Boxing Rules & Regulations

By Coach Willis - 05/12/2023 - No comments

Boxing rules and regulations can vary slightly between amateur and professional organizations, as well as between different sanctioning bodies. Here’s an overview of some key boxing rules and regulations:

  • Rounds: Professional boxing matches typically consist of 10-12 three-minute rounds with one-minute rest intervals between rounds. Amateur matches have fewer rounds, often lasting 3-4 rounds, each lasting 2-3 minutes with a one-minute rest interval.
  • Gloves: Boxers must wear gloves approved by the sanctioning body. The weight of the gloves varies based on the weight class and the level of competition (amateur or professional).
  • Ring: Boxing matches take place in a square ring, usually measuring between 16 and 20 feet on each side. The ring is surrounded by ropes and padded posts at each corner.
  • Scoring: In professional boxing, three judges score the bout on a 10-point must system. The winner of each round gets 10 points, and the loser gets 9 or fewer points. In amateur boxing, a computerized scoring system is often used, in which five judges press a button when they see a scoring blow, and a point is awarded if at least three judges press the button within one second.
  • Knockdowns and knockouts: A knockdown occurs when a boxer touches the canvas with any part of the body other than the feet due to a legal blow. The referee then starts a count to 10. If the boxer fails to get up before the count reaches 10, it’s considered a knockout, and the bout is over. In amateur boxing, a knockout is often called a Referee Stops Contest (RSC).
  • Standing eight count: In amateur boxing, a referee can give a standing eight count to a boxer who appears to be in trouble, even if they haven’t been knocked down. The referee stops the action and counts to eight, after which the bout may resume if the boxer is deemed fit to continue.
  • Three knockdown rule: In some bouts, if a boxer is knocked down three times in one round, the fight is automatically stopped and awarded to the opponent.
  • Mandatory eight count: After a knockdown, the referee gives a mandatory eight count before allowing the fight to continue, regardless of whether the fallen boxer appears ready to continue.
  • Fouls: There are several fouls in boxing, including hitting below the belt, headbutting, biting, holding, hitting an opponent while they’re down, hitting with an open glove or the inside of the glove, and more. The referee can issue warnings, deduct points, or disqualify a boxer for repeated or severe fouls.
  • Cuts and injuries: If a boxer suffers a cut due to an accidental headbutt, the fight may be stopped, and the result is determined by the scorecards up to that point. If the cut is due to a legal punch, the fight can be stopped, and the uninjured boxer may be declared the winner. In amateur boxing, fights can be stopped due to injuries or excessive bleeding at the referee’s discretion.
  • Disqualification: A boxer can be disqualified for repeated or severe fouls, or for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • No contest: A bout may be ruled a no contest if an unintentional foul or an accidental injury occurs, and the bout cannot continue before a specific number of rounds have been completed.
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These are some general rules and regulations, but they can vary between organizations and specific bouts. It’s important to consult the rulebook of the specific organization or competition to understand the exact rules and regulations that apply.