OBJECTIVE OF OLYMPIC BOXING: Score more points than the opponent by landing punches and avoiding getting punched.


MATERIALS: Boxing ring, 2 boxing gloves per player




Boxing has been around in some form for centuries. There is something strangely thrilling about watching two people try and punch each other in the face as many times as possible. Olympic boxing is an attempt to streamline the sport so it can be played internationally.


A boxing ring is an elevated square box about 3-5 feet tall and about 16-25 feet on each side. There are four posts on each corner of the ring and four ropes stretching around the perimeter of the ring. The ring also has a padded canvas on the floor to prevent injury when boxers fall onto the ground.


In Olympic boxing, boxers only face each other if they are in the same weight class. This is why many fighters put a considerable amount of importance on maintaining the same weight. 

Here are the different weight classes in Olympic boxing:


  • 51kg (112lbs)
  • 57kg (125.6lbs)
  • 63.5kg (140lbs)
  • 71kg (156.5lbs)
  • 80kg (176.4lbs)
  • 92kg (202.8lbs)
  • 92kg+ (202.8lbs+)


  • 50kg (110lbs)
  • 54kg (120lbs)
  • 57kg (125.6lbs)
  • 60kg (132.3lbs)
  • 66kg (145.5lbs)
  • 75kg (165.3lbs)


Olympic boxing consists of three rounds, three minutes long for men and four rounds, two minutes long for women. The ring of a bell starts and finishes each round, and the boxers are only allowed to hit each other during the round.


A boxer is only allowed to use their gloves to strike their opponent and cannot hit below the belt. Boxers also may not punch their opponent in the back of the neck or head.


In a boxing match, a fighter scores points by landing punches on their opponent. There are five judges in boxing who will each choose the winner of each round. The judges choose the winner based on the following:

  • Blows landed
  • Knockdowns
  • Round domination
  • Fouls
  • Defensive ability

At the end of a round, the judges will award the fighter that, in their opinion, won the round 10 points. The fighter the judges believe lost the round is awarded between six to nine points, depending on how close the round was.

For example, if both fighters held their own during a round but one boxer was knocked down, the judges will likely score the round 10-9 in favor of the fighter who wasn’t knocked down. But, if one fighter dominates the round, they may score the round 10-8 or even 10-7.


When a fighter is knocked down, the referee will count to ten until the fighter must stand back up completely and show they can continue the bout. If after ten seconds, the boxer is still fully or partially on the ground or is leaning on the posts or ropes of the ring, the match will end as the fighter has been knocked out.

The referee can also end the match if a fighter seems unfit to continue after being knocked down.


If a fighter breaks the rules during a bout, the boxer will receive a foul that can affect how the judges score the match. Generally, a judge will give the boxer a warning the first time they foul, and the second time, the referee will take away a point. Here is a list of boxing fouls.

  • Striking your opponent below the belt
  • Holding your opponent and hitting them
  • Striking your opponent after being instructed to go to a neutral corner by the referee
  • Hitting your opponent in any way besides with a closed fist (elbow, wrist, open glove, knee, foot, head)
  • Hitting an opponent’s eye with the thumb of your glove
  • Hitting your opponent’s kidneys
  • Hitting your opponent in the back of the head
  • Punching your opponent after the bell
  • Biting your opponent (looking at you, Mike Tyson!)
  • Any other unsportsmanlike conduct


There are two main ways to win a boxing match. You can either win by knockout or by decision.


The most exciting way for a boxing match to end is by knockout. One fighter is the clear winner before the end of the match. If one opponent is knocked down for 10 seconds or is hit and goes completely unconscious, the referee calls a knockout immediately.

A boxing match can also end in a technical knockout (TKO). For example, if one fighter is taking excessive blows to the head but does not get knocked down, the referee may call the fight to prevent severe injury. A TKO also occurs if a fighter sustains an injury that prevents them from continuing the match or if a trainer in the fighter’s corner calls the match by throwing a towel into the ring.


If neither fighter is knocked out during the 3 round fight, the winner is decided by the judges’ scoring cards. The judges add the points for the three rounds and determine a winner. If all five judges have determined the same winner, the fight is a unanimous decision. However, if the rounds are very close and not all judges have selected the same winner, the fight ends in a split decision.

Nakoa Davis