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What Is A Boxing Sport?

Boxing is a combat sport that involves fighting with fists. Traditionally, boxing has also been referred to as "pugilism," which means "fist-fight." Fights occur in an area called a "ring" and consist of timed rounds. Winners are decided by points or by knocking out an opponent. A referee runs the fight inside the ring while judges outside the ring ultimately decide who wins the match.

Boxing has also become a popular fitness trend for people trying to lose weight or get in better shape. However, if you don't believe that boxing is a great workout, try punching something as hard as you can for three consecutive minutes, and you'll find out how great of a workout boxing can be!

Boxing is a sport that has been around for thousands of years, becoming an official Olympic event in 688 B.C. There is even evidence of boxing occurring in ancient Egypt. Modern-day sports boxing involves two athletes punching each other with padded gloves, trying to knock their opponent down and out. These fights usually last 3-12 rounds, with each round usually lasting three minutes.

There are countless boxing gyms and boxing boot camps across the country that can be joined by pretty much anyone in the fitness industry. These workouts usually include various types of punching bags, jumping rope, and sit-ups (think about all the training montages in the Rocky movies).

These high-intensity types of exercise in boxing makes it a great form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise involves large groups of muscles, stresses the cardiovascular system, and increases a person's rate of breathing. Again, try punching something as hard as you can for three consecutive minutes, and you'll see how fast your heart will be beating and how hard you will be breathing!


Although ice hockey and football certainly have their violent episodes, boxing is the only sport in which bloodying one's opponent is not only acceptable but expected. Head butts are common, and fighters wrap their arms around each other as a way of momentarily stopping the pounding.


The term "boxing" is derived from the term "pugilism" from the ancient Latin word, "pugil" meaning "a boxer". This is related to the Latin "pugnus", meaning "fist", and derived from the Greek word "pyx", meaning "with a clenched fist".


Boxing has often been called the loneliest sport. This is true in many different ways. When a fighter is in the ring, they are alone. It is fully up to the boxer alone to make it through the rounds and survive. The coach and the team in the corner cannot do much after the bell rings. From that point on, it is a fighter against another. While the purpose is not to hurt one another, getting hurt is a definite possibility. Many fighters have died in the ring. The goal is to get as many points as possible, but often the audience is hoping for a knockout. Boxing is, after all, entertainment and boxers are entertainers.


Let's get one thing straight: it's not called hugging in boxing.

Instead, it's known as clinching. In a clinch, your arms are over your opponent's, at which point you put your forehead on their shoulder and hold tight while leaning as much of your weight on them as possible.

Dirty boxing is a term used to describe a group of unorthodox techniques and tactics fighters use in combat sports. Some of these moves are legal, while others are on the borderline of being illegal. This is why we called it "dirty", as skilled fighters can often land an illegal strike and get away with it.

Boxing History

Boxing originated when a person first lifted a fist against another in play. Different eras of the sport have been distinguished by the use or nonuse of fist coverings. The ancient Greeks believed fist fighting was one of the games played by the gods on Olympus; thus, it became part of the Olympic Games in about 688 B.C. 

Homer has a reference to boxing in the Iliad. During Roman times, the sport began to thrive on a wide scale. Boxers fought with leather bands around their fists for protection and sometimes wore metal-filled, leather hand coverings called cesti, resulting in bloody, often duel-to-death, battles. Boxing diminished after the fall of Rome. However, it was revived in the 18th century in England and became especially popular during the championship reign of James Figg, who held the heavyweight title from 1719 through 1730. Boxing became a workingman's sport during the Industrial Revolution as prizefights attracted participants and spectators from the working class. 

The organisation was minimal at first, and the bouts resembled street fights.

The second heavyweight champion, Jack Broughton of England, drew his own set of rules for his fights, and these were recognised in 1743. They outlawed some of the gorier aspects that the sport had acquired, such as hitting below the beltline. In addition, Broughton insisted upon a squared-off area instead of a ring of spectators — hence, the name ring. His rules governed what is known as the "bare-knuckle era."

Boxing Rules

In essence, boxing may well be the world's oldest sport. At its most basic, it is fighting, and since there has been man, there has been conflict. However, it is certainly as old as 688 BC when it was included in the ancient Olympic Games, although more regulated, codified versions of boxing date to about the 1500s. Carvings dating to the 3rd millennium B.C. show people fist-fighting in front of audiences, so it is safe to say the art of pugilism is an ancient one indeed.

More modern rules have included Broughton's rules from 1743, the London Prize Ring rules (1838) and the more well-known Marquess of Queensbury Rules which date to 1867. At its best, boxing is graceful, elegant, and explosive. It is a magnificent example of the human body's abilities and a few spectacles that can match the sight of two top heavyweights going toe to toe.

Types Of Boxing

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  • Shadowboxing. In shadowboxing, punches are thrown in the air without a target. Shadowboxing is used to practice techniques and as a warm-up activity.
  • Fitness boxing. In fitness boxing, there is no contact between participants. Boxing moves are used strictly for fitness, and participants either shadow boxes or use punching bags.
  • Kickboxing. As the name implies, kickboxing incorporates strikes with the legs and feet and punching with the arms and fists. However, where modern boxing is Western in origin, kickboxing is Eastern and incorporates aspects of martial arts such as karate.
  • Muay Thai. Muay Thai is Thai boxing and incorporates strikes with the fists, elbows, knees, and shins.

What Are The Different Weight Classes In Boxing?


Weight Limit: 105 pounds

The minimumweight division was first introduced at the Summer Olympics in Mexico in 1968, with the lightest weight limit of 105 lbs. However, the IBF sanctioned the first world minimum title fight between Kyung-Yun Lee and Masaharu Kawakami in June 1987. Lee took the championship belt and was announced as the first minimum weight champion of the world. This category is also known as strawweight or mini flyweight, depending on who you ask. 


Weight Limit: 108 pounds

First established by the New York Walker Law in 1920 as 'junior flyweight,' at a weight limit of 108 lbs, the junior flyweight division would soon be abolished, with no champion being given the title during that time. 

Fast forward to 1975, it was re-introduced by the WBC as 'light flyweight.' The inaugural champion was Francisco Udella, after a disqualification win against Valentin Martinez.


Weight Limit: 112 pounds

First established in 1909 by the NSC at a weight limit of 112 lbs, this division was also officially a part of the Walker Law set up in 1920. Subsequently, it was also recognised by the NBA and NYSAC in 1927.


Weight Limit: 115 pounds

Like many other divisions, super flyweight is considered to be created by the New York Walker Law in 1920. It was first named junior bantamweight, at a weight limit set at 115 lbs, but there are no records of any titles held in this division until 1980.


Weight Limit: 118 pounds

Bantamweight was first established in the 1890s by the American Boxing Association. It would subsequently appear under other rules, such as The Queensberry Rules and the London Prize Ring Rules, in which the weight limit fluctuated between 105 lbs and 116 lbs. However, the NSC officially sanctioned it in 1909 at the current weight limit of 118 lbs. 


Weight limit: 122lbs

Super Bantamweight, also known as Junior Featherweight, is one of the 'tweener' divisions between two more glamorous weights. It was established at 122lbs by the New York Walker Law in 120 and then recognised by major bodies from 1976.


Weight limit: 126lbs

The featherweight has seen its definition shift over the years. The weight now is 126lbs, but the first limit in the U.S. was 114lbs, but that was moved gradually to 126lbs when it was fixed in 1920.


Weight limit: 130lbs

The Super Featherweight division began under the auspices of the New York Walker Law in 1920 before being ratified by the New York State Athletic Commission in 1930. However, the first English champion was crowned in 1914, with the designation given to "Battling Kid" Nelson. The class was suspended from 1933 before coming back into competition in 1960 until today.


Weight limit: 135lbs

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The Lightweight classification is one of the eight classic weight divisions, with the first Olympic champion being recognised in the 1904 games when American boxer Harry Spanger claimed the title. Benny Leonard ranked as one of the greatest boxers, is the fighter to hold the championship for the longest period at seven years, seven months and 17 days.


Weight limit: 140lbs

The first Light Welterweight championship was awarded in 1946 to Pinky Mitchell following a vote by Boxing Blade magazine after the class was withdrawn by the New York State Athletic Commission in 1930. The National Boxing Association withdrew its recognition in 1935. Its credible return to fighting was around 1959 when Carlos Ortiz won the vacant title.


Weight limit: 147lbs

The Welterweight division straddles the gap between Lightweight and Middleweight. Puerto Rican Felix Trinidad, one of the finest boxers from the territory, is the longest-reigning champion with a spell lasting six years, eight months and 14 days.


Weight limit: 154lbs

The division was started in 1962 when the Austrian Board of Control ratified a fight between Teddy Wright and Emile Griffith for the world championship, about which Griffith won after 15 rounds. A WBA championship was then created, with the WBC kicking off its belt in 1975. The IBF then put up its first championship in 1984, and the WBO did the same in 1988. As a result, the division boasts some of the biggest names in boxing's modern era, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.


Weight limit: 160lbs

The middleweight division is one of the oldest in professional sport, believed to have been established in the 1840s, and there are records of a championship bare-knuckle fight in 1867. The first Olympic champion, Charles Mayer, was crowned in 1904.


Weight limit: 168lbs

The Super Middleweight class came about from a short-lived Junior Light Heavyweight designation in the 1960s at 167lbs, as a class to bridge the gap between the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions. In 1984, the IBF crowned Murray Sutherland, with the WBA and WBC following years after. 


Weight limit: 175lb

The Light Heavyweight division is known for producing a handful of champions who have been able to step up to the full Heavyweight class, including Michael Spinks, Roy Jones Jr, Ezzard Charles, Floyd Patterson, and Evander Holyfield. In addition, Bernard Hopkins is known as one of the best fighters in history who competed across for decades, from the 1980s onwards.


Weight limit: 200lbs

Cruiserweight originally enforced a 190lb limit, but that has now increased to 200lbs. The first body to legislate for fights in the division was the WBC, in 1979, to accommodate smaller heavyweight fighters and allow the step up from the light heavyweight division. Oleksandr Usyk is a recent example of a fighter to move up to the heavyweight class, and Evander Holyfield was able to move up and claim belts at both weights.


Weight limit: 200lbs

Bridgerweight is the newest class in boxing and is for fighters between 200lbs and 224lbs. The WBC announced it in 2020, but no other major body has elected to recognise the classification to date.


Weight limit: Unlimited

There is no limit on the upper weight for Heavyweight fighters, but the lower bound has trended upwards over the history of boxing, as athletes have grown taller and bigger. In the 1800s, a 170lb fighter might have been considered a heavyweight. That was formalised as 175lbs in the 1920s, and when the cruiserweight division emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, a heavyweight would have been expected to weigh more than 190lbs, 195lbs, and then 200lbs. The heaviest champion in the division is Nikolay Valuev, who came in at 324lbs when he fought John Ruiz in 2005.

What Are The 4 Styles of Boxing?

The Swarmer ‍

Sometimes called the crowder or the in-fighter - is every pure technical boxer's nightmare. They are relentless and aggressive. On the other hand, a swarmer is a fighter who endeavours to beat their opponent by being very defensive and putting consistent pressure on the opponent. They just keep punching over and over again, giving their opponent very little room to get a punch in edgewise. 

The swarmer is one of the more difficult styles to achieve, as it requires nearly perfect form and the stamina to apply pressure to the other boxer continuously. Most fighters endeavour to make a swarmer status, but it takes many years of training to perfect the technique needed to overwhelm an opponent with a flurry of punches. 

The Slugger

As the name suggests, a fighter that practices the slugger approach relies on power punches to knock their opponent out. That's why they are effective against a swarmer! Although a swarmer is inside throwing non-stop punches, the slugger only has to land one powerful punch, and the fight is over. They rely on the sheer brutality of their punches to win the bout, rather than timing or the number of jabs thrown.

Sluggers usually have strong chins and aren't afraid to take a few hits. They have to because they are generally bigger and move slower. As a result, they tend to throw fewer punches, but the ones they land are devastating, as a single punch could knock an opponent out cold. 

The Out-Boxer

The out-boxer (also out-fighter, pure boxer, boxer) is the opposite of the Boxer-Puncher. The out-boxer seeks to maintain that gap and fight with faster, longer range punches. Out-boxers are known for being extremely quick on their feet, which often makes up for lack of power. Since they rely on the weaker jabs and straights (as opposed to hooks and uppercuts),

The Boxer-Puncher

The last category, 'boxer-puncher,' is a hybrid style used to describe fighters with good all-around boxing/punching skills and capabilities. They possess the technical skill and grace of an out-boxer and a slugger's devastating power. Boxer-punchers usually do well against out-boxers, especially if they can match their speed and mobility. Their only downfall is the big sluggers because once again, it only takes one punch, and the lights are out.


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