The modern rules of professional boxing are based largely on the Marquess of Queensbury rules of 1864. A few years ago the Association of Boxing Commissions came up with a standard set of rules which would be followed by all member commissions for championship fights. These rules may vary slightly from fight to fight but are generally as follows:
- Each championship contest will be scheduled for twelve (12) rounds, of three (3) minutes duartion, and one (1) minute rest period. Non-championship contests will be scheduled for ten (10) rounds.
- The referee is the sole arbiter of a bout and is the only individual authorized to stop a contest.
Some states also mandate that the ringside doctor may stop the fight, however this is rare. In the event that a fighter appears badly injured the referee will generally consult with the doctor and decide whether to take his advice or not.
- All bouts will be evaluated and scored by three (3) judges.
- The 10 Point Must System will be the standard system of scoring a bout.
- Mandatory eight (8) count after knockdowns will be standard procedure in all bouts.
- All professional boxers are required to wear a mouthpiece during competition. The round cannot begin without the mouthpiece. If the mouthpiece is dislodged during competition, the referee will call time and have the mouthpiece replaced at the first opportune moment, without interfering with the immediate action. Points may be deducted by the referee if he feels the mouthpiece is being purposely spit out.
- There is NO standing eight (8) count.
The standing eight count has been used in some boxing rules throughout history and is no longer a common practice. In the event that a referee thought a boxer was in trouble (ie, not defending himself properly due to a severe attack by the opponent) the referee could separate the fighters and count to eight even though the fighter wasn't knocked down.
- There is NO three (3) knockdown rule.
Another antiquated rule that states, if a fighter is knocked down three times in a single round he loses the fight. These days the ending isn't mandatory, but the referee may end the fight by using his own judgement at any time.
- A boxer shall receive a twenty (20) second count if he is knocked out of the ring and onto the floor. The boxer is to be unassisted by his seconds. If assisted by his seconds, he shall be disqualified by the referee.
- A boxer who has been knocked down cannot be saved by the bell in any round.
- If a boxer sustains an injury from a fair blow and the injury is severe enough to terminate the bout, the injured boxer will lose by TKO.
- Injuries sustained by fouls.
A. Intentional fouls
1. If an intentional foul causes an injury, and the injury is severe enough to terminate a bout immediately, the boxer causing the injury shall lose by disqualification.
2. If an intentional foul causes an injury and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee will notify the authorities and deduct (2) points from the boxer who caused the foul. Points deductions for intentional fouls will
3. If an intentional foul causes an injury and the injury results in the bout being stopped in a later round, the injured boxer will win by TECHNICAL DECISION if he is ahead on the score cards or the bout will result in a
TECHNICAL DRAW if the injured boxer is behind or even on the score cards.
4. If a boxer injuries himself while attempting to intentionally foul his opponent, the referee will not take any action in his favor, and this injury will be the same as one produced by a fair blow.
5. If the referee feels that a boxer has conducted himself in an unsportsman-like manner he may stop the bout and disqualify the boxer.
B. Accidental fouls
1. If an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, the bout will result in a No Contest if stopped
before four (4) completed rounds. 2. If an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, after four
(4) rounds have occurred, the bout will result in a TECHNICAL DECISION, awarded to the boxer who is ahead on the score cards at the time the bout is stopped.
a. Partial or incomplete rounds will be scored. If no action has occurred, the round should be scored as an even round. This is at the discretion of the judges.
- A fighter who is hit with an accidental low blow must continue after a reasonable amount of time but no more than five (5) minutes or he will lose the fight.
Most of the above comes from "STANDARD CHAMPIONSHIP RULES", hbo.com, 2000, http://www.hbo.com/boxing/cmp/rules.shtml. My own comments and clarifications have been added.