Ass-kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Damoxenos of Syracuse

The thing about competitive fighting is that sometimes it’s boring, sure the athleticism of seeing two people push themselves to the limit, deftly avoiding each others blows and slowly wearing down their opponent with their finesse is impressive. But sometimes don’t you just wish boxers would just agree to punch each other once as hard as the could to determine who was the winner? No, oh, then you’d hate, Damoxenos of Syracuse.

Damoxenos, along with being the owner of a name that could give your tongue body hair, was a champion ancient Greek boxer hailing from modern-day Sicily. Though we’ve already covered how brutal an affair boxing and indeed all competition was in those days, Damoxenos’ particular method of fighting was frowned upon in the day.

We want you to bare in mind that in those days people ran nude and yet they still didn’t let women compete, even though that would have made visiting museums like infinity percent better. So what the hell did Damoxenos do to earn the scorn of people like that? Well, he was one of the few boxers of his time to work the body.

As described here, boxers back then preferred to avoid the body by choice, as such, boxers who were able to avoid having their jaw set 3 inches to the left and keep their face looking unmarked and soft enough to polish silk were inevitably the most popular. Damoxenos apparently couldn’t care less about that and punched people in the ribs like it was going out of style. However, it’s his fight with Creugas of Epidamnos that catapulted him into history books.

The story goes that both Cruegas and Damaxenos were so evenly matched that their scheduled fight during the Nemean games that it risked going on into the night. As the sun was setting both boxers stopped fighting and turned to the crowd to make an unusual request. With no foreseeable end to their fight and not wishing to tire themselves out any further, both men agreed to stand and take a single, undefended blow from the other. Since sport back in Ancient Greece was way more badass than it is today, the judges and crowd agreed and both men were given a few moments to prepare.

Demoxenos, in a bold move, opted to go second, effectively giving his opponent a free unguarded shot at his face. Luckily Damoxenos had a chin to match his set of cast iron balls and Cruegas’ punch, though painfully direct, didn’t faze him in the slightest.

After delivering his own punch Cruegas stood patiently awaiting the swift, fist-shaped retribution of his foe to connect with his eye socket, only it never came. Much to the surprise of the crowd, rather than taking the chance to punch Cruegas back as hard as he could in the face, Demoxenos instead asked him to raise his arm so he could get a clean shot at his kidneys.

Now this is where $#!+ got metal, Demoxenos, rather than delivering a hook or uppercut, opted instead to extend his fingers, then, with all of the force he could muster thrust them straight through Cruegas’ ribcage and tore out his freaking intestines! Did you read that? Demoxenos punched straight through a man’s ribcage and tore out his guts. That’s the kind of thing you’d see in a cheap horror movie, not a boxing match. Holy crap, so Demoxenos obviously won, right? How do you top killing your opponent by using the freaking touch of death? We wouldn’t be surprised after reading this if Demoxenos won the next Olympics just in case. But alas, no, Demoxenos didn’t win, he was instead disqualified. Presumably because the judges were unaware that they were dealing with goddamn Kratos from the God of War series and were at full rish of being beaten to death with a sack filled with their own eyes!

You see, according to the judges, Demoxenos had broken the agreement he and Cruegas had made, as they deemed each of his fingers, you know, those things he’d just used to give a guy surgery, counted as a different unguarded blow, therefore, Cruegas was the winner by default. No one saw fit to point out that Cruegas had also used his fingers to punch Demoxenos and that he’d done considerably less damage with them, but the decision was final. Cruegas was declared the winner, then again, Demoxenos got the better statue, so we think we know who the real winner is. The guy who brought a Mortal Kombat to life before Mortal Kombat existed, that’s who.

Gama was The Shadow to Bruce Lee's Batman

Gama was The Shadow to Bruce Lee’s Batman.

Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer you can hire! His work has been featured on Cracked, Toptenz and Gunaxin. You should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.

We're just surprised that when he died, he didn't choke Hades into submission.

We’re just surprised that when he died, he didn’t choke Hades into submission.

Not every ass-kicker of antiquity is a wrestler, but the ones who are will stomp your face into raw subatomic particulate, which then, over the course of billions of years, will break down, compress, and reform in a giant bang to one day become your face again. So no harm, no foul! Check out prime examples The Great Gama and Milo of Croton.


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