Boxing: The noble art

Generations of artists have been inspired by the fight. The Culture Show looks at the sport’s history, and why it has had such an influence on our culture.

Some of the greatest writers and artists of the last 100 years were boxers or fans of the fight – from TS Eliot and Ernest Hemingway to Joyce Carol Oates and Picasso. And there have been more films made about boxing than any other sport.

The writer – and keen amateur pugilist – Tony Parsons argues that boxing has always been more than a sport. He believes that it sits right at the heart of our cultural life, and explains that the square ring was where generations of writers, filmmakers and artists went to find out what was inside them – and us all.

In this clip, Parsons looks at how the emergence of the sport at the end of the 19th Century was viewed as a symbol of modernity, and why it was embraced by artists.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.