Boxing is referred as the ‘Art of Self Defence’. It is a tough sport that has a rough side attached to it. The sport probably spread from the Sumerians to people throughout the world. Boxing was a brutal spectacle in ancient Greece. The sport became more savage with time. A boxing match is usually a fast, violent demonstration of strength, stamina, and skill. Boxing is categorised into amateurs and professionals. Amateurs boxers compete as members of an organisation or team and some box in tournaments.
The rules are different for each of the two categories of bouts in International and Olympic Game competition. Boxers compete in classes, or divisions, based on their weight. To fight in a particular class, a boxer may not weigh more than the maximum for that class. The professional weight classes from heaviest to lightest is Heavyweight, Junior Heavyweight, Middleweight, Junior Middleweight, Welterweight, Junior Welterweight, Lightweight, Junior Lightweight, Featherweight, Junior Featherweight, Bantamweight, Junior Bantamweight, Flyweight and junior Flyweight. A boxer’s hands are wrapped in soft cloth bandages, over the bandages he wears padded gloves. The gloves weigh eight or ten ounces. Boxers wear trunks and lightweight shoes that lace just above the ankle. A mouthpiece of hard rubber protects the teeth, and a plastic cup protects the sex organs. Both amateur and professionals wear a protective leather helmet when training. Amateur fighters may wear a helmet in actual competition, though professionals do not. Each round lasts two or three minutes in amateur bouts and each round in major professional bouts last three minutes. The rest period is of one minute in between rounds. A professional bout may be scheduled for four to fifteen rounds. Most professional championships are scheduled for twelve or fifteen rounds. Amateur fights are three to six rounds. All amateur championships are scheduled for three rounds. Fight Officials-During a round, the referee is the only person in the ring besides the boxers. His duty is to see that the fighters obey the rules. A boxer may not hit below the belt or in the back of the head, nor may he strike an opponent who is down, even to one knee. Such actions are called fouls. Other fouls include kicking, tripping, wrestling, holding, hitting with the forearms or the inside of the glove, butting with the head, or using the elbows or biting (remember Holyfield and Tyson). After a fighter is knocked down, his opponent must immediately go to the farthest neutral corner, which is one of the two corners not occupied by either boxer between rounds.
A boxer wins a fight by in three different ways, first by knockout, second by a technical knockout and third by a decision. Sometimes, a professional bout may end in a draw, with neither fighter declared the winner but there is always a result in amateur fights. A knockout or KO occurs when a boxer is knocked down and does not get back on his feet within ten seconds, as counted by the referee. If a round ends while a fighter is down, but before the ten-second has passed the fighter is termed as ‘saved by the bell.’ He then can rest until the beginning of the next round. A technical knockout, or TKO, occurs when a boxer is declared to be physically unable to continue fighting. If a boxer in an amateur fight is knocked down three times in one round, his opponent wins the match on a TKO. This rule also applies to all professional bouts except championship matches.
Some of the famous fighter of the game includes the 1950’s Archie Moore, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Rocky Marciano. Archie Moore held the Light Heavyweight title from 1952 to 1961. Sugar Ray Robinson was the Welterweight Champion from 1946 to 1951 and then went on to win the Middleweight crown five times. Rocky Marciano was the Heavyweight Champion from 1952-1956 and won all his forty-nine professional fights. Who can forget the passionate and very successful boxer of his own genera of Louisville great Cassius Clay?