Hello all, Scott Asner here. I have been a fan of boxing for decades, and I’ve watched as boxing has seen a surge in popularity, especially because of the internet. Boxers are not just athletes anymore, they help the sport grow by also being influencers on social media. Many new fans are drawn in first by boxing personalities such as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, and they learn about the intricacies of the sport as their interest becomes deeper. If you are a fan that is new to boxing, here are some of the basics you might want to know!
You may have heard some boxers called “heavyweight champions,” but did you know that there are several different weight classes? Weight classes, also known as weight divisions, are used to group boxers and other athletes into a similar range so their fight is fair. After all, if a 120lb fighter goes up against a 200lb boxer, it’s going to be a much easier fight for the heavier boxer. In professional boxing, there are usually eight recognized classes, ranging from 108lbs to over 200lbs. The classes are: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight.
Are all boxing gloves created equal? If you’re a new boxing fan, you may not realize that boxing gloves vary greatly. Similar to how athletes have weight classes, gloves can range from 8 to 16oz. Boxing gloves are designed to protect the wearer’s hand, as well as the other fighter’s head, but although cuts are less common these days, gloves do not prevent brain injuries. Boxing gloves worn in competition have strict regulations about weight, markings, and padding. White markings on gloves help judges see where a boxer’s knuckles are. Padding can be made from horsehair, foam, or both. Horsehair lasts longer and is better for the environment than PVC, a common material for foam gloves, but is also less protective. Most modern gloves use PVC and latex, and boxers also wrap their hands and wrists with cotton bandages for extra protection.
Boxing matches are fast-paced and exciting, but they might be difficult to follow if you are unfamiliar with the sport. So how does boxing actually work? Basically, a fighter can only use their knuckles or they may receive a foul or even be disqualified. Boxers are not allowed to hit with anything other than a closed fist, so headbutting, kicking, elbowing, or using any other body part will be considered a foul. Even hitting with an open hand or the side of the hand is not allowed. Boxers are also restricted to punching certain places: hitting below the waist or “below the belt” is not allowed. Hits to the back of the head, neck, and kidneys are also prohibited.
So how do boxers win their match? One way to win is to simply score higher, which is determined subjectively by the judges. You’ve probably also heard of KO’s and TKO’s, which stand for “Knock-Out” and “Technical Knock-Out,” but boxers are not necessarily unconscious when they lose a match— boxing would be a lot more dangerous if that were the case! A knock-out happens when a boxer falls to the mat and does not get up before the referee counts to ten. A technical knockout usually occurs when a boxer can no longer safely continue, usually decided by the judges, coaches, or doctors. Some rules say that if a player is knocked down three times, it is considered a TKO.
If you are a new boxing fan, I hope you learned something from this post, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy this exciting sport. Thank you for reading!
~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.
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