Boxing, as you may already know girls, is definitely not for the fainthearted.. and that’s just watching it, let alone competing!
However, looking beyond that strong right hook and those swollen black eyes the appeal of boxing is in its raw simplicity.
The most famous boxer to ever step into the ring, Muhammed Ali once said…. “I float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee….”
After seeing some of the punches he’s landed, the image of a fragile and delicate butterfly I know is rather hard to muster, however we’ll try our best ladies, as we take you back to basics in the sport of boxing…
Boxing has a history that spans centuries and is one of the simplest in its nature as 2 people fight each other with just their fists in hope of achieving a knockout.
Although to the immediate eye, boxing appears to be somewhat of a brawl, it is far from it girls. The sport boasts a regimented and technical rule book and fighters must be completely disciplined, often following the notion of.. “train hard, fight easy”.
As the sport is extremely high contact, boxers must follow the rules to prevent serious injury.
So here goes the historical part….
Like we’ve said, varying forms of boxing date back to the 1800’s, when the National Sporting Club, a private club in London, encouraged glove fighting on its own premises. This resulted in what we now know as the Queensbury Rules. The British Boxing Board of Control was formed around a similar time in 1919, with strong links to the N.S.C, however ten years later the private club closed and the B.B.B.C then reformed.
The modern day game as we know it, is generally dated back to the early 1900’s, and since then has become home to numerous household boxing names.
Muhammed Ali being one of the most famous fighters, accompanied by George Foreman… (and yes we are referring to the same man who encourages us to eat lean chicken ladies!) Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and present day champions such as, Manny Pacquiao and the very dishy David Haye.
Fighters compete in a raised, square platform called the ring. The surface is made from canvas with a light padding to protect the fighter if they are knocked down.
Flexible ropes enclose the ring, and join at the four corners. Two of these opposite corners are where the fighters retire after each round, to have a quick water break or receive treatment if needed.
The exact size of the ring is dependant on the organisation that is sanctioning the fight. The dimensions can range from 16-25 feet, the larger ones are often used on an Olympic scale bouts or for higher profile championship fights.
The most sought-after way to win a boxing match is to win via knock-out, however this isn’t always the case. Fighters are scored by three individual judges that sit ringside, and if a knock-out hasn’t been achieved, boxers fate can be determined via a points system.
A fighter is awarded points if they land a successful, legal punch on their opponent. After all rounds have been fought, the boxer who has achieved the most majority points from the judges is the winner.
To accompany the strict points system and the overall conditioning of the sport, there are a number of things a boxer is forbidden to do, whilst inside the ring. These are set to prevent injury and maintain order and control.
They are as follow….
Strike below the belt
Strike when an opponent is down on the canvas
Strike with any other part of the body apart from the fist.
Biting Ears (However, Mike Tyson struggled to adhere to this one!)
Grab onto the ropes
If a fighter is found guilty of any of the above, points may be deducted or in some cases the boxer can be disqualified.
Professional boxing matches last 12 rounds, 3 minutes to each round.
Well… that’s if it goes the distance! If not, and the fight is cut short by a knock-out, it’ll often take a lot of drama, sweat and tears to get there, which is always quite entertaining to watch!
Boxing as a sport is a spectacle that lives up to the hype it portrays. Stick with it girls, even if you do wince every now and then, it’s well worth it!