Last Updated: July 21, 2011 3:00pm
One of the closest contests to that resembling an ancient gladiatorial battle is the Olympic boxing tournament which in modern times has produced some of the best professional fighters on the planet.
A total of 286 fighters will enter the ring, with 10 different weight divisions for men, while women's boxing will feature as a full Olympic event for the first time with three weight categories.
The men's bouts will return to the format of three three-minute rounds, while the women will battle it out over four two-minute rounds. Events will be run in a straight knockout format.
An electronic scoring system is used whereby only punches scored by three of the five ringside judges within a second of landing on the target areas around the head and torso will count towards a fighters' total - with the boxer with the most points at the end of the contest being declared the winner.
Qualifying for the event will come from the AIBA World Boxing Championships in September with another tournament in the spring of 2012 which will decide a further eight places.
The World Championships in May 2012 will act as qualifiers in the women's event.
An integral part of the ancient Greek Olympics, boxing only emerged as a more formal sport with the Marquess of Queensberry's rules in the late 19th century setting out the guidelines that still govern the sport today.
Not in the original programme for the modern Games in Athens, boxing was introduced in St Louis in 1904 when hosts America claimed all the medals on offer - being the only country to enter a team.
Swedish law prohibited boxing from being included in the 1912 Games in Stockholm, but it has been a key part of the event ever since.
Notable dates include 1956 when the practice began of giving both losing semi-finalists bronze medals, while at the Los Angeles games of 1984 the wearing of head guards became compulsory.
That year also saw one of the more controversial moments in the event when a young Evander Holyfield was disqualified for flooring his opponent after the referee had called to break, but was later handed a bronze medal after the official admitted he was out of position.
Part of the appeal of Olympic boxing is its function as a breeding ground for future world champions in the professional ranks - with still the greatest fighter ever Muhammad Ali picking up a light heavyweight gold in 1960 as an 18-year-old named Cassius Clay.
Sugar Ray Leonard at the 1976 Olympics where he took gold
Sugar Ray Leonard was a gold medallist in Montreal in 1976 at light welterweight, while brothers Michael and Leon Spinks won middleweight and light heavyweight gold respectively.
Two pound-for-pound champions appeared in the Games but failed to emerge with golds, the two 'juniors' Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones were both on the wrong end of dreadful judging decisions as they claimed just bronze and silver.
Oscar De La Hoya was indeed the 'Golden Boy' in Barcelona 92 when he conquered the lightweight division, and Atlanta 96 saw a huge fighter named Wladimir Klitschko walk away with the super heavy gold.
1988 saw a young Canadian by the name of Lennox Lewis beat American Riddick Bowe for the super heavyweight gold, and Lewis would later go on to unify the professional heavyweight division and become one of the best British boxers of all time.
The only previous time women have boxed at the Olympics was in 1904 in St Louis, when the United States were the only nation to enter a team.
And who can forget Amir Khan's marvellous lightweight silver medal in Athens as a precocious teenager.
Popular names in the professional ranks such as Richie Woodall and Robin Reid won bronze medals in Seoul and Barcelona, but a 13th gold medal proved elusive for many years.
Audley Harrison finally delivered the first British boxing gold since 1968 when he won the super heavyweight title in Sydney in 2000, although his pro career failed to live up to expectations.
Amir Khan won the lightweight silver in Athens four years ago, only out-pointed in the final by Cuban star Mario Kindelan - but has shone so far in his professional career.
Oscar De La Hoya was victorious in Barcelona in 1992
Britain's current contingent will be looking to at least emulate the class of 2008, when James DeGale led the way with middleweight gold.
But while Bradley and Billy Joe Saunders failed to deliver and Frankie Gavin failed to make the weight, Tony Jeffries and David Price weighed in with a pair of bronze medals to bolster Team GBs haul.
Khalid Yafai: Made it through to the last eight as a 19-year-old in Beijing four years ago, and picked up a silver medal at last year's European Championships in Moscow.
Luke Campbell: Took gold at the 2008 European Championships before injuries saw rival Iain Weaver edge ahead in the super-bantamweight division. However, victory over Weaver at last year's British Championships means Campbell is favourite to win the race to Beijing.
Nicola Adams: Became the first ever English female to earn a medal in a major tournament when she picked up the silver in the European Championships in Denmark in 2007, and the following year was the first English woman to earn a medal in the AIBA Women's World Championships in Ningbo, China, when she narrowly missed out on gold to the Polish world number one, Karolina Michalczuk. She added to her medal haul in September 2010 when she picked up another AIBA Women's World Championships silver.
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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