Boxing
Overview
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport
Combat sport
A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

 in which two people fight
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee
Referee (boxing)
The referee in the boxing is the individual charged with enforcing the rules of that sport during a match.-The role of the referee:Referees have the following roles:*Gives instructions to both boxers before the fight...

 over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds. The boxers are generally continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO), if an opponent is disqualified for breaking a rule, or a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards at the end of the bout.
Quotations

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.

Rick Bayan|Rick Bayan, The Cynic's Dictionary

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 Schulberg|Budd Shulberg in his interview for The Times (UK) newspaper, 19th January 2009

Encyclopedia
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport
Combat sport
A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

 in which two people fight
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee
Referee (boxing)
The referee in the boxing is the individual charged with enforcing the rules of that sport during a match.-The role of the referee:Referees have the following roles:*Gives instructions to both boxers before the fight...

 over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds. The boxers are generally continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO), if an opponent is disqualified for breaking a rule, or a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards at the end of the bout. There are two forms of boxing, amateur and professional.

The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Modern boxing evolved in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, particularly Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

.

Early history

Fist fighting depicted in Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian relief carvings from the 3rd millennium BC
3rd millennium BC
The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age.It represents a period of time in which imperialism, or the desire to conquer, grew to prominence, in the city states of the Middle East, but also throughout Eurasia, with Indo-European expansion to Anatolia, Europe and Central Asia. The...

, while an ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian relief from the 2nd millennium BC
2nd millennium BC
The 2nd millennium BC marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.Its first half is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. Indo-Iranian migration onto the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent propagates the use of the chariot...

 depicts both fist-fighters and spectators. Both depictions show bare-fisted contests. Other depictions can be seen in Assyrian
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

, Babylonian and Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 art. In 1927 Dr. E. A. Speiser, an archaeologist, discovered a Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

n stone tablet in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 depicting two men getting ready for a prize fight. The tablet is believed to be 7,000 years old. The earliest evidence for fist fighting with any kind of gloves can be found on Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 (c. 1500–900 BC), and on Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, if we consider the boxing statues of Prama mountains (c. 2000–1000 BC).

Broughton's rules (1743)

Records of Classical boxing activity disappeared after the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 when the wearing of weapons became common once again and interest in fighting with the fists waned. 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. As the wearing of swords became less common, there was renewed interest in fencing with the fists. The sport would later resurface in England during the early 16th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing
Bare-knuckle boxing
Bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing, closely related to ancient combat sports...

 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
James Figg
James Figg was an English bare-knuckle boxer. He is universally recognized the first English bare-knuckle boxing champion, reigning from 1719 to 1730 or 1734. Many of the bouts at the time consisted of boxing, wrestling and fencing with sharp swords. Figg was also a great fencer that engaged in...

 in 1719. 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. On 6 January 1681, the first recorded boxing match took place in Britain when Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle
Duke of Albemarle
The Dukedom of Albemarle has been created twice in the Peerage of England, each time ending in extinction. Additionally, the title was created a third time by James II in exile and a fourth time by his son the Old Pretender, in the Jacobite Peerage. The name is the Latinised form of the ancient...

 (and later Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica) engineered a bout between his butler and his butcher with the latter winning the prize.

Early fighting had no written rules. There were no weight divisions or round limits, and no referee. In general, it was extremely chaotic. The first boxing rules, called the Broughton's rules, were introduced by heavyweight champion Jack Broughton
Jack Broughton
John "Jack" Broughton was an English bare-knuckle fighter. He was the first person to ever codify a set of rules to be used in such contests; prior to this the "rules" that existed were very loosely defined and tended to vary from contest to contest...

 in 1743 to protect fighters in the ring where deaths sometimes occurred. 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
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

 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
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

.

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" and was frequently disallowed by additional rules negotiated by the Seconds of the Boxers. 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
1838 in sports
-Boxing:Events* 3 April — in his return fight with Ben Caunt, William "Bendigo" Thompson is disqualified in the 75th round for going down without being struck....

, the London Prize Ring rules were codified. Later revised in 1853, they stipulated the following:
  • 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.

Marquess of Queensberry rules (1867)

In 1867, the Marquess of Queensberry rules
Marquess of Queensberry rules
The Marquess of Queensberry rules is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. They were named so because John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code, although they were written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers. The code of rules on which modern...

 were drafted by John Chambers
John Graham Chambers
John Graham Chambers was a Welsh sportsman. He rowed for Cambridge, founded inter-varsity sports, became English Champion walker, coached four winning Boat-Race crews, devised the Queensberry Rules, staged the Cup Final and the Thames Regatta, instituted championships for billiards, boxing,...

 for amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London for Lightweight
Lightweight
Light-weight is a class of athletes in a particular sport, based on their weight.-Professional boxing:The lightweight division is over 130 pounds and up to 135 pounds weight class in the sport of boxing....

s, Middleweight
Middleweight
Middleweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Early boxing history is less than exact, but the middleweight designation seems to have begun in the 1840s. In the bare-knuckle era, the first middleweight championship fight was between Tom Chandler and Dooney Harris in 1897...

s and Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

s. The rules were published under the patronage of the Marquess of Queensberry, whose name has always been associated with them.
There were twelve rules in all, and they specified that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square or similar 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.
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.

Prohibition

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.

The English case of R v. Coney
R v. Coney
R v. Coney 8 QBD 534 is an English case in which the Court for Crown Cases Reserved found that a bare-knuckle fight was an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, despite the consent of the participants...

in 1882 found that a bare-knuckle
Bare-knuckle boxing
Bare-knuckle boxing is the original form of boxing, closely related to ancient combat sports...

 fight was an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, despite the consent
Consensual crime
A consensual crime is a public order crime that involves more than one participant, all of whom give their consent as willing participants in an activity that is unlawful....

 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
James J. Corbett
James John "Gentleman Jim" Corbett was an Irish-American heavyweight boxing champion, best known as the man who defeated the great John L. Sullivan. He also coached boxing at the Olympic Club in San Francisco...

, who defeated John L. Sullivan
John L. Sullivan
John Lawrence Sullivan , also known as the Boston Strong Boy, was recognized as the first heavyweight champion of gloved boxing from February 7, 1881 to 1892, and is generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring rules...

 in 1892 at the Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

.

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
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

. Shortly after this era, boxing commissions and other sanctioning bodies were established to regulate the sport and establish universally recognized champions.

Rules

The Marquess of Queensberry rules
Marquess of Queensberry rules
The Marquess of Queensberry rules is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. They were named so because John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code, although they were written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers. The code of rules on which modern...

have been the general rules governing modern boxing since their publication in 1867.

A boxing match typically consists of a determined 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. Because of the open-ended style of boxing judging, many fights have controversial results, in which one or both fighters believe they have been "robbed" or unfairly denied a victory. 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
Knockout
A knockout is a fight-ending, winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, Karate and others sports involving striking...

 (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, or spitting. The boxer's shorts are raised so the opponent is not allowed to hit to the groin area with intent to cause pain or injury. Failure to abide by the former may result in a foul or wallet slap. 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.

Unheard of these days, but common during the early 20th Century in North America, a "newspaper decision (NWS)" might be made after a no decision bout had ended. A "no decision" bout occurred when, by law or by pre-arrangement of the fighters, if both boxers were still standing at the fight's conclusion and there was no knockout, no official decision was rendered and neither boxer was declared the winner. But this did not prevent the pool of ringside newspaper reporters from declaring a consensus result among themselves and printing a newspaper decision in their publications. Officially, however, a "no decision" bout resulted in neither boxer winning or losing. Boxing historians sometimes use these unofficial newspaper decisions in compiling fight records for illustrative purposes only. Often, media outlets covering a match will personally score the match, and post their scores as an independent sentence in their report.

Professional vs. amateur boxing

Throughout the 17th through 19th centuries, boxing bouts were motivated by money, as the fighters competed for prize money
Prize money
Prize money has a distinct meaning in warfare, especially naval warfare, where it was a monetary reward paid out to the crew of a ship for capturing an enemy vessel...

, 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
Automated Boxing Scoring System
The automated boxing scoring system is a research and development project being developed by a group of Australian institutions and private companies. It aims to provide a training aid and unbiased scoring for the sport of Amateur Boxing and potentially other Combat and Martial art sports.-...

, 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


Amateur boxing may be found at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 and Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

, 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 three 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
Below the belt
Mainly used in combat sports such as boxing and kickboxing, below the belt refers to all the area of the body that lies below the line of the opponent's navel, including the genital area, legs, and crotch...

) 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. 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

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- and three-round professional bouts, 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
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

. 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
Duk Koo Kim
Kim Duk-Koo was a South Korean boxer who died following a boxing match against Ray Mancini. His death sparked a number of reforms in the sport aimed to better protect the health of fighters.-Life and boxing career:...

 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
Cutman
A cutman is a person responsible for preventing and treating physical damage to a fighter during the breaks between rounds of a full contact match such as a boxing, kickboxing or a mixed martial arts bout. Cutmen typically handle swelling, nosebleeds and lacerations...

, 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.

Definition of Style

"Style" is often defined as the strategic approach a fighter takes during a bout. No two fighters' styles are alike, as it is determined by that individual's physical and mental attributes.

Boxer/out-fighter

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. Out-fighters need reach, hand speed, reflexes, and footwork.

Notable out-fighters include Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

, Salvador Sanchez
Salvador Sánchez
Salvador Sánchez Narváez was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México. Many of his contemporaries as well as boxing writers believe that, had it not been for his premature death, Sanchez could have gone on to become the greatest Featherweight boxer of all time...

, Gene Tunney
Gene Tunney
James Joseph "Gene" Tunney was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1926-1928 who defeated Jack Dempsey twice, first in 1926 and then in 1927. Tunney's successful title defense against Dempsey is one of the most famous bouts in boxing history and is known as The Long Count Fight...

, Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Charles
Ezzard Mack Charles was an African-American professional boxer and former world heavyweight champion. He holds wins over numerous Hall of Fame fighters in three different weight classes. Charles retired with a record of 93 wins, 25 losses and 1 draw.-Career:He was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia,...

, Willie Pep
Willie Pep
Guglielmo Papaleo was an American boxer who was better known as Willie Pep. Pep boxed a total of 1956 rounds in the 241 bouts during his 26 year career, a considerable number of rounds and fights even for a fighter of his era. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts...

, Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Taylor is a former Olympic gold medalist and world boxing champion in two weight classes.-Amateur career:...

, Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes is a former professional boxer. He grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania, which gave birth to his boxing nickname, The Easton Assassin....

, Roy Jones, Jr., Joe Calzaghe
Joe Calzaghe
Joseph William Calzaghe, CBE, MBE is a Welsh former professional boxer. He is the former WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring & British super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion....

, Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard is an American retired professional boxer and occasional actor. He was named Ray Charles Leonard, after his mother's favorite singer, Ray Charles...

, and Pernell Whitaker
Pernell Whitaker
Pernell Whitaker , nicknamed "Sweet Pea", is a professional boxing trainer and retired American professional boxer...

. This style was also used by fictional boxer Apollo Creed
Apollo Creed
Apollo Creed is a fictional character from the Rocky films, initially portrayed as the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. He was played by Carl Weathers. Many believe his character was modeled after Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali while Rocky Balboa was based on relatively unknown...

.

Boxer-puncher

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 Nonito Donaire
Nonito Donaire
Nonito Donaire, Jr. is a Filipino-American professional boxer, who is widely known as "The Filipino Flash." He is a three-division world champion, having won five titles across three different boxing weight classes. He is a known switch-hitter with the ability to fight either southpaw or orthodox...

, Sam Langford
Sam Langford
Sam Langford was a Black Canadian boxing standout of the early part of the 20th century. Called the "Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows," by ESPN. He was rated #2 by The Ring on their list of "100 greatest punchers of all time". Langford was originally from Weymouth Falls, a small community in Nova...

, Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong
Henry Jackson Jr. was a world boxing champion who fought under the name Henry Armstrong. He is universally regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time by many boxing critics and fellow professionals.Henry Jr...

, Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

, Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson was an African-American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight...

, Tony Zale
Tony Zale
Anthony Florian Zaleski was an American boxer. Zale was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, a steel town, which gave him his nickname, "Man of Steel." In addition, he had the reputation of being able to take fearsome punishment and still rally to win, reinforcing that nickname...

, Archie Moore
Archie Moore
Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....

, Carlos Monzón
Carlos Monzón
Carlos Monzón was an Argentine professional boxer who held the undisputed world middleweight title for 7 years, during which he successfully defended the title 14 times....

 Alexis Argüello
Alexis Argüello
Alexis Argüello , also known by the stage name El Flaco Explosivo , was a Nicaraguan professional boxer and politician...

, Erik Morales
Erik Morales
Érik Isaac Morales Elvira is a Mexican professional boxer. He is the first Mexican born boxer in history to win a world title in four weight classes and is the current WBC Light Welterweight Champion...

, Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis
Lennox Claudius Lewis, CM, CBE is a retired boxer and the most recent British undisputed world heavyweight champion. He holds dual British and Canadian citizenship...

, Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko is a Ukrainian heavyweight boxer. Klitschko is the WBA , IBF, WBO Super, IBO & Ring Magazine Champion. His older brother Vitali Klitschko is the current WBC champion...

, Oscar de la Hoya
Oscar de la Hoya
Oscar De La Hoya is a retired American boxer of Mexican descent. Nicknamed "The Golden Boy", De La Hoya won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games shortly after graduating from Garfield High School. De La Hoya comes from a boxing family. His grandfather Vicente, father Joel Sr., and brother...

, Terry Norris
Terry Norris
Terry Wayne Norris is a retired American boxer and a three-time world champion in the light middleweight division. Originally from Lubbock, Texas, he fought out of San Diego.-Early boxing career:...

, James Toney
James Toney
James Nathanial Toney is an American professional boxer who has held world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight divisions. Toney currently fights in the heavyweight division in boxing and also now competes in mixed martial arts.-Boxing career:Toney's amateur boxing...

, Marco Antonio Barrera
Marco Antonio Barrera
Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia is a Mexicanprofessional boxer. He has won numerous world titles in three different weight classes; he is a former two-time WBO super bantamweight , WBC, Lineal, & The Ring featherweight , and WBC & IBF super featherweight champion...

, Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao
Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH is a Filipino professional boxer and politician. He is the first eight-division world champion; having won six world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the...

, Thomas Hearns
Thomas Hearns
Thomas "Hitman" Hearns is a retired American boxer. Nicknamed the "Motor City Cobra" and more famously "The Hitman", Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to win five world titles in five different divisions...

 and Victor Ortiz
Victor Ortíz
Victor Ortiz is an American professional boxer of Mexican descent and the former WBC welterweight champion.He was previously in the light welterweight division, where he held the USBA & NABO title....


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. Mainly Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Irish-American, Mexican
Mexican people
Mexican people refers to all persons from Mexico, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity....

, and Mexican-American boxers popularized this style. 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). Examples of this style include Max Baer, Ray Mancini
Ray Mancini
Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini is a retired Italian-American boxer. He held the World Boxing Association lightweight championship from 1982 to 1984. Mancini inherited his distinctive nickname from his father, veteran boxer Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini, who laid the foundation for his son's career...

, George Foreman
George Foreman
George Edward Foreman is an American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur...

, Sonny Liston
Sonny Liston
Charles L. "Sonny" Liston was a professional boxer and ex-convict known for his toughness, punching power, and intimidating appearance who became world heavyweight champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round...

, David Tua
David Tua
David "Tuamanator" Tua is a New Zealand professional heavyweight boxer, fighting out of South Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.He is a former WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Heavyweight champion....

, Arturo Gatti
Arturo Gatti
Arturo "Thunder" Gatti was a Canadian professional boxer. Born in Cassino, Italy, and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Gatti relocated to Jersey City, United States as a teenager...

, "Irish" Micky Ward
Micky Ward
Micky Ward , nicknamed Irish, is a retired American junior welterweight professional boxer and a former WBU champion from Lowell, Massachusetts...

, Michael Katsidis
Michael Katsidis
Michael Alan Katsidis is an Australian professional boxer of Greek descent. He is a former two-time WBO interim lightweight titleholder whose crowd-pleasing, all-action fighting style has often drawn comparisons with the late Arturo Gatti.-Amateur career:In an amateur career which began at the...

, and Ireland's John Duddy
John Duddy
John Francis Duddy is a retired middleweight professional boxer, from Derry, Northern Ireland. Duddy fought under the moniker of "Ireland's John Duddy" or "The Derry Destroyer"....

. This style of boxing was also used by fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

al boxer Rocky Balboa.

Swarmers/in-fighter

In-fighters/swarmers (sometimes called "pressure fighters") attempt to stay close to an opponent, throwing intense flurries and combinations of hooks
Hook (boxing)
A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent...

 and uppercuts. A successful in-fighter often needs a good "chin
Chin (boxing)
In combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, a fighter's chin is a figurative term that refers to a his/her ability to tolerate physical trauma to the head without being knocked unconscious...

" because swarming usually involves being hit with many jab
Jab
A jab is a type of punch used in the martial arts.Several variations of the jab exist, but every jab shares these characteristics: while in a fighting stance, the lead fist is thrown straight ahead and the arm is fully extended...

s 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. A distinct advantage that in-fighters have is when throwing uppercuts where they can channel their entire bodyweight behind the punch; Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

 was famous for throwing devastating uppercuts. Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez is a retired Mexican professional boxer.He is a six-time world champion in three weight divisions, and for several years he was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world...

 was known for his hard "chin
Chin (boxing)
In combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, a fighter's chin is a figurative term that refers to a his/her ability to tolerate physical trauma to the head without being knocked unconscious...

", punching power, body attack and the stalking of his opponents. Some in-fighters, like Mike Tyson, 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 Laszlo Papp
László Papp
László Papp was a Hungarian boxer, born in Budapest. A southpaw, he won gold medals in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, and the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia...

, Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

, Harry Greb
Harry Greb
Harry Greb was an American boxer. He was World Middleweight boxing Champion from 1923 to 1926 and American Light Heavyweight title holder 1922–1923. He fought a recorded 303 times in his 13 year-career, against the best opposition the talent-rich 1910s & 20s could provide him, frequently squaring...

, Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey was an American boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey's aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first...

, Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano , born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times...

, Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier
Joseph William "Joe" Frazier , also known as Smokin' Joe, was an Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981....

, Jake LaMotta
Jake LaMotta
Giacobbe LaMotta , better known as Jake LaMotta, nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" and "The Raging Bull", is a former American world middleweight champion boxer...

, David Tua
David Tua
David "Tuamanator" Tua is a New Zealand professional heavyweight boxer, fighting out of South Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.He is a former WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Heavyweight champion....

, Ricky Hatton
Ricky Hatton
Richard John Hatton MBE, more commonly known as Ricky "the Hitman" Hatton, , is a former British professional boxer, and currently a promoter....

 and Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez is a retired Mexican professional boxer.He is a six-time world champion in three weight divisions, and for several years he was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world...

; this style was also used by fictional boxer Makunouchi Ippo.

Counter puncher

Counter punch
Counterpunch (boxing)
A counterpunch is a boxing punch that immediately follows an attack launched by an opponent. It exploits the opening created by an opponent's guard.-Technique:...

ers 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 requires constant feinting and never telegraphing a punch for the counter puncher to generate a good offense from. To be successful using this style they must have good reflexes, intelligence, punch accuracy, and good hand speed.

Notable counter punchers include Salvador Sánchez
Salvador Sánchez
Salvador Sánchez Narváez was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México. Many of his contemporaries as well as boxing writers believe that, had it not been for his premature death, Sanchez could have gone on to become the greatest Featherweight boxer of all time...

, Jerry Quarry
Jerry Quarry
Jerry Quarry , nicknamed "Irish" or “The Bellflower Bomber,” was an Irish-American heavyweight boxer. Quarry was rated by Ring Magazine as the most popular fighter in the sport, 1968–1971, and was one of the biggest stars of arguably the greatest era in the history of the heavyweight division.-...

, Chris Byrd
Chris Byrd
Chris Cornelius Byrd is a retired and former professional boxer. He is the former WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. His nickname is "Rapid Fire".- Early life :...

, Ricardo Lopez, Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins Jr, known as The Executioner is an American boxer and the current Ring Magazine and WBC light heavyweight champion...

, Vitali Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko
Vitaliy Volodymyrovych Klychko is a Ukrainian professional heavyweight boxer and the current WBC heavyweight champion. He is a leader of the political party Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform and a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Congress of the Council of Europe. He previously...

, James Toney
James Toney
James Nathanial Toney is an American professional boxer who has held world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight divisions. Toney currently fights in the heavyweight division in boxing and also now competes in mixed martial arts.-Boxing career:Toney's amateur boxing...

, Marvin Hagler
Marvin Hagler
Marvelous Marvin Hagler , is a former professional boxer who was undisputed world middleweight champion between 1980 and 1987. Hagler holds the distinction of having the highest KO% of all middleweight champions at 78%...

, Evander Holyfield
Evander Holyfield
Evander Holyfield is a professional boxer from the United States. He is a former undisputed world champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname "The Real Deal"...

, Juan Manuel Márquez
Juan Manuel Márquez
Juan Manuel Márquez Méndez , is a Mexican professional boxer. He is the fourth Mexican-born boxer to become a three-division world champion, where he won eight world titles in three different boxing weight classes.Currently, Marquez is the WBA Super, WBO and The Ring lightweight champion...

, Humberto Soto
Humberto Soto
Armando Humberto Soto Ochoa is a Mexican professional boxer in the Lightweight division. He is a former WBC Interim Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, and WBC Lightweight champion.-Pro career:...

, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Roger Mayweather
Roger Mayweather
Roger Mayweather is a retired professional boxer. He won two major world titles in two different weight classes. Throughout his career, Mayweather fought against many other boxing champions of the 1980s and 1990s. He is a part of the Mayweather boxing family; his brothers are former welterweight...

 and Max Schmeling
Max Schmeling
Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling was a German boxer who was heavyweight champion of the world between 1930 and 1932. His two fights with Joe Louis in the late 1930s transcended boxing, and became worldwide social events because of their national associations...

.

Combinations of styles

All fighters have a primary skillset that they feel most comfortable with, but truly elite fighters are often able to incorporate auxiliary styles when presented with a particular challenge. For example, an out-fighter will sometimes plant his feet and counter punch, or a slugger may have the stamina to pressure fight with his power punches.

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
Rock-paper-scissors
Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people. The game is also known as roshambo, or another ordering of the three items ....

. 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."

Brawlers 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 brawler, 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
George Foreman
George Edward Foreman is an American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur...

's knockout victory over Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier
Joseph William "Joe" Frazier , also known as Smokin' Joe, was an Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981....

.

Although in-fighters struggle against heavy sluggers, 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
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

 in their three fights. Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

, after retirement, admitted that he hated being crowded, and that swarmers like untied/undefeated champ Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano , born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times...

 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
Julio César Chávez
Julio César Chávez is a retired Mexican professional boxer.He is a six-time world champion in three weight divisions, and for several years he was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world...

, a swarmer or in-fighter, against Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Taylor
Meldrick Taylor is a former Olympic gold medalist and world boxing champion in two weight classes.-Amateur career:...

, 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.

Equipment

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 wrist wraps and boxing gloves
Boxing gloves
Boxing gloves are cushioned gloves that fighters wear on their hands during boxing matches. The term also refers to gloves used in training, though these often differ from competition 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 sport-nonspecific training equipment to build strength, speed, agility, and stamina. Common training equipment includes free weights, rowing machines, jump rope
Jump rope
Jump rope or skipping rope is the primary tool used in the game of skipping played by children and many young adults, where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads...

, and medicine balls.

Technique

Stance

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
Jack Johnson (boxer)
John Arthur Johnson , nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion...

.
In a fully upright stance, the boxer stands with the legs shoulder-width apart and the rear foot a half-step in front of the lead man. Right-handed or orthodox boxers lead with the left foot and fist (for most penetration power). 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.

Punches

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
    Jab
    A jab is a type of punch used in the martial arts.Several variations of the jab exist, but every jab shares these characteristics: while in a fighting stance, the lead fist is thrown straight ahead and the arm is fully extended...

     – 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
    Larry Holmes
    Larry Holmes is a former professional boxer. He grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania, which gave birth to his boxing nickname, The Easton Assassin....

     and Wladimir Klitschko
    Wladimir Klitschko
    Wladimir Klitschko is a Ukrainian heavyweight boxer. Klitschko is the WBA , IBF, WBO Super, IBO & Ring Magazine Champion. His older brother Vitali Klitschko is the current WBC champion...

    .

  • Cross
    Cross (boxing)
    In boxing, a cross is a power-punch like the uppercut and hook. Compubox, a computerized punch scoring system, counts the cross as a power-punch....

     – 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
    Hook (boxing)
    A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent...

     – 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. Notable left hookers include: Joe Frazier
    Joe Frazier
    Joseph William "Joe" Frazier , also known as Smokin' Joe, was an Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981....

    , Mike Tyson
    Mike Tyson
    Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

    , and Tommy Morrison
    Tommy Morrison
    Tommy David Morrison is an American heavyweight boxer and a former World Boxing Organization champion. He lost only three out of a total of 52 professional fights. Morrison's nickname, "The Duke," is based on disputed claims that he is a grandnephew of Hollywood star John Wayne...


  • 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
Bolo punch
A bolo punch is a punch used in Martial arts. The bolo punch is among the traditional boxing punches . Used many times and can cause powerful knockouts....

, 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.

Defense

There are several basic maneuvers a boxer can use in order to evade or block punches, depicted and discussed below.
  • Slip – Slipping
    Slipping
    Slipping is a technique used in boxing that is similar to bobbing. It is considered one of the four basic defensive strategies, along with blocking, holding, and clinching. It is performed by moving the head to either side so that the opponent's punches "slip" by the boxer. This technique is...

     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
    Muhammad Ali
    Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

     was famous for extremely fast and close slips, as was an early Mike Tyson
    Mike Tyson
    Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

    .

  • 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 weave – Bobbing
    Bobbing (boxing)
    Bobbing is one of the basic strategies of defensive boxing, executed by slightly moving the head to either side so that the opponent's punches slip by the boxer's head. You use the slip to evade swings, jabs, and straight punches. It can not be used with hooks as they move on the side level...

     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/block – Parrying 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-Up – Covering 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 form of trapping
    Trapping (Martial Arts)
    In martial arts, trapping refers both to a combat range and a technique used to immobilize an opponent in such a way that they cannot escape yet are still susceptible to very close range striking. The trapping range is very closely related to clinch fighting...

     or a rough form of grappling
    Grappling
    Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

     and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the boxer attempts to hold
    Grappling hold
    A grappling hold is a grappling, wrestling, judo or other martial arts term for a specific grip that is applied to an opponent. Holds are principally used to control the opponent, and to advance in points or positioning...

     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.

Guards

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
    Rope-a-dope
    The Rope-a-dope is a boxing fighting style commonly associated with Muhammad Ali in his 1974 Rumble in the Jungle match against George Foreman.-Technique:...

    " strategy : Used by Muhammad Ali in his 1974 "the Rumble in the Jungle
    The Rumble in the Jungle
    The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic boxing event that took place on October 30, 1974, in the Mai 20 Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire . It pitted then world Heavyweight champion George Foreman against former world champion and challenger Muhammad Ali...

    " bout against George Foreman, the rope-a-dope method involves lying back against the ropes, covering up defensively as much as possible and allowing the opponent to attempt numerous punches. The back-leaning posture, which does not cause the defending boxer to become as unbalanced as they would during normal backward movement, also maximizes the distance of the defender's head from his opponent, increasing the probability that punches will miss their intended target. Weathering the blows that do land, the defender 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, eight-division world champion
    Septuple champion
    In different sports when a sportsman wins seven crowns, titles, medals, belts or another distinctions is called a Septuple Champion.-Boxing:In boxing, a septuple champion is a boxer who has won world titles in seven different weight classes....

     Manny Pacquiao
    Manny Pacquiao
    Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH is a Filipino professional boxer and politician. He is the first eight-division world champion; having won six world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the...

     skillfully used the strategy to gauge the power of welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto
    Miguel Cotto
    Miguel Ángel Cotto Vázquez is a Puerto Rican professional boxer and the reigning WBA light middleweight champion. He is the younger brother of contender Jose Miguel Cotto and cousin of Abner Cotto...

     in November 2009. Pacquiao followed up the rope-a-dope gambit with a withering knockdown.

  • Bolo punch
    Bolo punch
    A bolo punch is a punch used in Martial arts. The bolo punch is among the traditional boxing punches . Used many times and can cause powerful knockouts....

     : 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
    Welterweight
    Welterweight is a weight class division in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like kickboxing, taekwondo and mixed martial arts also began to use it for their own weight division system...

     champions Sugar Ray Leonard
    Sugar Ray Leonard
    Sugar Ray Leonard is an American retired professional boxer and occasional actor. He was named Ray Charles Leonard, after his mother's favorite singer, Ray Charles...

    , and Kid Gavilan
    Kid Gavilan
    Gerardo González , better known in the boxing world as Kid Gavilan, was a former world welterweight champion from Cuba...

    . Middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia
    Ceferino Garcia
    Ceferino Garcia was a champion boxer born in Naval, Biliran, Philippines. His number of victories are the most ever achieved by a Filipino boxer. He's also the only boxer from the Philippines ever to become world champion at middleweight. He was managed, during the final years of his career by...

     is regarded as the inventor of the bolo punch.


  • Overhand right
    Drop (boxing)
    An overhand is a semi-circular and vertical punch thrown with the rear hand. It is usually when the opponent bobbing or slipping. The strategic utility of the drop relying on body weight can deliver a great deal of power....

     : 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
    Rocky Marciano
    Rocky Marciano , born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times...

     and Tim Witherspoon
    Tim Witherspoon
    "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon is an American boxer who was twice world heavyweight champion.-Early career:Witherspoon had eight and a half amateur bouts, losing one to Marvis Frazier on decision after getting knocked down....

    , as well as MMA champions Chuck Liddell
    Chuck Liddell
    Charles David "Chuck" Liddell is a retired American mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion. Liddell has an extensive striking background in Kempo, Koei-Kan karate and kickboxing, as well as a grappling background in collegiate wrestling.As of his...

     and Fedor Emelianenko
    Fedor Emelianenko
    Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko) is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist. He has won numerous tournaments and accolades in multiple sports, most notably the Pride 2004 Grand Prix and the World Combat Sambo championship on four occasions, as well as medaling in the Russian national Judo...

    . The overhand right has become a popular weapon in other tournaments that involve fist striking.

  • Check hook
    Check hook
    In boxing, 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...

     : 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.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. employed the use of a check hook against Ricky Hatton
Ricky Hatton
Richard John Hatton MBE, more commonly known as Ricky "the Hitman" Hatton, , is a former British professional boxer, and currently a promoter....

, which sent Hatton flying head first into the corner post and being knocked down. Hatton managed to get himself to his feet after the knockdown but was clearly dazed and it was only a matter of moments before Mayweather landed a flurry of punches which sent Hatton crashing to the canvas, giving Mayweather a TKO victory in the 10th round and handing Hatton his first ever defeat.

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
Cutman
A cutman is a person responsible for preventing and treating physical damage to a fighter during the breaks between rounds of a full contact match such as a boxing, kickboxing or a mixed martial arts bout. Cutmen typically handle swelling, nosebleeds and lacerations...

. 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
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 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). This can be seen in the fight between Diego Corrales
Diego Corrales
Diego "Chico" Corrales was an American boxer.He was the WBC, WBO, & The Ring lightweight champion, and the WBO & IBF super featherweight champion....

 and Floyd Mayweather. In that fight, Corrales' corner surrendered despite Corrales' steadfast refusal.

Medical concerns

Knocking a person unconscious or even causing concussion may cause permanent brain damage
Brain damage
"Brain damage" or "brain injury" is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. Brain injuries occur due to a wide range of internal and external factors...

. There is no clear division between the force required to knock a person out and the force likely to kill a person. Since 1980, more than 200 amateur boxers, professional boxers and Toughman
Toughman Contest
The Toughman Contest, founded in 1979 in Bay City, Michigan by boxing promoter Art Dore, is a chance for the novice amateur fighters to test themselves in the ring.-Format:...

 fighters have died as the result of ring or training injuries. Thus, in 1983, the Journal of the American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

called for a ban on boxing. The editor, Dr. George Lundberg, called boxing an "obscenity" that "should not be sanctioned by any civilized society." Since then, the British, Canadian and Australian Medical Associations also have called for bans on boxing.

Supporters of the ban state that boxing is the only sport where hurting the other athlete is the goal. Dr. Bill O'Neill, boxing spokesman for the British Medical Association
British Medical Association
The British Medical Association is the professional association and registered trade union for doctors in the United Kingdom. The association does not regulate or certify doctors, a responsibility which lies with the General Medical Council. The association’s headquarters are located in BMA House,...

, has supported the BMA's proposed ban on boxing: "It is the only sport where the intention is to inflict serious injury on your opponent, and we feel that we must have a total ban on boxing." In 2007, one study of amateur boxers showed that protective headgear did not prevent brain damage, and another found that amateur boxers faced a high risk of brain damage.

In 1997, the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians was established to create medical protocols through research and education to prevent injuries in boxing.

Professional boxing is forbidden in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. It was banned in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 until 2007 when the ban was lifted but strict restrictions, including four three-minute rounds for fights, were imposed. It was banned in Albania from 1965 till the fall of Communism in 1991. Now it is still legal.

Boxing Hall of Fame

The sport of boxing has two internationally recognized boxing halls of fame; the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF)
International Boxing Hall of Fame
The modern International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota, New York, United States, within driving distance from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta...

 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF)
World Boxing Hall of Fame
The World Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Riverside, California, United States, in Southern California. The WBHF is one of two recognized international boxing halls of fame with the other being the International Boxing Hall of Fame , with the IBHOF being the more widely recognized...

, 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 Ricardo "Finito" Lopez, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Michael Carbajal, Khaosai Galaxy
Khaosai Galaxy
Khaosai Galaxy is a former professional Thai super flyweight boxer and Muaythai kickboxer. Khaosai defended his WBA world title 19 times in seven years , winning 16 of his title fights by knockouts. A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame he is widely considered as one of the greatest...

, Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong
Henry Jackson Jr. was a world boxing champion who fought under the name Henry Armstrong. He is universally regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time by many boxing critics and fellow professionals.Henry Jr...

, Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson (boxer)
John Arthur Johnson , nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion...

, Roberto Durán
Roberto Durán
Roberto Durán Samaniego is a retired professional boxer from Panama, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. A versatile brawler in the ring, he was nicknamed "Manos de Piedra" during his career....

, George Foreman
George Foreman
George Edward Foreman is an American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur...

, Ceferino Garcia
Ceferino Garcia
Ceferino Garcia was a champion boxer born in Naval, Biliran, Philippines. His number of victories are the most ever achieved by a Filipino boxer. He's also the only boxer from the Philippines ever to become world champion at middleweight. He was managed, during the final years of his career by...

,and Salvador Sanchez
Salvador Sánchez
Salvador Sánchez Narváez was a Mexican boxer born in the town of Santiago Tianguistenco, Estado de México. Many of his contemporaries as well as boxing writers believe that, had it not been for his premature death, Sanchez could have gone on to become the greatest Featherweight boxer of all time...

.
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
Canastota, New York
Canastota is a village located inside the Town of Lenox in Madison County, New York, United States. The population was 4,425 at the 2000 census.The Village of Canastota is in the south part of the Town of Lenox.- History :...

, (which is about 15 miles (24.1 km) east of Syracuse, via the New York State Thruway), honored former world welterweight
Welterweight
Welterweight is a weight class division in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like kickboxing, taekwondo and mixed martial arts also began to use it for their own weight division system...

/middleweight
Middleweight
Middleweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Early boxing history is less than exact, but the middleweight designation seems to have begun in the 1840s. In the bare-knuckle era, the first middleweight championship fight was between Tom Chandler and Dooney Harris in 1897...

 champion Carmen Basilio
Carmen Basilio
Carmine Basilio better known in the boxing world as Carmen Basilio, is an American former professional boxer who was a two weight world boxing champion...

 and his nephew, former world welterweight champion Billy Backus
Billy Backus
Billy Backus, born March 5, 1943 in Canastota, New York, is a former world boxing champion. In the summer of 2006 Backus retired from his correctional facility job and moved to South Carolina.- Early boxing career :...

. 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
International Boxing Hall of Fame
The modern International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota, New York, United States, within driving distance from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta...

 opened in Canastota in 1989. The first inductees in 1990 included Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard
Benny Leonard
Benny Leonard was an American lightweight boxer. He was named as number 8 on Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years and number 7 on ESPN's 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time....

, Jack Dempsey, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson was an African-American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight...

, Archie Moore
Archie Moore
Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....

, and Muhammad Ali. Other world-class figures include Salvador Sanchez, Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Durán, Ricardo Lopez, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Vicente Saldivar
Vicente Saldivar
Vicente Samuel Saldivar García was a Mexican boxer in the Featherweight division and was a part of the 1960 Mexican Olympic team. He was a former WBC and a two-time WBA Featherweight Champion...

, Ismael Laguna, Eusebio Pedroza, Carlos Monzón, Azumah Nelson, Rocky Marciano, Pipino Cuevas and Ken Buchanan
Ken Buchanan
Ken Buchanan is a former boxing undisputed world lightweight champion. Many consider Buchanan to be the best boxer ever to come out of Scotland.- Early career :...

. 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

Governing Body Website
British Boxing Board of Control
British Boxing Board of Control
The British Boxing Board of Control is the governing body of professional boxing in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1929 from the old National Sporting Club and is headquartered in Cardiff.- Councils :...

 (BBBofC)
http://www.bbbofc.com/
Nevada State Athletic Commission
Nevada Athletic Commission
The Nevada Athletic Commission regulates all contests and exhibitions of unarmed combat within the state of Nevada, including licensure and supervision of promoters, boxers, kickboxers, mixed martial arts fighters, seconds, ring officials, managers, and matchmakers...

http://boxing.nv.gov/
European Boxing Union
European Boxing Union
The European Boxing Union is an organization that oversees competition in that sport over the continent of Europe.-History:The EBU started life as the International Boxing Union in Paris in 1910...

http://www.boxebu.com/
Sanctioning Body Website
World Boxing Association
World Boxing Association
The World Boxing Association is a boxing organization that sanctions official matches, and awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. It was previously known as the National Boxing Association before changing its name in 1962...

 (W.B.A.)
http://www.wbaonline.com/
World Boxing Council
World Boxing Council
The World Boxing Council was initially established by 11 countries: the United States, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil plus Puerto Rico, met in Mexico City on February 14, 1963, upon invitation of the then President of Mexico, Adolfo...

 (W.B.C.)
http://www.wbcboxing.com/
International Boxing Federation
International Boxing Federation
The International Boxing Federation or IBF is one of four major organizations recognized by IBHOF which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the WBA, WBC and WBO.- History :...

 (I.B.F.)
http://www.ibf-usba-boxing.com/
World Boxing Organization
World Boxing Organization
The World Boxing Organization is a sanctioning organization currently recognizing professional boxing world champions. The organization is recognized as one of the four major world championship groups by the IBHOF alongside the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Council and the...

 (W.B.O.)
http://www.wbo-int.com/

See also

  • World Professional Boxing Federation
    World Professional Boxing Federation
    The World Professional Boxing Federation ' is an international sanctioning body that sanctions professional boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championship title...

  • United States Boxing Council
    United States Boxing Council
    The United States Boxing Council is a governing body that sanctions regional championships bouts. It is an affiliated organization within the World Professional Boxing Federation .-Current USBC Title Holders:- Other world organizations :...

  • Automated Boxing Scoring System
    Automated Boxing Scoring System
    The automated boxing scoring system is a research and development project being developed by a group of Australian institutions and private companies. It aims to provide a training aid and unbiased scoring for the sport of Amateur Boxing and potentially other Combat and Martial art sports.-...

  • Boxing at the Summer Olympics
    Boxing at the Summer Olympics
    Boxing has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since its introduction to the program at the 1904 Summer Olympics, except for the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, because Swedish law banned the sport at the time. The 2008 Summer Olympics was the final games with boxing as a male only event...

  • Boxing training
    Boxing training
    Boxing training is the training method that boxers use in order to get more fit for their sport. This training method is often cited by medical doctors, boxing trainers, and writers as one of the most spartan forms of sports training.- Training :...

  • Weight class (boxing)
    Weight class (boxing)
    In boxing, a weight class is a standardized weight range for boxers. The upper weight limit for each class is the lower limit of the next higher class. The top class, with no upper limit, is called heavyweight in professional boxing and super heavyweight in amateur boxing...

  • Helmet boxing
  • List of current world boxing champions
  • List of female boxers
  • List of Triple Champions of Boxing
  • NCAA Boxing Championship
    NCAA Boxing Championship
    The following is a list of NCAA Team Champions in Boxing. The National Collegiate Athletic Association discontinued the boxing championship after 1960; however in 1976, American collegiate boxing was picked up again by the National Collegiate Boxing Association....

  • Purse bid
    Purse bid
    A purse bid is an initial step in arranging a professional boxing match, involving the fight's/card's promoter. All interested registered promoters may bid on the amount of the purse , if the sides representing each fighter fail to agree on it before the deadline...

  • White Collar Boxing
    White Collar Boxing
    White Collar Boxing is a form of boxing where men and women in white collar professions train to fight at special events. Most have no previous experience of boxing.-US origins of the sport:The sport first came to prominence in mid-1990s New York...

  • Women's boxing
    Women's boxing
    Women's boxing first appeared in the Olympic Games at a demonstration bout in 1902. For most of the 20th century, however, it was banned in most nations. Its revival was pioneered by the Swedish Amateur Boxing Association, which sanctioned events for women in 1988. The British Amateur Boxing...

  • U.S. intercollegiate boxing champions
  • Upcoming Boxing Matches
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