I really like this fat guy and have done as much reading on this subject as possible. His characterization of this period in history as being a place he’d love to visit but where he’d only last “a good forty-eight hours” is spot on. My interpretation of the Sea Peoples—who figure prominently in the history of boxing—and the fall of the age of darkness from which archaic [Homeric] Hellenic culture arose, is that it was a good thing, that giant slave societies fell, with freer, nomadic peoples helping to kick in the door.
Keep in mind that where oil and a global reserve currency are necessary for our own current “global” economy, that the much smaller “global” economy of the ancient Near East was based on grain cultivation, which is highly susceptible to climate fluctuations. This episode in the cycle of civilizations saw the death of the chariot militaries and the return of the lightly-armed foot soldier, who was necessarily a "burst" duelist, which in turn reignited the interest of the martial classes in prize-fighting. Just as in Europe of the late 1600s, as cavalry were giving way on the battlefield to improved infantry, boxing emerged as a tool for psychologically conditioning the foot soldier to face the enemy.
I was lucky enough to read a number of the Mari letters at the Peabody Library in 1999.