Boxing 101: An Introduction to Boxing

Boxing 101: An Introduction to Boxing

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - April 13, 2023

After our recent announcement of our two boxing ambassadors Joe Joyce and Joe Cordina, here’s what you need to know about boxing ahead of their upcoming fights…

Boxing is the one and only sport that is as old as civilisation itself. This fearless activity has dominated the sporting industry for centuries. Read on to learn more. 

To begin, what is boxing?

Boxing is a sport that consists of two competitors engaging in fistfights while wearing gloves. The rules limit legal blows to players that strike above the waist and on the front or sides of the opponent. 

The player that has the most dominance in the ring and weakens their opponent, wins the match. The contest is overseen by a referee and a panel of three judges. Each player's performance is based on the number of rounds played, how the boxer behaves when competing, how many punches were thrown, and their overall boxing skills. 

Both competing boxers wear leather padded gloves and each glove weighs 283g (10oz). Boxers are permitted to wear bandages underneath their gloves to prevent injury. 

Boxers often wear red or blue vests which indicate their corner, as well as head guards and gum shields and a groin protector. 

The history of boxing:

The history of boxing dates back as far as human history. Boxing was first classified as an olympic event in the 23rd Olympiad - but there's visual evidence that fist fighting actually dates back to the 3rd millennium bce. 

The very first boxer known to be Heavyweight Champion was James Figg in 1719. Jack Broughton was reigning champion from 1734 to 1758 and the first person to introduce a boxing school. Brougton was actually the first to founder the first set of boxing rules and modern boxing gloves. 

Forms of boxing:

Amateur boxing became an olympic sport in 1908 and is made up of three rounds. In amateur boxing scores are based on the number of blows stuck. Amateur boxers wear protective headgear to help to reduce the risk of head injury. 

Professional boxing is made up of between 9 and 12 rounds and scores are based on the player that can withstand the impact of the blows. Punches are only forbidden below the belt in professional boxing. 

The fundamentals of professional boxing:

Prior to the match, each participant is given a corner. When the match begins, each player is expected to enter the ring from that corner. 

There is a minute in between each round to prepare for the next round. Between rounds, each boxer is allowed to take a glass of water, readjust their gloves or have a brief conversation with their coach during this break. 

Each round must be overseen by a referee to ensure that the game is being conducted in an appropriate manner. 

A panel of three judges must be present to review the award points given to each combatant based on punches landed, defences made and knockdowns caused by the strikes. 

The term knockout or ‘KO’ is when a player lies flat in the ring after being hit by an opponent - at the point the referee begins to countdown to ten. If the opponent can’t stand up in ten seconds - the round is over. A technical knockout (TKO) occurs if the player is not healthy enough to continue the fight. 

Some championships use the three-knockdown rule - which means the player loses the match if they are knocked down three times in a row. 

After the final count of eight, the referee inspects the boxer and determines whether the fighter is healthy enough to continue the fight. If the fighter is not fit enough to fight, the opposing fighter advances to the next round. 

The professional boxing fundamental rules include:

  • No strikes allowed to the groin area
  • The player cannot be held whilst being punched
  • Shoving, tripping, biting or spitting is not permitted
  • Only closed knuckles punching is permitted - no headbutting or kicking is allowed
  • No contact to the player’s kidneys or back of the neck is allowed
  • A player must not duck below their opponent’s belt or grip the ropes while punching them
  • If a player falls through weakness, they must get up unaided within 10 seconds
  • The player who has been knocked down has to move to a neutral corner of the ring and await the referees further instructions 
  • If a player doesn't follow guidelines they are likely to receive a warning and have points taken away
  • A severe foul can result in a straightforward disqualification
  • If a player suffers a fatal injury as result of a foul, the flight is to be declared as no contest 

Boxing tips for beginners:

Ensure that you find a gym with experienced boxers - your biggest priority should be safety. 

Make time for cardiovascular training - for example; running, cycling, skipping are ideal ways to improve footwork. 

Building muscle mass is key - weight training is imperative to implement into your training scheme. 

Drink plenty of water each day.

Maintain a correct breathing technique - exhale when you punch and inhale between punches.

Keep your head up so you can always keep an eye on what your opponent is doing .

Spar other boxers in your gym.

Switch boxing stances to ensure your technique becomes more versatile.

Avoid over training - this increases your chance of injury.

Finally, train to win.