Amateur boxing

Amateur boxing is practised at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sponsored by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing bouts are short in duration and fighters wear head protection, so this type of competition prizes point-scoring (based on number of clean punches landed) rather than physical power. Bouts comprise three rounds of three minutes in men, and four rounds of two minutes in women, each with a one-minute interval between rounds.
Men's senior bouts changed in format from four, two minute rounds to three, three minute rounds on January 1, 2009.
Headgear is mandatory in amateur boxing
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 on the head or torso 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" 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. 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)


Amateur boxing emerged as a sport during the mid-to-late 19th century, partly as a result of the moral controversies surrounding professional prize-fighting. Originally lampooned as an effort by upper and middle-class gentlemen to co-opt a traditionally working class sport, the safer, "scientific" style of boxing found favor in schools, universities and in the armed forces, although the champions still usually came from among the urban poor.
The Queensberry Amateur Championships continued from 1867 to 1885, and so, unlike their professional counterparts, amateur boxers did not deviate from using gloves once the Queensberry Rules had been published. In the United Kingdom, the Amateur Boxing Association (A.B.A.) was formed in 1880 when twelve clubs affiliated. It held its first championships the following year. Four weight classes were contested, Featherweight (9 stone), Lightweight (10 stone), Middleweight (11 stone, 4 pounds) and Heavyweight (no limit). (A stone is equal to 14 pounds.) By 1902, American boxers were contesting the titles in the A.B.A. Championships, which, therefore, took on an international complexion. By1924, the A.B.A. had 105 clubs in affiliation.
Boxing first appeared at the Olympic Games in 1904 and, apart from the Games of 1912, has always been part of them. From 1972 to 2004, Cuba and the United States won the most Gold Medals; 29 for Cuba and 21 for the U.S. Internationally, Olympic boxing spread steadily throughout the first half of the 20th century, but when the first international body, the Fédération Internationale de Boxe Olympique (International Olympic Boxing Federation) was formed in Paris in 1920, there were only five member nations.
In 1946, however, when the International Amateur Boxing Association (A.I.B.A.) was formed in London, twenty-four nations from five continents were represented, and the A.I.B.A. has continued to be the official world federation of amateur boxing ever since. The first World Amateur Boxing Championships were staged in 1974.
A child boxing exhibition in Union City, New Jersey.
Recent developments in sports technology for boxing has introduced systems like the Automated Boxing Scoring System which uses instrumented boxing gear to send information back to a ring-side computer for the purposes of scoring. The system was developed to overcome the shortcomings of the computer scoring system, however the automated system has not been introduced as the official scoring system yet and could take some time to become accepted by boxing officials.Computer scoring was introduced to the Olympics in 1992. Each of the five judges has a keypad with a red and a blue button. The judges must press a button for which ever corner they feel lands a scoring blow. Three out of the five judges must press the button for the same boxer within a one-second window in order for the point to score. A legal scoring blow is that which is landed cleanly with the white knuckle surface of the glove, within the scoring area (middle of the head, down the sides and between the hips through the belly button, and the boxer can't be committing a foul (slapping, ducking head, wrestling, holding, etc). As long as the punches land within the scoring area, they are legal and that includes body punches, as well as those to the face. When computer scoring is used, and one opponent is leading by 20 points at any time before the fourth round, the referee is notified and the bout is stopped on an RSCOS - meaning the referee stopped the contest as the opponent was outscored.

Rules and regulations (United Kingdom)

Amateur boxing has a minimum age that states that you must be at least 11 years old to compete, but there is no minimum training age.


1. A Boxer becomes a Senior on his 17th birthday. When he reaches his 34th birthday, he will no longer be allowed to box, and his ME3 must be returned to his Association for cancellation.

Round Duration

2. Boxers will box 3 x 2 minute rounds and males may box 4 x 2 minute rounds or 3 x 3 minute rounds by agreement. Females may box 4 x 2 minute rounds by agreement. In Open Championships and Internationals, males will box 3 x 3 minute rounds and females 4 x 2 minute rounds. In every case there will be an interval of one minute between rounds.
3. A Senior Boxer may participate in a maximum of 18 contests per season excluding Championships and International matches.


4. There shall be three classes of Senior Boxers. The appropriate classification being:

(a) Novice
A Novice is a boxer who has not competed in any stage of an Open Senior Championship. A Novice Boxer must not compete against an Open Class Boxer other than in recognized Championship.

(b) Intermediate
An Intermediate is a Boxer who has:
(a) entered and competed in an Open Senior Championship but has not won a Regional Association Title,
(b) won a Novice Class ‘B' Title,
(c) won a CYP Class C Title, or
(d) returned from professional boxing. ~s

(c) Open
An Open is a Boxer who has:
(a) won an ABAE Senior Championship Regional Association Title.
(b) boxed at Senior level for his Country.
A Regional Association Executive Committee may upgrade a Boxer who in their opinion, is clearly above the prevailing standard for his current level of classification. Similarly, a boxer may be downgraded if his ability, in their opinion is below the standard prevailing in his current classification.


1. A boxer is a junior from his 11th birthday (at which age he is eligible to hold an ME3), until his 17th birthday.
2. (a) Boxers under the age of 17 years MUST NOT concede more than 12 months in age, except where necessary for specific International Events.
(b) Novice boxers aged 17 years can compete against boxers aged 16 years provided 43 there is no more than 12 months difference in age.
(c) It is recommended that Junior boxers do not concede age, weight and experience in a contest. The final decision for any contest is the responsibility of the OIC.

Rounds Duration

2. Unless the conditions for Championships or other authorised events prescribe otherwise the duration of bouts for Junior boxers will be as follows:
Both boxers aged over 11 years and under 14 years: 3 x 1.5 minute rounds
One boxer aged 13 and the other 14 years: 3 x 1.5 minute rounds
Both boxers aged 14 years: 3 x 2 minute rounds
One boxer aged 14 years and the other 15 years: 3 x 2 minutes rounds
Both boxers aged 15 years or over: 3 x 2 minute rounds, or 4 x 2 minutes by agreement. 3 x 3 minute rounds by agreement (male boxers only)

United States amateur boxing organizations

Amateur boxing can be considered any amateur fight at a local boxing gym, but there are several tournaments that take place to determine amateur champions.
There are several different amateur sanctioning bodies in the United States, including the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the United States, the Golden Gloves Association of America, and USA Boxing.
The Golden Gloves is an amateur boxing tournament that is fought at both the national level and the regional level. Although the Golden Gloves typically refers to the National Golden Gloves, it can also refer to the Intercity Golden Gloves, the Chicago Golden Gloves, the New York Golden Gloves, and other regional Golden Gloves tournaments. The winners of the regional tournaments fight in a national competition annually.
Some of the champion boxers include: (City they are fighting in, may not be where they live) Kimberly Nelson Portland, Oregon Nick Anesi Durango, Colorado Stephen Wasser Jr.St.Louis, Missouri Andresea Legateniz Orlando, Florida Kali Andrews Washington, D.C
USA Boxing also sanctions a national tournament to determine who will compete on the United States National boxing team at the Olympic Games.

Canadian Amateur Boxing Association

Since 1969, amateur boxing in Canada has been regulated by the CANADIAN AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION (Boxing Canada)and the various Provincial Associations.
Amateur boxing in the province of British Columbia is sanctioned and regulated by the British Columbia Boxing Association. Some of the main tournaments include Provincial Championships, Golden Gloves, Silver Gloves, Emerald Gloves and Buckskin Gloves.