Boxing Terminology Explained

If you are a recent arrival on the boxing scene, the terminology might confuse you a little’ like most sports, boxing has its own language and in this short article, we will define a few of the terms used in the sport of boxing.

  • Bout – Another word for ‘official fight’, when a bout is sanctioned by a local boxing regulator.
  • Clinch – When two boxers come together during a bout; the referee will often separate the fighters, while some boxers prefer to work on the inside with short punches and uppercuts.
  • Combination – A combination is a series of punches that are thrown consecutively; it might be jab, straight right and left hook, which is only an example. Most fighters throw punches in bunches, which is an effective way to score points and if you would like to take up boxing in Reading, there is a great gym with top instructors.
  • Knockdown – This is when one boxer punches their opponent, causing them to fall to the floor. In the event of a knockdown, the referee immediately begins a count and if the boxer manages to get up before the count of 10, the referee will allow the bout to continue. If, on the other hand, the referee feels that the boxer is unable to defend themself, they would wave off the fight.
  • KO – When a boxer hits the opponent and knocks them to the canvas and they fail to stand up within the count of 10, then the bout is over. This is called a KO win; a technical KO (TKO) is when the referee stops the bout.
  • Low blow – The waistband is the line for legal/illegal punches and should a boxer be hit with a low blow, the referee can stop the fight, giving the injured boxer up to 5 minutes to recover.
  • Standing count – At any time, the referee can interrupt the bout and give one boxer a standing count of 8 and should the boxer be unable to protect themself, the referee will stop the fight. This is down to the referee’s discretion and there are times when a fight is stopped early, which is frustrating for the loser.
  • Weight division – There are many different weight divisions in boxing, which is a sport that uses weight to classify divisions; from bantamweight to super-heavyweight and everything in between.
  • Sparring – This is when two fighters get in the ring and engage each other; it is generally understood that you do not throw heavy punches when sparring. Boxers wear headguards, a crutch protection belt and a mouthguard to protect the teeth when sparring.

If you are looking to start training for boxing, talk to a coach at a local boxing gym; indeed, many people train for personal reasons and they have no intention of competing in the ring.

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