What is Boxing?


Boxing is a combat sport where two opponents fight one another by throwing punches. Players wear protective gloves while fighting in a boxing ring, a square-shaped arena with posts in each corner connected by ropes, preventing the fighters from leaving the ring. The match continues until the predetermined time for the match expires, a boxer is disqualified, a boxer surrenders, or the referee determines that a fighter cannot physically continue the match.

All around the world, amateur and professional Boxing leagues are prominent. The market for the sport primarily resides in Mexico, Africa, and South America, though the sport is resurging all around the world.


boxing history

There is evidence that boxing existed as early as 1500 BC on the Crete Island, and some researchers insist it existed even earlier than that in Africa. Ancient boxing was very different from what we see today, as fights were carried out on open plots of land, and the fight would last until an opponent was seriously injured.

In the 1700s and 1800s boxing became extremely popular in England, and America began to follow suit in organizing matches of their own. Boxing gradually rose to obtain the fame that it has today.

Playing Surface

boxing ring

The space where the boxing match takes place is called a boxing ring. The size of a professional boxing ring is typically within a range of 18 to 24 square feet, while amateur boxing matches take place in a ring that is 16 to 20 square feet. A larger ring will benefit a fighter who moves well on his or her feet and prefers to fight in the center of the ring. A smaller ring may benefit a fighter who relies more on punching power. The floor is made with shock absorbing foam, as an attempt to make any crashes to the ground less severe.


There is some equipment that a boxer needs in order to train properly and also stay safe. A person who is just getting into boxing will only need a few pieces of equipment to start out. If he or she gets more into the sport, then more equipment may need to be purchased.


Boxing Gameplay

A boxing match is made up of rounds, a maximum of 12 per match. Each round lasts one to three minutes. There are three judges sitting at ringside who score the boxers during the match. Fighters are scored a 10 to start the fight, and points are taken away as the fight goes on. For instance, if a judge deems that a particular fighter won the round, the other fighter would lose a point. Points are also taken away for knockdowns or penalties. If a match lasts for all rounds, points determine the winner. If fighters have the same score, the bout is a draw.

Positions and Roles

Boxing Positions

While boxing is an individual sport, it takes a lot more than just the boxer in order for him to win a match. Along with the boxer and a coach, there is a corner team that helps the boxer get through their match. A corner man will act as a physical support system for a fighter during a bout. At elite levels, there is also a cut man that will be in the corner to perform first aid on the boxer when they have a cut. The cut man must keep the boxer's wounds from bleeding otherwise the fight will end. These corner men also have an extremely important responsibility in watching the boxer to make sure that they are okay. All members of the corner team will decide if it is necessary to "throw in the towel" if they think the match needs to be ended to keep the boxer safe.

Rules and Regulations

boxing rules and regulations

Boxing is an extremely dangerous sport that involves a lot of injuries. It is important for officials to do their best to limit these injuries and make sure that a clean match takes place. To do this, the referee must enforce certain rules and regulations.

Foul: Hitting below the belt, holding, kicking or spitting can be considered a foul and cause a boxer to lose points or become disqualified.

3 Knockout Rule: When a boxer gets knocked down three times during one round, that is considered a knockout.

Eight Count: Judgement call by the referee. When a boxer is invoked the ref will stop and take eight seconds to determine if the boxer can continue.

Ten Count Rule: A "gentleman's rule" where the opponent gets knocked down and is given ten seconds to get back up. If they do not get up after ten seconds it is a knockout and the fight is over.

Length: A typical boxing round will take three minutes with a one minute rest between rounds. There are then 12 rounds in the match.

Referees and Officials

boxing referees and officials

The referee is the individual who is charged with enforcing the rules during a fight to make sure that everything goes smoothly. The ref will give instructions to both boxers before a fight, determines when to stop a fight, and gives fouls.

A boxing match will also have judges, who watch the fight ringside and give scores based on landed punches, defense, knockouts, and more.

Lingo and Terminology

boxing lingo and terminology

Like any sport, boxing has a certain language that most boxers speak in that can be confusing to novice spectators. There is a lingo that boxers use when talking about the sport, and it is helpful to know some of these terms so you won't get confused if you are watching a fight or talking boxing with friends. Below are a few helpful terms you should know if you want to watch booking or become a boxer.

Clinch: When two fighters grab onto each other or hold each other to prevent an exchange or slow down the action.

Combo: Any series of punches thrown one right after another.

Faded: Refers to when a fighter begins to run out of gas.

Go the Distance: When a fight goes all 12 rounds until the final bell.

Mouse: A bump or area of swelling on a fighter's face.

Palooka: A boxing term that describes a fighter who is uneducated or clumsy.


Boxing Coaching

A boxing coach must have a great deal of knowledge of the sport and know how to motivate his or her fighters. A boxing coach can be responsible for training new boxers and assisting experienced boxers and improving their techniques and finding the right style for them. A boxing coach knows everything there is to know about rules, techniques, and has some prior experience in boxing matches. Aspiring coaches can attend a USA boxing certification clinic where they take the exam at the end of the class to become certified.

Skills and Techniques

boxing skills and techniques

Many people think that boxing just requires strength, speed, and athleticism. It is actually a very strategic sport. During a boxing match, you want to control the pace, locate your angles, and make sure you have good timing for an attack or counter. Those are all very important strategies you want to practice as you get better at boxing.

Some skills you want to possess are quickness, awareness, strength, and endurance. You can master these skills by working out and doing certain workouts that are not just catered to boxing.


boxing strategy

Boxing is a very strategic sport. Without a boxer and their coach having a good strategy going into the match, they may have trouble finding success. There are some boxers that are more defensive. They will throw fewer punches and wait for their opponent to get tired before they attack. Other boxers will be aggressive right out of the gate, and use their power to try and dominate the entire time.


Boxing Drills

Boxing drills are a necessary way to improve your skills as a fighter. Without proper training in these drills, you will not find any improvement. Bag work is a great way to improve your strength in your punch. Another great drill is shadow boxing, where you can focus on speed and form. Jump rope is also an extremely popular drill as it will increase your endurance which is so crucial to have when in a fight.

Olympic Boxing

olympic boxing

Boxing has been in an olympic sport since 1904. In an Olympic boxing tournament, boxers are paired off at random without any regard to ranking, and face off in a single elimination tournament. Winning boxers then progress through the preliminary rounds to the quarter finals and semi finals. A men's bout will consist of a total of three rounds at three minutes each, while a women's bout consists of four rounds at two minutes each. Unlike professional boxing, Olympic boxers wear sparring gear to stay safe.

Boxing Coaches

Boxing Coaches

A boxing coach is responsible for training boxers and assisting them in improving their techniques. Most boxing coaches were once boxers back in the day, which gives them a lot of experience to help out up and comers. These ex-boxers remember what works and what doesn't work from their careers, and will be able to impart knowledge and allow them to get the proper skills and techniques.

Boxing Players

Boxing Players

Boxing fighters are insanely athletic and have superb stamina along with strength and resilience. They are fierce and powerful and are some of the most respected athletes in all of sports. Famous boxers such as Muhamad Ali and Mike Tyson are known throughout the world due to their talent and personality, and there are many other boxers present that are just like them.

Muhammad Ali55-5
Manny Pacquao54-5
Floyd Mayweather43-0
Mike Tyson50-6
Joe Frazier32-4-1
George Foreman76-5
Roberto Duran103-16
Sugar Ray Leonard36-3-1

Boxing Leagues

Boxing Leagues

There are many different belts that boxers compete for. There is not one single governing body that decides the rules of boxing. Instead there are four governing bodies that all have their own respective belts. They rarely work together because they are competing with each other, which is why it can be difficult for boxers to obtain multiple belts. Each body has numerous divisions that are based on weight classes. Since there are four different organizations, that means there can be four different title holders all at once. Those governing bodies are:

  • World Boxing Council
  • World Boxing Association
  • International Boxing Federation
  • World Boxing Organization

Boxing Teams

Boxing Teams

Boxing is an individual sport. However, there are teams in boxing where fighters can be under the same coach or trainers. These teams will often work out together and maybe have similar styles of boxing. For example, in the Olympics, the countries may have one coach that all of the fighters will work with. Also, when boxers fight with the same club, they could be considered a team in that they all have the same coach. While it's possible that they sometimes face off against each other, they will still support each other throughout their careers.

Boxing Events

boxing events

A professional boxing event is often some of the most hyped up and anticipated events in sports. There are jam packed arenas that will hold numerous fights where fighters of different weight classes go up against each other. The main event is the last of the night, and will contain the most popular boxers. These fights are held on pay per view, and are promoted weeks beforehand.

Boxing Tournaments

Boxing Tournaments

You do not often find bracket style tournaments in professional boxing. This is because of the physical toll that boxing takes on the body. People need a very long time to rest in between fights, so a boxing tournament is very difficult to execute.

However there are numerous amateur sparring boxes tournaments that can take place. This is where the fighters will wear protective gear, and not need to have as much time recovering. This style is seen in college level boxing and the Olympics.

Boxing Gyms

Boxing Gyms

All over the country, you can find a boxing gym or club where you can take classes or get personal training. A boxing gym will offer an encouraging atmosphere for learning the sport, and will also focus on proper technique and improvement. Joining a club will allow you to have a trainer that will tailor workouts to your physical abilities, making for the perfect workout and method of improvement.

Boxing Books

boxing books

Boxing books are typically fiction or nonfiction. There are also some books that will give people advice on how to become a better fighter. Some are based on real life events which are appealing as authors will get first-hand look at what went on behind the scenes. There are also a few books co-written by a boxer, making them all the more interesting.

Undisputed TruthMike Tyson
Dark TradeDonald McRae
King of the WorldDavid Remnick

Boxing Websites

boxing websites

There are many different boxing websites that all serve many different purposes. There are sites that can provide info on upcoming fights and others that can give you rankings and news. There are also plenty of sites that you can purchase equipment on. Some of the best are:


What should I bring to my first class?

Bring handwraps and supportive sneakers. If you do not have a pair of gloves, the gym will often lend you one for your first few classes.

Is boxing hard for beginners?

Boxing can be easy to pick up, but is hard to master. It is an extremely difficult workout, and contains a lot of movements where you will need to perfect your form.

What should I eat before boxing?

A light healthy snack will give you the fuel you need to maintain the intensity before a boxing workout. Eating something small like a banana or greek yogurt will be very beneficial.