Amateur boxing is practiced at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sponsored by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing bouts are short in duration and fighters wear head protection, so this type of competition prizes point-scoring (based on number of clean punches landed) rather than physical power. Bouts comprise four rounds of two minutes in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and four rounds of two minutes in a national ABA (Amateur Boxing Association) bout, each with a one-minute interval between rounds.


Competitors wear protective headgear and gloves with a white strip across the knuckle. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands on the head or torso is awarded a point. A referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows (a belt worn over the torso represents the lower limit of punches - any boxer repeatedly landing "low blows" is disqualified). Referees also ensure that the boxers don't use holding tactics to prevent the opponent from swinging (if this occurs, the referee separates the opponents and orders them to continue boxing. Repeated holding can result in a boxer being penalized, or ultimately, disqualified). Referees will stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the score is severely imbalanced.[1] Bouts which end this way may be noted as "RSC" (referee stopped contest) with notations for an outclassed opponent (RSCO), outscored opponent (RSCOS), injury (RCSI) or head injury (RSCH).

Weight divisionsEdit

Men's weight divisionsEdit

  • Light Flyweight 48 kg
  • Flyweight 51 kg
  • Bantamweight 54 kg
  • Featherweight 57 kg
  • Lightweight 60 kg
  • Light Welterweight 64 kg
  • Welterweight 69 kg
  • Middleweight 75 kg
  • Light Heavyweight 81 kg
  • Heavyweight 91 kg
  • Super Heavyweight 91 kg +

Woman and junior weight divisionsEdit

  • Strawweight 46 kg
  • Light Flyweight 48 kg
  • Flyweight 50 kg
  • Light Bantamweight 52 kg
  • Bantamweight 54 kg
  • Featherweight 57 kg
  • Lightweight 60 kg
  • Light Welterweight 63 kg
  • Welterweight 66 kg
  • Light Middleweight 70 kg
  • Middleweight 75 kg
  • Light Heavyweight 80 kg
  • Heavyweight 86 kg
  • Butchweight 92kg +


Amateur boxing emerged as a sport during the mid-late 1800s, partly as a result of the moral controversies surrounding professional prize-fighting. Originally lampooned as an effort by upper and middle-class gentlemen to co-opt a traditionally working class sport, the safer, "scientific" style of boxing found favor in schools, universities and in the armed forces, although the champions still usually came from among the urban poor.

The Queensberry Amateur Championships continued from 1867 to 1885, and so, unlike their professional counterparts, amateur boxers did not deviate from using gloves once the Queensberry Rules had been published. In the United Kingdom, the Amateur Boxing Association (A.B.A.) was formed in 1880 when twelve clubs affiliated. It held its first championships the following year. Four weight classes were contested, Featherweight (9 stone), Lightweight (10 stone), Middleweight (11 stone, 4 pounds) and Heavyweight (no limit). (A stone is equal to 14 pounds.) By 1902, American boxers were contesting the titles in the A.B.A. Championships, which, therefore, took on an international complexion. By 1924, the A.B.A. had 105 clubs in affiliation.

Boxing first appeared at the Olympic Games in 1904 and, apart from the Games of 1912, has always been part of them. From 1972 through 2004, Cuba and the United States have won the most Gold Medals, 29 for Cuba and 21 for the U.S. Internationally, Olympic boxing spread steadily throughout the first half of the 20th century, but when the first international body, the Federation Internationale de Boxe Olympic (International Olympic Boxing Federation) was formed in Paris in 1920, there were only five member nations.

In 1946, however, when the International Amateur Boxing Association (A.I.B.A.) was formed in London, twenty-four nations from five continents were represented, and the A.I.B.A. has continued to be the official world federation of amateur boxing ever since. The first World Amateur Boxing Championships were staged in 1974.[2]

Computer scoring was introduced to the Olympics in 1992. Each of the five judges has a keypad with a red and a blue button. The judges must press a button for which ever corner they feel lands a scoring blow. Three out of the five judges must press the button for the same boxer within a one-second window in order for the point to score. A legal scoring blow is that which is landed cleanly with the white knuckle surface of the glove, within the scoring area (middle of the head, down the sides and between the hips through the belly button, and the boxer can't be committing a foul (slapping, ducking head, wrestling, holding, etc). As long as the punches land within the scoring area, they are legal and that includes body punches, as well as those to the face. When computer scoring is used, and one opponent is leading by 20 points at any time before the fourth round, the referee is notified and the bout is stopped on an RSCOS - meaning the referee stopped the contest as the opponent was outscored.

United States amateur boxing organizationsEdit

Amateur boxing can be considered any amateur fight at a local boxing gym, but there are several tournaments that take place to determine amateur champions.

There are several different amateur sanctioning bodies in the United States, including the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the United States, the Golden Gloves Association of America, and USA Boxing.

The Golden Gloves is an amateur boxing tournament that is fought at both the national level and the regional level. Although the Golden Gloves typically refers to the National Golden Gloves, it can also refer to the Intercity Golden Gloves, the Chicago Golden Gloves, the New York Golden Gloves, and other regional Golden Gloves tournaments. The winners of the regional tournaments fight in a national competition annually.

USA Boxing also sanctions a national tournament to determine who will compete on the United States National boxing team at the Olympic Games.

See alsoEdit

  • World Amateur Boxing Championships
  • European Amateur Boxing Championships
  • USA Boxing

External linksEdit


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