To the casual observer, boxing is a simple sport: two competitors standing toe to toe in a ring, exchanging punches. In reality, however, boxing is much more complex, and fighters spend their entire careers mastering the intricacies of this “sweet science.” Fortunately, the Web can make it easy to understand the sport, both inside and outside of the ring. It can teach you the rules of boxing, boxing history, help you follow professional boxing, show you how to learn to box your self, and where to buy boxing equipment.
The history of boxing traces back to ancient Greece, where it was part of the Olympic games. It experienced a revival of popularity in the 18th century in bare-knuckle form, but it wasn’t until the Marquess of Queensberry published rules in 1867 that boxing took the form we see today. This section shows you the evolution of boxing and introduces some historic events that have greatly affected the boxing world and modern society.
- There are distinct differences between professional and amateur boxing, Olympic-style boxing. Professional boxing fights are 6–12 rounds with no headwear, and an emphasis on landing hard, damage-inflicting punches. Amateur boxing features just four rounds, headwear, softer gloves, and more importance on landing short, quick punches to score points. Most amateur bouts are decided by the judge’s scorecards—much more so than professional fights, which often end in knockouts.
For an overview of boxing …
takes a look at the history and rules of boxing, as well as a boxer’s moves and training regimen. It’s a British site, so it does tend to focus on British boxing, but much of the information is universal.
covers the early history and the current state of boxing, with information on rules, technique, equipment, and competitions. The content is broken up into several short sections, which are best navigated using the navigation bar on the left-hand side.
gives a good overview of the rules of boxing, terms, strategy, and history along with photos taken from actual fights.
For boxing rules …
covers the Queensberry rules, which revolutionized the sport of boxing when they were created by the Marquess of Queensberry in 1867. The same basic rules are still in use today.
presents amateur boxing rules. It clearly explains amateur boxing’s strict scoring system, which is based on the number of punches thrown and not the power of the punch.
For boxing history …
The International Boxing Hall of Fame
in Canastota, New York, is the more respected of the two international boxing halls of fame. Its site includes biographies of inductees and articles about boxing’s history.
The World Boxing Hall of Fame
in Los Angeles is the oldest international boxing hall of fame, founded in 1980. Its site features short biographies of all its inductees, as well as induction ceremony information and pictures.
has a collection of newspaper articles covering fights from the 1800s to 1955. Many famous fights are covered here, including Johnson–Burns, Dempsey–Tunney, and Louis–Schmeling.
’s “American Experience” presents The Fight
, a documentary on the epic 1938 bout between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. The fight became a symbolic battle between the United States and the Nazi regime, and Louis’s first-round knockout of Schmeling made him an American hero. The site includes an overview of the fight, a timeline, pictures, radio calls of both Louis–Schmeling bouts, and a transcript of the film. It also encourages further study, with a collection of primary sources, further reading, and a teacher’s guide.
also offers Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
, a documentary by Ken Burns. In 1908, Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion of the world, challenging the racist ideals of the white establishment and paving the way for civil-rights trailblazers like Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. The site features a walk-through of the documentary, with pictures and selected audio snippets, and a teacher’s resource designed for high school students. The documentary is also available on DVD
The New York Times
has an archive of articles chronicling the life and career of Muhammad Ali, from his first victory over Sonny Liston to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Several book reviews are also included.
Boxing has a complicated maze of governing bodies, which can be confusing even to boxing experts. The Web sites in this section aim to teach you what these bodies are, which fights they sanction, and what fighters top their rankings.
- Governing bodies sanction bouts and award championship belts.
- The glut of governing bodies, and their championship belts, is often mentioned as a reason for the decline of professional boxing’s popularity. The “alphabet soup” of these organizations’ initials creates confusion and leads to multiple world champions. Furthermore, belt holders are often required to fight the top contender within the governing body instead of the champion of another governing body. This frustrates many fans because it hinders the search for a true champion and prevents some potentially great fights.
- There are frequent reports of corruption within governing bodies, which are known to accept bribes and favor one promoter’s fighters over others.
- For further reading on the issues surrounding boxing’s governing bodies, including the alphabet soup champions, the lack of oversight, and the corruption, see these articles from the New York Times, East Side Boxing, and Irish-Boxing.com.
- For a list of governing bodies not listed here, see BoxRec’s Boxing Encyclopedia.
- Each professional boxing governing body’s Web site has a brief history, fighter rankings, schedule, results, a list of current champions, federation by-laws, and rules and regulations.
For professional boxing …
The World Boxing Association
is boxing’s oldest governing body, originally called the National Boxing Association when it was founded in 1921. It was the only national governing boxing body until 1963, and it featured famous champions like Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano. Like the other sites below, this site posts association rules, rankings, fight results, and a schedule of upcoming title fights. There is also a separate site for WBA records
, which requires free registration.
The World Boxing Council
is, along with the WBA, one of the sport’s two most prominent governing bodies. It was created in 1963 as the first international governing body (the WBA was strictly national at the time). It declared bankruptcy
in 2004 following a controversy involving its light heavyweight champion, but it continues to function and sanction fights. Its site features the remnants of its short-lived “Boxing Season,” which attempted to create standings based on a fighter’s performance during 2006. It may have been a failure, but the WBC has had other successes, chronicled in the interesting “Accomplishments that have Changed the World of Boxing
The International Boxing Federation
is the third of the “big three” bodies. It was initially considered a fringe organization, but it gained respect when Larry Holmes relinquished his WBC belt to become IBF champion in 1984. The site features up-to-date rankings, but its schedule and results sections are empty.
For amateur boxing …
is the official governing body of amateur, Olympic-style boxing in the United States. It promotes amateur boxing through clinics, camps, and competitions for fighters of many ages, weights, and ability levels. It also, as a member of the AIBA, holds qualifying tournaments for international competitions. Its Web site has news, rankings, results, and fighter bios, as well as contact information for state associations
With all the governing bodies and weight classes, it can be difficult to stay on top of the world of professional boxing. This section can help you find boxing news, boxer statistics records, previews of upcoming fights, and post-fight analysis from respected commentators.
- The best source for official rankings is the Web sites of governing bodies like the WBA, WBC, and IBF.
- Renowned boxing analyst Max Kellerman hosts a call-in show on ESPN Radio, during which he often talks about boxing. To download podcasts or listen live, visit the official ESPN Radio Web site.
For online boxing magazines …
features news, analysis, fight previews, interviews, and more. Much of its content, including real-time fight commentary, video, and “The Next Round” podcast, is available only through a subscription, which costs $5.99 a month.
The Boxing Times
has post-fight breakdowns of the sport’s biggest bouts, with an archive dating back to 1997. There are also fight previews and podcasts.
is a famous and well-respected boxing magazine that was founded in 1922. It’s known for declaring unofficial world champions in each weight class in response to the corruption and confusion of boxing’s current system. Though there is no belt or official status, The Ring
world champion gains a measure of respect from fans and the boxing community. The list of rankings and champions
can be found on The Ring’s official Web site, alongside a small collection of classic articles and a selected article from the current print edition. Subscribe to the print edition
for $53.70 a year.
East Side Boxing
features a large stable of writers based in the United States and abroad. Multiple news stories, articles, and fight recaps are added daily.
For boxing statistics …
has built a large database of fight results and boxer records in an attempt to document every fight since the creation of the Queensberry rules. The data can be searched by boxer, weight class, date, or location. The BoxRec staff has also created a ranking system
for boxers past and present that attempts to rank fighters without the corrupting influence of governing bodies. Note that the site’s “Boxing Encyclopedia
,” which supplies pictures and brief biographical information for most active boxers, is user-generated and thus might not always be reliable.
Professional and amateur fights are held just about every night, and in all parts of the world. The sites we’ve included in this section tell you what fights are coming up and where you can watch boxing on TV or in person.
- To order pay-per-view events, visit the Web site of your cable or satellite provider. Depending on your service, either order directly online or find information on how to order over the phone or using your TV remote.
For schedules …
has a schedule of upcoming fights in all weight divisions. It includes the bout venues, fighter bios, and the network broadcasting the fight. The schedules can be searched by date or broadcasting network.
The Boxing Times
has a television schedule for viewers in the United States, sorted by time zone. It also includes links to the official sites of networks that regularly cover boxing.
For TV networks …
has been broadcasting boxing since the 1973 Foreman–Frazier bout. Its Web site features fight schedules, biographies of selected fighters, and information on ordering pay-per-view fights. It also includes some commentary and analysis in the form of “Best of” lists, articles from writers Ron Borges and William Dettloff, and podcasts
with historian Bert Sugar.
televises two programs featuring live fights. Showtime Championship Boxing
features established stars fighting for championship belts, often in a pay-per-view format. ShoBox: The New Generation
features up-and-coming fighters who in most cases are fighting on television for the first time. The network’s Web site includes an upcoming schedule, and the Championship Boxing
bouts contain boxer bios, news links, and video.
’s The Contender
is a reality show featuring real-life boxers living together and fighting to become the show’s champion. There have been three seasons thus far, and there is no word when the fourth season will begin. ESPN’s official show site features biographies of the boxers, an episode guide, and video.
Whether you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will help you in the ring or a pair signed by Smokin’ Joe Frazier to display in your home or office, this section can help you find the best boxing equipment the Web has to offer.
- We list two different types of boxing equipment sites here. The first are general boxing retailers, which carry equipment from multiple manufacturers. They make it easy to compare brands and often feature lower prices. The second are manufacturer sites, which often feature equipment not found in the retail stores.
- Not sure what boxing equipment you need? Boxinggyms.com has advice on buying boxing gloves, including information on handwraps and glove care.
For retail stores …
has a wide range of competition and training equipment for pro, amateur, and youth boxing. It offers boxing equipment from its own line, as well as many other manufacturers, including Everlast, Tuf-Wear, and Pro Mex.
is a good source for Canadian boxers looking for equipment from brands such as Everlast, TKO, and Green Hill. It is also the best source for the Canadian equipment company BOES. The site is easily navigable, searchable by product type or brand.
For individual manufacturer sites …
is probably the most well-known boxing manufacturer. The company’s site features a wide selection of boxing equipment and apparel for pro-style and amateur boxing. The training bags are especially well regarded.
is a leading producer of amateur boxing equipment, including the official boxing glove of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. A Pakistan-based company with offices across Asia, Europe, and the United States, Green Hill ships around the world. Unfortunately, its online shopping has been temporarily disabled. British users can use their UK-based Web site
, but others must either wait for their online shopping to resume or use one of the retail stores listed above.
is the equipment of choice for Evander Holyfield and the Klitschko brothers. It offers a wide range of equipment, mostly for pro-style boxing.
G & S Sporting Goods
is a small New York–based company that has been producing high-quality equipment since 1937. It has a good selection of pro-style gloves and equipment and will ship anywhere in the United States.
is a small Montreal-based company that has quickly gained a reputation for high-quality gloves. It also offers other equipment, including headgear, punching bags, and mitts. The prices, which can be a little expensive, are listed in Canadian dollars, although the company ships anywhere in the United States.
For memorabilia …
JO Sports Inc.
has a good collection of classic boxing memorabilia, including pictures, posters, programs, tickets, gloves, and robes, many of which are autographed. Memorabilia can be searched by boxer or by type of item. For questions on the authenticity of the items, see the site’s “About Us
This section will show you where to find a place to learn boxing, take boxing classes, or find boxing training sessions near you.
- Most of the sites we’ve included below are designed for beginners, many of whom are boxing without very personalized teaching or without a trainer at all. By the time you’re ready to learn more advanced techniques, you should have a trainer teaching you.
- If you can’t find a suitable gym in the directories we highlight in this section, use a search engine with some of the following terms: boxing, gym, club, trainer, training, lessons, and instruction.
For help improving your skills …
reviews the basics of boxing in this article. The site is text heavy, but the writing is clear and the writer invites you to e-mail him with any questions.
features video lessons from former boxers and trainers. There are three good boxing series, each with more than a dozen videos. Leo Cardenas
and Marvin McDowell
teach basic techniques for beginners, while Iran Barkley
explains more advanced techniques.
features boxing training advice from trainer Ross Enamait. There are articles, with some video included, on the topics of boxing technique, strength and conditioning, and nutrition. There’s also a blog that is updated regularly.
features an article from former light-heavyweight “Iceman” John Scully, in which he presents the lessons he’s learned as a fighter. He discusses how certain punches are effective, how to train, and how to behave like a professional boxer.
’s “Boxing Basics” page teaches you how to prepare, punch, and train. Photos and step-by-step instructions help you learn the moves.
To find a gym …
has a directory of boxing gyms in the United States and in many countries around the world. Each entry features an address and phone number, with some also including e-mail addresses and Web sites.
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