Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, with boxing images depicted in carvings more than 2,000 years ago. The sport has come a long away since those times, with a major step forward occurring in 1867 when John Chambers drafted the set of rules which govern boxing to this day. They are known as the Marquess of Queensberry rules because they were published under the patronage of the Scottish nobleman and his name remains associated with them. There are 12 rules, the first and most important of which is that fights should be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot rings, or as near to that size as practicable. The other rules stipulate that, among other things, rounds should be three minutes in duration and that there should be one minute between rounds.
Unlike most sports, there are distinct differences between the amateur and professional boxing. Found in college sport and international events such as the Olympic Games, amateur boxing has a point-scoring system that measures the number of clean blows landed rather than the amount of physical damage incurred. Amateur boxing bouts last a maximum of three rounds and protective headgear is mandatory.
Most professional boxing bouts are programmed to last longer than amateur boxing bouts, with 10 and 12 round being the most common scheduled distances. Headgear is not permitted in professional boxing bouts and referees allow fighters to sustain more physical damage before they considering halting proceedings. Professional boxers must be bear chested, whereas amateur boxers are allowed to wear singlets.
What are the most popular ways to bet on boxing?
Because most boxing bouts feature a long odds-on favourite, this is one sport in which betting on the basic result is not the most popular option with punters. The prospect of backing a 1-10 favourite is not something excites the average man in the street with a few bucks to wager.
Consequently, boxing is one of the sports in which betting options that began in the exotic categories have become part of the mainstream. The two most popular boxing betting options are round betting and method of victory betting.
Round betting enables punters to wager on the round in which the fight ends, with options available for point decisions and a draw as well to cover every eventuality. The beauty of round betting is that it provides punters with a way to bet at double-figure odds on a prohibitively priced favourite.
Method of victory betting markets comprise five options: A by decision or technical decision; A by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification; B by decision or technical decision; B by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification; draw or technical draw.
How is boxing organised?
Amateur boxing is relatively straightforward to follow, with the Olympic Games being the pinnacle of the discipline, but professional boxing is tougher on which to keep an eye than a Floyd Mayweather left hook because of the large number of sanctioning bodies that have turned international boxing into sport’s equivalent of alphabet soup in recent years.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame recognises that there are four major sanctioning bodies – the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) – while there are several minor groups such as the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and the World Boxing Union (WBU).
To complicate matters even further, the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO list some of the 17 weight limits by different names. According to the WBC, which was founded in 1963 and whose titles most boxing fans rate as the most prestigious, has the following categories: strawweight (105 pounds); light flyweight (108 pounds); flyweight (112 pounds); super flyweight (115 pounds); bantamweight (118 pounds); super bantamweight (122 pounds); featherweight (126 pounds); super featherweight (130 pounds); lightweight (135 pounds); super lightweight (140 pounds); welterweight (147 pounds); super welterweight (154 pounds); middleweight (160 pounds); super middleweight (168 pounds); light heavyweight (175 pounds); cruiserweight (200 pounds); heavyweight (unlimited).
Which countries love boxing?
When one thinks of countries in which boxing is part of the fabric of society, one country springs to mind above all others: Cuba. The Caribbean island nation of around 11 million people has won 34 Olympic Games gold medals in boxing, at least double every other country except the United States of America, which has won 49 titles.
Boxing was popular in Cuba when its communist leader, Fidel Castro, banned the professional discipline of the sport in 1962. Consequently, amateur boxing is massive in Cuba and the country’s successful amateur boxers are regarded as superstars. The most famous Cuban boxer of all time was Teofilo Stevenson, the three-time Olympic Games boxing champion who turned down an offer to defect and fight Muhammad Ali. Stevenson famously said that one million dollars could not compare to the love of eight million Cubans and he stayed loyal to Castro’s revolution.
Cuba is one of a handful of countries in which professional boxing is banned, with others including Norway and North Korea. Boxing is popular in most nations around the globe, with strongholds including Mexico, Panama, The Philippines, Puerto Rico and the United States of America.
Money talks in professional boxing, which is why the United States of America is the venue for most of the major world championship bouts. The casino hotbeds of Atlantic City in New Jersey and Las Vegas in Nevada are two of the American places most synonymous with the fight game, with headline bouts held in the latter attracting Hollywood A-listers because Los Angeles is just 270 miles down the road.