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The most important boxing rules at a glance
 Category: Boxing Basics

The most important boxing rules at a glance

The origins of boxing dates back many thousand years. Historical research shows that boxing matches were already held in ancient Greece, but would often end in serious injuries or even death. To avoid such drastic consequences, more and more rules were introduced over the years. In 1867, the Queensberry Rules were established. These were then first used in the 1880s for the heavyweight World Championship and are still in force today. Simply put, the following rules were mandated: Wearing boxing gloves Counting to ten when a fighter is knocked down Three-minute rounds with a one-minute break


In professional boxing, there is no pre-determined number of rounds. Usually a fight is decided after 6 to 12 rounds. A World Champion match is usually set at 12 rounds. Each round lasts three minutes with a one-minute break after each round.


Unlike an amateur boxer, a professional boxer is not allowed to wear head protection or a shirt. However, they must wear shorts, sports shoes, boxing gloves with bandages, a mouth guard and jock strap.

Boxing ring

The boxing ring is square-shaped. Rings vary in size, with a side measuring between 18 feet (5.486 m) and a maximum of 24 feet (7.315 m). For international competitions, the ring must measure 6.10 by 6.10 metres.


How fights are decided

The winner of a professional boxing match is decided as follows: more points through a knockout (KO), winning through a technical knock out (TKO) when the opponent withdraws A fight can also be a draw, which includes a technical draw.

Point scoring

Each world organization uses three judges to score points. They judge each round under the “Ten-Point-Must-System”. The winner of a round gets 10 points, where the loser of a round usually gets 9 points. In the case of fouls, knock downs or a clear disadvantage, the weaker boxer can lose a point. If the fight is over and all rounds have been fought, each boxer’s points are tallied. Each judge also gets to vote on the outcome. The victor is the fighter who gets the most votes from the judges. A fight is draw when judge A scores another boxer higher as judge B, whereas judge C has given both boxers the same number of points. A fight is also draw when judge A and judge B give both boxers the same number of points. In this case, it does not matter how judge C scored the match.


If after being knocked down, a boxer cannot stand up and continue the fight within ten seconds, a knockout (KO) is declared. The ring referee decides when to start counting for a boxer. He alone decides if a boxer down for the count is able to continue the fight. If the fight is then stopped by the referee or a boxer withdraws of his own accord, the fight is declared a technical knockout (TKO).

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