Rules of Boxing | How it is Played?

Boxing requires instincts of extraordinary level and perseverance. You’ll be hit again and again, the blood will come oozing out of your face but you have to wait for the right moment to attack the opponent. It isn’t about how much you can run or how much weight you can lift, but how many punches you can take and reciprocate.

Rules of Boxing

The game is one of the oldest sports in the world and it is recognized as a fighting sport now part of Olympics, and separate international tournaments are being held yearly. It is believed that the game dates back to 688 BC, but the one we have today is slightly modified or formal, in other words.

Objective of Playing Boxing

Once stepping into the ring, you have to put aside any bit of humanity that you possess for your opponent. You are either going to hit your opponent or be hit by him. You have to hit your opponent so badly that at some point, he is unable to stand until the referee counts to 10. Or, based on your performance in each round, judges give you marks which decide the winner in the end.

How to Play?

Boxing is a physical sport in which two players compete against each other and they are supposed to punch each other in permitted parts of the body. Each game is watched by the judges and based on cleanliness of their punches, points are awarded. Most of the boxing matches end at knockout.

There are multiple ways to win a boxing match and severe fouls can cause disqualification from the game. Therefore, before you participate in a professional tournament, make sure you know all about legal moves and other rules regarding the fight. By reading the General rules of Boxing below, you’ll learn every rule applied at international level.

General Rules of Boxing

  • The only way to attack your opponent is by punching him with a clenched fist. You cannot strike him below the belt, in the kidney or on the back of your opponent’s head/neck.
  • Unlike wrestling, you cannot use ropes here for leverage.
  • When the opponent is knocked down, you can’t hit him further.
  • If an unintentional foul ends the game because of a severe injury to any player, judges decide whether any player deserves to be deemed as a winner or they can also call it a draw.

Duration of a Boxing Match

A boxing match’s time duration depends on the number of rounds. A match can consist of 2,4,6,8,10 or 12 rounds. Each round consists of 3 minutes with one minute break after each round.

Playing Field of Boxing

Boxing is played in the ring, which is generally 16-25 feet alongside each. The ring size can vary a bit, with posts at the corner measuring 5 feet above the ring. The boxing rings are around 3 to 4 feet off the ground on a raised platform.

Equipments Used in Boxing

While fighting, a boxer can wear gloves (which are usually between 120z-16oz). A gum shield is also used by boxers to protect their teeth.

Scoring & Winning a Boxing Match

Following are the important things to note down about how a winner is determined in a boxing game:

  • If during the match, a player is knocked out, which means he has lost consciousness or retired due to severe injuries, the standing player is deemed the winner.
  • If the match goes to the distance, after the number of rounds, judges check the points which they give based on cleanliness of the punch, thus the boxer with more points is chosen as the winner.
  • The point system is applied after 12 rounds, altogether. The boxer with the highest net points wins the game.
  • Sometimes they also use an electronic device to count the number of clean punches.
  • In international or competitive tournaments, there are three judges. Their combined opinion is taken to decide the winner.
  • A rare instance is, when a boxer is knocked down three times during the play, in all 12 bouts, the other boxer will be declared winner.
  • A player can be disqualified if he keeps committing fouls to referee’s discretion.

Referee and Judges in Boxing

In boxing, a referee stands in the ring and ensures that no boxer commits a foul. He is also responsible for checking the current state of a boxer, and if he feels he is not good enough to continue the fight, he can stop the match at any moment.

Judges have their typical role of taking down notes of points scored as per their judgement and later they announce the winner.

Famous Boxing Events

Boxing tournaments have tremendous following all around the globe, despite being brutal, they are one of the richest sports in the world. Here are some of the richly followed boxing events that take place every year:

  • European Boxing championships
  • Amteur Boxing championships in different regions
  • Self challenges
  • Tournaments in different categories (in terms of weight)

Famous Boxing Venues

Though a sport of boxing can happen anywhere, with the ring in the middle, there are some famous venues where arch rivals lock horns and bigger fights are organized.

  • The Cow Palace in San Francisco
  • York Hall in London
  • Plaza Mexico
  • Olympic Stadium in Detroit
  • The boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City

Governing Body

Though boxing doesn’t have too many complexities in laws and most of the matches are fought when top players challenge each other, the IBF (International Boxing Federation) still has a lot to manage including the schedules of international tournaments, settling dispute among community members and little bit of tweaking in the laws of the game if required.