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The characteristics of boxing as a sport in the united states

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Ring, rules, and equipment Because there is no universally accepted world ruling body for professional boxing, each country has its own set of rules, and in the United States there are different rules in different states.

Since the late 1920s, professional championship bouts traditionally lasted 15 rounds, but by the late 1980s the WBC, WBA, and IBF championships were all being scheduled for 12 rounds. A referee is stationed inside the ring with the boxers and regulates the bout. In some jurisdictions the referee scores the contest along with two judges outside the ring. In most jurisdictions, however, the referee does not participate in the judging, and three ringside officials score the bout.

The officials award points to each boxer for each round, and a boxer must win on two of the three scorecards to earn a decision victory.

In Olympic bouts five judges score the fight electronically by pushing a button whenever a punch is believed to have landed on a boxer. No punch is registered as a hit unless at least three judges press their buttons within a second of each other.

Padded glovesranging from 8 to 10 ounces 227 to 283 grams in weight, are worn by the boxers. A bout ends in a knockout when a boxer is knocked down and cannot get up by the count of 10.

A fight can be stopped by a technical knockout TKO when a boxer is deemed by the referee and sometimes the ringside physician to be unable to defend himself properly, when a boxer is deemed to have sustained a serious injury, or when a boxer or his seconds decide he should not continue.

A bout may also end in a decision when the bout has gone the scheduled number of rounds and the scoring officials decide the winner. Several conditions can cause a bout to end in a draw: A bout may also end in disqualification. The rules governing amateur boxing are similar in the United States, Great Britain, and continental Europe but differ substantially from those governing professional boxing.


Amateur bouts are normally three rounds in duration, and the boxers wear protective headgear. Olympic bouts changed from three rounds of three minutes to four rounds of two minutes for the Games at Sydney in 2000. The referee only supervises the boxing, while three to five ringside judges score the bout. The rules are also more stringently enforced in amateur boxing, and disqualification is more common than in professional boxing.

Footwork is important to both offense and defense. Boxers using orthodox stances ordinarily are right-handed and rely on that hand for power, using the left hand to jab and hook; the converse is true of southpaw boxers, who are usually left-handed. In either stance the lead hand is extended forward in front of the body and the other hand is held near the chin for protection, the chin is tucked into the chest, and the shoulders are hunched.

There are individual variations. There are four basic punches: The jab, whether thrown from an orthodox or a southpaw stance, is a straight punch delivered with the lead hand, which moves directly out from the shoulder. The hookalso thrown with the lead hand, is a short lateral movement of arm and fist, with elbow bent and wrist twisted inward at the moment of impact.

The uppercut is an upward blow delivered from the direction of the toes with either hand. The straight right or left is thrown at shoulder level with the back hand, usually as a follow-up to a jab from the other hand. The punch is quick and explosive. The hips twist in the direction of the punch as it is delivered.

This upward punch is usually directed at the head.

  • In books or in film, the climactic match often means salvation or redemption—a time-tested formula hard to resist;
  • Although there are no official parameters towards defining what a national sport is, there are some general characteristics that most national sports share;
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  • The sports most featured on the big screen were boxing 140 , football 87 , car racing 80 , and baseball 72.

Styles In bare-knuckle fighting the emphasis was on the power of the punch, since bouts usually ended only when one contestant could not continue. The hands were held in front of the body in no particular position, and footwork was practically nonexistent. With the advent of padded gloves and contests decided on points, boxing skills and footwork became more important.

Corbett was the first modern heavyweight to concentrate on technique. Ten years after Corbett lost the title, heavyweight champion Jack Johnson showed that he too could box as well as punch.

The heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey enjoyed tremendous popularity because he was an aggressive fighter with an explosive assault. Dempsey fought from a crouch, bobbing and weaving to leave as little of himself exposed as possible. Until Muhammad Aliheavyweights were not expected to move quickly. At his peak, however, Ali was the fastest and arguably the most skillful heavyweight champion of all time. Although Ali did not possess a devastating punch, his hand speed was extraordinary, and he dominated many fights by delivering rapid sequences of blows.

Though style remains a matter of individual choice, swift lateral movement, good defensive head movement, combination punching, and effective counterpunching have, to a large degree, become the most important aspects of modern boxing technique. Ron Olver Nigel Collins The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Boxing in artliterature, and film For such a brutal trade, boxing has attracted more than its share of artists and writers. If all life is ultimately a Darwinian struggle for survival, then boxing at least has the virtue of being open about it.

One of the earliest depictions of boxers appears on a Minoan vase from Crete c.


Almost 800 years later Homer recounted a boxing match in the 23rd book of the Iliad see aboveand, in a neat bit of parallelism, the sport became part of the 23rd Olympiad in 688 bc. Later Plato referred to boxing in the Republic and the dialogue Gorgias; Virgilechoing Homer, included a boxing match in the Aeneid see above.

Pindar composed poems for Olympic champions, as in the Olympian ode written for Diagoras of Rhodes excerpted here: But, Father Zeus, you who rule over the ridges of Atabyrium, grant honor to the hymn ordained in praise of an Olympian victor, and to the man who has found excellence as a boxer, and grant to him honoured grace in the eyes of both citizens and strangers.

For he walks a straight course on a road that hates arroganceknowing clearly the sound prophetic wisdom of his good ancestors. Greek and Roman art frequently depict boxing.

  1. Thus, this definition implies to be affiliated to a federation — which does not appear in the lucha pelicula — and to be set in the framework of official competitions — which is not to be found in martial art movies. Typically considered to be competitive physical activities that have an organized set of rules along with winners and losers.
  2. Sport in Australian Drama.
  3. An ambivalent look at the fictional sports feature film.

The life-size seated boxer dating to the 1st century bc now in the Roman National Museum in Rome wears superbly detailed sharp thongs on his hands, and his battered face, broken nose, and cauliflower ears show the effects of such fighting.

The brutal and sinister forms of the Roman caestus glove frequently appear in small bronzes and in Roman mosaics. After boxing died out with the gladiatorial games in the 5th century ad, it naturally disappeared from the literary and artistic canvas. When the sport resurfaced in 17th-century Englandartists and writers soon gravitated to it. In 1812 a London journalist, Pierce Eganwrote a history of British boxing, Boxiana, whose highly stylized prose very likely influenced a young reader by the name of Charles Dickens.

Arthur Conan Doyle not only made sure that Sherlock Holmes was a good amateur pugilist, he also wrote a half dozen stories about boxers under the title The Croxley Master and Other Tales of the Ring and Camp 1910.

They drove a dodge that never fails A pin beneath my finger nails. They poured what seemed a running beck Of cold spring water down my neck; Jim with a lancet quick as flies Lowered the swelling round my eyes.

A gulp of liquor dulled the pain, And then the flasks clinked again.

Ring, rules, and equipment

Americans resisted boxing until the end of the 19th century, but, once the sport had gained a foothold, men who wrote about boxing often seemed as plentiful as fighters themselves.

In fact, it is likely that more literary writing, as opposed to pure journalism, has been spent on boxing than on any other sport, and, indeed, on rare occasions, gifted journalists have blurred the line between literary writing and sportswriting. Moreover, if the writer frets that his own experience is somehow less vital or real than that of the man of action, boxing can symbolize this insecurity.

Other American painters of boxing include Thomas Eakins and James Chapin, both of whom ably rendered the movement, power, and grace of men boxing, as well as the fatigue and pathos that often attends the aftermath.

Hurlbut Collection These same dramatic qualities appealed to filmmakers.

  1. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  2. Pindar composed poems for Olympic champions, as in the Olympian ode written for Diagoras of Rhodes excerpted here.
  3. While French spectators do not find this in films, they do find it in sports reporting, as reporters never miss an opportunity to teach life lessons.
  4. Modern Pentathlon shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping, cross-country run , Triathlon swimming, cycling, cross-country run , Biathlon cross-country skiing, shooting , Nordic Combined cross-country skiing, ski jumping , etc. Extreme sports include e.
  5. Active aerobics are placed at the second level of the physical activity pyramid because, next to lifestyle physical activities, they are among the most popular activities among adults. In fact, it is likely that more literary writing, as opposed to pure journalism, has been spent on boxing than on any other sport, and, indeed, on rare occasions, gifted journalists have blurred the line between literary writing and sportswriting.

And in 1897, the championship fight between Gentleman Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons became the first sporting event to be captured on film.

The power of such films was attested to when interstate commerce in footage of Jack Johnson beating Jim Jeffries July 4, 1910 was prohibited by federal law. The fact that Johnson was an African American and Jim Jeffries a white boxer had more than a little to do with it.

As for fictional movies about boxers, they outnumber all other sports films. Although most early fight films followed a set pattern of a poor boy who battles his way out of the slums only to fall prey to women and gangsters, their popularity really depended on the built-in tension in every boxing match.

Not only is there danger with every punch thrown, there is anxiety in who shall prevail; and when two boxers represent different constituencies of class, ethnicityor nationality, a championship fight becomes all the more significant.

In books or in film, the climactic match often means salvation or redemption—a time-tested formula hard to resist.