The boxing rules that govern boxing were also known as ‘The Marquess of Queensberry rules’.
A boxing match 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. The fight is controlled by a referee who works in the ring to judge and control the fight rule on the ability of the fighters to fight safely, count knocked-down fighters, and rule on fouls. There are three judges at ringside to score the fight 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. 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.
Deciding the winner
The fighter with the higher score at the end of the fight is ruled the winner and the three judges rule it as, a. unanimous decision b. split decision and c. draws. A boxer may win the bout before a decision is reached through a knockout.
Win by knockout (KO)
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 slip, as determined by the referee, the referee begins counting until the fighter returns to his or her feet and can continue. Should the referee count to ten, then the knocked-down boxer is ruled “knocked out” (whether unconscious or not) and the other boxer is ruled the winner by knockout (KO).
Win by technical knockout (TKO)
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. There is also also have the “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.
Violations of these boxing 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.
Other boxing rules
Boxers are prohibited from hitting below the belt, holding, tripping, pushing, biting, spitting or wrestling. The boxer’s shorts are raised so the opponent is not allowed to hit to the groin area. They also are prohibited from kicking,head-butting, or hitting with any part of the arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, the inside, back or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the neck or head (called a “rabbit-punch”) or the kidneys. They are prohibited from holding the ropes for support when punching, holding an opponent while punching, or ducking below the belt of their opponent (dropping below the waist of your opponent, no matter the distance between). If a “clinch” – a defensive move in which a boxer wraps his or her opponents arms and holds on to create a pause – is broken by the referee, each fighter must take a full step back before punching again (alternatively, the referee may direct the fighters to “punch out” of the clinch). When a boxer is knocked down, the other boxer must immediately cease fighting and move to the furthest neutral corner of the ring until the referee has either ruled a knockout or called for the fight to continue.
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