A new archaeological discovery—Rare Roman boxing gloves were found near Hadrian’s Wall in England. [see below for link] The Greeks were especially fond of “competition” and engaged in a contest known as pancratium (a combination of boxing and wrestling that allowed such tactics as kicking and strangling).
The Apostle Paul uses athletic imagery in 4 different places in his writings. And in 1 Corinthians 9 he wrote:
1 Cor. 9:26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
This bronze statue of a boxer, a pugilist, is signed by Apollonius. He is seated, weary, and battered. The realism of this statute is characteristic of the Hellenistic period. It was found in Rome. It is a first century A.D. copy of a third or second century B.C. original.
Recently it was announced that a pair of such “gloves” were found in a Roman cavalry barrack near Hadrian’s Wall in the United Kingdom (“Rare Roman boxing gloves found near Hadrian’s Wall“). These artifacts are dated to 120 A.D.