Pan Kau Rau Shen: Egyptian boxers, too, seemed to fight bare fisted, as a relief from Thebes, c. 1350 B.C.E., shows three pairs of men directly squaring off in boxing matches (Figure 4).
The men are clothed only in loincloths. The event being chronicled seems to be important, as the men are purportedly performing for the pharaoh [EN2]. Figure 4. Egyptian boxers and stick fighters, c. 1350 B.C.E., from the Tomb of Kheruef, Thebes, Egypt.
Source: Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago, used with permission. Oddly, one man in the third pair of boxers from the left, seems to be throwing punches simultaneously with both hands while his adversary uses his forearm to block them.
The awkward stance of the punch-throwing boxer has some scholars suggesting that these men are actually dancers, but their juxtaposition beside two men stick fighting refutes this interpretation [EN3]. Moreover, the hieroglyphics on the relief next to the boxers have been translated to read as “Hit!,” “Hit, hit!,” and “You have no opponent,” thus removing all doubt that these men are boxers .