Boxing: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A close-up boxing bout featuring Miguel Cotto (left, in the process of throwing a punch) and Manny Pacquiao.
Also known as Pugilism, English boxing, Western Boxing
Focus Striking (Punching)
Country of origin Greece (Ancient Boxing)
United Kingdom (Modern Boxing)
Creator Unknown
Parenthood Unknown
Olympic sport Since 688 B.C.

Boxing is a Martial Art and a combat sport in which two people, male or female, generally of similar weight, fight each other with their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee and is typically engaged in during a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds. There are three ways to win. Victory is achieved if the opponent is knocked out and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten seconds (a Knockout, or KO) or if the opponent is deemed too injured to continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO). If there is no stoppage of the fight before an agreed number of rounds, a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards.

Although fighting with fists comes naturally to people, evidence of fist-fighting contests first appear on ancient Sumerian, Egyptian and Minoan reliefs. The ancient Greeks provide us our first historical records of boxing as a formal sport; they codified a set of rules and staged tournaments with professionals. The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Modern boxing evolved in Europe.

In some countries with their own fighting sports, the sport is referred to as "English Boxing" (e.g. in France to contrast with French boxing, or in Burma with Burmese boxing and in Thailand with Thai boxing). There are numerous different styles of boxing practiced around the world. Boxing does not allow kicks like the styles above.

There have been some calls for boxing to be banned owing to the risk of brain injury, e.g. from the WMA [2], and from the BMA and a number of other national medical associations [3]. Professional boxing was banned in Norway in 1981, and in Sweden it was banned in 1981 [4] but legalized again in 2007 [5]. In 2000, the UK government rejected calls for a ban following the life-threatening injuries to Paul Ingle. [6]

Early history

Minoan youths boxing, Akrotiri (Santorini) fresco. Earliest documented use of 'gloves'.

Fist fighting depicted in Sumerian relief carvings from the 3rd millennium BC, while an ancient Egyptian relief from the 2nd millennium BC depicts both fist-fighters and spectators.[1] Both depictions show bare-fisted contests.[1] In 1927 Dr. E. A. Speiser, an archaeologist, discovered a Mesopotamian stone tablet in Baghdad, Iraq depicting two men getting ready for a prize fight. The tablet is believed to be 7,000 years old.[2] The earliest evidence for fist fighting with any kind of gloves can be found on Minoan Crete (c. 1500–900 BC), and on Sardinia, if we consider the boxing statues of Prama mountains (c. 2000–1000 BC).[1]

Ancient Greek boxing

Boxer of Quirinal resting after contest (Bronze sculpture, 3rd century BC)
Detail of leather straps
The right boxer signals giving up by raising his finger high (ca. 500 BC)

Homer's Iliad (ca. 675 BC) contains the first detailed account of a boxing fight (Book XXIII).[3] According to the Iliad, Mycenaean warriors included boxing among their competitions honoring the fallen (ca. 1200 BC), though it is possible that the Homeric epics reflect later culture. Another legend holds that the heroic ruler Theseus, said to have lived around the 9th century BC, invented a form of boxing in which two men sat face to face and beat each other with their fists until one of them was killed. In time, the boxers began to fight while standing and wearing gloves (with spikes) and wrappings on their arms below the elbows, although otherwise they were completly naked.

Boxing was first accepted as an Olympic sport in 688 BC, being called Pygme or Pygmachia. Participants trained on punching bags (called a korykos). Fighters wore leather straps (called himantes) over their hands, wrists, and sometimes breast, to protect them from injury. The straps left their fingers free. Legend had it that the Spartans were the first to box as a way to prepare for sword and shield fighting.

Ancient Roman boxing

In ancient Rome, there were two forms of boxing both coming from Etruscan boxing. The athletic form of boxing remained popular throughout the Roman world. The other form of boxing was gladiatorial. Fighters were usually criminals and slaves who hoped to become champions and gain their freedom; however, free men, women, and even aristocrats also fought. Gladiators wore lead "cestae" over their knuckles and heavy leather straps on their forearms to protect against blows. The deeply scarred and cauliflower eared figure of the Boxer of Quirinal show what a brutal sport it could be (matches often ending in the death or maiming of an opponent).

Eventually, fist fighting became so popular that even emperors started fighting, and the practice was promoted by Caesar Neronis. A fight between the agile Dares and the towering Entellus is described at length in the Roman national epic Aeneid (1st century BC).[4]

In 393 A.D., the Olympics were banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius, and in 400 A.D., boxing was banned altogether by Theodoric the Great as boxing being an insult to God because it disfigures the face, the image of God. However, this edict had little effect outside the major cities of the Eastern Empire.[5] By this time, western Europe was no longer part of the Roman Empire. Boxing remained popular in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Wrestling, fencing and racing (both chariot and foot) were never banned by the late Romans, as they did not cause disfigurement.

Modern boxing

Broughton's rules (1743)

A straight right demonstrated in Edmund Price's The Science of Self Defense: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, 1867

Records of Classical boxing activity disappeared after the fall of the Roman Empire. However, there are detailed records of various fist-fighting sports that were maintained in different cities and provinces of Italy between the 12th and 17th centuries. There was also a sport in ancient Rus called Fistfight. The sport would later resurface in England during the early 18th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing sometimes referred to as prizefighting. The first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight in England appeared in 1681 in the London Protestant Mercury, and the first English bare-knuckle champion was James Figg in 1719.[6] This is also the time when the word "boxing" first came to be used. It should be noted, that this earliest form of modern boxing was very different. Contests in Mr. Figg's time, in addition to fistfighting, also contained fencing and cudgeling.

Early fighting had no written rules. There were no weight divisions or round limits, and no referee. In general, it was very chaotic. The first boxing rules, called the Broughton's rules, were introduced by heavyweight champion Jack Broughton in 1743 to protect fighters in the ring where deaths sometimes occurred.[7] Under these rules, if a man went down and could not continue after a count of 30 seconds, the fight was over. Hitting a downed fighter and grasping below the waist were prohibited. Broughton also invented and encouraged the use of "mufflers", a form of padded gloves, which were used in training and exhibitions. The first paper on boxing was published in the late 18th century by successful Birmingham boxer 'William Futrell' who remained undefeated until his one hour and seventeen minute fight at Smitham Bottom, Croydon, on July 9, 1788 against a much younger "Gentleman" John Jackson which was attended by the Prince of Wales.

Tom Molineaux vs Tom Cribb in a re-match for the heavyweight championship of England, 1811

These rules did allow the fighters an advantage not enjoyed by today's boxers: They permitted the fighter to drop to one knee to begin a 30-second count at any time. Thus a fighter realizing he was in trouble had an opportunity to recover. However, this was considered "unmanly"[8] and was frequently disallowed by additional rules negotiated by the Seconds of the Boxers[9]. Intentionally going down in modern boxing will cause the recovering fighter to lose points in the scoring system. Furthermore, as the contestants did not have heavy leather gloves and wristwraps to protect their hands, a certain amount of restraint was required when striking the head.

London Prize Ring rules (1838)

In 1838, the London Prize Ring rules were codified. Later revised in 1853, they stipulated the following:[10]

  • Fights occurred in a 24 feet (7.3 m)-square ring surrounded by ropes.
  • If a fighter was knocked down, he had to rise within 30 seconds under his own power to be allowed to continue.
  • Biting, headbutting and hitting below the belt were declared fouls.

Through the late nineteenth century, boxing or prizefighting was primarily a sport of dubious legitimacy. Outlawed in England and much of the United States, prizefights were often held at gambling venues and broken up by police. Brawling and wrestling tactics continued, and riots at prizefights were common occurrences. Still, throughout this period, there arose some notable bare knuckle champions who developed fairly sophisticated fighting tactics.

Marquess of Queensberry rules (1867)

In 1867, the Marquess of Queensberry rules were drafted by John Chambers for amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London for Lightweights, Middleweights and Heavyweights. The rules were published under the patronage of the Marquess of Queensberry, whose name has always been associated with them.

Leonard Cushing Kinetograph 1894.ogv
The June 1894 Leonard–Cushing bout. Each of the six one-minute rounds recorded by the Kinetograph was made available to exhibitors for $22.50.[11] Customers who watched the final round saw Leonard score a knockdown.

There were twelve rules in all, and they specified that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square ring. Rounds were three minutes long with one minute rest intervals between rounds. Each fighter was given a ten-second count if he was knocked down and wrestling was banned.

The introduction of gloves of "fair-size" also changed the nature of the bouts. An average pair of boxing gloves resembles a bloated pair of mittens and are laced up around the wrists.[12] The gloves can be used to block an opponent's blows. As a result of their introduction, bouts became longer and more strategic with greater importance attached to defensive maneuvers such as slipping, bobbing, countering and angling. Because less defensive emphasis was placed on the use of the forearms and more on the gloves, the classical forearms outwards, torso leaning back stance of the bare knuckle boxer was modified to more modern stance in which the torso is tilted forward and the hands are held closer to the face.

The English case of R v. Coney in 1882 found that a bare-knuckle fight was an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, despite the consent of the participants. This marked the end of widespread public bare-knuckle contests in England.

The first world heavyweight champion under the Queensberry Rules was "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, who defeated John L. Sullivan in 1892 at the Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans.[13]

Throughout the early twentieth century, boxers struggled to achieve legitimacy, aided by the influence of promoters like Tex Rickard and the popularity of great champions from John L. Sullivan to Jack Dempsey. Shortly after this era, boxing commissions and other sanctioning bodies were established to regulate the sport and establish universally recognized champions.


The Marquess of Queensberry rules have been the general rules governing modern boxing since their publication in 1867.

A boxing match typically consists of a predetermined number of three-minute rounds, a total of up to 12 rounds (formerly 15). A minute is typically spent between each round with the fighters in their assigned corners receiving advice and attention from their coach and staff. The fight is controlled by a referee who works within the ring to judge and control the conduct of the fighters, rule on their ability to fight safely, count knocked-down fighters, and rule on fouls. Up to three judges are typically present at ringside to score the bout and assign points to the boxers, based on punches that connect, defense, knockdowns, and other, more subjective, measures. Each fighter has an assigned corner of the ring, where his or her coach, as well as one or more "seconds" may administer to the fighter at the beginning of the fight and between rounds. Each boxer enters into the ring from their assigned corners at the beginning of each round and must cease fighting and return to their corner at the signaled end of each round.

A bout in which the predetermined number of rounds passes is decided by the judges, and is said to "go the distance". The fighter with the higher score at the end of the fight is ruled the winner. With three judges, unanimous and split decisions are possible, as are draws. A boxer may win the bout before a decision is reached through a knockout; such bouts are said to have ended "inside the distance". If a fighter is knocked down during the fight, determined by whether the boxer touches the canvas floor of the ring with any part of their body other than the feet as a result of the opponent's punch and not a slip, as determined by the referee, the referee begins counting until the fighter returns to his or her feet and can continue. Should the referee count to ten, then the knocked-down boxer is ruled "knocked out" (whether unconscious or not) and the other boxer is ruled the winner by knockout (KO). A "technical knockout" (TKO) is possible as well, and is ruled by the referee, fight doctor, or a fighter's corner if a fighter is unable to safely continue to fight, based upon injuries or being judged unable to effectively defend themselves. Many jurisdictions and sanctioning agencies also have a "three-knockdown rule", in which three knockdowns in a given round result in a TKO. A TKO is considered a knockout in a fighter's record. A "standing eight" count rule may also be in effect. This gives the referee the right to step in and administer a count of eight to a fighter that he feels may be in danger, even if no knockdown has taken place. After counting the referee will observe the fighter, and decide if he is fit to continue. For scoring purposes, a standing eight count is treated as a knockdown.

In general, boxers are prohibited from hitting below the belt, holding, tripping, pushing, biting, spitting or wrestling. The boxer's shorts are raised so the opponent is not allowed to hit to the groin area. They also are prohibited from kicking, head-butting, or hitting with any part of the arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, the inside, back or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the neck or head (called a "rabbit-punch") or the kidneys. They are prohibited from holding the ropes for support when punching, holding an opponent while punching, or ducking below the belt of their opponent (dropping below the waist of your opponent, no matter the distance between). If a "clinch" – a defensive move in which a boxer wraps his or her opponents arms and holds on to create a pause – is broken by the referee, each fighter must take a full step back before punching again (alternatively, the referee may direct the fighters to "punch out" of the clinch). When a boxer is knocked down, the other boxer must immediately cease fighting and move to the furthest neutral corner of the ring until the referee has either ruled a knockout or called for the fight to continue.

Violations of these rules may be ruled "fouls" by the referee, who may issue warnings, deduct points, or disqualify an offending boxer, causing an automatic loss, depending on the seriousness and intentionality of the foul. An intentional foul that causes injury that prevents a fight from continuing usually causes the boxer who committed it to be disqualified. A fighter who suffers an accidental low-blow may be given up to five minutes to recover, after which they may be ruled knocked out if they are unable to continue. Accidental fouls that cause injury ending a bout may lead to a "no contest" result, or else cause the fight to go to a decision if enough rounds (typically four or more, or at least three in a four-round fight) have passed.

Professional vs. amateur boxing

Throughout the 17th through 19th centuries, boxing bouts were motivated by money, as the fighters competed for prizes, promoters controlled the gate, and spectators bet on the result. The modern Olympic movement revived interest in amateur sports, and amateur boxing became an Olympic sport in 1908. In their current form, Olympic and other amateur bouts are typically limited to three or four rounds, scoring is computed by points based on the number of clean blows landed, regardless of impact, and fighters wear protective headgear, reducing the number of injuries, knockdowns, and knockouts. Currently scoring blows in amateur boxing are subjectively counted by ringside judges, but the Australian Institute for Sport has demonstrated a prototype of an Automated Boxing Scoring System, which introduces scoring objectivity, improves safety, and arguably makes the sport more interesting to spectators. Professional boxing remains by far the most popular form of the sport globally, though amateur boxing is dominant in Cuba and some former Soviet republics. For most fighters, an amateur career, especially at the Olympics, serves to develop skills and gain experience in preparation for a professional career.

Amateur boxing

Headgear is mandatory in modern amateur boxing
Boxing pictogram.svg

Amateur boxing may be found at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sanctioned by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing has a point scoring system that measures the number of clean blows landed rather than physical damage. Bouts consist of three rounds of three minutes in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and three rounds of two minutes in a national ABA (Amateur Boxing Association) bout, each with a one-minute interval between rounds.

Competitors wear protective headgear and gloves with a white strip across the knuckle. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands cleanly on the head or torso with sufficient force is awarded a point. A referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows. A belt worn over the torso represents the lower limit of punches – any boxer repeatedly landing low blows (below the belt) is disqualified. Referees also ensure that the boxers don't use holding tactics to prevent the opponent from swinging. If this occurs, the referee separates the opponents and orders them to continue boxing. Repeated holding can result in a boxer being penalized or ultimately disqualified. Referees will stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the score is severely imbalanced.[14] Amateur bouts which end this way may be noted as "RSC" (referee stopped contest) with notations for an outclassed opponent (RSCO), outscored opponent (RSCOS), injury (RSCI) or head injury (RSCH).

Professional boxing

A professional boxer punches his opponent via jabbing. Note the two boxers being bare-chested and without headgear.

Professional bouts are usually much longer than amateur bouts, typically ranging from ten to twelve rounds, though four round fights are common for less experienced fighters or club fighters. There are also some two-[15] and three-round professional bouts[16], especially in Australia. Through the early twentieth century, it was common for fights to have unlimited rounds, ending only when one fighter quit, benefiting high-energy fighters like Jack Dempsey. Fifteen rounds remained the internationally recognized limit for championship fights for most of the twentieth century until the early 1980s, when the death of boxer Duk Koo Kim reduced the limit to twelve.

Headgear is not permitted in professional bouts, and boxers are generally allowed to take much more punishment before a fight is halted. At any time, however, the referee may stop the contest if he believes that one participant cannot defend himself due to injury. In that case, the other participant is awarded a technical knockout win. A technical knockout would also be awarded if a fighter lands a punch that opens a cut on the opponent, and the opponent is later deemed not fit to continue by a doctor because of the cut. For this reason, fighters often employ cutmen, whose job is to treat cuts between rounds so that the boxer is able to continue despite the cut. If a boxer simply quits fighting, or if his corner stops the fight, then the winning boxer is also awarded a technical knockout victory. In contrast with amateur boxing, professional male boxers have to be bare chested.[17]


All boxers, regardless of their weight class, have certain kinds of clothing that are essential for bouts. Professional boxers wear different clothes from amateur ones but there is a basic idea or sense in them. All boxers in sanctioned fights are required to have handwraps, gloves, groin protectors, mouth guards and soft soled shoes.


Notice how the two boxers are dressed up while fighting.

In amateur boxing, each boxer wears shorts approved by the sanctioning body in the color of their corner. In professional boxing, the color and design of the shorts is left up to each fighter and is not regulated. Many boxers have their name or nickname embroidered on the waistband of the shorts, along with sponsor logos and even the sanctioning bodies which have awarded them belts. Many boxers, such as Prince Naseem have very elaborate shorts, while others such as Mike Tyson prefer plain ones. Shorts in the modern era are much looser fitting than those of previous generations for improved movement, comfort and style.

Protective equipment

Amateur boxers are required to have headgear and a sleeveless shirt in the color of their corner, while professionals fight bare-chested and without headgear. Female boxers in amateur ranks are allowed a short sleeved shirt, where as professionals wear a sleeveless shirt. All female boxers are allowed a chest protector. All boxers are required a mouthpiece, the construction of which is up to the sanctioning body and the fighters. All boxers in sanctioned bouts are required to have a foul protector, which protects the groin and lower abdomen. Female foul protectors have less padding in the groin, but are still required in sanctioned bouts. All boxers also wear gloves, ranging in weight from 8-16oz in amateur bouts and 6-12oz in professional bouts. Amateurs are bound by an approved glove, whereas professional boxers have only a minimum weight of glove, the exact weight and even brand can be determined in the negotiations prior to the fight. Gloves are subject to inspection both by the representatives of the sanctioning body and the opposing fighter's corner prior to a fight. They are then taped on the laces to prevent them from coming loose, and are usually signed by the representative of the sanctioning body to assure no tampering has taken place. Boxers are also required to have handwraps. USA Boxing allows re-usable cotton handwraps with a hook and loop closure, whereas most professional fights require adhesive, one time use wraps. Wraps are also subject to inspection, a notable example being the fight between Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito, where a plaster like substance was found in the wraps of Margarito, resulting in his suspension for "at least a year."


All boxers are required to have soft soled shoes, which minimizes the damage from accidental or intentional stepping on feet. The construction of the shoe is up to the fighter, with many inside fighters preferring textured rubber soles for increased traction, and many outside fighters preferring smooth soles for decreased friction and easier movement.

Boxing style terminology

In boxing, no two fighters' styles are identical. A boxer's style evolves as he or she applies what they learn in practice, and performs in such a way as to suit him or herself. Nonetheless, many terms are used which broadly describe a boxer's style[citation needed]. Note that a boxer is not necessarily limited to being described by one of these terms. A fighter may be accomplished at both in-fighting and out-fighting, a good example of this being Manny Pacquiao and Bernard Hopkins


Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali

A classic "boxer" or stylist (also known as an "out-fighter") seeks to maintain distance between himself and his opponent, fighting with faster, longer range punches, most notably the jab, and gradually wearing his opponent down. Due to this reliance on weaker punches, out-fighters tend to win by point decisions rather than by knockout, though some out-fighters have notable knockout records. They are often regarded as the best boxing strategists due to their ability to control the pace of the fight and lead their opponent, methodically wearing him down and exhibiting more skill and finesse than a brawler[citation needed]. Out-fighters need reach, hand speed, reflexes, and footwork.

Notable out-fighters include Muhammad Ali, Gene Tunney[18], Ezzard Charles[19], Willie Pep[20], Meldrick Taylor, Larry Holmes, Roy Jones Jr. ,Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Calzaghe


A boxer-puncher is a well-rounded boxer who is able to fight at close range with a combination of technique and power, often with the ability to knock opponents out with a combination and in some instances a single shot. Their movement and tactics are similar to that of an out-fighter (although they are generally not as mobile as an out-fighter), but instead of winning by decision, they tend to wear their opponents down using combinations and then move in to score the knockout. A boxer must be well rounded to be effective using this style.

Notable punchers include Sam Langford[21], Henry Armstrong[22], Joe Louis[23], Sugar Ray Robinson[24], Tony Zale, Archie Moore, Carlos Monzón[25], Alexis Argüello, Lennox Lewis, Terry Norris and Thomas Hearns.

Headline text

hhhhhh,jj=== Brawler/Slugger === A brawler is a fighter who generally lacks finesse and footwork in the ring, but makes up for it through sheer punching power. Many brawlers tend to lack mobility, preferring a less mobile, more stable platform and have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. They may also have a tendency to ignore combination punching in favour of continuous beat-downs with one hand and by throwing slower, more powerful single punches (such as hooks and uppercuts). Their slowness and predictable punching pattern (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open to counter punches, so successful brawlers must be able to absorb substantial amounts of punishment. A brawler's most important assets are power and chin (the ability to absorb punishment while remaining able to continue boxing).

Notable brawlers include Ricky Hatton, Stanley Ketchel[26], Max Baer[27], Jake Lamotta, Roberto Durán, Rocky Graziano[28], Sonny Liston[29] and George Foreman.


Julio César Chávez is an example of a "swarmer" (his punches caused severe damage in Meldrick Taylor´s body after their match in 1990)

In-fighters/swarmers (sometimes called "pressure fighters") attempt to stay close to an opponent, throwing intense flurries and combinations of hooks and uppercuts. A successful in-fighter often needs a good "chin" because swarming usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective. In-fighters operate best at close range because they are generally shorter and have less reach than their opponents and thus are more effective at a short distance where the longer arms of their opponents make punching awkward. However, several fighters tall for their division have been relatively adept at in-fighting as well as out-fighting. The essence of a swarmer is non-stop aggression. Many short in-fighters utilize their stature to their advantage, employing a bob-and-weave defense by bending at the waist to slip underneath or to the sides of incoming punches. Unlike blocking, causing an opponent to miss a punch disrupts his balance, permits forward movement past the opponent's extended arm and keeps the hands free to counter. Some in-fighters have been known for being notoriously hard to hit. The key to a swarmer is aggression, endurance, chin, and bobbing-and-weaving.

Notable in-fighters include Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Harry Greb[30], Jack Dempsey[31], Rocky Marciano[32], Joe Frazier, Jake LaMotta, and Julio César Chávez.

Counter puncher

Counter punchers are slippery, defensive style fighters who often rely on their opponent's mistakes in order to gain the advantage whether it be on the score cards or more preferably a knockout. They use their well rounded defense to avoid or block shots and then immediately catch the opponent off guard with a well placed and timed punch. Thus, fighting against counter punchers require constant feinting and never telegraphing a punch for the counter puncher to generate a good offense from. To be successful using this style he or she must have good reflexes, intelligence, punch accuracy, and good hand speed.

Notable counter punchers include Pernell Whitaker, Jerry Quarry, Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Marvin Hagler, Evander Holyfield, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Style matchups

There is a generally accepted rule of thumb about the success each of these boxing styles has against the others. In general, an in-fighter has an advantage over an out-fighter, an out-fighter has an advantage over a puncher, and a puncher has an advantage over an in-fighter; these form a cycle with each style being stronger relative to one, and weaker relative to another, with none dominating, as in rock-paper-scissors. Naturally, many other factors, such as the skill level and training of the combatants, determine the outcome of a fight, but the widely held belief in this relationship among the styles is embodied in the cliché amongst boxing fans and writers that "styles make fights."

Punchers tend to overcome swarmers or in-fighters because, in trying to get close to the slugger, the in-fighter will invariably have to walk straight into the guns of the much harder-hitting puncher, so, unless the former has a very good chin and the latter's stamina is poor, the brawler's superior power will carry the day. A famous example of this type of match-up advantage would be George Foreman's knockout victory over Joe Frazier.

Taylor vs Chávez 1: an example of a style matchup

Although in-fighters struggle against heavy punchers, they typically enjoy more success against out-fighters or boxers. Out-fighters prefer a slower fight, with some distance between themselves and the opponent. The in-fighter tries to close that gap and unleash furious flurries. On the inside, the out-fighter loses a lot of his combat effectiveness, because he cannot throw the hard punches. The in-fighter is generally successful in this case, due to his intensity in advancing on his opponent and his good agility, which makes him difficult to evade. For example, the swarming Joe Frazier, though easily dominated by the slugger George Foreman, was able to create many more problems for the boxer Muhammad Ali in their three fights. Joe Louis, after retirement, admitted that he hated being crowded, and that swarmers like untied/undefeated champ Rocky Marciano would have caused him style problems even in his prime.

The boxer or out-fighter tends to be most successful against a brawler, whose slow speed (both hand and foot) and poor technique makes him an easy target to hit for the faster out-fighter. The out-fighter's main concern is to stay alert, as the brawler only needs to land one good punch to finish the fight. If the out-fighter can avoid those power punches, he can often wear the brawler down with fast jabs, tiring him out. If he is successful enough, he may even apply extra pressure in the later rounds in an attempt to achieve a knockout. Most classic boxers, such as Muhammad Ali, enjoyed their best successes against sluggers.

An example of a style matchup was the historical fight of Julio César Chávez, a swarmer or in-fighter, against Meldrick Taylor, the boxer or out-fighter (see Chavez versus Taylor). The match was nicknamed "Thunder Meets Lightning" as an allusion to tremendous punching power of Chávez and blinding speed of Taylor. Chávez was the epitome of the "Mexican" style of boxing. He relentlessly stalked and closed in on the other fighter, ignoring whatever punishment he took for the chance to dish out his own at close range, particularly in the form of a crunching body attack that would either wear down his opponents until they collapsed in pain and exhaustion, or became too tired to defend as Chávez shifted his attack to the head and went for a knockout. During the fight, Taylor's brilliant hand and foot speed and boxing abilities gave him the early advantage, allowing him to begin building a large lead on points, but in the end, Chavez's punishment wore down Taylor and knocked him down with a tremendous right hand in the last round.


Since boxing involves forceful, repetitive punching, precautions must be taken to prevent damage to bones in the hand. Most trainers do not allow boxers to train and spar without hand/wrist wraps and boxing gloves. Hand wraps are used to secure the bones in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt injury, allowing boxers to throw punches with more force than if they did not utilize them. Gloves have been required in competition since the late nineteenth century, though modern boxing gloves are much heavier than those worn by early twentieth-century fighters. Prior to a bout, both boxers agree upon the weight of gloves to be used in the bout, with the understanding that lighter gloves allow heavy punchers to inflict more damage. The brand of gloves can also affect the impact of punches, so this too is usually stipulated before a bout. A mouth guard is important to protect the teeth and gums from injury, and to cushion the jaw, resulting in a decreased chance of knockout.

Boxers practice their skills on two basic types of punching bags. A small, tear-drop-shaped "speed bag" is used to hone reflexes and repetitive punching skills, while a large cylindrical "heavy bag" filled with sand, a synthetic substitute, or water is used to practice power punching and body blows. In addition to these distinctive pieces of equipment, boxers also utilize more general use training equipment to build strength, speed, and agility. Common training equipment includes free weights, rowing machines, jump rope, and medicine balls.



The modern boxing stance differs substantially from the typical boxing stances of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The modern stance has a more upright vertical-armed guard, as opposed to the more horizontal, knuckles-facing-forward guard adopted by early 20th century hook users such as Jack Johnson.

In a fully upright stance, the boxer stands with the legs shoulder-width apart and the rear foot a half-step behind the lead foot. Right-handed or orthodox boxers lead with the left foot and fist. Both feet are parallel, and the right heel is off the ground. The lead (left) fist is held vertically about six inches in front of the face at eye level. The rear (right) fist is held beside the chin and the elbow tucked against the ribcage to protect the body. The chin is tucked into the chest to avoid punches to the jaw which commonly cause knock-outs and is often kept slightly offcenter. Wrists are slightly bent to avoid damage when punching and the elbows are kept tucked in to protect the ribcage. Some boxers fight from a crouch, leaning forward and keeping their feet closer together. The stance described is considered the "textbook" stance and fighters are encouraged to change it around once its been mastered as a base. Case in point, many fast fighters have their hands down and have almost exaggerated footwork, while brawlers or bully fighters tend to slowly stalk their opponents.

Left-handed or southpaw fighters use a mirror image of the orthodox stance, which can create problems for orthodox fighters unaccustomed to receiving jabs, hooks, or crosses from the opposite side. The southpaw stance, conversely, is vulnerable to a straight right hand.

North American fighters tend to favor a more balanced stance, facing the opponent almost squarely, while many European fighters stand with their torso turned more to the side. The positioning of the hands may also vary, as some fighters prefer to have both hands raised in front of the face, risking exposure to body shots.

Modern boxers can sometimes be seen tapping their cheeks or foreheads with their fists in order to remind themselves to keep their hands up (which becomes difficult during long bouts). Boxers are taught to push off with their feet in order to move effectively. Forward motion involves lifting the lead leg and pushing with the rear leg. Rearward motion involves lifting the rear leg and pushing with the lead leg. During lateral motion the leg in the direction of the movement moves first while the opposite leg provides the force needed to move the body.


There are four basic punches in boxing: the jab, straight right/left hand, hook and uppercut. If a boxer is right-handed (orthodox), his left hand is the lead hand and his right hand is the rear hand. For a left-handed boxer or southpaw, the hand positions are reversed. For clarity, the following discussion will assume a right-handed boxer.

  • Jab – A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand from the guard position. The jab is accompanied by a small, clockwise rotation of the torso and hips, while the fist rotates 90 degrees, becoming horizontal upon impact. As the punch reaches full extension, the lead shoulder can be brought up to guard the chin. The rear hand remains next to the face to guard the jaw. After making contact with the target, the lead hand is retracted quickly to resume a guard position in front of the face. The jab is recognised as the most important punch in a boxer's arsenal because it provides a fair amount of its own cover and it leaves the least amount of space for a counter punch from the opponent. It has the longest reach of any punch and does not require commitment or large weight transfers. Due to its relatively weak power, the jab is often used as a tool to gauge distances, probe an opponent's defenses, harass an opponent, and set up heavier, more powerful punches. A half-step may be added, moving the entire body into the punch, for additional power. Some notable boxers who have been able to develop relative power in their jabs and use it to punish or 'wear down' their opponents to some effect include Larry Holmes and Wladimir Klitschko.
Ukrainian IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko.
  • Cross – A powerful, straight punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin, crossing the body and traveling towards the target in a straight line. The rear shoulder is thrust forward and finishes just touching the outside of the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin. For additional power, the torso and hips are rotated counter-clockwise as the cross is thrown. Weight is also transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, resulting in the rear heel turning outwards as it acts as a fulcrum for the transfer of weight. Body rotation and the sudden weight transfer is what gives the cross its power. Like the jab, a half-step forward may be added. After the cross is thrown, the hand is retracted quickly and the guard position resumed. It can be used to counter punch a jab, aiming for the opponent's head (or a counter to a cross aimed at the body) or to set up a hook. The cross can also follow a jab, creating the classic "one-two" combination. The cross is also called a "straight" or "right", especially if it does not cross the opponent's outstretched jab.
  • Hook – A semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent's head. From the guard position, the elbow is drawn back with a horizontal fist (knuckles pointing forward) and the elbow bent. The rear hand is tucked firmly against the jaw to protect the chin. The torso and hips are rotated clockwise, propelling the fist through a tight, clockwise arc across the front of the body and connecting with the target. At the same time, the lead foot pivots clockwise, turning the left heel outwards. Upon contact, the hook's circular path ends abruptly and the lead hand is pulled quickly back into the guard position. A hook may also target the lower body and this technique is sometimes called the "rip" to distinguish it from the conventional hook to the head. The hook may also be thrown with the rear hand.
  • Uppercut – A vertical, rising punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the torso shifts slightly to the right, the rear hand drops below the level of the opponent's chest and the knees are bent slightly. From this position, the rear hand is thrust upwards in a rising arc towards the opponent's chin or torso. At the same time, the knees push upwards quickly and the torso and hips rotate anti-clockwise and the rear heel turns outward, mimicking the body movement of the cross. The strategic utility of the uppercut depends on its ability to "lift" the opponent's body, setting it off-balance for successive attacks. The right uppercut followed by a left hook is a deadly combination employing the uppercut to lift the opponent's chin into a vulnerable position, then the hook to knock the opponent out.

These different punch types can be thrown in rapid succession to form combinations or "combos". The most common is the jab and cross combination, nicknamed the "one-two combo". This is usually an effective combination, because the jab blocks the opponent's view of the cross, making it easier to land cleanly and forcefully.

A large, swinging circular punch starting from a cocked-back position with the arm at a longer extension than the hook and all of the fighter's weight behind it is sometimes referred to as a "roundhouse", "haymaker", or sucker-punch. Relying on body weight and centripetal force within a wide arc, the roundhouse can be a powerful blow, but it is often a wild and uncontrolled punch that leaves the fighter delivering it off balance and with an open guard. Wide, looping punches have the further disadvantage of taking more time to deliver, giving the opponent ample warning to react and counter. For this reason, the haymaker or roundhouse is not a conventional punch, and is regarded by trainers as a mark of poor technique or desperation. Sometimes it has been used, because of its immense potential power, to finish off an already staggering opponent who seems unable or unlikely to take advantage of the poor position it leaves the puncher in.

Another unconventional punch is the rarely used "bolo punch", in which the opponent swings an arm out several times in a wide arc, usually as a distraction, before delivering with either that or the other arm.


There are several basic maneuvers a boxer can use in order to evade or block punches, depicted and discussed below.

  • SlipSlipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and allows the punch to "slip" past. Muhammad Ali was famous for extremely fast and close slips, as was an early Mike Tyson.
  • Sway or Fade – To anticipate a punch and move the upper body or head back so that it misses or has its force appreciably lessened. Also called "rolling with the punch" or " Riding The Punch".
  • Duck or Break – To drop down with the back straight so that a punch aimed at the head glances or misses entirely.
  • Bob and WeaveBobbing moves the head laterally and beneath an incoming punch. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer bends the legs quickly and simultaneously shifts the body either slightly right or left. Once the punch has been evaded, the boxer "weaves" back to an upright position, emerging on either the outside or inside of the opponent's still-extended arm. To move outside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the outside". To move inside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the inside". Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano were masters of bobbing and weaving.
  • Parry/BlockParrying or blocking uses the boxer's shoulder, hands or arms as defensive tools to protect against incoming attacks. A block generally receives a punch while a parry tends to deflect it. A "palm" or "cuff" is a block which intentionally takes the incoming punch on that portion of the defender's glove.
  • The Cover-UpCovering up is the last opportunity (other than rolling with a punch) to avoid an incoming strike to an unprotected face or body. Generally speaking, the hands are held high to protect the head and chin and the forearms are tucked against the torso to impede body shots. When protecting the body, the boxer rotates the hips and lets incoming punches "roll" off the guard. To protect the head, the boxer presses both fists against the front of the face with the forearms parallel and facing outwards. This type of guard is weak against attacks from below.
  • The Clinch – Clinching is a rough form of grappling and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the boxer attempts to hold or "tie up" the opponent's hands so he is unable to throw hooks or uppercuts. To perform a clinch, the boxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent's shoulders, scooping back under the forearms to grasp the opponent's arms tightly against his own body. In this position, the opponent's arms are pinned and cannot be used to attack. Clinching is a temporary match state and is quickly dissipated by the referee. Clinching is technically against the rules, and in amateur fights points are deducted fairly quickly for it. It is unlikely, however, to see points deducted for a clinch in professional boxing.


There are several defensive positions (guards or styles) used in boxing. Within each style, there is considerable variation among fighters, as some fighters may have their guard higher for more head protection while others have their guard lower to provide better protection against body punches. Many fighters vary their defensive style throughout a bout in order to adapt to the situation of the moment, choosing the position best suited to protect them.

Boxers who use an upright stance protect their chin with the rear hand in either the low or mixed guard styles depicted below. Crouch fighters tend to use the "peek-a-boo" style, discussed below.

  • Peek-a-boo – Sometimes known as the "earmuffs", the hands are placed next to each other in front of the face (fighters tend to vary the exact positioning) and elbows are brought in tight to the body (this position can be achieved by bringing the elbows as close together while not straining yourself to do so). This defensive style is what a boxer is taught to do when he begins to box, after he gains experience he can decide to change or vary the guard. This style is middle-of-the-road style in terms of counterpunching and damage reduction. A boxer can counter punch from this stance, but it is difficult. However, there have been boxers who can do this very well. This defense covers up a fighter well, but there are holes. Hooks do damage by going around the hands and by hitting just behind the elbows. Winky Wright uses this style very well from a damage reduction stand point. Another famous example is Mike Tyson, who in his early career used the Peek-a-Boo with great success.
  • Cross-armed – The forearms are placed on top of each other horizontally in front of the face with the glove of one arm being on the top of the elbow of the other arm. This style is greatly varied when the back hand rises vertically. This style is the most effective for reducing head damage. The only head punch that a fighter is susceptible to is a jab to the top of the head. The body is open, but most fighters who use this style bend and lean to protect the body, but while upright and unaltered the body is there to be hit. This position is very difficult to counterpunch from, but virtually eliminates all head damage.
  • Philly Shell, Hitman or Crab – The lead arm is placed across the torso usually somewhere in between the belly button and chest and the lead hand rests on the opposite side of the fighter's torso. The back hand is placed on the side of the face. The lead shoulder is brought in tight against the side of the face. This style is used by fighters who like to counterpunch. To execute this guard a fighter must be very athletic and experienced. This style is so effective for counterpunching because it allows fighters to slip punches by rotating and dipping their upper body and causing blows to glance off the fighter. After the punch glances off, the fighter's back hand is in perfect position to hit his out-of-positioned opponent. The shoulder lean is used in this stance. To execute the shoulder lean a fighter rotates and ducks when his opponent's punch is coming towards him and then rotates back towards his opponent while his opponent is bringing his hand back. The fighter will throw a punch with his back hand as he is rotating towards his undefended opponent. The weakness to this style is that when a fighter is stationary and not rotating he is open to be hit, so a fighter must be athletic and well conditioned to effectively execute this style. To beat this style fighters like to jab their opponent's shoulder causing the shoulder and arm to be in pain and to demobilize that arm.

Boxers generally attempt to land high, fast combinations and then quickly shift position to avoid a possible response by their opponent. Strategically, the ring's centre is generally the desired position since a boxer is able to conserve movement by forcing the opponent to circle around them. When in the centre, the boxer is also less likely to be knocked backwards against the ropes surrounding the ring and cornered. Depending on the boxer's style, the centre is the desired location as cornering opponents is always a good strategy. Most fighters, though, will not move around the boxer in the center because doing so makes them vulnerable to shots thrown at good angles. Movement is the most important tool in the ring and allows the fighter to avoid punches that were not telegraphed. If a boxer is standing still, his opponent has a better chance of hitting him. A fighter anticipating a shot while stationary is less likely to be able to evade the shot than a fighter already in motion.

Less common strategies

  • The "rope-a-dope" strategy : Used by Muhammad Ali in his 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" bout against George Foreman, the rope-a-dope method involves laying back on the ropes, covering up defensively as much as possible and allowing the opponent to land punches. Weathering the blows, the boxer lures the opponent into expending energy whilst conserving his/her own. If successful, the attacking opponent will eventually tire, creating defensive flaws which the boxer can exploit. In modern boxing, the rope-a-dope is generally discouraged since most opponents are not fooled by it and few boxers possess the physical toughness to withstand a prolonged, unanswered assault. Recently, however, seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao skillfully used the strategy to draw in and subsequently manhandle welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto in November 2009.
  • Bolo punch : Occasionally seen in Olympic boxing, the bolo is an arm punch which owes its power to the shortening of a circular arc rather than to transference of body weight; it tends to have more of an effect due to the surprise of the odd angle it lands at rather than the actual power of the punch. This is more of a gimmick than a technical maneuver; this punch is not taught, being on the same plane in boxing technicality as is the Ali shuffle. Nevertheless, a few professional boxers have used the bolo-punch to great effect, including former welterweight champions Sugar Ray Leonard, and Kid Gavilan. Middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia is regarded as the inventor of the bolo punch.
  • Overhand right : The overhand right is a punch not found in every boxer's arsenal. Unlike the right cross, which has a trajectory parallel to the ground, the overhand right has a looping circular arc as it is thrown over-the-shoulder with the palm facing away from the boxer. It is especially popular with smaller stature boxers trying to reach taller opponents. Boxers who have used this punch consistently and effectively include former heavyweight champions Rocky Marciano and Tim Witherspoon. The overhand right has become a popular weapon in other tournaments that involve fist striking.
  • Check hook : A check hook is employed to prevent aggressive boxers from lunging in. There are two parts to the check hook. The first part consists of a regular hook. The second, trickier part involves the footwork. As the opponent lunges in, the boxer should throw the hook and pivot on his left foot and swing his right foot 180 degrees around. If executed correctly, the aggressive boxer will lunge in and sail harmlessly past his opponent like a bull missing a matador. This is rarely seen in professional boxing as it requires a great disparity in skill level to execute. Technically speaking it has been said that there is no such thing as a check hook and that it is simply a hook applied to an opponent that has lurched forward and past his opponent who simply hooks him on the way past. Others have argued that the check hook exists but is an illegal punch due to it being a pivot punch which is illegal in the sport.

The corner

In boxing, each fighter is given a corner of the ring where he rests in between rounds and where his trainers stand. Typically, three men stand in the corner besides the boxer himself; these are the trainer, the assistant trainer and the cutman. The trainer and assistant typically give advice to the boxer on what he is doing wrong as well as encouraging him if he is losing. The cutman is a cutaneous doctor responsible for keeping the boxer's face and eyes free of cuts and blood. This is of particular importance because many fights are stopped because of cuts that threaten the boxer's eyes.

In addition, the corner is responsible for stopping the fight if they feel their fighter is in grave danger of permanent injury. The corner will occasionally throw in a white towel to signify a boxer's surrender (the idiomatic phrase "to throw in the towel", meaning to give up, derives from this practice[33]). This can be seen in the fight between Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather. In that fight, Corrales' corner surrendered despite Corrales' steadfast refusal.

Boxing Hall of Fame

Wladimir Klitschko after winning a fight.

The sport of boxing has two internationally recognized boxing halls of fame; the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) and the World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF), with the IBHOF being the more widely recognized boxing hall of fame.

The WBHF was founded by Everett L. Sanders in 1980. Since its inception the WBHOF has never had a permanent location or museum, which has allowed the more recent IBHOF to garner more publicity and prestige. Among the notable names in the WBHF are Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Khaosai Galaxy, Henry Armstrong, Jack Johnson, Roberto Durán, George Foreman and Ceferino Garcia. Boxing's International Hall of Fame was inspired by a tribute an American town held for two local heroes in 1982. The town, Canastota, New York, (which is about 15 miles (24 km) east of Syracuse, via the New York State Thruway), honored former world welterweight/middleweight champion Carmen Basilio and his nephew, former world welterweight champion Billy Backus. The people of Canastota raised money for the tribute which inspired the idea of creating an official, annual hall of fame for notable boxers.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame opened in Canastota in 1989. The first inductees in 1990 included Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Jack Dempsey, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, and Muhammad Ali. Other world-class figures include Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Durán, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Ismael Laguna, Eusebio Pedroza, Carlos Monzón, Azumah Nelson, Rocky Marciano, Pipino Cuevas and Ken Buchanan. The Hall of Fame's induction ceremony is held every June as part of a four-day event.

The fans who come to Canastota for the Induction Weekend are treated to a number of events, including scheduled autograph sessions, boxing exhibitions, a parade featuring past and present inductees, and the induction ceremony itself.

Governing and sanctioning bodies

Champions since 1920 of heavyweight boxing of 5 most important Associations
Governing Body Website
British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC)
Nevada State Athletic Commission
American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians (AAPRP)
European Boxing Union
Sanctioning Body Website
World Boxing Association (W.B.A.)
World Boxing Council (W.B.C.)
International Boxing Federation (I.B.F.)
World Boxing Organization (W.B.O.)
The Ring
International Boxing Organization (I.B.O.)

See also

External Links


  1. ^ a b c Encyclopaedia Britannica entry for Boxing
  2. ^ Boxing Ancient History & Cartoon Fun from Brownielocks
  3. ^ Homer, Iliad, 23.655-696
  4. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 5.421
  5. ^ BBC. The origins of Boxing, BBC History
  6. ^ James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt (1999). James Figg, IBOHF
  7. ^ John Rennie (2006) East London Prize Ring Rules 1743
  8. ^ Anonymous ("A Celebrated Pugilist"), The Art and Practice of Boxing, 1825
  9. ^ Daniel Mendoza, The Modern Art of Boxing, 1790
  10. ^ Clay Moyle and Arly Allen (2006), 1838 Prize Rules
  11. ^ Leonard–Cushing fight Part of the Library of Congress/Inventing Entertainment educational website. Retrieved 12/14/06.
  12. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica (2006). Queensbury Rules, Britannica
  13. ^ Tracy Callis (2006). James Corbett,
  14. ^ Andrew Eisele (2005). Olympic Boxing Rules,
  15. ^ BoxRec Boxing Records
  16. ^ BoxRec Boxing Records
  17. ^ Bert Randolph Sugar (2001). "Boxing", World Book Online Americas Edition [1]
  18. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.162
  19. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.254
  20. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.384
  21. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.120
  22. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.204
  23. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.337
  24. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.403
  25. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.353
  26. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.114,115
  27. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.50
  28. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.293
  29. ^ James Roberts and Alexander SkuttThe Boxing Register, 1999, "Doug Grant",2008 p.330
  30. ^ James Roberts, Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.98, 99
  31. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.75
  32. ^ James Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register, 1999, p.339, 340
  33. ^

General references

  • Accidents Take Lives of Young Alumni (July/August 2005). Illinois Alumni, 18(1), 47.
  • Beating the heck outta their instruments
  • Death Under the Spotlight: The Manuel Velazquez Boxing Fatality Collection
  • Fleischer, Nat, Sam Andre, Nigel Collins, Dan Rafael (2002). An Illustrated History of Boxing. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-2201-1
  • Fox, James A. (2001). Boxing. Stewart, Tabori and Chang. ISBN 1-58479-133-0
  • Godfrey, John "Boxing" from Treatise Upon the Useful Science of Defense, 1747
  • Gunn M, Ormerod D. The legality of boxing. Legal Studies. 1995;15:181.
  • Halbert, Christy (2003). The Ultimate Boxer: Understanding the Sport and Skills of Boxing. Impact Seminars, Inc. ISBN 0-9630968-5-0
  • Hatmaker, Mark (2004). Boxing Mastery: Advanced Technique, Tactics, and Strategies from the Sweet Science. Tracks Publishing. ISBN 1-884654-21-5
  • McIlvanney, Hugh (2001). The Hardest Game: McIlvanney on Boxing. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-658-02154-0
  • Myler, Patrick (1997). A Century of Boxing Greats: Inside the Ring with the Hundred Best Boxers. Robson Books (UK) / Parkwest Publications (US). ISBN 1-86105-258-8.
  • Price, Edmund The Science of Self Defense: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, 1867
  • Robert Anasi (2003). The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle. North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-652-7
  • Schulberg, Budd (2007). Ringside: A Treasury of Boxing Reportage. Ivan R. Dee. ISBN 1-56663-749-X
  • Silverman, Jeff (2004). The Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told: Thirty-Six Incredible Tales from the Ring. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-479-5
  • Scully, John Learn to Box with the Iceman
  • U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc. (1994). Coaching Olympic Style Boxing. Cooper Pub Group. 1-884-12525-5
  • A Pictoral History Of Boxing, Sam Andre and Nat Fleischer, Hamlyn, 1988, ISBN 0-600-50288-0


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Boxing also called prizefighting (when referring to professional boxing), the sweet science (a common nickname among fans) or the gentleman's sport (used mainly in England), is a sport and martial art in which two participants of particular weight classification fight each other with their gloved fists in a series of three-minute intervals called "rounds". Women's and amateur boxing consists of 2 minute rounds.


  • Boxing is the toughest and loneliest sport in the world.
    • Frank Bruno, 'The Emma Brockes interview' in the Guardian, Monday, 24th October 2005[1]
  • Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
    • Muhammad Ali, attributed in Chambers Sporting Quotations‎ (1990), by Simon James, p. 27
  • Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
    • Muhammad Ali, in Talent Is Never Enough : Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent (2007) by John C. Maxwell, p. 141
  • BOXING: A mutual infliction of brain damage for the amusement of the public.
  • To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography and the dancers hit each other.
  • Boxing is for men, and is about men, and IS men. A celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost.
  • You know, I cut easily, so I don’t think I would’ve won the title, but I would’ve been a contender.
    • Roger Donahue, American boxer. As quoted by Budd Shulberg in his interview for The Times (UK) newspaper, 19th January 2009


  • In those days, boxing was very glamorous and romantic. You listened to fights on the radio, and a good announcer made it seem like a contest between gladiators.
  • Everyone has a plan until they've been hit.
  • He can run, but he can't hide
    • Joe Louis who coined two of boxing's most famous quotes

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up boxing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

'BOXING (M.E.' box, a blow, probably from Dan. bask, a buffet), the art of attack and defence with the fists protected by padded gloves, as distinguished from pugilism, in which the bare fists, or some kind of light gloves affording little moderation of the blow, are employed. The ancient :`Greeks used a sort of glove in practice, but, although far less formidable than the terrible caestus worn in serious encounters, it was by no means so mild an implement as the modern boxing-glove, the invention of which is traditionally ascribed to Jack Broughton (1705-1789), "the father of British pugilism." In any case gloves were first used in his time, though only in practice, all prize-fights being decided with bare fists. Broughton, who was for years champion of England, also drew up the rules by which prize-fights were for many years regulated, and no doubt, with the help of the newly invented gloves, imparted instruction in boxing to the young aristocrats of his day. The most popular teacher of the art was, however, John Jackson (1769-1845), called "Gentleman Jackson," who was champion from 1795 to 1800, and who is credited with imparting to boxing its scientific principles, such as countering, accurate judging of distance in hitting, and agility on the feet. Tom Moore, the poet, in his Memoirs, asserted that Jackson "made more than a thousand a year by teaching sparring." Among his pupils was Lord Byron, who, when chided for keeping company with a pugilist, insisted that Jackson's manners were "infinitely superior to those of the fellows of the college whom I meet at the high table," and referred to him in the following lines in Hints from Horace: "And men unpractised in exchanging knocks Must go to Jackson ere they dare to box." His rooms in Bond Street were crowded with men of birth and distinction, and when the allied monarchs visited London he was entrusted with the management of a boxing carnival with which they were vastly pleased. In 1814 the Pugilistic Club, the meeting-place of the aristocratic sporting element, was formed, but the high-water mark of the popularity of boxing had been reached, and it declined rapidly, although throughout the country considerable interest continued to be manifested in prize-fighting.

The sport of modern boxing, as distinguished from pugilism, may be said to date from the year 1866, when the public had become disgusted with the brutality and unfair practices of the professional "bruisers," and the laws against prize-fighting began to be more rigidly enforced. In that year the "Amateur Athletic Club" was founded, principally through the efforts of John G. Chambers (1843-1883), who, in conjunction with the 8th marquess of Queensberry, drew up a code of laws (known as the Queensberry Rules) which govern all glove contests in Great Britain, and were also authoritative in America until the adoption of the boxing rules of the Amateur Athletic Union of America. In 1867 Lord Queensberry presented cups for the British amateur championships at the recognized weights.

For the history of pugilism in classic antiquity and an account of modern prize-fighting see Pugilism. At present two kinds of boxing contests are in vogue, that for a limited number of rounds (as in the amateur championships) and that for endurance, in which the one who cannot continue the fight loses. Endurance contests, which contain the essential element of the old prizefights, are now indulged in only by professionals. Among amateurs boxing is far less popular than it once was, owing to the importance placed upon brute strength, and the prevailing ambition of the modern boxer to "knock out" his opponent, i.e. reduce him to a state of insensibility. Even in 3-round matches between gentlemen, in which points win, and there is therefore no need to knock an opponent senseless, it is nevertheless a common practice to strike a dazed and reeling adversary a heavy blow with a view to ending the battle at once. During the annual boxing competitions between Oxford and Cambridge more than half the bouts have been known to end in this manner. Undoubtedly the prettiest boxing is seen when two men proficient in the art indulge in a practice bout - or "sparring." Boxing is the art of hitting without getting hit. The boxers face each other just out of reach and balanced equally on both feet, the left from Io to 20 in. in advance of the right. The left foot is planted flat on the floor, while the right heel is raised slightly from it. The left side of the body is turned a little towards the opponent and the right shoulder slightly depressed. When the hands are clenched inside the gloves the thumb is doubled over the second and third fingers to avoid a sprain when hitting. The general position of the guard is a matter of individual taste. In the "crouch," affected by many American professionals, the right hip is thrust forward and the body bent over towards the right, while the left arm is kept well stretched out to keep the opponent at a distance. No good master, however, teaches a beginner any other than the upright position. Some boxers stand with the right foot forward, a practice common in the 18th century, which gives freer play with the right hand but is rather unstable. A boxer should stand lightly on his feet, ready to advance or retreat on the instant, using short steps, advancing with the left foot first and retreating with the right. Attacks are either simple or secondary. Simple attacks consist in straight leads, i.e. blows aimed with or without preliminary feints, at some part of the opponent's body or head. All other attacks are either "counters" or returns after a guard or "block." A counter is a lead carried out just as one is attacked, the object being to block (parry) the blow and land on the opponent at the same time. Counters are often carried out in connexion with a side-step, a slip or a crouch. In hitting, a boxer seeks to exert the greatest force at the instant of impact. Blows may be either straight, with or without the weight of the body behind them ("straight from the shouder" hits); jabs, short blows (usually with the left hand when at close quarters); hooks, or side-blows with bent arm; upper cuts (short swinging blows from beneath to the adversary's chin); chops (short blows from above); punches (usually at close quarters, with the right hand); or swings (round-arm blows, usually delivered with a partial twist of the body to augment the force of the blow). Of the dangerous blows, which often result in a knockout, or in seriously weakening an adversary, the following may be mentioned: - on the pit of the stomach, called the solar plexus, from the sensitive network of nerves situated there; a blow on the point of the chin, having a tendency slightly to paralyse the brain; a blow under the ear, painful and often resulting in partial helplessness; and one directly over the heart, kidney or liver. As a boxer is allowed ten seconds after being knocked down in which to rise, an experienced ring-fighter will drop on one knee when partially stunned, remaining in that position in order to recover until the referee has counted nine.

Guarding is done with the arm or hand, either open or shut. If a blow is caught or stopped short it is called blocking, but a blow may also be shoved aside, or avoided altogether by slipping, i.e. moving the head quickly to one side, or by ducking and allowing the adversary's swing to pass harmlessly over the head. Still another method of avoiding a blow without guarding is to bend back the head or body so as narrowly to escape the opponent's glove.

The rules of the Amateur Boxing Association (founded 1884) contain the following provisions. "An amateur is one who has never competed for a money prize or staked bet with or against a professional for any prize, except with the express sanction of the A.B.A., and who has never taught, pursued or assisted in the practice of athletic exercises as a means of obtaining a livelihood." The ring shall be roped and between 12 and 24 ft. square. No spikes shall be worn on shoes. Boxers are divided into the following classes by weight: - Bantam, not exceeding 8 st. 4 lb (116 lb); Feather, not exceeding 9 st. (126 lb); Light, not exceeding to st. (140 lb); Middle, not exceeding r r st. 4 lb (158 lb); and Heavy, any weight above. There shall be two judges, a referee and a timekeeper. The votes of the judges decide the winner of a bout, unless they disagree, in which case the referee has the deciding vote. In case of doubt he may order an extra round of two minutes' duration. Each match is for three rounds, the first two lasting three minutes and the third four, with one minute rest between the rounds. A competitor failing to come up at the call of time loses the match. When a competitor draws a bye he must box for a specified time with an opponent chosen by the judges. A competitor is allowed one assistant (second) only, and no advice or coaching during the progress of a round is permitted. Unless one competitor is unable to respond to the call of time, or is obliged to stop before the match is over, the judges decide the winner by points, which are for attack, comprising successful hits cleanly delivered, and defence, comprising guarding, slipping, ducking, counter-hitting and getting away in time to avoid a return. When the points are equal the decision is given in favour of the boxer who has done the most leading, i.e. has been the more aggressive. Fouls are hitting below the belt, kicking, hitting with the open hand, the side of the hand, the wrist, elbow or shoulder, wrestling or "roughing" on the ropes, i. e. unnecessary shouldering and jostling.

The boxing rules of the American Amateur Athletic Association differ slightly from the British. The ring is roped but must be from 16 to 24 ft. square. Gloves must not be worn more than 8 oz. in weight. The recognized classes by weight are: Bantam, 105 lb and under; Feather, 115 lb and under; Light, 135 lb and under; Welter, 145 lb and under; Middle, 158 lb and under; and Heavy, over 158 lb. The rules for officials and rounds are identical with the British, except that only in final bouts does the last round last four minutes. Two "seconds" are allowed. The rules for points and fouls coincide with the British. The amateur rules are very strict, and any one who competes in a boxing contest of more than four rounds is suspended from membership in the Athletic Association.

Glossary of terms not mentioned above : - Break away, to get away from the adversary, usually a command from the referee when the men clinch. Break ground, retire diagonally to right or left. Catchweight, any weight. Corners, the opposite angles of the square "ring," in which the boxers rest between the rounds. Cross-counter, a blow in which the right or left arm crosses that of the adversary as he leads off; the arm is slightly curved to get round that of the opponent but is straightened at the moment of impact. Clinching, grappling after an exchange of blows; when breaking from a clinch one tries to pin the adversary's hands in order to prevent his hitting at close quarters. Drawing an opponent, enticing him by leaving an apparent opening into making an attack for which a counter is prepared. Fiddling, forward and back movements of the arms at the beginning of a round, a part of sparring for an opening. Footwork, the manner in which a boxer uses his feet. In-fighting, boxing at very close quarters. Mark, the pit of the stomach. Side-step, springing quickly to one side to avoid a blow, the movement being usually followed up by a counter attack. Timing, a blow delivered on the enemy's preparation of an attack of his own, but more quickly.

See Boxing, by R. AllansonWinn (Isthmian Library, London,1897); Boxing, by Wm. Elder (Spalding's Athletic Library, New York, 1902) (these two books are excellent for the technicalities of boxing). The article "Boxing," by B. Jno. Angle and G. W. Barroll, in the Encyclopaedia of Sport; Boxing, by J. C. Trotter (Oval Series, London, 1896); Fencing, Boxing and Wrestling, in the Badminton Library (London, 1892).

French Boxing (la boxe francaise) dates from about 1830. It is more like the ancient Greek pankration (see Pugilism) than is British boxing, as not only striking with the fists, but also kicking with the feet, butting with the head and wrestling are allowed. It is a development of the old sport of savate, in which the feet, and not the hands, were used in attack. Lessons in savate, which was practised especially by roughs, were usually given in some low resort, and there were no respectable teachers. While Paris was restricted to savate, another sport, called chausson or jeu marseillais, was practised in the south of France, especially among the soldiers, in which blows of the fist as well as kicks were exchanged, and the kicks were given higher than in savate, in the stomach or even the face. It was an excellent exercise, but could hardly be reckoned a serious means of defence, for the high kicks usually fell short, and the upward blows of the fist could not be compared with the terrible sledge-hammer blows of the English boxers. Alexandre Dumas pere says that Charles Lecour first conceived the idea of combining English boxing with savate. For this purpose he went to England, and took lessons of Adams and Smith, the London boxers. He then returned to Paris, about 1852, and opened a school to teach the sport since called la boxe francaise. Around him, and two provincial instructors who came to Paris about this time with similar ideas, there grew up a large number of sportsmen, who between 1845 and 1855 brought French boxing to its highest development. Among others who gave public exhibitions was Lecour's brother Hubert, who although rather undersized, was quick as lightning, and had an English blow and a French kick that were truly terrible. Charles Ducros was another whose style of boxing, more in the English fashion, but with low kicks about his opponent's shins, made a name for himself. Later came Vigneron, a "strong man," whose style, though slow, was severe in its punishment. About 1856 the police interfered in these fights, and Lecour and Vigneron had to cease giving public exhibitions and devote themselves to teaching. Towards 1862 a new boxer, J. Charlemont, was not only very clever with his fists and feet, but an excellent teacher, and the author of a treatise on the art. Lecour, Vigneron and Charlemont may be said to have created la boxe francaise, which, for defence at equal weights, the French claim to be better than the English.

See L' Art de la boxe francaise et de la canne, by J. Charlemont (Paris, 1899); The French Method of the Noble Art of Self Defence, by Georges d'Amoric (London, 1898).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to boxing article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Etymology 1

From box (punch)



  1. Present participle of box.


Wikipedia has an article on:


A boxing match.



boxing (uncountable)

  1. (sports) A sport where two opponents punch each other with gloved fists, the object being to score more points by the end of the match or by knockout, or technical knockout.
Derived terms
Related terms
See also

Etymology 2

From box (container)



  1. Present participle of box.




boxing (plural boxings)

  1. (construction) Casing.
  2. Material used for making boxes or casing.

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Boxing.
Developer(s) Atari, Activision
Publisher(s) Atari, Activision
Release date(s)
Atari 2600
 July, 1980
Genre(s) Boxing
System(s) Arcade, Atari 2600
Players 1–2
For other boxing games, see Category:Boxing.

Boxing is an unreleased arcade game from Atari, created by Mike Albaugh in 1977. The 1980 Activision title of the same name for the Atari 2600 is essentially the same game, except it features a few more colors than its black and white, raster graphics predecessor. The later game was designed by programmer Bob Whitehead. The arcade game intended to utilize a unique controller where players could swivel left and right handles to simulate the movement of throwing a punch. However, the machines couldn't stand up to the force players put on grip sticks, and so the game wasn't released.

Boxing shows a top-down view of two boxers, one white and one black. When close enough, a boxer can hit his opponent with a punch (executed by pressing the fire button on the Atari joystick). This causes his opponent to reel back slightly. Long punches score one point, while closer punches (power punches, from the manual) score two. There are no knockdowns or rounds. A match is completed either when one player lands 100 punches (a "knockout") or two minutes have elapsed (a "decision"). In the case of a decision, the player with the most landed punches is the winner. Ties are possible.

While the gameplay is simple, there are subtleties, such as getting an opponent on the "ropes" and "juggling" him back and forth between alternate punches.

How to play

  • Image:Atari-Switch-Joystick.png: Movement
  • Image:Atari-Switch-Button.png : Punch

Boxing is played in one, two-minute round against the computer or another player. During that time, you score points by hitting your opponent's head. You can achieve a KO at 100 points, or else the player with the highest score at the end of the round is the winner (a tie is also possible). Hitting your opponent's hands does not count for points, and should be used by you as a blocking mechanism.

When throwing punches you need to take into consideration the distance to your opponent and how your fist is lining up with his head. If you are in too close your punches will be ineffective, and if you are too far away, you'll miss. You'll also need to move up or down to line your punch up with the opponent's head, rather than hitting his gloves, which has no effect.


A properly lined up punch by the black player.

Start by pressing the attack and pushing the opponent back into his side of the ring. As you are moving him, put more pressure on one side to force him into the opposite corner. Once in the corner, your opponent will have nowhere to go, and as he moves up or down to escape the corner, you can time your punches to push him back in. This strategy can also be used up against the ropes in general, though you'll have to decide which direction to punch in, as your opponent can go up or down if not hampered by the actual corner of the ring.


Watch for your opponent's patterns (in single player mode), and use them to predict his movements. By understanding the opponent's next decision, whether it be to move or punch, you can select your action appropriately.


Make use of blocking by moving up or down to send your opponent's punches into your gloves. Not only will this prevent him from scoring, but it will give you time to throw a counter punch as well.


If you can get into a good rhythm of left and right punches, it's possible to go from one to the other for a long period of time without your opponent being able to escape or counter.


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

This article uses material from the "Boxing" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Professional boxing bout featuring Ricardo Domínguez versus Rafael Ortiz

Boxing is one of the world's oldest combat sports. It is usually held in a ring and two boxers (people who participate in the sport) wear special gloves and try to hit one another.

There are a few different ways to win in boxing. One is by a way of a knockout, which is when a fighter is knocked to the ground and cannot get back up within ten seconds. Another way is by a technical knockout, which is when the fighter can not continue fighting or the referee stops the fight. Another possibility is winning on points, which a boxer gets by outboxing his or her opponent by hitting the opponent more often, harder, and more accuratey. There are also draws in boxing. A referee can announce a technical draw due to an accidental cut or an accidental wound like a headbutt. Generally, it is considered a "no contest" (NC). However, from the second round, or four in some places, if the score cards for both fighters are equal, the fight could be called a draw. Boxing is popular around the world.

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Famous boxers

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