amateur boxing

Amateur Boxing (How to Get Started)

People decide to get into boxing for a variety of reasons. Some want to stay fit, others for self-defense, and others for the aspiration to compete. All these are great reasons, but we shall be focusing on those who plan to compete in the amateur boxing.  We shall be looking at the three categories mainly:

But first of all, let’s look at the underlying factors needed to be considered when one decides to take part in amateur boxing.

Choosing a good gym; the first primary factor when one is aspiring to compete in amateur boxing is where to do the training. You have to understand the fact that not every gym which offers boxing training will be right for you.

There are general attributes to for in a gym that will enable you to know the perfect gym for you to train in.

Looking for a Great Coach; In most of the gyms, trainers and coaches who work as private contractors are hard to find. Some of the trainers can be friends; others can be rivals, while others can be enemies.

Therefore once you see the proper gym to train in, then it is best to talk to the guy in charge on what exactly you are looking for. He will probably ask you some few questions about your experience, age, and goals.

boxing girl lifting weights

Then he would recommend you to a particular coach that will suit you, that will reduce the work to start looking for one. Once you meet with the recommended coach, you would probably go through the same previous questions again.

Afterward, due to the experience you have, he will probably put you through some workouts. While doing this, he will be watching at how you work out, punch bags, and perhaps watch your shadow box

It will enable him to know the level to begin training with you. You will also need to be watching him too, as you are getting acquainted with him.

Looking at how he interacts and train others in the gym, this will enable you to understand the kind of person you are dealing with.

Amateur Boxing Rules

After looking at the underlying factors needed for every beginner, let's now focus our attention on the educational part. For anyone participating in any kind sport, knowing the rules of the game is the most vital part in all the process.

As with every other sport, amateur boxing has rules by which the game is run. These rules include:

  • There are three to four rounds in amateur boxing, in which every series takes a total of three minutes. Along with that, the resting time is usually one minute.
  • Every fighter in the game is assigned to a specific corner in the ring. The coaches and managers mainly use this corner during the interval.
  • When a fighter gets knocked down during the fight, the referee then counts up to ten. If the fighter remains on the floor during the entire countdown, then he has failed. The other boxer is then declared a winner by knock out. The other boxer has to remain neutral during the whole count, not in the assigned corner.
  • Apart from wearing boxing gloves inside the ring, the boxer is also supposed to wear hand wraps inside the boxing gloves. The fighter is even supposed to wear proper boxing trunks as well as appropriate shoes. Another vital equipment is the mouthpiece, which is essential to protect the jaws of the fighter. The fighter must wear an athletic cup to protect the area below the belt. The last essential equipment is the headgear, which is vital to protect the head.

Amateur Boxing Association

Amateur boxing associations began in the early 1880s after the affiliation of twelve clubs. After that, the first championship was then held in the following year. In the year 1902, American fighters were also contesting for titles in A.B.A championships.

After that 1924 Amateur Boxing Association took an international complexion, it had an affiliation of 105 clubs.

By the year 1946, the (AIBA) Amateur International Boxing Association was then formed. It included twenty-four nations from five different continents; this was done in London.

Ever since then, the AIBA has been the official global federation of amateur boxing. In 1974 is when the first World Amateur Boxing Championship was staged.

Amateur International Boxing Association brought up several changes in the boxing games. These changes include; a new scoring system which was introduced in January 2011.

In this system, each judge gave an individual score for every fighter. Ratings assigned to every boxer would then be taken from three out of five judges. It may be by either same score or rather trimmed mean.

The scores given are not tracked in real time but are instead handled over at the end of every round. The headgear had been in the amateur game rules since 1982, but in March 2016 it was removed by the AIBA.

The decision was made after the observation was made, that concussion rates occurring in fights with headgears is higher. It was compared to those fights without headgears.

Amateur Boxing Tournaments

boxing tournament

The amateur boxing game is usually considered to be any fight taking place in a local gym. But several other tournaments take place to determine amateur champions.

For instance, The Golden Gloves tournaments, which is usually fought in both regional level as well as the national level.

Regardless the fact the Golden Gloves refers to the National Golden Gloves, still yet it can also apply to intercity Golden Gloves, New York Golden Gloves, Chicago Golden Gloves and other Golden Gloves tournaments in the regional level.

Once every year the champions of the regional tournaments then fight for the National annual competition.

The United States usually determines the national representative in the Olympic Games, by preparing a national tournament.

It may be by direct qualifying or through regional qualifying tournaments, either way, the winner is selected to represent the national boxing team at the Olympic Games.

Amateur Boxing and Training

Most of the boxing gyms are usually not so welcoming, but for the ones determined to kick off won’t get intimidated by this factor.

First of all, most of the excellent training gyms (meaning the ones with experience and expertise) are usually out of the city. In addition to this, you will find them sometimes very crowded, extremely hot and loud.

The people training and sweating in the little damp boxes are sometimes the ones you don’t want to come by.

Sam Sheridan once said in one of his podcast interviews a while back, that the guys who know what they are doing and where they are going, have no need for bullying or posturing anyone.

But these statement doesn’t apply to all of them, I’m sure there must be some exceptions to this rule but are very few and rare to come by. So whether you are transferring from one sport to amateur boxing, or you are a complete beginner, there are some things to take note.

  • Work more and Talk less; No coach, trainer or any other serious athlete, who won’t respect a new guy for his working hard without making unnecessary scenes. This general rule serves for any trainee in any given sport, especially in amateur boxing.
  • Don’t keep asking too many questions when training; this may sound off the conventional wisdom. The thing to note here is that the fundamentals in the boxing training are usually very awkward to a beginner. Things like hands up, boxing stance eyes, elbows tucked, and shoulder is pointing at your opponent usually feels uncomfortable for beginners. If you decide to start asking the why’s in each beginners lessons you start taking, you will be wasting your own precious time. Just keep doing what you are instructed by your coach, he will tell you when you are not doing it right. As you keep doing it, you will start getting used to it, as you know mastery comes with repetition. Just learn the fundamentals, and keep practicing them as often as you can, until you become accustomed to them.
  • Always show up consistently; you won’t need 24 hours for muscle relaxation as in the case of bodybuilding. Boxing can be strenuous and hard for some parts of the body; repetition is vital for the training. Depending on your goals for this game, but you should understand that practicing three days a week won’t make you a champion. You will need to practice every single day, to make yourself fit for this game. Remember your opponent might be training five to six days a week, this tells you what it takes to be a champion.
  • Excuses Don’t Make a great Fighter; This is a general rule in every area of life, but in boxing, it is usually taken very seriously. It is very common for those guys transferring from other sports, like martial arts. After a brutal sparring session where a boxer is counteracted with steady straight hands, after being tired to bring his jab back. You might hear him making excuses in comparison to the previous sports. Explanations don’t make a skilled boxer; it slows you down in the process of learning and building yourself up. Some reasons like not getting enough sleep, being sick, tired or injured, while they might sound authentic, but they are a danger to your learning curve. No coach or trainer likes listening to this kind of excuses, so learn to avoid them altogether.

Sparring Sessions

sparring session

The most crucial part in amateur boxing training is the sparring part. Beginners or other newcomers might get surprised by the frequency of sparing sessions at the gym.

Not only the frequency but also the intensity of these sessions is on the rooftop, compared to other gym sessions. In the beginning, the newcomers usually work with someone with a lot more experience than you.

He is generally calm, and he will let you throw punches, and work you out on your defense. He will be honest with you, by tagging you light shots and jabs just too constant remind you that the other guy can throw punches also.

Read Also: How to Punch Harder: The definitive boxing guide

As you keep advancing, this session begins to become hot and more intense. The mismatches of sparring partners will mostly be amended with a handicap; this is whereby the more experienced fighter will throw fewer punches.

Another thing is that the fewer experiences fighter will be the one to dictate the pace of the session. As you proceed, more matchups with guys with the same weight and experience level will start sparring with you.

At this time the sparring session will be more intensive and will resemble a full contact match. The only few differences are with the types of gloves used in the sparring session.

As well as the fact that, the sparring session will be smoothly handled compared to the real match. For instance, if a guy gets a barrage of punches or hard shots, the etiquette always demands to avoid going for the kill, this won’t happen in a real match.

Things to take into consideration during sparring sessions:

  • The sparring partners usually touch gloves at the beginning and the end of the sparing session. Note that you are not allowed to throw off a punch immediately after touching gloves when your partner is distracted. That will be tricking and not training. Another thing is that regardless of the intensity of the sparring session, it is still sparring.
  • When your coach is yelling some critical things to take note, you should keep sparring as you listen.
  • At the close of the session, be thankful to both your coach and sparring partner, regardless of the intensity of the course. You may sometimes get hard punches, or you may also give hard knocks, either ways be thankful for the opportunity.

Wrap Up

With these things under consideration, amateur boxing can kick-start smoothly. Remember that hard work and discipline, is of much importance in this game. So make sure you maintain them at all costs.

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