Home Sports Boxing Boxing Basics: All You Need to Know About This Sport

Boxing Basics: All You Need to Know About This Sport

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Boxing is a combat sport that involves attack and defence with the fists. Boxers typically wear padded gloves and fight in an enclosed area called ring. Boxing can be bifurcated into amateur and professional boxing. A competition is scrutinized based on weight and ability. The Boxing contestant’s objective is to land blows on the opponents face to score points. They must also avoid the opponent’s blows. Sometimes, the sport is also referred to as pugilism or prizefighting.

Did you know?

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In the ancient Greek culture, the God of Sun and Music, Apollo is regarded as the inventor and the protector of boxing. In fact, it is also believed that Apollo killed robber Phorbas, who had seized the roads to Delphi, in a boxing match.

A Brief History

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Boxing KreedOn
Ancient Greeks first started to play the sport professionally (Credits Youtube)

Boxing first made the appearance as a formal sport in the 23rd Olympiad in 688 BCE. However, informally, the fist-fighting has been thought to have originated mankind’s prehistory. Nonetheless, back then instead of being a points game, it was an activity for survival.

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Talking about historical evidence, the earliest proof of boxing appears in the 3rd millennium BCE Sumerian relief carvings. Another evidence appears in the 1350 BC relief sculpture from Egyptian Thebes that seems to depict both boxers and spectators.

However, it was in ancient Greece that the evidence of the sport being played on the basis of rules is seen. Instead of rounds, the Greek contests continued until one player either acknowledged defeat by holding up a finger or was unable to continue.

Like today, clinching was strictly forbidden back then as well. Contests would be staged outdoors for spectators, leading to an added challenge of intense heat and bright sunlight to the fight.

Dimensions and Equipment Rules

The exact dimensions of various entities of boxing are specified in the “AIBA Technical Rules” handbook that became effective from 26 April 2017.


Boxing Ring Dimension: 6.1m 6.1 m

Ring KreedOn
(Credits SABC)

A boxing ring is an area where the two boxers, along with a referee, compete. It is square of 6.1m when measured inside the line of ropes.

Rules for Ring and Canvas

  • The size of the apron should extend for 85 cm outside the line of the ropes on every side. Thus, the size of the entire platform thus becomes 7.8 m ✕ 7.8 m.
  • The height of the ring should be 1 m from the ground.
  • The corner pads on two must be coloured red and blue (for the two opponents) whereas the other two must be white. The purpose of the pads is to provide safety from any injury to the boxers.
  • The floor surface should be of the thickness between 1.5 cm to 2.0 cm and should be made of rubber, felt or any other suitable material.
  • The canvas should be blue Pantone 299.

The rule for Ring Ropes

  • There should be 4 ropes on each side of the ring and they should be covered in a thick padding.
  • They should be 4 cm in thickness when not covered.
  • Measuring from the canvas, the heights of the four ropes should be 40 cm, 70 cm, 100 cm, 130 cm respectively.
  • The ropes should be taut enough through the bottom two might not be too tight. Also, the referees are allowed to change the tightness if needed.

Boxing Gloves Specification

Elite Men Competitions :

For the Light Flyweight (49 kg) – Light Welterweight (64 kg) category

The gloves must weight 10 ounce or 283.5 grams.

For the Welterweight (49 kg) – Super Heavyweight (64 kg) category

The gloves must weight 12 ounce or 340 grams.

Women Competitions, Youth Boys and Girls Competitions:

The gloves must weight 10 ounce or 283.5 grams.


A gumshield must be worn by all the boxers before the match.

The gunshield should not be of red colour.

Basic Terminologies in Boxing

Men and Youth Boy Competition

Sr no. Weight Category Over Kg To Kg
1 Light Fly 46 49
2 Fly 49 52
3 Bantam 52 56
4 Light 56 60
5 Light Welter 60 64
6 Welter 64 69
7 Middle 69 75
8 Light Heavy 75 81
9 Heavy 81 91
10 Super Heavy 91


Women and Youth Girl Competition

Sr no. Weight Category Over Kg To Kg
1 Light Fly 45 48
2 Fly 48 51
3 Bantam 51 54
4 Feather 54 57
5 Light 57 60
6 Light Welter 60 64
7 Welter 64 69
8 Middle 69 75
9 Light Heavy 75 81
10 Heavy 81


Age-Based Classification of Boxers

Men and Women Boxers between 19 to 40 in age are categorised as Elite Boxers.

Boys and Girls Boxers between 17 to 18 in age are categorised as Youth Boxers.

Boys and Girls Boxers between 15 to 16 in age are categorised as Junior Boxers.

Basic Boxing Rules


The simple rule to win in boxing: “To Hit and to Not Get Hit.” Thus, the goal of the boxer is to land as many blows on his opponent’s face while also defending from the opponent’s blow. It ultimately boils down to timing and one should very well know when to attack and when to defence. This may very well be stated as the essence of boxing. It is preferable that the boxer punches his opponent clearly so as to garner maximum points from the judges.

Scoring System

  • A “Ten Point Must System” is used as a base for the scoring system.
  • For each bout, five Judges are allocated a position around the ring in accordance with an electronic draw by AIBA Scoring System. Three Judges are allocated for APB and WSB bouts.
  • At the end of each round, each Judge determines the winning boxer of that round by awarding a score of 10 points and by awarding between 9 to 7 points to the losing Boxer, based on the judgment as to the degree to which the opponent lost the round.
  • The category based on which the Judges allot points are:
    1. Number of blows on the target area
    2. Domination of the bout by tactical and technical superiority
    3. Competitiveness
  • The Judges apply the following categories to the scoring round:
    1. 10-9 for a close round
    2. Clear Win
    3. Total Domination
  • Every round has a declared winner i.e. there can be no opportunity of a 10-10 score by a Judge.
  • Three such rounds are played.


  • At the each round, the 5 judges allot points to the boxers which are then displayed in the scoreboard for the general audience. Once the three bouts are played, the supervising official tallies all the points over the three rounds by the five Judges.
  • The boxer that has received the most points by among at least 3 Judges is the winner of the game.
  • If at all, there is an interruption in the middle of the bout such as power failure, the match is terminated and the player with the majority of points is declared as the winner, even if it is a partial round.

Tie Breaker

Sometimes there may be a tie among the Judge’s points allotment. These situations may occur if:

  • One Judge has allotted even scores, while the total scores of the four other judges are evenly split; or
  • Two Judges have even scores and the three other judges fail to score unanimously; or
  • Three or more Judges have even scores.

In such instances, the Judges are requested to nominate the Boxer that is the winner of the Bout in their opinion.

Other Cases of Winning/Losing a Bout

  • The opponent is declared as the winner if:
  • a boxer fails to resume the bout after the stipulated resting period.
  • a boxer is outclassed by severe blows and heavy punishment in referee’s opinion.
  • a boxer is unable/unfit to resume the bout after the resting period.
  • a boxer is unable to recover from a blow within 90 seconds.
  • a boxer fails to return inside the ring within 30 seconds or 8 counts after being punched out by opponent’s legal punch.
  • a boxer is disqualified due to a foul or any other reason.
  • a boxer is knocked down and fails to get up within the count of 10.

Major Competitions

Summer Olympics

Vijender KreedOn
Vijender Singh (Credits Rediff.com)

Boxing was introduced at the 1904 Summer Olympics has been contested in the competition ever since (except in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm as boxing was banned in the Swedish law. However, even after 100 years of the sport’s inception in the Olympics, it was only at the 2012 London Olympics that women’s boxing was also made part of the program. MC Mary Kom had won the boxing bronze in this very competition. Earlier to her, it was Vijender Singh who had won India’s first boxing bronze medal.

World Boxing Championship

AIBA KreedOn
The 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championship logo (Credits aiba.org)

World Boxing Championship is a bi-yearly amateur boxing competition that is organised by the AIBA. It is considered the highest level of competition for the sport. The first such championship was held in 1974 Havana, Cuba. However, the competition was open only for men. Since its inception, Cuba has been the most successful boxing nation, scalping an indomitable 135 medals off which 76 are gold. Russia comes in next at 23 golds. India has a lowly 4 bronze medal to show for in the competition. The 2021 edition of the prestigious tournament will be hosted in New Delhi by India,

Women’s World Boxing Championships

Mary Kom at the 2018 Women’s World Boxing Championships

The first women’s championships were held over 25 years after WBC, in Scranton, the US in 2001. The Championships are also a bi-yearly affair, with the 2018 edition being hosted in India at New Delhi. Speaking about dominance, Russia is a clear winner in the all-time medal table with 53 medals of which 21 are gold. India comes third with 28 medals and 8 golds. So far, M C Mary Kom has been the best player in the history of the competition, winning 6 gold medals and 1 silver. She is the only boxer to have clinched 7 medals, the latest one, a gold, came at the 2018 Women’s World Boxing Championships.

Governing Body

AIBA KreedOn
The AIBA logo (Credits aiba.org)

The International Boxing Association, or Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA), is the governing body of the amateur or Olympic style boxing style globally. It was originally instituted in the year 1943. It was preceded by the Federation Internationale de Boxing Amateur (FIBA) which was formed in 1920 by England, France, Brazil, and the Netherlands. AIBA is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In India, Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) is the governing body for Olympic and Amateur Boxing in the country. Headquartered in New Delhi, IBF was suspended by AIBA in 2017 due to a suspension imposed by the International Olympic Committee on the Indian Olympic Association along with the fact that the AIBA had also about the potential irregularities regarding the conduct of the recent IBF election. As a result, the IBF continues to remain an empty-entity for an indefinite period of time.

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Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the Head of Content at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in Civil Engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.


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