As a sport, Boxing belongs in the category of combat sports. In a boxing match there are two people who are fighting each other in a boxing ring for a specifically predetermined amount of time. They are wearing protective gloves during the fight.

Boxing match

Besides regular boxing, there is amateur boxing which is one of the oldest and most known Olympic games. Every boxing match is overseen by a referee and the fight is divided into a series of one to three minute intervals, commonly known as rounds.

Boxing History

Humans have participated in hand to hand combat since the beginning of history; however, the first times fist-fighting was considered a sporting contest was somewhere in the ancient East, during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. The first time something similar to today’s boxing appeared in ancient Greece. Boxing was even established as a sport during the Olympic games in 688 BC.

History of Boxing
Boxing in England

Nevertheless, boxing really blossomed back in 1867 when John Chambers drafter the Marquess of Queensberry rules. This happened for amateur championships that were held at Lillie Bridge in London. Lightweights, Middleweights, and Heavyweights were part of these championships.

Today, boxing is a multi-billion-dollar sports, but it would have never happened if not for the events that we mentioned above. The Marquess of Queensberry rules are still used today, (with some minor changes) in modern boxing.

Boxing Rules

A regular match is usually between 9 and 12 rounds. The rounds usually last for 3 minutes and there is a minute rest after each round. During that minute, the fighters go to their corners where they take advice from their coaches.

Each fight is controlled by a referee. He is inside the ring with the fighters and he judges their conduct, among other things. The referee decides whether a fighter can continue the match. He also does a countdown when a fighter gets knocked-down. On top of that, the judge has to watch out for fouls and if the fighters have the ability to fight safely.

During a boxing match, three additional judges are usually present, outside of the ring. They are watching the fight and giving the fighters points, depending on their punches. Additionally they judge knockdowns, hugging, elbows that connect, defense, etc. If there is no knockdown, these judges have to decide the winner based on the accumulated points from all the rounds.

Winning the Match

There are a couple ways for a boxer to win a match. The most popular one is if one fights wins by knockout (KO). That means the other fight fell to the ground and was unable to continue for a period of time. When this happens, the judge counts to 10 and if the fighter doesn’t get up, he loses the match.

Boxing Knockout
Losing by KO

If there is no knockout, the judges outside the ring count the points and assign a winner. Sometimes, its a split decision and the fight ends in a draw. In a tournament where there has to be a winner, the judges must make a decision. This rule has been a major cause of controversy in boxing history.

In some tournaments, the “three-knockdown rule” is used. If a fighter gets knocked down three times, the referee rules TKO and the other fighter wins the match. Additionally, the referee can take advantage of the “standing eight” rule. Here, the referee starts a countdown for a fighter that he deems unable to continue. If this is true, he will stop the match and the other fighter will win.

Most Common Fighting Rules

  • No strikes below the belt
  • Strikes with elbows, forearms, and slaps are forbidden;
  • Strikes when the opponent is down are not allowed
  • No kicking
  • The fighter is not allowed to grab the ring ropes
  • No head butts
  • No wrestling or grappling
  • Eye poking is strictly forbidden

Professional & Amateur Boxing

Professional fights last between 10 and 12 rounds, although sometimes there are 4 round fights for inexperienced fighters. These fights are usually prepared for a long time and a lot of money and publicity is involved. This is why sports betting is often present for boxing matches. At the moment there are 17 professional boxing categories.

  • minimumweight, 105 pounds (48 kg)
  • light flyweight, 108 pounds (49 kg)
  • flyweight, 112 pounds (51 kg)
  • super flyweight, 115 pounds (52 kg)
  • bantamweight, 118 pounds (53.5 kg)
  • super bantamweight, 122 pounds (55 kg)
  • featherweight, 126 pounds (57 kg)
  • super featherweight, 130 pounds (59 kg)
  • lightweight, 135 pounds (61 kg)
  • super lightweight, 140 pounds (63.5 kg)
  • welterweight, 147 pounds (67 kg)
  • super welterweight, 154 pounds (70 kg)
  • middleweight, 160 pounds (72.5 kg)
  • super middleweight, 168 pounds (76 kg)
  • light heavyweight, 175 pounds (79 kg)
  • cruiserweight, 200 pounds (91 kg)
  • heavyweight, unlimited

Amateur boxing on the other hand is less popular but equally important. Amateur boxing fights are oriented around the Olympic games where fighters go to compete before going pro. However, its important to note that in amateur fights the combatants wear headgear. In the Olympics, boxing is divided into men’s and women’s boxing and both have different categories.


  • light flyweight, not more than 108 pounds (49 kg)
  • flyweight, 115 pounds (52 kg)
  • bantamweight, 123 pounds (56 kg)
  • lightweight, 132 pounds (60 kg)
  • light welterweight, 141 pounds (64 kg)
  • welterweight, 152 pounds (69 kg)
  • middleweight, 165 pounds (75 kg)
  • light heavyweight, 178 pounds (81 kg)
  • heavyweight, 201 pounds (91 kg)
  • super heavyweight, any weight over 201 pounds (91 kg)


  • flyweight, 106 to 112 pounds (48 to 51 kg)
  • lightweight, 123 to 132 pounds (56 to 60 kg)
  • middleweight, 152 to 165 pounds (69 to 75 kg

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