A Complete Guide for Boxing

boxing 1

Daunting yet exciting; Strenuous yet gratifying, boxing is the one sport that is as old as civilization itself. Prior to what is considered as the modern form of boxing, this sport was gruesome and even dangerous. However, with the passage of time, and with several rules and regulations that gave this sport a more formal appeal, boxing is one of the most competitive sports today, and is sought by those who seek power packed and robust sports.


Boxing In A Nutshell

boxing 2

Boxing is a popular sport that is played by two players who wear boxing gloves. In India the AIABF governs the sport, coordinating all domestic and international level tournaments. It is played at the Olympic Games, Asian as well as the Commonwealth Games.

There are several international boxing championships organized by international boxing federation’s like AIBA and WBF. Boxing largely has two formats; professional and amateur and within these formats there are 8 major divisions; Flyweight (up to 50.8 Kgs), Bantamweight (up to 53.5 Kgs), Featherweight (up to 57.2 Kgs), Lightweight (up to 61.2 Kgs), Welterweight (up to 66.7 Kgs), Middle weight (up to 72.6 kgs), Light heavyweight (up to 79.4 kgs) and Heavyweight (unlimited). Famous boxing icons such as Muhammad Ali, Vijender Singh, Mary Kom amongst others have had strong affiliations with the sport.


How Would You Describe Boxing?

Boxing is a sport which requires two players to fight with their fists using gloves. The player which dominates the most in the ring and is able to weaken the other player is declared as the winner of the game. The game consists of a referee and a panel of 3 judges that evaluate the overall performance of the players based on how many rounds the game has lasted, conduct of the players during the game, and the amount of punches along with the boxing technique.

The sport has two formats, professional as well as amateur. There are a total of 8 divisions in boxing; Flyweight (up to 50.8 Kgs), Bantamweight (up to 53.5 Kgs), Featherweight (up to 57.2 Kgs), Lightweight (up to 61.2 Kgs), Welterweight (up to 66.7 Kgs), Middle weight (up to 72.6 Kgs), Light heavyweight (up to 79.4 Kgs) and Heavyweight (unlimited).


Overview and History Of Boxing

boxing muhammad ali

  • Origin of boxing can be traced back to the ancient Greeks (BC 688) who had a tendency to be aggressive in nature.
  • It is considered a martial art and combat sport which revolves around two players who have to throw punches at each other wearing boxing gloves.
  • The objective of the game is to knock down the opponent with the boxing techniques.
  • Boxing is played at several international platforms such as the Olympic Games, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
  • A boxing match is usually supervised by a referee, whose main role is to keep a track of the boxing rounds and ensure a smooth and fair running of the game.
  • Boxing is a very popular sport in Europe, the Americas and certain pockets of Asia. There are two formats in the game, amateur boxing and professional boxing, for which the rules vary. Both men and women can participate in the sport.
  • In India, Mumbai (known as Bombay earlier) was the first city which organized the sport, and formed the Bombay Presidency Amateur Boxing Federation in 1925. Later this body was known as the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in 1949.


Rules Of Boxing

Since boxing has two main formats; professional and amateur the rules differ slightly. There are eight major professional divisions or rather categories in boxing:

  • Flyweight (up to 50.8 Kgs)
  • Bantamweight (up to 53.5 Kgs)
  • Featherweight (up to 57.2 Kgs)
  • Lightweight (up to 61.2 Kgs)
  • Welterweight (up to 66.7 Kgs)
  • Middle weight (up to 72.6 Kgs)
  • Light heavyweight (up to 79.4 Kgs)
  • Heavyweight (unlimited)
  • A professional game of boxing consists of a total of 9 to 12 rounds, and an amateur boxing game includes a total of 3 rounds. Between each round there is approximately a one minute gap, where each player can go to their corner of the ring and get geared up for the next round.
  • Each player is assigned a corner before the game commences, and prior to the game, the players are supposed to enter the ring from their respective corner. During this gap, players can drink water, adjust their gloves or even have a quick chat with their coach. A referee supervises each fight and ensures that the match is being played in a fair manner.
  • In order to judge the match there is a panel of three judges who assign individual points to each fighter based on the punches that connect, defend and punches that lead to a knockdown.
  • Often times the points given to each player can lead to a draw if the judges differ in assigning points. However, if a boxer is able to knock down its opponent then it is a clear cut victory.
  • The abbreviation ‘KO’ comes from boxing which means knock out. When a player is knocked out, they usually lie flat in the ring, upon which the referee starts the countdown till 10. If the opponent is not able to get up they lose the game. Besides this, there is a technical knockout (TKO) if a player is not fit enough to continue the match.
  • Some championships consist of the three knockdown rules, where if a player is knocked down thrice in a match, then they end up on the losing side.
  • For this knockdown a standing eight count rule may be in effect. Basically this gives the referee the authority to step inside the ring and supervise the count of eight to the fighter that may be in danger regardless of whether a knockdown has taken place or not.

Once the count is complete the referee will then examine the boxer and decide if the player is fit to continue with the match, if not then the other player wins the game.

During a boxing match both players have to adhere to a few basic rules:

  • No hitting below the belt, i.e., groin area to cause extreme pain.
  • No holding the player while punching.
  • No tripping, pushing, biting or spitting on the other player.
  • No kicking, head butting or hitting with any part of the arm other than closed fisted knuckles.
  • No hitting the back of the neck or kidneys of the player.
  • The player must ensure not to hold the ropes while punching the opponent or duck below their opponent’s belt. In this case, the distance between the two players is not taken into consideration.
  • If a clinch of the players is broken by the referee, each player has to take a full step back before they are allowed to punch again.
  • If a player has been knocked down the other player has to go to a neutral corner of the ring and wait for further instructions from the referee.
  • Failure to comply with these rules results in a foul by the referee. The player committing the foul may be given a warning, and points can be deducted depending on the type of foul.
  • A simple disqualification can also happen if the foul is intense in nature. If a player intentionally causes a foul that hampers the fight from continuing, then they are disqualified. If a player suffers an accidental low blow, then they will be given extra 5 minutes to recover.
  • If the player is still not able to recover and continue with the fight, it results in a knockout.
  • Fouls that cause fatal injury to any of the player’s result in a no contest decision, or the other alternative would be to access the outcome of the fight based on the number of rounds that have been fought by the players.


Specifications Of Boxing

boxing 4

Boxing ring: The size of a standard boxing ring should be between 16 ft and 25 ft to a side between the ropes with another 2 feet outside. The platform of the ring must be raised 3 ft -4 ft from ground level along with posts rising around 5 feet. The floor of the boxing ring is usually made of heavy gauge steel, plywood boards and shock absorbing foam underneath a canvas sheet.

Bandages: Not more than 11 m of soft gauze bandage must be used per hand, the width of the bandage should not be more than 2 inches in width, it should be held in place by not more than 8 feet of adhesive tape that has 1 and ½ inches of width. It must be ensured that the tape does not cover any part of the knuckles when the hand is clenched to make a fist.

Boxing gloves: This can differ depending on the type of championship. For straight-weight and welterweight matches the glove must not weigh more than 226.8 g, for super-weight and heavyweight matches not more than 283.5 g. Boxing gloves are of different kinds; bag gloves (cushioned gloves ideal for training), sparring gloves (designed to protect both athletes during training matches) and competition gloves (padded gloves designed keeping international rules and regulations in mind.


Governing Bodies Of Boxing

The game of boxing has more than one governing body for international matches which are the World Boxing Federation (WBF) and International Boxing Association, which was initially known as the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA). Both the bodies supervise and govern international matches and tournaments all over the world.

AIBA primarily organizes Olympic style boxing matches and they also have their own tournaments based on the Olympic rankings of the players. Since November 2006, it is being headed by Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.

WBF on the other hand started in 1988 in Bristol, Tennessee. Since 2009, this federation has sanctioned over 330 championships that have taken place in around 40 countries worldwide. Howard Goldberg is the current president of this federation.

The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is the governing body for Boxing in India. Shri Abhishek Matoria is the current president of the federation. This governing body takes care of both men and women boxing tournaments at domestic as well as International levels.


Championships And Events In Boxing

AIBA World Boxing Championship: This is one of the oldest boxing championships which has been in vogue for more than 39 years now.

Boxers from over 57 countries participate in the Men’s World Boxing Championship and women boxers from over 33 countries around the world participate in the Women’s World Boxing Championship.

Several Indian boxers such as Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Lekha K.C, Vijender Kumar, Shiva Thapa and several others have taken part in these championships. Till 2015, India has won a total of 3 medals in Men’s World Boxing Championship and a total of 27 medals in the Women’s World Boxing Championship. The championships for both men and women happen once in every two years.

Olympic Games: Boxing is one of the main sports in the Olympics. It was introduced at the Summer Olympics in 1904 and has been continuing since then except for in the year 1912 Summer Olympics of Stockholm where it was not included due to a ban declaration by Sweden.

USA and Cuba are two countries that have maximum medals in Olympic level boxing. India is still trying to make its mark in Olympic level boxing. However, boxers like Vijender Singh have made India proud in the Beijing Olympics, 2008. The summer Olympics are held once in every 4 years.

Commonwealth Games: There are a total of 53 countries that have been a part of the former British Empire and are thus included in the Commonwealth Games.

Since the 1930’s boxing has been a part of the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.

Athletes from all commonwealth nations are eligible to take part in the games. Till 2014 India has won up to 438 medals in total out of which 28 are for boxing. India’s performance in the boxing category has always improved with every Commonwealth Game that has taken place till now.

Asian Games: In 1951 the first Asian Games were held in Delhi, India and in 1954 boxing was also included in the games. Till date it is a sporting event that is contested at every Asian Games.

The Asian Games are held once in every 4 years and till 2014 India has won a total of 55 medals out of which 8 have been Gold medals, 16 Silver medals and 31 Bronze medals.

At the domestic level the IABF organizes several boxing championships such as Senior Men National Boxing Championship, Women Federation Cup, AK Misra Memorial Boxing Tournament, Inter Zonal Men National and Inter Zonal Women National. Through these competition players are selected to represent India on International platforms.


Famous Personalities In Boxing

Boxing is a sport which has seen many famous personalities:

Muhammad Ali: Originally known as Cassius Clay Jr, Muhammad Ali was a former American professional boxer and is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in the world. His fan following runs in millions and has almost acquired a cult like status among boxing fans. In the summer Olympics of 1960 he won the gold medal in the boxing lightweight division for the United States. In his entire boxing career he has had 56 wins and 5 losses with no draws at all. Not only that the athlete has won several achievement awards as well.

  • National Golden Gloves light heavy weight champion in 1959 and 1960.
  • From 1964-67 Ali was the World Heavyweight champion.
  • In 1990 his name was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Although, we lost lost the boxing legend, Muhammad Ali on June 3rd, 2016, but his zeal for boxing will always inspire the boxing aspirants.

Vijender Singh: How can we forget this iconic Indian boxer who wooed India with his phenomenal boxing performance. Vijender Singh was born and raised in the Bhiwani District of Haryana and started his boxing venture with the Bhiwani Boxing Club. In his entire Boxing career Vijendra has made India proud on several occasions.

  • Bronze medal in 2009 at the World Amateur Boxing Championship
  • Bronze medal in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games
  • Silver Medal in 2006 at the Melborne Commonwealth Games
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2009
  • Padma Shri award in 2010

Mary Kom: She is one of the toughest Indian female boxers. Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom a.k.a Mary Kom comes from Manipur, India. Mary is a five time winner of the Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championship and the only woman who has won a medal each time she participated. This is the reason she has been given the nickname ‘Magnificent Mary’. She is also the only Indian woman boxer who qualified for the Summer Olympics 2012 held in London. Given below are some of her achievements that has made India proud.

  • Bronze medal in Flyweight category (51Kg) at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • First Indian woman to win Gold medal in the Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
  • Padma Bhushan (Sports), 2013.
  • Padma Shree (Sports), 2006.

Akhil Kumar: This Indian boxer has won several international and national boxing awards for his performance in the boxing ring. He is famous for practicing open guarded boxing style which has gotten him a lot of admiration from several professional boxers. Some of his achievement are listed below:

  • Bronze medal at the 40th Geraldo Cordova
    Cardin Memorial Boxing Tournament, Cuba, 2010.
  • Gold medal in 6th YMCA Junior International Boxing Championship, 1999.
  • Bronze medal, AIBA World Cup, Moscow, 2008.
  • Gold Medal at the 4th Commonwealth Federation Boxing Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, 2005.
  • Arjuna Award, 2005.

If your child’s calling is the robust and pulsating sport of Boxing, and if you have questions and concerns that seem to be brimming to the top, then get in touch with our experts and coaches at YoGems, and let your child’s dream come true!



Varsha Singh is associated with Yoachievers as a Content Writer.