boxing and its champions, each with its own story. 

A notable vintage boxing photograph includes “The Lens and The Lip”, photographed by Neil Leifer, a renowned boxing photographer who has captured some of the most iconic moments in boxing history, many of which include the champion, Muhammed Ali. His photography was so brilliant that in 2014 he became the first photographer to be inducted into the boxing Hall of fame. 

Another iconic photo of the champion, who was undefeated in his first 17 professional fights, was another taken by Neil Liefer just before his against Doug Jones in 1963 at Madison Square Garden.

Yet another beautiful photograph was of Muhammed Ali’s fight with the heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, famously known as the Louisville Lip. During this match, Sonny Liston admitted defeat at the beginning of the 7th round, making Muhammed Ali once again the champion of the day at the ripe age of 22 years old.

African Ring has an entire collection of historic and iconic vintage boxing photographs and other memorabilia available. Browse through our catalogue today!

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