All Olympic boxing bouts are four rounds of two minutes each with a one-minute rest period between rounds. Fights can end for a variety of reasons. Here are some:

Win on Points (PTS)Edit

This is the most common type of win. At the end of a contest, the boxer who has been awarded the most points is declared the winner. If both boxers are injured or knocked out at the same time and cannot continue, the judges record the points gained by each boxer up to the contest's conclusion, and the boxer who was leading on points is declared the winner.

Win on Retirement (RET)Edit

If a boxer stops fighting due to injury or another cause, or if he fails to resume boxing immediately after the rest between rounds, his opponent is declared the winner. In addition, a boxer's corner can throw a towel or sponge into the ring, thereby surrendering victory to the opponent.

==Win by Referee Stopping Contest== (RSC) There are two scenarios in which a referee will stop a contest: 1) If a boxer, in the referee's opinion, is being outclassed or excessively punished, the bout is terminated and his opponent is declared the winner. 2) If a boxer, in the ref's opinion, has been rendered physically unable to continue, the bout will be stopped and his opponent will be declared the winner. This is the equivalent of a TKO, although that term is not used in amateur boxing.

A slight variation on the RSC ruling is RSCH, where a fight gets stopped because a boxer withstands excessive blows to the head. The referee has the right to make this decision, and may consult a doctor. However, whenever a referee consults the doctor, he must then follow the doctor's advice.

Win by Disqualification (DQ)Edit

If a boxer is disqualified, his opponent is declared the winner. A disqualified boxer usually can't win a medal. Only a decision by the Executive Committee can award a disqualified boxer a medal. One famous example of this ruling is the disqualification of Evander Holyfield, a light heavyweight in 1984. Holyfield was disqualified from his semifinal bout, but the Executive Committee elected to award him a bronze. If both boxers are disqualified, then neither wins and that result is announced.

Win by Knockout (KO)Edit

If a boxer is down on the mat and fails to resume boxing within 10 seconds, his opponent is declared the winner via knockout. The count begins one second after the boxer has been knocked to the floor and the opponent goes to his neutral corner. The count is discontinued if the opponent does not go to the neutral corner. The count also may begin if a boxer is hanging on the ropes or has his body partially outside the ropes as a result of being hit.

Win by Walkover (WO)Edit

If a boxer is present in the ring with full attire, and his opponent fails to show after his name has been introduced on the public address system, and the bell has sounded and three minutes have elapsed, the referee declares the boxer present the winner.

No Contest (NC)Edit

A bout may be stopped by the referee before the scheduled time due to an incident outside the responsibility of the boxers or the control of the referee, such as the ring being damaged, a failure of the lights, etc. In such cases, the bout will be declared "no contest," and the jury shall decide the necessary further action.

Computerized SystemEdit

Plagued by seemingly endless scoring controversies, AIBA (amateur boxing's international governing body) decided to implement a system of electronic scoring after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The system was first used at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

The computer does not score the bouts but rather tabulates and condenses the scores of the five ringside judges, who must watch carefully as blows are traded rapidly. Each judge has a keyboard and presses either a red or blue button when the corresponding fighter throws what is considered to be a scoring punch. If three of the five judges depress either the red or blue button on their console within one second -- beginning at the moment when any one judge presses his button -- a point is registered for the boxer.

To have scoring value, a blow must land directly with the opponent's knuckles of his closed glove (indicated by the portion of the glove that is white), on any part of the front or sides of the head, or anywhere in the chest above the belt. Blows that are blocked or landed on the arms will not be recorded as scoring hits. A blow that causes a knockdown counts the same as any other blow.


Warnings can also be reflected in the scoring. When the referee issues a warning to one boxer, the judges may award two points to the other competitor. If a judge agrees that the referee has properly cited a boxer (which is often the case), he then hits a button on his console designated for a warning. The judge must decide the validity of the warning between the time the referee a) says, "stop," b) mimics the violation to the boxer and repeats the gesture for judges, and then c) says, "box," thus resuming the fight.


In the event of a tie at the end of a bout, the judges shall award the decision to the boxer who has been more aggressive or who has shown the better style. If equal in that regard, the judges decide who has shown the better defense (blocking, parrying, ducking, side-stepping, etc.) that made the opponent's attacks miss.


In an effort to ensure neutrality, the referee and the five judges for each contest are selected by the AIBA Commission of Refereeing and Judging according to the following guidelines: • Each official is of a different country and association from each other and from each of the competitors. • Each official is not from a nation that is part of a dominion, colony or dependency of the country of any of the boxers. • No more than two officials in the same bout may come from the same continent.


The jury monitors and oversees the electronic scoring system and confirms all decisions. The jury cannot overturn the decision of the judges unless a protest is filed.


Protests can be lodged by a team manager within half an hour of the termination of a bout, along with a protest deposit of $200. If the protest is upheld, the money will be refunded. Protests against the decisions of a referee or judge are permitted: • When the referee has given a decision which is clearly against the Articles and Rules of AIBA. When considering such an incident, the Jury may use a videotape recorder. • When it is obvious that the judges have made a mistake which results in a wrong verdict.


An Olympic boxing ring is a square with sides measuring 20 feet (6.10 meters) inside the ropes. Each boxer is assigned to a color that has turnbuckles of similar color to their uniforms. The two corners with white turnbuckles are neutral corners -- where boxers are sent by the referee during the match if necessary.

Olympic qualificationEdit

Each National Olympic Committee may enter a maximum of one competitor per weight class, provided he has qualified under the guidelines of AIBA, boxing's international governing body. There will be a maximum of 286 boxers in the Olympic tournament, and each continent will be assigned a certain percentage of that total. Beginning in August 2007, a series of Olympic qualifiers in Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania were staged. No competitor under the age of 17 is permitted to participate. No competitor over the age of 34 is allowed to participate, except for those boxers who turn 35 during the Olympic tournament.

Competition format TournamentEdit

Olympic boxing features single-elimination tournaments for each of the 11 weight classes. While it may be necessary to randomly distribute byes (so the second round features 32 or 16 boxers), there are no seeds. Therefore, it's possible for the top two boxers in a division to draw each other in the first round. The two boxers who lose in the semifinals do not box-off for the bronze medal; instead, each receives a bronze.

Draw The Olympic tournament draw takes place at least a month before the competition starts. It is conducted under the direction of AIBA, amateur boxing's governing body, in the presence of official representatives of the teams involved.

Weigh-ins In the Olympics, all boxers are required to attend an official weigh-in on the morning of the first day of boxing competition between 8 and 10 a.m. The weight a competitor registers that morning will determine his class, but he is still required to weigh in each day he competes thereafter.

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