Boxing

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Amateur boxing is both an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport and is a common fixture in most international games—it also has its own World Championships. Boxing is overseen by a referee over a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds.

The result is decided when an opponent is deemed incapable to continue by a referee, is disqualified for breaking a rule, or resigns by throwing in a towel. If a fight completes all of its allocated rounds, the victor is determined by judges' scorecards at the end of the contest. In the event that both fighters gain equal scores from the judges, professional bouts are considered a draw. In Olympic boxing, because a winner must be declared, judges award the content to one fighter on technical criteria.

While humans have fought in hand-to-hand combat since the dawn of human history, the earliest evidence of fist-fighting sporting contests date back to the ancient Near East in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC.[2] The earliest evidence of boxing rules date back to Ancient Greece, where boxing was established as an Olympic game in 688 BC.[2] Boxing evolved from 16th- and 18th-century prizefights, largely in Great Britain, to the forerunner of modern boxing in the mid-19th century with the 1867 introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

Boxing
Boxing Tournament in Aid of King George's Fund For Sailors at the Royal Naval Air Station, Henstridge, Somerset, July 1945 A29806
Two Royal Navy men boxing for charity. The modern sport was codified in England.
Also known asWestern Boxing, Pugilism See note.[1]
FocusPunching, striking
Country of originPrehistoric
ParenthoodBare-knuckle boxing
Olympic sport688 BC (Ancient Greece)
1904 (modern)

History

Ancient history

Young boxers fresco, Akrotiri, Greece
A painting of Minoan youths boxing, from an Akrotiri fresco circa 1650 BC. This is the earliest documented use of boxing gloves.
Ancient Greece, Boxers (youths), Panathenaic Amphora
A boxing scene depicted on a Panathenaic amphora from Ancient Greece, circa 336 BC, British Museum

The earliest known depiction of boxing comes from a Sumerian relief in Iraq from the 3rd millennium BC.[2] Later depictions from the 2nd millennium BC are found in reliefs from the Mesopotamian nations of Assyria and Babylonia, and in Hittite art from Asia Minor. A relief sculpture from Egyptian Thebes (c. 1350 BC) shows both boxers and spectators.[2] These early Middle-Eastern and Egyptian depictions showed contests where fighters were either bare-fisted or had a band supporting the wrist.[2] The earliest evidence of fist fighting with the use of gloves can be found on Minoan Crete (c. 1500–1400 BC).[2]

Various types of boxing existed in ancient India. The earliest references to musti-yuddha come from classical Vedic epics such as the Ramayana and Rig Veda. The Mahabharata describes two combatants boxing with clenched fists and fighting with kicks, finger strikes, knee strikes and headbutts.[3] Duels (niyuddham) were often fought to the death. During the period of the Western Satraps, the ruler Rudradaman - in addition to being well-versed in "the great sciences" which included Indian classical music, Sanskrit grammar, and logic - was said to be an excellent horseman, charioteer, elephant rider, swordsman and boxer.[4] The Gurbilas Shemi, an 18th-century Sikh text, gives numerous references to musti-yuddha.

In Ancient Greece boxing was a well developed sport and enjoyed consistent popularity. In Olympic terms, it was first introduced in the 23rd Olympiad, 688 BC. The boxers would wind leather thongs around their hands in order to protect them. There were no rounds and boxers fought until one of them acknowledged defeat or could not continue. Weight categories were not used, which meant heavyweights had a tendency to dominate. The style of boxing practiced typically featured an advanced left leg stance, with the left arm semi-extended as a guard, in addition to being used for striking, and with the right arm drawn back ready to strike. It was the head of the opponent which was primarily targeted, and there is little evidence to suggest that targeting the body was common.[5]

Boxing was a popular spectator sport in Ancient Rome.[6] In order for the fighters to protect themselves against their opponents they wrapped leather thongs around their fists. Eventually harder leather was used and the thong soon became a weapon. The Romans even introduced metal studs to the thongs to make the cestus. Fighting events were held at Roman Amphitheatres. The Roman form of boxing was often a fight until death to please the spectators who gathered at such events. However, especially in later times, purchased slaves and trained combat performers were valuable commodities, and their lives were not given up without due consideration. Often slaves were used against one another in a circle marked on the floor. This is where the term ring came from. In AD 393, during the Roman gladiator period, boxing was abolished due to excessive brutality. It was not until the late 16th century that boxing re-surfaced in London.

Early London prize ring rules

Blow2
A straight right demonstrated in Edmund Price's The Science of Defence: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, 1867

Records of Classical boxing activity disappeared after the fall of the Western Roman Empire when the wearing of weapons became common once again and interest in fighting with the fists waned. However, there are detailed records of various fist-fighting sports that were maintained in different cities and provinces of Italy between the 12th and 17th centuries. There was also a sport in ancient Rus called Kulachniy Boy or "Fist Fighting".

As the wearing of swords became less common, there was renewed interest in fencing with the fists. The sport would later resurface in England during the early 16th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing sometimes referred to as prizefighting. The first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight in England appeared in 1681 in the London Protestant Mercury, and the first English bare-knuckle champion was James Figg in 1719.[7] This is also the time when the word "boxing" first came to be used. This earliest form of modern boxing was very different. Contests in Mr. Figg's time, in addition to fist fighting, also contained fencing and cudgeling. On 6 January 1681, the first recorded boxing match took place in Britain when Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle (and later Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica) engineered a bout between his butler and his butcher with the latter winning the prize.

Early fighting had no written rules. There were no weight divisions or round limits, and no referee. In general, it was extremely chaotic. An early article on boxing was published in Nottingham, 1713, by Sir Thomas Parkyns, a successful Wrestler from Bunny, Nottinghamshire, who had practised the techniques he described. The article, a single page in his manual of wrestling and fencing, Progymnasmata: The inn-play, or Cornish-hugg wrestler, described a system of headbutting, punching, eye-gouging, chokes, and hard throws, not recognized in boxing today.[8]

The first boxing rules, called the Broughton's rules, were introduced by champion Jack Broughton in 1743 to protect fighters in the ring where deaths sometimes occurred.[9] Under these rules, if a man went down and could not continue after a count of 30 seconds, the fight was over. Hitting a downed fighter and grasping below the waist were prohibited. Broughton encouraged the use of 'mufflers', a form of padded bandage or mitten, to be used in 'jousting' or sparring sessions in training, and in exhibition matches.

Cribb vs Molineaux 1811
Tom Cribb vs Tom Molineaux in a re-match for the heavyweight championship of England, 1811

These rules did allow the fighters an advantage not enjoyed by today's boxers; they permitted the fighter to drop to one knee to end the round and begin the 30-second count at any time. Thus a fighter realizing he was in trouble had an opportunity to recover. However, this was considered "unmanly"[10] and was frequently disallowed by additional rules negotiated by the Seconds of the Boxers.[11] In modern boxing, there is a three-minute limit to rounds (unlike the downed fighter ends the round rule). Intentionally going down in modern boxing will cause the recovering fighter to lose points in the scoring system. Furthermore, as the contestants did not have heavy leather gloves and wristwraps to protect their hands, they used different punching technique to preserve their hands because the head was a common target to hit full out. Almost all period manuals have powerful straight punches with the whole body behind them to the face (including forehead) as the basic blows.[12][13]

The London Prize Ring Rules introduced measures that remain in effect for professional boxing to this day, such as outlawing butting, gouging, scratching, kicking, hitting a man while down, holding the ropes, and using resin, stones or hard objects in the hands, and biting.[14]

Marquess of Queensberry rules (1867)

In 1867, the Marquess of Queensberry rules were drafted by John Chambers for amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London for Lightweights, Middleweights and Heavyweights. The rules were published under the patronage of the Marquess of Queensberry, whose name has always been associated with them.

The June 1894 Leonard–Cushing bout. Each of the six one-minute rounds recorded by the Kinetograph was made available to exhibitors for $22.50.[15] Customers who watched the final round saw Leonard score a knockdown.

There were twelve rules in all, and they specified that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square or similar ring. Rounds were three minutes with one-minute rest intervals between rounds. Each fighter was given a ten-second count if he was knocked down, and wrestling was banned. The introduction of gloves of "fair-size" also changed the nature of the bouts. An average pair of boxing gloves resembles a bloated pair of mittens and are laced up around the wrists.[16] The gloves can be used to block an opponent's blows. As a result of their introduction, bouts became longer and more strategic with greater importance attached to defensive maneuvers such as slipping, bobbing, countering and angling. Because less defensive emphasis was placed on the use of the forearms and more on the gloves, the classical forearms outwards, torso leaning back stance of the bare knuckle boxer was modified to a more modern stance in which the torso is tilted forward and the hands are held closer to the face.

Late 19th and early 20th centuries

Through the late nineteenth century, the martial art of boxing or prizefighting was primarily a sport of dubious legitimacy. Outlawed in England and much of the United States, prizefights were often held at gambling venues and broken up by police.[17] Brawling and wrestling tactics continued, and riots at prizefights were common occurrences. Still, throughout this period, there arose some notable bare knuckle champions who developed fairly sophisticated fighting tactics.

Amateur Boxing Club, Porthaethwy (7005565417)
Amateur Boxing Club, Wales 1963

The English case of R v. Coney in 1882 found that a bare-knuckle fight was an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, despite the consent of the participants. This marked the end of widespread public bare-knuckle contests in England.

The first world heavyweight champion under the Queensberry Rules was "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, who defeated John L. Sullivan in 1892 at the Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans.[18]

The first instance of film censorship in the United States occurred in 1897 when several states banned the showing of prize fighting films from the state of Nevada,[19] where it was legal at the time.

Throughout the early twentieth century, boxers struggled to achieve legitimacy. They were aided by the influence of promoters like Tex Rickard and the popularity of great champions such as John L. Sullivan.

Modern boxing

The sport rising from illegal venues and outlawed prize fighting has become one of the largest multibillion-dollar sports today. A majority of young talent still comes from poverty-stricken areas around the world. Places like Mexico, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe prove to be filled with young aspiring athletes who wish to become the future of boxing. Even in the U.S., places like the inner cities of New York, and Chicago have given rise to promising young talent. According to Rubin, "boxing lost its appeal with the American middle class, and most of who boxes in modern America come from the streets and are street fighters".[20]

Rules

The Marquess of Queensberry rules have been the general rules governing modern boxing since their publication in 1867.[21]

A boxing match typically consists of a determined number of three-minute rounds, a total of up to 9 to 12 rounds. A minute is typically spent between each round with the fighters in their assigned corners receiving advice and attention from their coach and staff. The fight is controlled by a referee who works within the ring to judge and control the conduct of the fighters, rule on their ability to fight safely, count knocked-down fighters, and rule on fouls.

Up to three judges are typically present at ringside to score the bout and assign points to the boxers, based on punches and elbows that connect, defense, knockdowns, hugging and other, more subjective, measures. Because of the open-ended style of boxing judging, many fights have controversial results, in which one or both fighters believe they have been "robbed" or unfairly denied a victory. Each fighter has an assigned corner of the ring, where his or her coach, as well as one or more "seconds" may administer to the fighter at the beginning of the fight and between rounds. Each boxer enters into the ring from their assigned corners at the beginning of each round and must cease fighting and return to their corner at the signalled end of each round.

A bout in which the predetermined number of rounds passes is decided by the judges, and is said to "go the distance". The fighter with the higher score at the end of the fight is ruled the winner. With three judges, unanimous and split decisions are possible, as are draws. A boxer may win the bout before a decision is reached through a knock-out; such bouts are said to have ended "inside the distance". If a fighter is knocked down during the fight, determined by whether the boxer touches the canvas floor of the ring with any part of their body other than the feet as a result of the opponent's punch and not a slip, as determined by the referee, the referee begins counting until the fighter returns to his or her feet and can continue. Some jurisdictions require the referee to count to eight regardless of if the fighter gets up before.

Should the referee count to ten, then the knocked-down boxer is ruled "knocked out" (whether unconscious or not) and the other boxer is ruled the winner by knockout (KO). A "technical knock-out" (TKO) is possible as well, and is ruled by the referee, fight doctor, or a fighter's corner if a fighter is unable to safely continue to fight, based upon injuries or being judged unable to effectively defend themselves. Many jurisdictions and sanctioning agencies also have a "three-knockdown rule", in which three knockdowns in a given round result in a TKO. A TKO is considered a knockout in a fighter's record. A "standing eight" count rule may also be in effect. This gives the referee the right to step in and administer a count of eight to a fighter that he or she feels may be in danger, even if no knockdown has taken place. After counting the referee will observe the fighter, and decide if he or she is fit to continue. For scoring purposes, a standing eight count is treated as a knockdown.

Ingemar Johansson and Floyd Pattersson 1959
Ingemar Johansson of Sweden KO's heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, 26 June 1959.

In general, boxers are prohibited from hitting below the belt, holding, tripping, pushing, biting, or spitting. The boxer's shorts are raised so the opponent is not allowed to hit to the groin area with intent to cause pain or injury. Failure to abide by the former may result in a foul. They also are prohibited from kicking, head-butting, or hitting with any part of the arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, the inside, back or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the head or neck (called a "rabbit-punch") or the kidneys. They are prohibited from holding the ropes for support when punching, holding an opponent while punching, or ducking below the belt of their opponent (dropping below the waist of your opponent, no matter the distance between).

If a "clinch" – a defensive move in which a boxer wraps his or her opponents arms and holds on to create a pause – is broken by the referee, each fighter must take a full step back before punching again (alternatively, the referee may direct the fighters to "punch out" of the clinch). When a boxer is knocked down, the other boxer must immediately cease fighting and move to the furthest neutral corner of the ring until the referee has either ruled a knockout or called for the fight to continue.

Violations of these rules may be ruled "fouls" by the referee, who may issue warnings, deduct points, or disqualify an offending boxer, causing an automatic loss, depending on the seriousness and intentionality of the foul. An intentional foul that causes injury that prevents a fight from continuing usually causes the boxer who committed it to be disqualified. A fighter who suffers an accidental low-blow may be given up to five minutes to recover, after which they may be ruled knocked out if they are unable to continue. Accidental fouls that cause injury ending a bout may lead to a "no contest" result, or else cause the fight to go to a decision if enough rounds (typically four or more, or at least three in a four-round fight) have passed.

Unheard of in the modern era, but common during the early 20th Century in North America, a "newspaper decision (NWS)" might be made after a no decision bout had ended. A "no decision" bout occurred when, by law or by pre-arrangement of the fighters, if both boxers were still standing at the fight's conclusion and there was no knockout, no official decision was rendered and neither boxer was declared the winner. But this did not prevent the pool of ringside newspaper reporters from declaring a consensus result among themselves and printing a newspaper decision in their publications. Officially, however, a "no decision" bout resulted in neither boxer winning or losing. Boxing historians sometimes use these unofficial newspaper decisions in compiling fight records for illustrative purposes only. Often, media outlets covering a match will personally score the match, and post their scores as an independent sentence in their report.

Professional vs. amateur boxing

Prvoslav Vujčić and Roberto Durán
Roberto Durán (right) appeared in a book by Prvoslav Vujčić (left)

Throughout the 17th to 19th centuries, boxing bouts were motivated by money, as the fighters competed for prize money, promoters controlled the gate, and spectators bet on the result. The modern Olympic movement revived interest in amateur sports, and amateur boxing became an Olympic sport in 1908. In their current form, Olympic and other amateur bouts are typically limited to three or four rounds, scoring is computed by points based on the number of clean blows landed, regardless of impact, and fighters wear protective headgear, reducing the number of injuries, knockdowns, and knockouts.[22] Currently scoring blows in amateur boxing are subjectively counted by ringside judges, but the Australian Institute for Sport has demonstrated a prototype of an Automated Boxing Scoring System, which introduces scoring objectivity, improves safety, and arguably makes the sport more interesting to spectators. Professional boxing remains by far the most popular form of the sport globally, though amateur boxing is dominant in Cuba and some former Soviet republics. For most fighters, an amateur career, especially at the Olympics, serves to develop skills and gain experience in preparation for a professional career. Western boxers typically participate in one Olympics and then turn pro, Cubans and other socialist countries have an opportunity to collect multiple medals.[23] In 2016, professional boxers were admitted in the Olympic Games and other tournaments sanctioned by AIBA.[24] This was done in part to level the playing field and give all of the athletes the same opportunities government-sponsored boxers from socialist countries and post-Soviet republics have.[25] However, professional organizations strongly opposed that decision.[26][27]

Amateur boxing

Nicola adams crop
Nicola Adams is the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal. Here with Mary Kom of India.

Amateur boxing may be found at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sanctioned by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing has a point scoring system that measures the number of clean blows landed rather than physical damage. Bouts consist of three rounds of three minutes in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and three rounds of three 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 or circle across the knuckle. There are cases however, where white ended gloves are not required but any solid color may be worn. The white end just is a way to make it easier for judges to score clean hits. Each competitor must have their hands properly wrapped, pre-fight, for added protection on their hands and for added cushion under the gloves. Gloves worn by the fighters must be twelve ounces in weight unless the fighters weigh under 165 pounds (75 kg), thus allowing them to wear ten ounce gloves. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands cleanly on the head or torso with sufficient force 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 below the belt 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.[28] Amateur bouts which end this way may be noted as "RSC" (referee stopped contest) with notations for an outclassed opponent (RSCO), outscored opponent (RSCOS), injury (RSCI) or head injury (RSCH).

Professional boxing

Bellows George Dempsey and Firpo 1924
Firpo sending Dempsey outside the ring; painting by George Bellows.

Professional bouts are usually much longer than amateur bouts, typically ranging from ten to twelve rounds, though four-round fights are common for less experienced fighters or club fighters. There are also some two-[29] and three-round professional bouts,[30] especially in Australia. Through the early 20th century, it was common for fights to have unlimited rounds, ending only when one fighter quit, benefiting high-energy fighters like Jack Dempsey. Fifteen rounds remained the internationally recognized limit for championship fights for most of the 20th century until the early 1980s, when the death of boxer Kim Duk-koo eventually prompted the World Boxing Council and other organizations sanctioning professional boxing to reduce the limit to twelve rounds.

Headgear is not permitted in professional bouts, and boxers are generally allowed to take much more damage before a fight is halted. At any time, the referee may stop the contest if he believes that one participant cannot defend himself due to injury. In that case, the other participant is awarded a technical knockout win. A technical knockout would also be awarded if a fighter lands a punch that opens a cut on the opponent, and the opponent is later deemed not fit to continue by a doctor because of the cut. For this reason, fighters often employ cutmen, whose job is to treat cuts between rounds so that the boxer is able to continue despite the cut. If a boxer simply quits fighting, or if his corner stops the fight, then the winning boxer is also awarded a technical knockout victory. In contrast with amateur boxing, professional male boxers have to be bare-chested.[31]

Boxing styles

Definition of style

"Style" is often defined as the strategic approach a fighter takes during a bout. No two fighters' styles are alike, as each is determined by that individual's physical and mental attributes. Three main styles exist in boxing: outside fighter ("boxer"), brawler (or "slugger"), and Inside fighter ("swarmer"). These styles may be divided into several special subgroups, such as counter puncher, etc. The main philosophy of the styles is, that each style has an advantage over one, but disadvantage over the other one. It follows the rock-paper-scissors scenario - boxer beats brawler, brawler beats swarmer, and swarmer beats boxer.[32]

Boxer/out-fighter

Muhammad Ali NYWTS
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was a typical example of an out-fighter.

A classic "boxer" or stylist (also known as an "out-fighter") seeks to maintain distance between himself and his opponent, fighting with faster, longer range punches, most notably the jab, and gradually wearing his opponent down. Due to this reliance on weaker punches, out-fighters tend to win by point decisions rather than by knockout, though some out-fighters have notable knockout records. They are often regarded as the best boxing strategists due to their ability to control the pace of the fight and lead their opponent, methodically wearing him down and exhibiting more skill and finesse than a brawler.[33] Out-fighters need reach, hand speed, reflexes, and footwork.

Notable out-fighters include Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Joe Calzaghe, Wilfredo Gómez, Salvador Sanchez, Cecilia Brækhus, Gene Tunney,[34] Ezzard Charles,[35] Willie Pep,[36] Meldrick Taylor, Ricardo Lopez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roy Jones Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Miguel Vazquez, Sergio "Maravilla" Martínez, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. This style was also used by fictional boxer Apollo Creed.

A boxer-puncher is a well-rounded boxer who is able to fight at close range with a combination of technique and power, often with the ability to knock opponents out with a combination and in some instances a single shot. Their movement and tactics are similar to that of an out-fighter (although they are generally not as mobile as an out-fighter),[37] but instead of winning by decision, they tend to wear their opponents down using combinations and then move in to score the knockout. A boxer must be well rounded to be effective using this style.

Notable boxer-punchers include Muhammad Ali, Canelo Álvarez, Wladimir Klitschko, Vasyl Lomachenko, Lennox Lewis, Joe Louis,[38] Wilfredo Gómez, Oscar de la Hoya, Archie Moore, Miguel Cotto, Nonito Donaire, Sam Langford,[39] Henry Armstrong,[40] Sugar Ray Robinson,[41] Tony Zale, Carlos Monzón,[42] Alexis Argüello, Erik Morales, Terry Norris, Marco Antonio Barrera, Naseem Hamed, Thomas Hearns, and Gennady Golovkin.

Counter punchers are slippery, defensive style fighters who often rely on their opponent's mistakes in order to gain the advantage, whether it be on the score cards or more preferably a knockout. They use their well-rounded defense to avoid or block shots and then immediately catch the opponent off guard with a well placed and timed punch. A fight with a skilled counter-puncher can turn into a war of attrition, where each shot landed is a battle in itself. Thus, fighting against counter punchers requires constant feinting and the ability to avoid telegraphing one's attacks. To be truly successful using this style they must have good reflexes, a high level of prediction and awareness, pinpoint accuracy and speed, both in striking and in footwork.

Notable counter punchers include Muhammad Ali, Joe Calzaghe, Vitali Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, Max Schmeling, Chris Byrd, Jim Corbett, Jack Johnson, Bernard Hopkins, Laszlo Papp, Jerry Quarry, Anselmo Moreno, James Toney, Marvin Hagler, Juan Manuel Márquez, Humberto Soto, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roger Mayweather, Pernell Whitaker, Sergio Gabriel Martinez and Guillermo Rigondeaux. This style of boxing is also used by fictional boxer Little Mac.

Counter punchers usually wear their opponents down by causing them to miss their punches. The more the opponent misses, the faster they tire, and the psychological effects of being unable to land a hit will start to sink in. The counter puncher often tries to outplay their opponent entirely, not just in a physical sense, but also in a mental and emotional sense. This style can be incredibly difficult, especially against seasoned fighters, but winning a fight without getting hit is often worth the pay-off. They usually try to stay away from the center of the ring, in order to outmaneuver and chip away at their opponents. A large advantage in counter-hitting is the forward momentum of the attacker, which drives them further into your return strike. As such, knockouts are more common than one would expect from a defensive style.

Brawler/slugger

George Foreman 2009
Famous brawler George Foreman

A brawler is a fighter who generally lacks finesse and footwork in the ring, but makes up for it through sheer punching power. Many brawlers tend to lack mobility, preferring a less mobile, more stable platform and have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. They may also have a tendency to ignore combination punching in favor of continuous beat-downs with one hand and by throwing slower, more powerful single punches (such as hooks and uppercuts). Their slowness and predictable punching pattern (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open to counter punches, so successful brawlers must be able to absorb substantial amounts of punishment. However, not all brawler/slugger fighters are not mobile; some can move around and switch styles if needed but still have the brawler/slugger style such as Wilfredo Gómez, Prince Naseem Hamed and Danny García.

A brawler's most important assets are power and chin (the ability to absorb punishment while remaining able to continue boxing). Examples of this style include George Foreman, Rocky Marciano, Julio César Chávez, Roberto Duran, Danny García, Wilfredo Gómez, Sonny Liston, John L. Sullivan, Max Baer, Prince Naseem Hamed, Ray Mancini, David Tua, Arturo Gatti, Micky Ward, Brandon Ríos, Ruslan Provodnikov, Michael Katsidis, James Kirkland, Marcos Maidana, Jake LaMotta, Manny Pacquiao, and Ireland's John Duddy. This style of boxing was also used by fictional boxers Rocky Balboa and James "Clubber" Lang.

Brawlers tend to be more predictable and easy to hit but usually fare well enough against other fighting styles because they train to take punches very well. They often have a higher chance than other fighting styles to score a knockout against their opponents because they focus on landing big, powerful hits, instead of smaller, faster attacks. Oftentimes they place focus on training on their upper body instead of their entire body, to increase power and endurance. They also aim to intimidate their opponents because of their power, stature and ability to take a punch.

Swarmer/in-fighter

Henry Armstrong 1937
Henry Armstrong was known for his aggressive, non-stop assault style of fighting.

In-fighters/swarmers (sometimes called "pressure fighters") attempt to stay close to an opponent, throwing intense flurries and combinations of hooks and uppercuts. Mainly Mexican, Irish, Irish-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American boxers popularized this style. A successful in-fighter often needs a good "chin" because swarming usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective. In-fighters operate best at close range because they are generally shorter and have less reach than their opponents and thus are more effective at a short distance where the longer arms of their opponents make punching awkward. However, several fighters tall for their division have been relatively adept at in-fighting as well as out-fighting.

The essence of a swarmer is non-stop aggression. Many short in-fighters use their stature to their advantage, employing a bob-and-weave defense by bending at the waist to slip underneath or to the sides of incoming punches. Unlike blocking, causing an opponent to miss a punch disrupts his balance, this permits forward movement past the opponent's extended arm and keeps the hands free to counter. A distinct advantage that in-fighters have is when throwing uppercuts, they can channel their entire bodyweight behind the punch; Mike Tyson was famous for throwing devastating uppercuts. Marvin Hagler was known for his hard "chin", punching power, body attack and the stalking of his opponents. Some in-fighters, like Mike Tyson, have been known for being notoriously hard to hit. The key to a swarmer is aggression, endurance, chin, and bobbing-and-weaving.

Notable in-fighters include Henry Armstrong, Aaron Pryor, Julio César Chávez, Jack Dempsey, Shawn Porter, Miguel Cotto, Joe Frazier, Danny García, Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, Rocky Marciano,[43] Wayne McCullough, Gerry Penalosa, Harry Greb,[44][45] David Tua, James Toney and Ricky Hatton. This style was also used by the Street Fighter character Balrog.

Combinations of styles

All fighters have primary skills with which they feel most comfortable, but truly elite fighters are often able to incorporate auxiliary styles when presented with a particular challenge. For example, an out-fighter will sometimes plant his feet and counter punch, or a slugger may have the stamina to pressure fight with his power punches.

Old history of the development of boxing and it's prevalence contribute to fusion of various types of martial arts and the emergence of new ones that are based on them. For example, a combination of boxing and sportive sambo techniques gave rise to a combat sambo.

Style matchups

Joe Louis - Max Schmeling - 1936
Louis vs. Schmeling, 1936

There is a generally accepted rule of thumb about the success each of these boxing styles has against the others. In general, an in-fighter has an advantage over an out-fighter, an out-fighter has an advantage over a brawler, and a brawler has an advantage over an in-fighter; these form a cycle with each style being stronger relative to one, and weaker relative to another, with none dominating, as in rock-paper-scissors. Naturally, many other factors, such as the skill level and training of the combatants, determine the outcome of a fight, but the widely held belief in this relationship among the styles is embodied in the cliché amongst boxing fans and writers that "styles make fights."

Brawlers tend to overcome swarmers or in-fighters because, in trying to get close to the slugger, the in-fighter will invariably have to walk straight into the guns of the much harder-hitting brawler, so, unless the former has a very good chin and the latter's stamina is poor, the brawler's superior power will carry the day. A famous example of this type of match-up advantage would be George Foreman's knockout victory over Joe Frazier in their original bout "The Sunshine Showdown".

Although in-fighters struggle against heavy sluggers, they typically enjoy more success against out-fighters or boxers. Out-fighters prefer a slower fight, with some distance between themselves and the opponent. The in-fighter tries to close that gap and unleash furious flurries. On the inside, the out-fighter loses a lot of his combat effectiveness, because he cannot throw the hard punches. The in-fighter is generally successful in this case, due to his intensity in advancing on his opponent and his good agility, which makes him difficult to evade. For example, the swarming Joe Frazier, though easily dominated by the slugger George Foreman, was able to create many more problems for the boxer Muhammad Ali in their three fights. Joe Louis, after retirement, admitted that he hated being crowded, and that swarmers like untied/undefeated champ Rocky Marciano would have caused him style problems even in his prime.

The boxer or out-fighter tends to be most successful against a brawler, whose slow speed (both hand and foot) and poor technique makes him an easy target to hit for the faster out-fighter. The out-fighter's main concern is to stay alert, as the brawler only needs to land one good punch to finish the fight. If the out-fighter can avoid those power punches, he can often wear the brawler down with fast jabs, tiring him out. If he is successful enough, he may even apply extra pressure in the later rounds in an attempt to achieve a knockout. Most classic boxers, such as Muhammad Ali, enjoyed their best successes against sluggers.

An example of a style matchup was the historical fight of Julio César Chávez, a swarmer or in-fighter, against Meldrick Taylor, the boxer or out-fighter (see Julio César Chávez vs. Meldrick Taylor). The match was nicknamed "Thunder Meets Lightning" as an allusion to punching power of Chávez and blinding speed of Taylor. Chávez was the epitome of the "Mexican" style of boxing. Taylor's hand and foot speed and boxing abilities gave him the early advantage, allowing him to begin building a large lead on points. Chávez remained relentless in his pursuit of Taylor and due to his greater punching power Chávez slowly punished Taylor. Coming into the later rounds, Taylor was bleeding from the mouth, his entire face was swollen, the bones around his eye socket had been broken, he had swallowed a considerable amount of his own blood, and as he grew tired, Taylor was increasingly forced into exchanging blows with Chávez, which only gave Chávez a greater chance to cause damage. While there was little doubt that Taylor had solidly won the first three quarters of the fight, the question at hand was whether he would survive the final quarter. Going into the final round, Taylor held a secure lead on the scorecards of two of the three judges. Chávez would have to knock Taylor out to claim a victory, whereas Taylor merely needed to stay away from the Mexican legend. However, Taylor did not stay away, but continued to trade blows with Chávez. As he did so, Taylor showed signs of extreme exhaustion, and every tick of the clock brought Taylor closer to victory unless Chávez could knock him out. With about a minute left in the round, Chávez hit Taylor squarely with several hard punches and stayed on the attack, continuing to hit Taylor with well-placed shots. Finally, with about 25 seconds to go, Chávez landed a hard right hand that caused Taylor to stagger forward towards a corner, forcing Chávez back ahead of him. Suddenly Chávez stepped around Taylor, positioning him so that Taylor was trapped in the corner, with no way to escape from Chávez' desperate final flurry. Chávez then nailed Taylor with a tremendous right hand that dropped the younger man. By using the ring ropes to pull himself up, Taylor managed to return to his feet and was given the mandatory 8-count. Referee Richard Steele asked Taylor twice if he was able to continue fighting, but Taylor failed to answer. Steele then concluded that Taylor was unfit to continue and signaled that he was ending the fight, resulting in a TKO victory for Chávez with only two seconds to go in the bout.

Equipment

Since boxing involves forceful, repetitive punching, precautions must be taken to prevent damage to bones in the hand. Most trainers do not allow boxers to train and spar without wrist wraps and boxing gloves. Hand wraps are used to secure the bones in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt injury, allowing boxers to throw punches with more force than if they did not use them. Gloves have been required in competition since the late nineteenth century, though modern boxing gloves are much heavier than those worn by early twentieth-century fighters. Prior to a bout, both boxers agree upon the weight of gloves to be used in the bout, with the understanding that lighter gloves allow heavy punchers to inflict more damage. The brand of gloves can also affect the impact of punches, so this too is usually stipulated before a bout. Both sides are allowed to inspect the wraps and gloves of the opponent to help ensure both are within agreed upon specifications and no tampering has taken place.

A mouthguard is important to protect the teeth and gums from injury, and to cushion the jaw, resulting in a decreased chance of knockout. Both fighters must wear soft soled shoes to reduce the damage from accidental (or intentional) stepping on feet. While older boxing boots more commonly resembled those of a professional wrestler, modern boxing shoes and boots tend to be quite similar to their amateur wrestling counterparts.

Boxers practice their skills on several types of punching bags. A small, tear-drop-shaped "speed bag" is used to hone reflexes and repetitive punching skills, while a large cylindrical "heavy bag" filled with sand, a synthetic substitute, or water is used to practice power punching and body blows. The double-end bag is usually connected by elastic on the top and bottom and moves randomly upon getting struck and helps the fighter work on accuracy and reflexes. In addition to these distinctive pieces of equipment, boxers also use sport-nonspecific training equipment to build strength, speed, agility, and stamina. Common training equipment includes free weights, rowing machines, jump rope, and medicine balls.

Boxers also use punch/focus mitts in which a trainer calls out certain combinations and the fighter strikes the mitts accordingly. This is a great exercise for stamina as the boxer isn't allowed to go at his own pace but that of the trainer, typically forcing the fighter to endure a higher output and volume than usual. In addition, they also allow trainers to make boxers utilize footwork and distances more accurately.

Boxing matches typically take place in a boxing ring, a raised platform surrounded by ropes attached to posts rising in each corner. The term "ring" has come to be used as a metaphor for many aspects of prize fighting in general.

Technique

Stance

The modern boxing stance differs substantially from the typical boxing stances of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The modern stance has a more upright vertical-armed guard, as opposed to the more horizontal, knuckles-facing-forward guard adopted by early 20th century hook users such as Jack Johnson.

Attitude droite1

Upright stance

Attitude semi-enroulée1

Semi-crouch

Attitude enroulée1

Full crouch

In a fully upright stance, the boxer stands with the legs shoulder-width apart and the rear foot a half-step in front of the lead man. Right-handed or orthodox boxers lead with the left foot and fist (for most penetration power). Both feet are parallel, and the right heel is off the ground. The lead (left) fist is held vertically about six inches in front of the face at eye level. The rear (right) fist is held beside the chin and the elbow tucked against the ribcage to protect the body. The chin is tucked into the chest to avoid punches to the jaw which commonly cause knock-outs and is often kept slightly off-center. Wrists are slightly bent to avoid damage when punching and the elbows are kept tucked in to protect the ribcage. Some boxers fight from a crouch, leaning forward and keeping their feet closer together. The stance described is considered the "textbook" stance and fighters are encouraged to change it around once it's been mastered as a base. Case in point, many fast fighters have their hands down and have almost exaggerated footwork, while brawlers or bully fighters tend to slowly stalk their opponents. In order to retain their stance boxers take 'the first step in any direction with the foot already leading in that direction.'[46]

Different stances allow for bodyweight to be differently positioned and emphasised; this may in turn alter how powerfully and explosively a type of punch can be delivered. For instance, a crouched stance allows for the bodyweight to be positioned further forward over the lead left leg. If a lead left hook is thrown from this position, it will produce a powerful springing action in the lead leg and produce a more explosive punch. This springing action could not be generated effectively, for this punch, if an upright stance was used or if the bodyweight was positioned predominately over the back leg.[47] Mike Tyson was a keen practitioner of a crouched stance and this style of power punching.

Left-handed or southpaw fighters use a mirror image of the orthodox stance, which can create problems for orthodox fighters unaccustomed to receiving jabs, hooks, or crosses from the opposite side. The southpaw stance, conversely, is vulnerable to a straight right hand.

North American fighters tend to favor a more balanced stance, facing the opponent almost squarely, while many European fighters stand with their torso turned more to the side. The positioning of the hands may also vary, as some fighters prefer to have both hands raised in front of the face, risking exposure to body shots.

Punches

There are four basic punches in boxing: the jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Any punch other than a jab is considered a power punch. If a boxer is right-handed (orthodox), his left hand is the lead hand and his right hand is the rear hand. For a left-handed boxer or southpaw, the hand positions are reversed. For clarity, the following discussion will assume a right-handed boxer.

Jab7

Jab

Drop3

Cross - in counter-punch with a looping

  • Jab – A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand from the guard position. The jab extends from the side of the torso and typically does not pass in front of it. It is accompanied by a small, clockwise rotation of the torso and hips, while the fist rotates 90 degrees, becoming horizontal upon impact. As the punch reaches full extension, the lead shoulder can be brought up to guard the chin. The rear hand remains next to the face to guard the jaw. After making contact with the target, the lead hand is retracted quickly to resume a guard position in front of the face.
    • The jab is recognized as the most important punch in a boxer's arsenal because it provides a fair amount of its own cover and it leaves the least amount of space for a counter punch from the opponent. It has the longest reach of any punch and does not require commitment or large weight transfers. Due to its relatively weak power, the jab is often used as a tool to gauge distances, probe an opponent's defenses, harass an opponent, and set up heavier, more powerful punches. A half-step may be added, moving the entire body into the punch, for additional power. Some notable boxers who have been able to develop relative power in their jabs and use it to punish or 'wear down' their opponents to some effect include Larry Holmes and Wladimir Klitschko.
  • Cross – A powerful, straight punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin, crossing the body and traveling towards the target in a straight line. The rear shoulder is thrust forward and finishes just touching the outside of the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin. For additional power, the torso and hips are rotated counter-clockwise as the cross is thrown. A measure of an ideally extended cross is that the shoulder of the striking arm, the knee of the front leg and the ball of the front foot are on the same vertical plane.[48]
    • Weight is also transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, resulting in the rear heel turning outwards as it acts as a fulcrum for the transfer of weight. Body rotation and the sudden weight transfer is what gives the cross its power. Like the jab, a half-step forward may be added. After the cross is thrown, the hand is retracted quickly and the guard position resumed. It can be used to counter punch a jab, aiming for the opponent's head (or a counter to a cross aimed at the body) or to set up a hook. The cross is also called a "straight" or "right", especially if it does not cross the opponent's outstretched jab.
  • Hook – A semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent's head. From the guard position, the elbow is drawn back with a horizontal fist (palm facing down) though in modern times a wide percentage of fighters throw the hook with a vertical fist (palm facing themselves). The rear hand is tucked firmly against the jaw to protect the chin. The torso and hips are rotated clockwise, propelling the fist through a tight, clockwise arc across the front of the body and connecting with the target.
    • At the same time, the lead foot pivots clockwise, turning the left heel outwards. Upon contact, the hook's circular path ends abruptly and the lead hand is pulled quickly back into the guard position. A hook may also target the lower body and this technique is sometimes called the "rip" to distinguish it from the conventional hook to the head. The hook may also be thrown with the rear hand. Notable left hookers include Joe Frazier, Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson.
Boxing080905 photoshop
Ricardo Dominguez (left) throws an uppercut on Rafael Ortiz (right).[49]
  • Uppercut – A vertical, rising punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the torso shifts slightly to the right, the rear hand drops below the level of the opponent's chest and the knees are bent slightly. From this position, the rear hand is thrust upwards in a rising arc towards the opponent's chin or torso.
    • At the same time, the knees push upwards quickly and the torso and hips rotate anti-clockwise and the rear heel turns outward, mimicking the body movement of the cross. The strategic utility of the uppercut depends on its ability to "lift" the opponent's body, setting it off-balance for successive attacks. The right uppercut followed by a left hook is a deadly combination employing the uppercut to lift the opponent's chin into a vulnerable position, then the hook to knock the opponent out.

These different punch types can be thrown in rapid succession to form combinations or "combos." The most common is the jab and cross combination, nicknamed the "one-two combo." This is usually an effective combination, because the jab blocks the opponent's view of the cross, making it easier to land cleanly and forcefully.

A large, swinging circular punch starting from a cocked-back position with the arm at a longer extension than the hook and all of the fighter's weight behind it is sometimes referred to as a "roundhouse," "haymaker," "overhand," or sucker-punch. Relying on body weight and centripetal force within a wide arc, the roundhouse can be a powerful blow, but it is often a wild and uncontrolled punch that leaves the fighter delivering it off balance and with an open guard.

Wide, looping punches have the further disadvantage of taking more time to deliver, giving the opponent ample warning to react and counter. For this reason, the haymaker or roundhouse is not a conventional punch, and is regarded by trainers as a mark of poor technique or desperation. Sometimes it has been used, because of its immense potential power, to finish off an already staggering opponent who seems unable or unlikely to take advantage of the poor position it leaves the puncher in.

Another unconventional punch is the rarely used bolo punch, in which the opponent swings an arm out several times in a wide arc, usually as a distraction, before delivering with either that or the other arm.

An illegal punch to the back of the head or neck is known as a rabbit punch.

Both the hook and uppercut may be thrown with both hands, resulting in differing footwork and positioning from that described above if thrown by the other hand. Generally the analogous opposite is true of the footwork and torso movement.

Defense

There are several basic maneuvers a boxer can use in order to evade or block punches, depicted and discussed below.

Blocage1

Blocking (with the arms)

Protection passive1

Cover-Up (with the gloves)

Retrait2

Pulling away

  • SlipSlipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and allows the punch to "slip" past. Muhammad Ali was famous for extremely fast and close slips, as was an early Mike Tyson.
  • Sway or fade – To anticipate a punch and move the upper body or head back so that it misses or has its force appreciably lessened. Also called "rolling with the punch" or " Riding The Punch".
  • Duck or break – To drop down with the back straight so that a punch aimed at the head glances or misses entirely.
  • Bob and weaveBobbing moves the head laterally and beneath an incoming punch. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer bends the legs quickly and simultaneously shifts the body either slightly right or left. Once the punch has been evaded, the boxer "weaves" back to an upright position, emerging on either the outside or inside of the opponent's still-extended arm. To move outside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the outside". To move inside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the inside". Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano were masters of bobbing and weaving.
  • Parry/blockParrying or blocking uses the boxer's shoulder, hands or arms as defensive tools to protect against incoming attacks. A block generally receives a punch while a parry tends to deflect it. A "palm", "catch", or "cuff" is a defence which intentionally takes the incoming punch on the palm portion of the defender's glove.
  • The cover-up – Covering up is the last opportunity (other than rolling with a punch) to avoid an incoming strike to an unprotected face or body. Generally speaking, the hands are held high to protect the head and chin and the forearms are tucked against the torso to impede body shots. When protecting the body, the boxer rotates the hips and lets incoming punches "roll" off the guard. To protect the head, the boxer presses both fists against the front of the face with the forearms parallel and facing outwards. This type of guard is weak against attacks from below.
  • The clinch – Clinching is a form of trapping or a rough form of grappling and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the boxer attempts to hold or "tie up" the opponent's hands so he is unable to throw hooks or uppercuts. To perform a clinch, the boxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent's shoulders, scooping back under the forearms to grasp the opponent's arms tightly against his own body. In this position, the opponent's arms are pinned and cannot be used to attack. Clinching is a temporary match state and is quickly dissipated by the referee. Clinching is technically against the rules, and in amateur fights points are deducted fairly quickly for it. It is unlikely, however, to see points deducted for a clinch in professional boxing.

Unorthodox strategies

  • The "rope-a-dope" strategy : Used by Muhammad Ali in his 1974 "the Rumble in the Jungle" bout against George Foreman, the rope-a-dope method involves lying back against the ropes, covering up defensively as much as possible and allowing the opponent to attempt numerous punches. The back-leaning posture, which does not cause the defending boxer to become as unbalanced as he would during normal backward movement, also maximizes the distance of the defender's head from his opponent, increasing the probability that punches will miss their intended target. Weathering the blows that do land, the defender lures the opponent into expending energy while conserving his/her own. If successful, the attacking opponent will eventually tire, creating defensive flaws which the boxer can exploit. In modern boxing, the rope-a-dope is generally discouraged since most opponents are not fooled by it and few boxers possess the physical toughness to withstand a prolonged, unanswered assault. Recently, however, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao skillfully used the strategy to gauge the power of welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto in November 2009. Pacquiao followed up the rope-a-dope gambit with a withering knockdown. Tyson Fury also attempted this against Francesco Pianeto but didn’t pull it off as smoothly.
  • Bolo punch : Occasionally seen in Olympic boxing, the bolo is an arm punch which owes its power to the shortening of a circular arc rather than to transference of body weight; it tends to have more of an effect due to the surprise of the odd angle it lands at rather than the actual power of the punch. This is more of a gimmick than a technical maneuver; this punch is not taught, being on the same plane in boxing technicality as is the Ali shuffle. Nevertheless, a few professional boxers have used the bolo-punch to great effect, including former welterweight champions Sugar Ray Leonard, and Kid Gavilán as well as current British fighter Chris Eubank Jr. Middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia is regarded as the inventor of the bolo punch.
  • Overhand : The overhand is a punch, thrown from the rear hand, not found in every boxer's arsenal. Unlike the cross, which has a trajectory parallel to the ground, the overhand has a looping circular arc as it is thrown over the shoulder with the palm facing away from the boxer. It is especially popular with smaller stature boxers trying to reach taller opponents. Boxers who have used this punch consistently and effectively include former heavyweight champions Rocky Marciano and Tim Witherspoon, as well as MMA champions Chuck Liddell and Fedor Emelianenko. The overhand has become a popular weapon in other tournaments that involve fist striking. Deontay Wilder heavily favours and is otherwise known for knocking many of his opponents out with one of his right overhands.
  • Check hook : A check hook is employed to prevent aggressive boxers from lunging in. There are two parts to the check hook. The first part consists of a regular hook. The second, trickier part involves the footwork. As the opponent lunges in, the boxer should throw the hook and pivot on his left foot and swing his right foot 180 degrees around. If executed correctly, the aggressive boxer will lunge in and sail harmlessly past his opponent like a bull missing a matador. This is rarely seen in professional boxing as it requires a great disparity in skill level to execute. Technically speaking it has been said that there is no such thing as a check hook and that it is simply a hook applied to an opponent that has lurched forward and past his opponent who simply hooks him on the way past. Others have argued that the check hook exists but is an illegal punch due to it being a pivot punch which is illegal in the sport. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. employed the use of a check hook against Ricky Hatton, which sent Hatton flying head first into the corner post and being knocked down.

Ring corner

2017-12-02 Tina Rupprecht - Anne Sophie Da Costa - DSC2771
Female boxer Tina Rupprecht receiving instructions from her trainer while being treated by her cutman in the ring corner between rounds.

In boxing, each fighter is given a corner of the ring where he rests in between rounds for 1 minute and where his trainers stand. Typically, three men stand in the corner besides the boxer himself; these are the trainer, the assistant trainer and the cutman. The trainer and assistant typically give advice to the boxer on what he is doing wrong as well as encouraging him if he is losing. The cutman is a cutaneous doctor responsible for keeping the boxer's face and eyes free of cuts, blood and excessive swelling. This is of particular importance because many fights are stopped because of cuts or swelling that threaten the boxer's eyes.

In addition, the corner is responsible for stopping the fight if they feel their fighter is in grave danger of permanent injury. The corner will occasionally throw in a white towel to signify a boxer's surrender (the idiomatic phrase "to throw in the towel", meaning to give up, derives from this practice).[50] This can be seen in the fight between Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather. In that fight, Corrales' corner surrendered despite Corrales' steadfast refusal.

Medical concerns

Knocking a person unconscious or even causing a concussion may cause permanent brain damage.[51] There is no clear division between the force required to knock a person out and the force likely to kill a person.[52] From 1980 to 2007, more than 200 amateur boxers, professional boxers and Toughman fighters died due to ring or training injuries.[53] In 1983, editorials in the Journal of the American Medical Association called for a ban on boxing.[54] The editor, Dr. George Lundberg, called boxing an "obscenity" that "should not be sanctioned by any civilized society."[55] Since then, the British,[56] Canadian[57] and Australian[58] Medical Associations have called for bans on boxing.

Supporters of the ban state that boxing is the only sport where hurting the other athlete is the goal. Dr. Bill O'Neill, boxing spokesman for the British Medical Association, has supported the BMA's proposed ban on boxing: "It is the only sport where the intention is to inflict serious injury on your opponent, and we feel that we must have a total ban on boxing."[59] Opponents respond that such a position is misguided opinion, stating that amateur boxing is scored solely according to total connecting blows with no award for "injury". They observe that many skilled professional boxers have had rewarding careers without inflicting injury on opponents by accumulating scoring blows and avoiding punches winning rounds scored 10-9 by the 10-point must system, and they note that there are many other sports where concussions are much more prevalent.[60]

In 2007, one study of amateur boxers showed that protective headgear did not prevent brain damage,[61] and another found that amateur boxers faced a high risk of brain damage.[62] The Gothenburg study analyzed temporary levels of neurofiliment light in cerebral spinal fluid which they conclude is evidence of damage, even though the levels soon subside. More comprehensive studies of neurologiocal function on larger samples performed by Johns Hopkins University and accident rates analyzed by National Safety Council show amateur boxing is a comparatively safe sport.

In 1997, the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians was established to create medical protocols through research and education to prevent injuries in boxing.[63][64]

Professional boxing is forbidden in Iceland,[65] Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. It was banned in Sweden until 2007 when the ban was lifted but strict restrictions, including four three-minute rounds for fights, were imposed.[66] It was banned in Albania from 1965 until the fall of Communism in 1991; it is now legal there. Norway legalized professional boxing in December 2014.

Boxing Hall of Fame

Gene Tunney
Stamp honoring heavyweight champion Gene Tunney

The sport of boxing has two internationally recognized boxing halls of fame; the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF)[67] and the World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF), with the IBHOF being the more widely recognized boxing hall of fame.[68] In 2013, The Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas opened in Las Vegas, NV founded by Steve Lott, former assistant manager for Mike Tyson.[69]

The WBHF was founded by Everett L. Sanders in 1980. Since its inception, the WBHOF has never had a permanent location or museum, which has allowed the more recent IBHOF to garner more publicity and prestige. Among the notable names in the WBHF are Ricardo "Finito" Lopez, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Michael Carbajal, Khaosai Galaxy, Henry Armstrong, Jack Johnson, Roberto Durán, George Foreman, Ceferino Garcia and Salvador Sanchez. Boxing's International Hall of Fame was inspired by a tribute an American town held for two local heroes in 1982. The town, Canastota, New York, (which is about 15 miles (24 km) east of Syracuse, via the New York State Thruway), honored former world welterweight/middleweight champion Carmen Basilio and his nephew, former world welterweight champion Billy Backus. The people of Canastota raised money for the tribute which inspired the idea of creating an official, annual hall of fame for notable boxers.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame opened in Canastota in 1989. The first inductees in 1990 included Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Jack Dempsey, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, and Muhammad Ali. Other world-class figures include Salvador Sanchez, Jose Napoles, Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Durán, Ricardo Lopez, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Vicente Saldivar, Ismael Laguna, Eusebio Pedroza, Carlos Monzón, Azumah Nelson, Rocky Marciano, Pipino Cuevas and Ken Buchanan. The Hall of Fame's induction ceremony is held every June as part of a four-day event. The fans who come to Canastota for the Induction Weekend are treated to a number of events, including scheduled autograph sessions, boxing exhibitions, a parade featuring past and present inductees, and the induction ceremony itself.

The Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas features the $75 million ESPN Classic Sports fight film and tape library and radio broadcast collection. The collection includes the fights of all the great champions including: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson. It is this exclusive fight film library that will separate the Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas from the other halls of fame which do not have rights to any video of their sports. The inaugural inductees included Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Tony Canzoneri, Ezzard Charles, Julio César Chávez Sr., Jack Dempsey, Roberto Duran, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Robinson[70]

Governing and sanctioning bodies

Wladimir Klitschko (2008-12-13)
Former IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion, Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko
Governing Bodies
Major Sanctioning Bodies
Intermediate
Amateur

Boxing rankings

There are various organization and websites, that rank boxers in both weight class and pound-for-pound manner.

See also

References

  1. ^ Note: The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition notes as different pugilism and boxing. Vol. IV "Boxing" (p. 350)[1]; Vol. XXII "Pugilism" (p. 637)[2] Consulted April 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Michael Poliakoff. "Encyclopædia Britannica entry for Boxing". Britannica.com. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  3. ^ Section XIII: Samayapalana Parva, Book 4: Virata Parva, Mahabharata.
  4. ^ John Keay (2000). India: A History. HarperCollins. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-00-255717-7. [Rudradaman] was also a fine swordsman and boxer, and excellent horseman, charioteer and elephant-rider ... and far-famed for his knowledge of grammar, music, logic and 'other great sciences'.
  5. ^ Gardiner, E. Norman, 'Boxing' in Greek Athletic Sports and Festivals, London:MacMillan, 1910, p.402, pp.415-416, 419-422
  6. ^ Guttmann, Allen (1981). "Sports Spectators from Antiquity to the Renaissance" (PDF). Journal of Sport History. 8 (2).
  7. ^ "James Figg". IBHOF. 1999. Retrieved 2018-03-22. excerpting Roberts, James B.; Skutt, Alexander G. (2006). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book (4th ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: McBooks Press. ISBN 978-1-59013-121- 3. OCLC 819715339. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  8. ^ "tumblr_lx13m7QVfb1qa5yan.jpg". Tumblr. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  9. ^ John Rennie (2006) East London Prize Ring Rules 1743 Archived 18 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Anonymous ("A Celebrated Pugilist"), The Art and Practice of Boxing, 1825
  11. ^ Daniel Mendoza, The Modern Art of Boxing, 1790
  12. ^ "blow-1.jpg". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Groups.yahoo.com. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  14. ^ Rodriguez, Robert G. (2009). The Regulation of Boxing: A History and Comparative Analysis of Policies Among American States. McFarland. ISBN 9780786438624.
  15. ^ Leonard–Cushing fight Part of the Library of Congress Inventing Entertainment educational website. Retrieved 12/14/06.
  16. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica (2006). Queensbury Rules, Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  17. ^ "BBC - London - History - Unlicensed Boxing". Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Tracy Callis (2006). James Corbett". Cyberboxingzone.com. 18 February 1933. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  19. ^ Orbach, Barak. "Prizefighting and the Birth of Movie Censorship". Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  20. ^ Rubin, Louis D. (2000). "The Manly art of Modified Mayhem: Dempsey and Others". The Sewanee Review. 108 (3): 412–432. JSTOR 27548887.
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External links

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on 26 December, with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra. It was an undersea megathrust earthquake that registered a magnitude of 9.1–9.3 Mw, reaching a Mercalli intensity up to IX in certain areas. The earthquake was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate.

A series of large tsunamis up to 30 metres (100 ft) high were created by the underwater seismic activity that became known collectively as the Boxing Day tsunamis. Communities along the surrounding coasts of the Indian Ocean were seriously affected, and the tsunamis killed an estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries. The Indonesian city of Banda Aceh reported the largest number of victims. The earthquake was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. The direct results caused major disruptions to living conditions and commerce particularly in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

The earthquake was the third largest ever recorded and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed; between eight and ten minutes. It caused the planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches), and it remotely triggered earthquakes as far away as Alaska. Its epicentre was between Simeulue and mainland Sumatra. The plight of the affected people and countries prompted a worldwide humanitarian response, with donations totaling more than US$14 billion. The event is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake.

Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield (born October 19, 1962) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2011. He reigned as the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in the late 1980s and at heavyweight in the early 1990s, and remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes. Nicknamed "The Real Deal", Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, having held the unified WBA, WBC, and IBF titles from 1990 to 1992; the WBA and IBF titles again from 1993 to 1994 and between 1996 and 1999; and the WBA title for a fourth time from 2000 to 2001.

As an amateur, Holyfield represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division. He turned professional at the age of 21, moving up to cruiserweight in 1985 and winning his first world championship the following year, defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA title. Holyfield then went on to defeat Ricky Parkey and Carlos de León to win the WBC and IBF titles, thus becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion. He moved up to heavyweight in 1988, later defeating Buster Douglas in 1990 to claim the unified WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles and the undisputed heavyweight championship.

He successfully defended his titles three times, scoring victories over former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before suffering his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe in 1992. Holyfield regained the crown in a rematch one year later, defeating Bowe for the WBA and IBF titles (Bowe having relinquished the WBC title beforehand). Holyfield later lost these titles in an upset against Michael Moorer in 1994.

Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994 upon medical advice, only to return a year later with a clean bill of health. In 1996 he defeated Mike Tyson and reclaim the WBA title, in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year and Upset of the Year. This made Holyfield the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times. Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Tyson, which saw the latter disqualified in round three for biting Holyfield on his ears. During this reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer and reclaimed the IBF title.

In 1999 he faced Lennox Lewis in a unification fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC and IBF titles, which ended in a controversial split draw. Holyfield was defeated in a rematch eight months later. The following year, he defeated John Ruiz for the vacant WBA title, becoming the first boxer in history to win a version of the heavyweight title four times. Holyfield lost a rematch against Ruiz seven months later and faced him for the third time in a draw.

Holyfield retired in 2014, and is ranked number 77 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time and in 2002 named him the 22nd greatest fighter of the past 80 years. He currently ranks No. 9 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time. BoxingScene also ranked him the greatest cruiserweight of all time.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. (né Sinclair; born February 24, 1977) is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He competed from 1996 to 2007 and 2009 to 2015, and made a one-fight comeback in 2017. During his career, he held multiple world titles in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and retired with an undefeated record. As an amateur, Mayweather won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships (at light flyweight, flyweight, and featherweight), and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.

Mayweather is a two-time winner of The Ring magazine's Fighter of the Year award (1998 and 2007), a three-time winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year award (2007, 2013, and 2015), and a six-time winner of the Best Fighter ESPY Award (2007–2010, 2012–2014). In 2016, Mayweather was ranked by ESPN as the greatest boxer, pound for pound, of the last 25 years. He remains BoxRec's number one fighter of all time, pound for pound, as well as the greatest welterweight of all time. Many sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BoxRec, Fox Sports, and Yahoo! Sports, ranked Mayweather as the best pound for pound boxer in the world twice in a span of ten years.He is often referred to as the best defensive boxer in history, as well as being the most accurate puncher since the existence of CompuBox, having the highest plus–minus ratio in recorded boxing history. Mayweather has a record of 26 consecutive wins in world title fights (10 by KO), 23 wins (9 KOs) in lineal title fights, 24 wins (7 KOs) against former or current world titlists, 12 wins (3 KOs) against former or current lineal champions, and 2 wins (1 KO) against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees.

Mayweather is one of the most lucrative pay-per-view attractions of all time, in any sport. He topped the Forbes and Sports Illustrated lists of the 50 highest-paid athletes of 2012 and 2013, and the Forbes list again in both 2014 and 2015, listing him as the highest paid athlete in the world. In 2006, he founded his own boxing promotional firm, Mayweather Promotions, after leaving Bob Arum's Top Rank. Mayweather has generated approximately 23.8 million PPV buys and $1.67 billion in revenue throughout his career, surpassing the likes of former top PPV attractions including Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

George Foreman

George Edward Foreman (born January 10, 1949) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1977, and from 1987 to 1997. Nicknamed "Big George", he is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. Outside the sport he is an ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur.

After a troubled childhood Foreman took up amateur boxing and won a gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Having turned professional the next year, he won the world heavyweight title with a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973. Two successful title defenses were made before Foreman's first professional loss to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. Unable to secure another title opportunity, Foreman retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977.

Following what he referred to as a religious epiphany, Foreman became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later he announced a comeback and, in 1994 at age 45, he regained a portion of the heavyweight championship by knocking out 27-year-old Michael Moorer to win the unified WBA, IBF, and lineal titles. Foreman remains the oldest world heavyweight champion in history, and the second oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76 wins (68 knockouts) and 5 losses.

Foreman has been inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Foreman as the eighth greatest heavyweight of all time. In 2002, he was named one of the 25 greatest fighters of the past 80 years by The Ring magazine. The Ring ranked him as the ninth greatest puncher of all time. He was a ringside analyst for HBO's boxing coverage for twelve years until 2004. Outside boxing, he is a successful entrepreneur and known for his promotion of the George Foreman Grill, which has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. In 1999, he sold the naming rights to the grill for $138 million.

Heavyweight

Heavyweight is a weight class in combat sports.

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Claudius Lewis, , (born 2 September 1965) is a former professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2003. He is a three-time world heavyweight champion, a two-time lineal champion, and remains the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed title. Holding dual British and Canadian citizenship, Lewis represented Canada as an amateur at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division after defeating Riddick Bowe in the final.

In his first three years as a professional, Lewis won several regional heavyweight championships, including the European, British, and Commonwealth titles. After winning his first 21 fights, he defeated Donovan Ruddock in 1992 to take over the number one position in the WBC rankings. He was declared WBC heavyweight champion later that year after Riddick Bowe gave up the title to avoid defending it against Lewis. He defended the title three times before an upset knockout loss to Oliver McCall in 1994. Lewis avenged the loss in a 1997 rematch to win back the vacant WBC title.

Lewis won the lineal title by defeating Shannon Briggs in 1998. Two fights against Evander Holyfield in 1999 (the first of which ended in a controversial draw) saw Lewis become undisputed heavyweight champion by unifying his WBC title with Holyfield's WBA and IBF titles, as well as the vacant IBO title. In 2000, the WBA stripped Lewis of their title when he opted to face Michael Grant instead of mandatory challenger John Ruiz.

Lewis was knocked out by Hasim Rahman in a 2001 upset, but this defeat was avenged later in the year. In 2002, Lewis defeated Mike Tyson in one of the most highly anticipated fights in boxing history. Prior to the event, Lewis was awarded the Ring magazine heavyweight title, which had been discontinued in the late 1980s. In what would be his final fight, in 2003, Lewis defeated Vitali Klitschko in a bloody encounter. He vacated his remaining titles and retired from boxing in 2004.

Lewis often referred to himself as "the pugilist specialist". He was 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall, with an 84 in (213 cm) reach, and weighed about 245 lb (111 kg) during his boxing prime. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, and one of the greatest British fighters of all time. He has the fourth longest combined title streak in post-war heavyweight history at 15 title bouts. In 1999 he was named Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and BBC Sports Personality of the Year. BoxRec currently ranks Lewis as the 25th best heavyweight boxer of all time.

List of current world boxing champions

This is a list of current world boxing champions. Since at least John L. Sullivan, in the late 19th century, there have been world champions in professional boxing. The first of today's organizations to award a world title was the World Boxing Association (WBA), then known as the National Boxing Association (NBA), when it sanctioned its first title fight in 1921 between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier for the world heavyweight championship.

There are now four major sanctioning bodies in professional boxing. The official rules and regulations of the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO) all recognize each other in their rankings and title unification rules. Each of these organizations sanction and regulate championship bouts and award world titles. American boxing magazine The Ring began awarding world titles in 1922.

There are seventeen weight divisions. To compete in a division, a boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Manny Pacquiao has won world championships in eight different weight divisions, more than any other boxer. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, held all four major titles in the heavyweight division from 2011 to 2013; they were the first brothers to hold versions of the heavyweight championship at the same time.

Manny Pacquiao

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH ( PAK-ee-ow; Tagalog: [pɐkˈjaʊ]; born December 17, 1978) is a Filipino professional boxer and politician, currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines.

He is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, having won twelve major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes. Pacquiao is also the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight classes of boxing: flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.He was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), WBC, and WBO. He is also a three-time Ring magazine and BWAA Fighter of the Year, winning the award in 2006, 2008, and 2009; and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011. In 2016, Pacquiao was ranked number 2 on ESPN's list of top pound for pound boxers of the past 25 years and currently ranks #4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.Pacquiao has generated approximately 19.6 million in pay-per-view buys and $1.2 billion in revenue from his 24 pay-per-view bouts. According to Forbes, he was the second highest paid athlete in the world as of 2015.Beyond boxing, Pacquiao has participated in basketball, business, TV hosting, acting, music recording, and politics. In May 2010, Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines, representing the province of Sarangani. He was re-elected in 2013 to the 16th Congress of the Philippines. In June 2016, Pacquiao was elected as a senator and will serve a six-year term until 2022.Pacquiao has been considered a top contender for Philippine presidential election, 2022. Incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte announced in December 2016 and December 2017 that he intends to make Pacquiao his successor.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Marvelous Marvin Hagler (born Marvin Nathaniel Hagler; May 23, 1954) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1973 to 1987. He reigned as the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, making twelve defenses of that title, and currently holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions, at 78%, while also holding the second longest unified championship reign in boxing history at twelve consecutive defenses. At six years and seven months, his reign as undisputed middleweight champion is the second longest of the last century, behind only Tony Zale, who reigned during World War II. In 1982, annoyed that network announcers often did not refer to him by his nickname, "Marvelous", Hagler legally changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler.Hagler is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. He was named Fighter of the Decade (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated magazine, and twice named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. In 2001 and 2004, The Ring named him the fourth greatest middleweight of all time and in 2002 named him the 17th greatest fighter of the past 80 years. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Hagler as the 6th greatest middleweight of all time, while BoxRec rates him the 12th greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound; and the 4th best middleweight of all time. Many analysts and boxing writers consider Hagler to have one of the most durable chins in boxing history.

Mike Tyson

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.

Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round. Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas later in 1990) due to a rib injury.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, but was released on parole after serving three years. After his release in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. He won the WBC and WBA titles in 1996, after stopping Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. With his defeat of Bruno, Tyson joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to have regained a heavyweight championship after having lost it. After being stripped of the WBC title in the same year, Tyson lost the WBA title to Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ears.

In 2002, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight title again at the age of 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Tyson retired from professional boxing in 2006, after being knocked out in consecutive matches against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite having received over $30 million for several of his fights and $300 million during his career. At the time the media reported that he had approximately $23 million of debt.Tyson was known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior inside and outside the ring. Nicknamed "Iron" and "Kid Dynamite" in his early career, and later known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet", Tyson is considered one of the best heavyweights of all time. Tyson holds the third longest unified championship reign in heavyweight history at eight consecutive defenses. He currently ranks No. 15 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and No. 1 in the ESPN.com list of "The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History". Sky Sports described him as "perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring". He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964.

In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement.Ali was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century, and he remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His records were unbeaten for 35 years of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, and he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash-talking, and often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music.Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time due to his involvement in several historic boxing matches and feuds, and as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury.Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though he and his physician disputed this. He made limited public appearances as his condition worsened, and he was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016.

Orthodox stance

In combat sports such as boxing, an orthodox stance is one in which the boxer places his left foot farther in front of the right foot, thus having his weaker side closer to the opponent. As it favors the stronger, dominant side—often the right side, see laterality—the orthodox stance is the most common stance in boxing. It is mostly used by right-handed boxers. Many boxing champions, such as Jack Johnson, Anthony Joshua, Marco Antonio Barrera, Evander Holyfield, Rocky Marciano, Ingmar Johansson, Roberto Durán, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Amir Khan, Peter Buckley, Johnny Tapia, Joyce Gracie, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Joseph Parker, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, and Tyson Fury, fought in an orthodox stance.

Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya (; born February 4, 1973) is an American former professional boxer who, in 2002, also became a boxing promoter and, in 2018, a mixed martial arts (MMA) promoter. As a boxer, he competed from 1992 to 2008, winning multiple world titles in six different weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes. He is ranked as the 11th best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by BoxRec. De La Hoya was nicknamed "The Golden Boy of boxing" by the media when he represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics where, shortly after having graduated from James A. Garfield High School, he won a gold medal in the lightweight division, and reportedly "set a sport back on its feet."De La Hoya was named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 1995, and was its top-rated fighter in the world, pound for pound, in 1997 and 1998. He generated approximately $700 million in pay-per-view income, making De La Hoya the top pay-per-view earner before being surpassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. He announced his retirement as a fighter in 2009, following a professional career spanning 16 years.

In 2002, De La Hoya founded Golden Boy Promotions, a combat sport promotional firm. He is the first American of Mexican descent to own a national boxing promotional firm, and one of the few boxers to take on promotional responsibilities while still active. In 2018, he began promoting MMA matches as well, beginning with a 2018 trilogy bout between long-time rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, with the inaugural Golden Boy MMA event scheduled for November 24, 2018.De La Hoya has held dual American and Mexican citizenship since 2002, when the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles granted him Mexican citizenship, reflecting his heritage.

Professional boxing

Professional boxing, or prizefighting, is regulated, sanctioned boxing. Professional boxing bouts are fought for a purse that is divided between the boxers as determined by contract. Most professional bouts are supervised by a regulatory authority to guarantee the fighters' safety. Most high-profile bouts obtain the endorsement of a sanctioning body, which awards championship belts, establishes rules, and assigns its own judges and referee.

In contrast with amateur boxing, professional bouts are typically much longer and can last up to twelve rounds, though less significant fights can be as short as four rounds. Protective headgear is not permitted, and boxers are generally allowed to take substantial punishment before a fight is halted. Professional boxing has enjoyed a much higher profile than amateur boxing throughout the 20th century and beyond.

In Cuba professional boxing is banned (as of 2017). So was also the case in Sweden between 1970 and 2007, and Norway between 1981 and 2014.

Rocky Marciano

Rocco Francis Marchegiano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969), best known as Rocky Marciano (), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955. He held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956, and retired undefeated as champion. His six title defenses were against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell and Archie Moore.

Known for his relentless fighting style, formidable punching power, stamina, and exceptionally durable chin, Marciano has been included by boxing historians in lists of the greatest boxers of all time, and is currently ranked by BoxRec as the eighth greatest heavyweight boxer in history. His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76% remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history.

Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Levesta Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is an American former professional boxer, boxing commentator, boxing trainer, rapper, and actor who holds dual American and Russian citizenship. He competed in boxing from 1989 to 2018, and is a multiple time world champion in four weight classes, having held titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight; and is the only boxer in history to start his professional career at light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title. As an amateur he represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the light middleweight division in a highly controversial decision. It was known that Jones landed 86 scoring punches to the South Korean's 32. Later, two of the three judges who scored the fight against Jones were eventually banned from the sport of boxing for life.Jones is considered by many to be one of the best boxers of all time, pound for pound, and left his mark in the sport's history when he won the WBA heavyweight title in 2003, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. Prior to that, in 1999, he became the undisputed light heavyweight champion by unifying the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. During his prime, Jones was known for possessing exceptional hand speed, athleticism, movement and reflexes.

As of February 2018, Jones holds the record for the most wins in unified light heavyweight title bouts in boxing history, at twelve. The Ring magazine named Jones the Fighter of the Year in 1994, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame named him the Fighter of the Year for 2003. He is also a three-time winner of the Best Boxer ESPY Award (1996, 2000, and 2003). The Boxing Writers Association of America named him as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s.

Weight class (boxing)

A weight class is a measurement weight range for boxers. The lower limit of a weight class is equal to the upper weight limit of the class below it. The top class, with no upper limit, is called heavyweight in professional boxing and super heavyweight in amateur boxing. A boxing match is usually scheduled for a fixed weight class, and each boxer's weight must not exceed the upper limit. Although professional boxers may fight above their weight class, an amateur boxer's weight must not fall below the lower limit. A nonstandard weight limit is called a catchweight.

Welterweight

Welterweight is a weight class in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like Muay Thai, taekwondo, and mixed martial arts also use it for their own weight division system to classify the opponents. In most sports that use it, welterweight is heavier than lightweight but lighter than middleweight.

World Boxing Association

The World Boxing Association (WBA), formerly known as the National Boxing Association (NBA) is the oldest and one of four major organizations which sanction professional boxing bouts, alongside the IBF, WBC, and WBO. The WBA awards its world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the NBA, in 1962 it changed its name in recognition of boxing's growing popularity worldwide, and began to gain other nations as members.

By 1975, a majority of votes were held by Latin American nations, and the organization headquarters were moved to Panama. After being located during the 1990s and early 2000s in Venezuela, the organization offices returned to Panama in 2007. It is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO).

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