Boxing is the toughest and the most rewarding sport that requires immense fitness and conditioning. Read on to find the rules and regulations of this most exciting and dramatic Olympics sport event.


Boxing, also known as fist pugilism or pugilism of the fist, is one of the oldest martial art forms and inarguably, the most popular combat game played today. Played between two boxers who contend each other adhering to certain rules, boxing is indeed one of the biggest crowd puller in the Olympics. The origin of the game can be traced back to ancient Greece, Egypt, and even ancient Rome. This sport is the pursuit of ultimate physical fitness, athletic grace, self-defense and valuable self-discipline for both men and women. Amateur boxing has been a part of Olympics since the 7th century BC. However, it was officially introduced in Modern Olympics in St. Louis Olympics in 1904. The rules and regulations of the sport was codified in 1867. So far, boxing in Olympics was clearly a man's thing. However, London Olympics 2012 is all set to create history by introducing women's boxing for the first time.

Boxing Rules And Regulations
  • The rules for Olympics boxing are the same as any other professional boxing. The contestants must be of the age between 17 to 34 years old. They are paired by the lots drawn according to the weight category they are boxing in.
  • The dress code includes wearing red shorts by one of the boxers, blue shorts by another boxer and hand gloves provided by the Olympics organizers. The outfit could be shorts, headgear and singlet.
  • There are four rounds of two minutes each, with one-minute of break between each round.
  • To score a point, the punch must carry force using knuckles of the gloves, which is marked by a broad white stripe. A strike using arms that carry no force do not score points.
  • The boxer scores a point when he hits his opponent boxer on the front part of the head or on the upper part of the body above the belt.
  • The boxing match consists of a panel of five judges.
  • The scoring is decided when a hit is recognized by three of the five judges roughly at the same time, which is done through electronic scoring.
  • The winner is decided at the end of the fourth round. If both the boxers score same points, then there is a tie breaking formula, i.e., to consider the best and worst total score given by the five judges and subtract them. The boxer, who gets the highest point from the remaining three judges, is declared winner.
  • Apart from the above-mentioned strategy to win the match, there are other ways to decide who wins the match. A match is won when a boxer is knocked down or knocked out by the opponent boxer (the referee will count 8 for a knockdown and 10 for the knockout), when a boxer is disqualified due to injury, when the score difference is fifteen or more, or when a boxer is outclassed (when a referee cannot stop the match i.e. when a boxer is clearly being beaten up and getting too much punishment.) by his opponent.
Boxers are not allowed to do any of the following:
  • To strike below the belt
  • To strike when an opponent is down on the canvas
  • Kick
  • Striking with elbows, forearms or the inside of the hand (slap)
  • Head butt
  • Biting ears
  • Grabbing onto the ropes
  • Poking the eye with a thumb
The ancient Greeks believed that fist fighting was the games played by the gods in Olympus; and thus it became part of the Olympic Games in about 688 BC. Back then, boxers fought wearing leather bands around their fists for protection and sometimes wore metal-filled, leather hand coverings called cesti, resulting in bloody, often duel-to-death, battles.