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John Manley
English IVH
The Art of Boxing
So, boxing isnt just pummeling people and learning to take a punch? Of course not
(Finegan3). This sport is a lot more complicated than what meets the eye. Boxing is a dangerous
sport that over time has acquired a rich history that involves intense training. Many safety
precautions and rules have been implemented to protect its athletes from harm.
This sport has been around for a long time and has steadily evolved. Boxing first started
in Minoan Crete around 1500 BCE (Collins Ring), and the sport has served a role in the
Olympics since 688 BCE ( Collins, Britannica). In ancient Greece their rules were very simple
(Collins Ring). There was only one round that didnt have a time limit, and only ended with a
forfeit or if a fighter could no longer continue fighting because of injury (Collins Ring). These
fighters often battled until serious injury, with the winner receiving gold and honor (History of
Boxing). The first official boxing match of England took place in 1681 (History of Boxing).
These boxers fought with a more unconventional style of boxing. They did not use gloves or
weight classes; however, later on in history, The first set of official rules was created in 1743 by
Jack Brownton, also known as the Father of boxing (History of Boxing). The rules of these
bareknuckle bouts were that once someone was knocked down, the person lost if he could not
enter the ring and stand a yard away from the other boxer (History of Boxing) Jack brownton
also contributed to the sport by inventing the first boxing gloves and opening the first training
gym (History of Boxing). The rules that Brownton brought to the sport were revised with the

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London Prize ring rules in 1838 (History of Boxing). These bouts were fought in a square
ring, still bareknuckle, and the rules were that rounds would end by a knockdown and a 30
second break was implemented between each round (Collins Ring). Just like in todays rules,
eye gouging, head buttting, striking with feet, and hitting under the belt were all against the rules
( Collins Rings). The rules were soon altered again in 1867 into the Queensberry code of
rules which are much like the rules used in this day and age with three minute rounds and
boxing gloves. Boxing has truly changed a lot from the barbaric fights in Crete to the bouts of
today fought in rings with gloves and referees.

Since the beginning of boxing, there have been at least a few rules. There are rules and
regulations to this sport that are implemented to insure a safe and fair bout. In today's era, bouts
are fought in square rings, 18 to 22 feet long, outlined by four ropes (Collins Britannica).
Professional bouts consist of 12 scheduled rounds, lasting 3 minutes each, while amateur bouts
consist of about four scheduled, three minute rounds (Collins, Ring). Referees stay in the rings
with boxers, as they compete to regulate the bouts (Collins, Ring). Standing outside the ring, are
three judges that score each round (Collins, Ring). These judges either score a fight by counting
punches or through the ten point must system (Sy).
A ten point must system is more common than counting punches and promotes more
strategy into the bouts. The factors that judges consider when scoring are effective aggression,
clean punching, and ring generalship or command (Sy). In this system, the winner of each round
gets ten points and the loser receives nine (Sy). If the loser of a round is knocked down, he
receives an eight (Sy). In the event of both boxers getting knocked down, no points are deducted
(Sy). If a round is seen as a draw, both boxers receive a ten for that round (Sy). A nine to nine
score is also a possibility in the event of a winner committing a foul (Sy). When a bout has gone

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the full amount of schedule rounds, the points given for each round are tallied together (Sy).
When all points are tallied, the decisions can be unanimous, majority, split, or a draw (Sy). When
three judges score the fight to one boxer, it is a unanimous decision (Sy). A majority decision
occurs when two judges believe one boxer has one, while the other judge has scored a draw (Sy).
A split decision is the name for the occurrence of two judges favoring a fighter while the third
judge favors the other boxer (Sy). A draw is possible if two judges have ruled a tie (Sy).
In both the ten point must system and punch count system, bouts end after they have gone
on for the amount of rounds scheduled for the fight. When this happens, scoring officials
determine who deserves the victory by tallying the scores they counted for each round. (Collins,
Ring). However, bouts can end in several other ways. A match can end by a knockout or in other
words, hitting ones opponent so hard that he or she cannot get up by the count of ten (Collins,
Ring). Another way is by a TKO (technical knockout). This is when the referee decides the bout
must be stopped because one of the boxers is unable to protect themselves because he or she is
hurt so badly (Collins, Ring). Bouts may also end with a tie (Collins, ring). This happens when
two or more scoring officials have counted the same scores for both boxers (Collins,Ring). A no
contest is also a possibility (Collins Ring). This is when the bout is declared a nullity
because of a premature and inconclusive end (Collins Ring). A boxer can become
disqualified from the bout by flagrantly fouling his or her opponent (Sy). All of these different
ways for a bout to end, naturally creates more room for strategy to win.

There are many ways to commit a foul. The fouls in the todays rule book stem from the
Queensberry code of rules (History of Boxing). Head butting or hitting an opponent under the
belt are very serious fouls that are often subject to disqualification without a warning (Thymes).
Holding an opponent's limb or shoulder is also against the rules and is a very common foul

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(Thymes). A blow to the back of the head, hitting after the bell rings, striking on the ground,
kneeing, elbowing, pushing, or using the ropes to bounce and gain velocity for a punch are all
illegal moves in a bout (Thymes). These rules were added to the sport to make bouts fairer and to
protect its athletes from injury.
Even with the fouls, boxing is a very dangerous sport that is responsible for many
injuries. A very common injury boxers often times deal with are cuts to the face from being hit
(Holloway). Receiving a hard blow to the jaw can result with a broken jaw (Holloway). Boxing
with bad technique is a great way to break a hand or wrist (Holloway) (See illustration 2).
Getting hit with a hard body shot can cause broken ribs (Holloway). Vision loss is a possibility if
one is hit with great force to the eyes (Holloway). These injuries are to be kept in mind before
stepping in a ring with somebody
Among the other injuries of this sport, boxing has developed a bad reputation for brain damage.
However, studies have shown that it may not deserve such a bad reputation. A study named the
Heidenberg Boxing study analyzed the brains of 42 boxers and 37 non-boxers (University
Hospital Heidelberg). If one gets hit in the head too hard, microhemorrhages may appear. In
three of the 42 boxers, microhemorrhages were found (University Hospital Heidelberg).
However, in the other group, three microhemorrhages were also found (University Hospital
Heidelberg). The study found that Boxing is less dangerous for the brain than previously
feared (University Hospital Heidelberg). Despite the horrible reputation boxing has for brain
damage, studies have shown that it is not very dangerous.
In this dangerous sport there are many safety precautions that protect its boxers from
injury. Boxers use head gear to protect themselves from head injury (Holloway) (See illustration
1). Headgear is required to wear in all amateur fights (Holloway). Boxers, in both professional

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and amateur bouts wear boxing gloves to protect their hands and wrists (Holloway). Another
form of hand and wrist protection comes from hand wrap (Gasior). While that keeps boxers safe,
the safest rule that has been implemented is weight classes so that a mismatch in size is
impossible (Holloway). Before a boxer even gets to worry about his match up in the ring, one
must pass a physical examination from their doctor (Durham). This is to ensure a boxer is
healthy enough to fight. A boxer is not required to see a dentist like how he is required to see a
doctor before he fights, but to make sure he doesn't have to see one after, mouthguards are worn
to protect the fighters teeth (Durham). Medical professionals have a duty to be at the bout next
to the ring in all matches (Durham). These professionals not only provide assistance to boxers
when they are hurt, but also have the authority to stop a bout at their discretion (Durham). These
safety precautions protect boxers from many different injuries and are a crucial part of the sport.
Training is the best safety precaution the sport has to offer. The training process is a very
complicated process involving many drills. Boxers sculpt their punching form by using the heavy
bag (Diva). A productive heavy bag drill many boxers use is called the 30-30-30 (Diva). In this
drill someone punches a heavy bag in three different ways for three 30 second intervals (Diva).
The start of the drill starts with light punches, just warming up the arms and focusing on
technique (Diva). The second interval is the same thing but throwing punches at a faster rate
(Diva). The third interval involves the boxer hitting the bag with extreme power (Diva). Hand
Eye coordination is being worked on through using the heavy bag, and it also is made better
through using boxing focus hand pads. These focus hand pads help boxer perfect their
combinations (Diva). One partner with the focus hand pads, stand punching distance from the
partner with gloves and calls out combinations for the boxer to throw at the pads (Diva). Boxers
train their foot work with the side step drill (Diva). This drill involves a boxer circling an

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object in the center of the ring by side stepping and never crossing their feet (Diva). Another
great drill for footwork is the mirror boxing drill which is used by many boxers to work on their
defense quickness (Diva). A boxer stands at punching distance from their partner and mirrors
every move that their partner does (Diva). Probably the most common drill for fast feet is
jumping rope (Diva). Boxers jump for usually three minutes at a time simulating a round of
boxing (Diva). Feet quickness is a very important asset that a boxer can greatly benefit from and
so is hand speed. To improve hand speed, many boxers practice their boxing combinations while
holding onto dumbbells of light weight in each hand (Diva). To practice breath control, boxers
emphasize breathing a quick one breath per punch with every boxing drill they go through
(Diva). For complete body quickness, boxers shadow box to train their defensive maneuvering
quickness and it also helps a boxer critique his or her own form (Diva). One stands in front of a
mirror practicing their combinations, pretending to fight their own selves in effort to perfect their
form (Diva). In order to be able to use all of these skills proficiently, a boxer must be conditioned
or the punches will be sloppy and ineffective (Sawtelle). Conditioning every day and sparring at
least once a week is a great way to stay in shape for the ring (Sawtelle).
Boxing is a sport that takes daily training and knowledge of the rules. It can be very
dangerous when not following the safety precautions as seen through the history of the sport.
This sport has evolved over time into becoming a great sport. The rules have been changed time
and time again in order to make bouts fairer. One should not have to worry so heavily about the
dangers of this sport because they certainly do not outweigh the health benefits. However, if one
is worried about getting hit, then that person should not be boxing. Thats because this sport
takes toughness. As the fictional boxing character, Rocky Balboa states, Its not about how hard
you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep going.

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Illustration 1: (Gaisor)

Illustration 2: (Holloway)

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