how does boxing betting work3

The Differences Between Olympic And Professional Boxing

Olympic (amateur) boxing gave many of the great fighters we know today their start, including Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, and Sugar Ray Leonard. They made a reputation for themselves in the boxing world by using their Olympic triumph as a springboard for the start of their professional boxing careers. Despite the popularity of both Olympic and professional boxing, the vast majority of boxing fans today are unaware of these distinctions.

The regulations of boxing, the duration of the fights, the fighters themselves, the rings, the level of competition, and the environment around amateur and professional boxing are largely different. The main distinctions between the two sports are listed below.

In boxing, there are several skill and competitive levels, just like in any other combat sport. Before going professional later in their careers, the majority of boxers begin their careers in amateur and Olympic boxing.

Boxers can't really make it as professionals unless they first prove themselves as amateurs, in a sort. But how is professional boxing different from Olympic boxing?

Olympic boxing is amateur boxing, where the rules surrounding rounds are different from pro-level boxing. Fighters must wear scoring criteria gear. Skilled boxers who compete for money, fame, and legacy call professional boxing home. The focus is on aggression, inflicting maximum pain on the opponent and achieving victory at all costs.


Professional and Olympic boxing finances differ?

Financial discrepancies are significant. Amateur Olympic boxers cannot be compensated. Boxers make money from bout purses, sponsorships, and endorsements.

Do Olympic boxers train differently than professionals?

Training methods vary for each athlete, but there are certain commonalities. Olympic boxers train like amateurs, emphasising speed, agility, and point-scoring. Professional boxers train endurance, power, and strategy for lengthier fights.

Is the scoring method different for Olympic and professional boxing?

Olympic and professional boxing score differently. Clean strikes to the head or body score points in Olympic boxing. Professional boxing uses a 10-point must system to score each round on aggression, defence, clean punching, and ring generalship.

How do Olympic and professional boxing knockout rules differ?

Olympic boxers are knocked out when the referee counts to ten.
Professional boxing employs the ten-count system, however, three knockdowns in a round can result in a knockout.

Is professional boxing heavier than Olympic boxing?

Weight classifications promote fairness in Olympic and professional boxing.
Minimumweight to super heavyweight, Olympic boxing comprises eleven weight classes.
Professional boxing has 17 weight classes, though organisations vary.

Professional Boxing vs. Olympic Boxing

The Rules

Professional boxing rules and Olympic boxing rules have many differences. Amateur boxing places a strong premium on experience, education, and boxer development. There are currently three main amateur boxing regulatory bodies, among which the "IOC" is in charge of Olympic Boxing:

  • International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) – since 1946, AIBA has been handling events like the “World Boxing Championships” and “Boxing World Cup.”z
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) – founded in 1894, IOC handles boxing events. 
  • International Military Sports Council (CISM)-founded in 1948, CISM handles “Military World Games.”

The regulations governing professional boxing vary greatly between nations and organisations. However, most promotions adhere to the well-known "Queensberry Rules," which John Chambers created in 1867. The basic guidelines remain constant, but promotions might elect to alter the number of rounds, for example. The four main governing bodies are as follows:

  • World Boxing Association (WBA)
  • World Boxing Council (WBC)
  • International Boxing Federation (IBF)
  • World Boxing Organization (WBO)


Men boxers compete in three full rounds of three minutes each in Olympic boxing, while women boxers compete in four rounds of two minutes each. Different amounts of time may be allocated for each round, depending on the amateur boxing competition's level.

In professional boxing, rounds can last anywhere from four to twelve minutes and are normally three minutes long. Sometimes exhibition matches even only last four rounds.


In this particular area, fighters' preparation for a battle differs noticeably from one another. Since the eyes, ears, and head are the most often injured areas in professional boxing, headgear is required for boxers competing in amateur or Olympic competitions. While a helmet won't totally shield an amateur from harm, it will stop the majority of catastrophic injuries. In both sports, mouthguards and gloves are also worn.

In battles in professional boxing, head guards are not allowed. They are utilised, though, during boxing conditioning drills and for in-ring training. In addition, singlets or tops are required for all male and female boxers competing in Olympic boxing, although they are not allowed for male boxers competing in professional boxing.

Scoring of the Fight

boxing common injuries3

Olympic and professional boxing share the same goals of landing blows and avoiding blows, however, the two formats of boxing are really scored extremely differently.

Has there ever been a scoring system in boxing?

The sport that we know and love today is very different from how it was when it first began. Boxing has been documented as far back as the Mayan and ancient Egyptian cultures.

At that time, fans created a sort of "living arena" as the sport was played on vast fields of land. Typically, they continued until one of the fighters suffered a significant injury or occasionally until just one was left.

Even though contemporary boxing battles can be intense, we rarely see competitors in the ring with serious wounds. This is due to improvements in tools and clothing, such as cushioned gloves that shield hands from harm.

As a result, fights tend to go a little bit longer, and knockouts are less frequent now than they were when the sport first took off. Boxing leagues have created a scoring system to determine the winner of each contest in an effort to adapt.

What Specifically Are The Judges Seeking?

It helps to understand what a judge is looking for, even if you'd probably do fine depending on the eyeball test to decide the winner of each round. The following factors can be used to assess who won the fight:

  • Effective Aggression – Being aggressive creates the appearance of dominance, but it's not really "successful" until the boxer is scoring hits and not continually being countered. Judges look for effective aggression, where the aggressor successfully blocks his opponent's punches while consistently landing his own.
  • Ring Generalship – The fighter who directs the fight and imposes his style and will.
  • Defence – How adeptly can a boxer slip, dodge, and block blows? A strong defence is crucial.
  • Hard and Clean Punches – Untrained eyes may believe a boxer is landing numerous blows when in reality, the majority are blocked or don't land cleanly. A judge must watch for powerful blows that land cleanly. Most people believe they can readily determine when a fighter is landing punches or properly pounding their opponent when watching a boxing match.

The Decision

There are simple techniques to arrive at logical conclusions if you have ever had trouble understanding how specific judgments are made. For starters, each bout has three judges assigned to it. This increases the likelihood that a decision can be reached using the majority rule. In other words, if two judges reach a consensus, the decision will take precedence over the opinion of the third judge.

The outcome of a fight at this point is decided by the scorecards. These are the potential results:

  • Unanimous Decision – All three judges had the same fighter scoring more points.
  • Split Decision – Two of the three judges had the same fighter scoring more points (the winner), while the other judge had the other boxer scoring more points (the loser).
  • Majority Decision – Two of the three judges had the same fighter scoring more points (the winner), while the other judge ruled the contest a draw.
  • Draw – A draw can occur when either two of the judges rule the contest a draw, or it can happen when one judge scores the bout for one fighter, another judge scores it for the other fighter, and the third rules it a draw.

Olympic Boxing Scoring

In Olympic boxing, a victory is worth 10 points, while a defeat is worth nine points or less on five judges' scorecards. There are just three judges in professional boxing, but their scores are comparable. Punches landed, clean affective punches and ring generalship are the three criteria used to score boxers. Like many Olympic sports, including gymnastics, diving, and ice skating (which is an Olympic winter sport), this method is based on subjective scoring. In the Olympics, a contest cannot be declared a draw. The scores of at least three judges will prevail over the scores of the two opposing judges in a boxer's favour.

4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 rounds can be used in professional boxing fights. The Olympic fights only last three rounds. Each round lasts for three minutes. Previously, amateur boxers competing in the Olympics wore headgear. Even before 2016, that had altered. Female boxers must still wear headgear.

Professional Boxing Scoring

The scoring system in boxing is one aspect that frequently sparks debate and controversies. The boxing scoring system will occasionally be the subject of severe examination. As a boxing fan, it might be simple to go insane, given the perplexing decisions made by some athletes. However, given the innumerable fights that take place each week without incident throughout the world, these aberrations are often rare and far between.

However, the scoring system can be a little... perplexing for the common Joe.

The 10-Point Must System, based on the notion that the victor of a round is granted 10 points, governs professional boxing. Because of this, most rounds in boxing end with a score of 10-9, with the losing boxer receiving 9 points unless there is a requirement to take one away. Or, occasionally, a few points. A round may end 10-10 on even rarer instances, but this is uncommon.

A knockdown results in a point being taken away from the fighter who was dropped when there are point deductions. A point will also be taken away for each subsequent knockdown. However, if both combatants are knocked out in the same round, they will essentially neutralise one another.

Olympic Weight Categories

In boxing, there are 13 weight divisions—eight for men and five for women.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee has trimmed the men's competitions from 10 to 8, hoping to attract more female fighters.


  • Flyweight (48-52kg)
  • Featherweight (52-57kg)
  • Lightweight (57-63kg)
  • Welterweight (63-69kg)
  • Middleweight (69-75kg)
  • Light Heavyweight (75-81kg)
  • Heavyweight (81-91kg)
  • Super Heavyweight (+91kg)


  • Flyweight (48-51kg)
  • Featherweight (54-57kg)
  • Lightweight (57-60kg)
  • Welterweight (64-69kg)
  • Middleweight (69-75kg)

Boxing tournament format

how does boxing betting work

The Olympic boxing competition uses a straightforward knockout style, with withdrawals occurring randomly for each weight class. The winners of each match advance to the next round.

The silver medal is awarded to the loser, while the gold medal is awarded to the final contest winner. Bronze medals are awarded to both boxers who lost in the semifinals.

Boxing rules at the Olympics

To prevent injuries, boxers put on protective gloves. However, it is against the law for them to strike the opponent anyplace below the waist or to the back of the head.

Protective headgear is required for women's Olympic boxing; however, since the 2016 Olympics, headgear has not been worn by males competing in the sport.

There are three rounds in an Olympic boxing match, each lasting three minutes. The interval between each round is one minute.

A boxer may prevail by knockout or KO. A boxer wins by knockout (KO) when they successfully land enough legal blows to knock their opponent to the ground, and they cannot get back up before the referee counts to ten. In this instance, the fight is over right away.

In the event of a draw or no knockout, the three-round fight is decided on points. Five judges award points to the boxers based on their technique, dominance of the fight, amount of hits to the intended targets, and tactical skill. The basis for deductions can also be infringement.

Each judge selects a winner at the conclusion of each round, and the winner is given 10 points for the round. Seven to nine points may be awarded to the round's loser.

Each judge selects the ultimate winner after the contest. If the verdict of all five judges is that the victor has won two or more rounds, the fighter is declared the winner by a unanimous decision. If they disagree, the winner is decided by a split vote while the majority opinion is taken into consideration.

Why Do Boxing Weight Classes Vary So Much?

Boxing is one of the most gruelling sports. With just one mistake, a boxer stands the risk of not only losing a match but also maybe suffering a major injury. The sport still has a natural sense of fairness in it despite all of its roughness. The finest illustration of this is the range of weight classes used in professional boxing.

According to Bleacher Report, many people are baffled by the demand for so many weight classes—17 in total. In some cases, finding the top boxer in a certain division can be difficult. So let's look at complications and assess the benefits and drawbacks of having so many weight divisions.

The pros of so many weight classes

Even a slight weight discrepancy can result in a significant advantage for professional fighters. This type of mismatch is eliminated by weight classes, ensuring that skill continues to be the deciding element in the winner. No matter how skilled they were, a smaller boxer would have slim chances of ever winning a championship with fewer weight classes.

Furthermore, boxers' safety is taken into consideration when designing weight classes. The smaller fighter has a considerably higher chance of incurring a serious injury in an unbalanced encounter. Simply, using smaller boxers against physically stronger opponents would make boxing more dangerous than it already is.

Cons of having so many weight classes

Having so many weight categories is frequently criticised for the problems it causes with championship belts. How many sports come to mind where there are 17 different champions each year? Opponents of the existing weight-class system contend that it lessens the significance of winning a title. It would be comparable to the NBA having many leagues for players of various heights.

Boxing's status as a niche sport is strengthened by its fractionalized structure. You don't have to be an avid football fan to watch the Super Bowl and understand what is happening. For casual viewers, boxing makes it much more difficult to comprehend. It isn't easy to judge which matches are worthwhile when there are 17 distinct title contests.

What Are Rehydration Clauses?

Rehydration clauses are frequently used to prevent a boxer's weight from fluctuating significantly between the weigh-in and the commencement of the fight. This means that after the weigh-in and before the fight, a fighter cannot gain more weight than what was previously agreed upon.

Fighters may put on ten pounds or more before the bout starts since dehydration might induce excessive weight loss in order to make the limit.

There are a few reasons why that might not be a good idea. One, severe dehydration can endanger a fighter's health over the course of his career and, in the short term, render him unable to compete safely the next day. Second, even if someone is healthy after being rehydrated, his adversary or a governing body can view weight increase as an unfair advantage.

What Are Catchweights?

Catchweight allows for agreements to be made between competitors at unconventional weight limitations. There are numerous methods and causes for this to happen.

Making a fight between two competitors who are unwilling to move by such a great distance to meet a certain competitor in one class or another is one such scenario. The other rival would likewise be unwilling to move in the other way.

For instance, a light-heavyweight at 175 pounds could feel uncomfortable dropping seven pounds to face a super middleweight, and the fighter at 168 pounds might not want to try adding another seven pounds. Then, although there is no standard division restriction, they may decide to fight at 171 pounds, which would allow the two to shift their weights less radically.

If one combatant is unable to cut the predetermined weight, catchweight might also be agreed upon to save the bout. For instance, if a lightweight boxer weighs in at 136 pounds, he might lose money and forfeit any titles that were at stake. A catchweight of 136 pounds may be utilised if the two still decide to engage in combat to fulfil their commitment to putting on a show.

Another instance may be a boxer who wishes to compete for a certain title in a traditional weight class but will only do so if his opponent agrees to a non-traditional restriction inside the division. This can be the case because a boxer with a smaller build does not want to offer a taller opponent a weight advantage. For instance, two welterweights might consent to a 145-pound weight limit.


Scroll to Top