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Boxing Match Rules


Boxing Match Rules

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on boxing match rules! In this article, we’ll delve into the regulations and guidelines that govern the exciting sport of boxing. Whether you’re a boxing enthusiast, a curious observer, or an aspiring boxer yourself, understanding the rules is essential to fully appreciate the skill, strategy, and intensity that boxing brings to the table. So, let’s jump right in and explore the various aspects of boxing match rules!

The Match

In Olympic Games, only men’s boxing matches are held on a square boxing ring. The objective of amateur boxing is to score points by striking the opponent or causing them to be unable to continue. Boxers must wear boxing gloves and are allowed to strike with closed fists above the waist on the sides and front of the opponent. Sydney Olympics introduced four rounds of two minutes each with a one-minute rest between rounds, reducing potential injuries.

Match Duration

According to the rules of the International Amateur Boxing Association since 1997, amateur boxing matches consist of five rounds, with each round lasting two minutes and a one-minute rest between rounds. Professional boxing matches typically range from 4 to 12 rounds, negotiated between the managers of the fighters. A maximum of 15 rounds is allowed, with each round lasting three minutes and a one-minute rest between rounds.


When the bell rings, a round in a boxing match begins. Boxers try to score points by landing clear and forceful punches with the peak of their gloved fists on the opponent’s body in reasonable areas. One point is awarded for a clean hit on valid target areas, including the front and sides of the opponent’s head and the front and sides of the upper body above the waist. Hits on the arms do not count. If a hit on a valid target area does not have sufficient force, it does not score. Five judges determine whether a hit is scored, and an electronic scoring system ensures that at least three judges press the corresponding button for a point to be awarded.

Knockdown and Knockout

KNOCKDOWN AND KNOCKOUT - the boxing match rules

In a boxing match, a boxer is considered knocked down if any part of their body above the feet touches the canvas after being hit. If a boxer’s body falls outside the ring ropes, relies on or hangs on the ropes, or, although able to stand, is deemed unable to continue by the ring referee, they are considered knocked down. The referee starts counting from 1 to 10 after a knockdown, either manually or using electronic devices. If the knocked-down boxer cannot rise before the count of 10, their opponent wins by knockout. Even if the knocked-down boxer immediately stands up, they must undergo an 8-count by the referee before the match can continue.


In various circumstances, including when a boxer cannot withstand heavy blows, fails to meet the requirements of the match, or voluntarily withdraws, the referee can end the match and declare the opponent as the winner. These situations often arise due to injuries sustained during the boxing contest. Apart from the referee, the corner assistants can also decide whether a boxer can withstand heavy blows and signal surrender by throwing in the towel.


When a boxer commits a foul, they may receive a caution, warning, or the most severe punishment, which is disqualification from the match. Two cautions for the same offense are equal to one warning. Three warnings, regardless of whether they are for the same offense, result in the disqualification of the boxer. Common fouls include hitting below the opponent’s waistline, clinching, using arms and elbows to press the opponent’s face, pushing the opponent’s head out of the ropes, open-palm strikes, backhand strikes, hitting the back of the opponent’s head and neck, and striking the opponent’s body from behind. Other fouls include passive defense, failure to step back when instructed by the referee to “break,” verbal confrontation with the referee, and immediately striking the opponent after the referee’s “break” command.

We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the rules that govern boxing matches. From the structure of the match and scoring system to knockdowns, knockouts, and fouls, boxing is a sport that demands discipline, technique, and sportsmanship. By following these rules, boxers can compete fairly and showcase their skills in the ring. So, whether you’re watching a professional bout or participating in an amateur match, remember to respect the rules and enjoy the thrilling world of boxing! and if you need a customized boxing short, do not forget to contact us.

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