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The Boxing Basics

Updated on May 25, 2012

Boxing Basics

This article teaches the reader of the boxing basics and other information from weight classes to how to get a victory in boxing.

Diving into the world of boxing can be a scary drop, one that can be cushioned by learning the boxing basics. These basics include (but are not limited to) the rules and regulations, the types of boxing, weight divisions and where you fit in, how boxing matches are won, and so on.

Now, we can start off by talking about how far back in history boxing started, but I'm going to take a quick guess and say that the majority of you are not here because you're interested in ancient history. In fact, for many of you, the only history you care about are 'The Greatest Matches IN History'. Guess what? That is definitely fine. We all have our motives, and different reasons. Some are interested in knowing how to defend themselves, a portion of you will read this after being turned onto boxing by watching figures like Pacquiao or Mayweather, others will become amateur boxers, and a select few will give their blood, sweat and even their tears to becoming a professional boxer.

I also, am on this path with you. Whether you're a low interest fan or someone interested in building yourself up, and emerging a boxer, the boxing basics are worth knowing.

In professional boxing, there's currently eight weight divisions. These weight divisions are:
Flyweight - up to 112 lb/50.8 kg
Bantamweight - 118 lb/53.5 kg
Featherweight - 126 lb/57.2 kg
Lightweight - 135 lb/61.2 kg
Welterweight - 147 lb/66.7 kg
Middleweight - 160 lb/72.6 kg
Light heavyweight - 175 lb/79.4 kg
Heavyweight - NO weight limit

Knowledge of where you fit in gives you a basis of the types of boxers you can dream of facing. It also shows you how much weight you need to put on or cut to 'make weight'. I fall into the range of fighting boxers like Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao or Mayweather. As daunting as that thought can be, it's a nice little motivator in putting things into perspective how great and skilled you want to become at this amazing sport.

Back to the boxing basics, the goal in boxing is to engage your opponent using only your fist. Notice I said fist. A boxer's must use a closed fist, he may not engage his/her opponent with his arm, elbow, shoulder, palm etc.. No, despite what some may believe, boxing is not like Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots, or like a street fight for that matter. It takes a lot of thinking, planning, and intelligent execution. Also, boxers may not kick, hit the opponent's back of the head, headbutt, punch below the belt or back of the neck. Additionally, you cannot spit, bite, push or trip. When fighting, you cannot hold an opponent to administer easier punches, or hold the ropes for additional leverage or balance. Although, when clinched, both boxers may exchange if not directed otherwise by the referee.

Oh right, the referee. You won't be the only one in the ring come showtime. Across you will be an opponent hell-bent on breaking you down, and a referee who will oversee all conduct within the ring. This referee has the power to halt, continue or end fights for several reasons. He may disqualify a fighter if they continuously or grossly break the rules, or the ref may stop the fight if he feels a boxer is unable to continue or isn't properly defending themselves. Which leads me to the next boxing basic...

How to grab a W (win) or receive a L (loss). Let's cross our fingers that you're fixated on getting the former than the latter. Matches can be ended by:

+ Referee stoppage
- fighter not defending themselves
- taking too much damage
- injury preventing fighter from continuing
- getting disqualified
+ Judge's decision
- based on punches that connect, defense, knockdowns, staying busy, and other reasoning
+ Resigning the bout
- throwing in the towel done by your corner if they feel you cannot/should not continue
+ Knockout
- when a boxer drops to the mat with a portion of their body other than their feet
- ref counts to 10, if the fighter cannot get to his feet by the count the bout is over
- some instances, there is a three knockdown rule (knocked down 3x in one round = loss)

The time in which you have to get yourself a win is very important in its own right. There are professional boxers and amateur boxers. And there are more distinctions to that than the types of venues they are held. Amateur fights are three rounds while pro fights range from four to 15 rounds with championship fights going 12 rounds. Typically, rounds are three minutes each with a one minute rest at the end to consult your coach/corner. Amateur boxers engage with 8 oz gloves while pros use 6 oz. Amateur fighters must wear headgear, pros cannot, and pros may not wear a shirt. If you can successfully finish your opponent within the time constraints, the fight is said to have been 'inside the distance'. On that same note, a fight that is not finished after the allotted time has 'gone the distance'. You can imagine how important of a role cardiovascular fitness plays in this sport, but more on fitness in later articles.

When a fighter goes down, the other must retreat to a neutral corner until instructed by the ref to either continue or not. Pick a corner- you're enclosed in a ring that is 12-20 ft and surrounded by three or four ropes.

If you're still with me after reading all of this then you've got a healthy mindset in beginning your journey as a boxer. Everyone will tell you that this sport/route takes dedication... a ridiculous helping of it. My next articles will talk about boxing techniques, the importance of them, types of punches for your arsenal, being versatile, equipment, conduct during training/sparring and much more. ESPN once named boxing the most difficult sport in the world, but who knows, you could be the next Ali, Tyson, Dempsey or better yet, the next big thing.

Thank you for reading the first installment of boxing basics.

Via: Emerging Boxer


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