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Ricardo Dominguez (left) vs. Rafael Ortiz Professional boxing bout featuring Ricardo Dominguez (left) vs. Rafael Ortiz.

Boxing, also called pugilism, prizefighting (when referring to professional boxing) or the sweet science (a common nickname among fans) is a sport where two participants of similar weight fight each other with their fists in a series of one to three-minute intervals called “rounds”. In both Olympic and professional divisions, the combatants (called boxers or fighters) avoid their opponent’s punches while trying to land punches of their own. Points are awarded for clean, solid blows to the legal area on the front of the opponent’s body above the waistline, with hits to the head and torso being especially valuable. The fighter with the most points after the scheduled number of rounds is declared the winner. Victory may also be achieved if the opponent is knocked down and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten (a Knockout, or KO) or if the opponent is deemed too injured to continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO). For record keeping purposes, a TKO is counted as a knockout. On boxers’ records, only KO’s are mentioned. Technical knockouts are usually only mentioned in contemporaneous news articles.

Governing bodies

Boxing has many governing bodies leaving no organization in overall control.

Professional boxing

Governing Body Website
World Boxing Association (W.B.A.) http://www.wbaonline.com/
World Boxing Council (W.B.C.) http://www.wbcboxing.com/
International Boxing Federation (I.B.F.) http://www.ibf-usba-boxing.com/
World Boxing Organization (W.B.O.) http://www.wbo-int.com/
International Boxing Organization (I.B.O.) http://www.iboboxing.com/

Amateur boxing

Governing Body Website
Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur
(International Amateur Boxing Association) (A.I.B.A.)

Impact of boxing on the English language

Numerous metaphors common to everyday speech derive from the sport of boxing. Some of these include:

Metaphor Definition
he was rocked by that one a fighter was hit by a punch with enough force to be dazed
not up to scratch subpar, not able to do the task at hand (in the old days of boxing, boxers started the round by stepping over a scratch made in the ring, but if a boxer could not do this to keep the round going, he was said to be “not up to scratch”)
saved by the bell rescued from defeat by dint of time running out, an unexpected turn of events, etc.
on (or against) the ropes on the verge of being defeated
throw in the towel to quit, give up. Traditionally, a boxer’s manager or trainer will throw a towel into the ring if he feels that his fighter cannot win and is endangering himself.
come out swinging to throw oneself into an activity or competition; in boxing, to pursue the opponent aggressively (possibly recklessly)
going down swinging to fail while in the process of trying
in one’s corner on someone’s side, to help or cheer him on
down/out for the count knocked out, defeated
sucker punch hitting an opponent who is off his guard, unfairly taking advantage of a vulnerability
hitting below the belt a grossly unfair attack (in everyday life, usually of a verbal nature)
punch drunk dazed or incoherent (originally, from being repeatedly struck, can refer to dazes generally)
pull one’s punches to hold back, withhold full force or attack
in the arena to be participating, engaged
keep your guard up to remain alert, on the defensive
punch above one’s weight to compete against a more powerful opponent; to perform better than expected

Boxing in popular culture

Undisputed, (2002)
The Broken Place, a novel involving boxing; Shaara had been an amateur boxer.
Battling Butler (1926 film) Starring Buster Keaton
The Champ (1931 film)
Two-Fisted (1935 film) Comedy
Kid Galahad (1937 film) Starring Edward G. Robinson
Golden Boy (1937 stageplay) written by Clifford Odets
Golden Boy (1939 film) Starring William Holden and Barbara Stanwyck
Gentleman Jim (1942 film) Starring Errol Flynn
Body and Soul (1947 film) Starring John Garfield
Champion (1949 film) Starring Kirk Douglas
The Set-Up (1949 film) Starring Robert Ryan
Day of the Fight (1951 short subject) first film directed by Stanley Kubrick
On the Waterfront (1954 film) Starring Marlon Brando
The Harder They Fall (1956 film) Starring Humphrey Bogart
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956 film) Starring Paul Newman
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956 TV play) Starring Jack Palance, written by Rod Serling
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962 film) Starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney
Kid Galahad (1962 film) Musical starring Elvis Presley
Golden Boy (1964 musical stageplay)
The Great White Hope (1970 film) Starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander
Fat City (1972 film) Starring Stacey Keach and Jeff Bridges
Rocky Oscar winning movie in 1976 and its sequels, starring Sylvester Stallone (also scriptwriter)
The Main Event (1979 film) Starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal
The Champ (1979 film) Starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Rick Schroeder; remake of 1931 film
The Prize Fighter (1979 film), starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway
Raging Bull (1980 film) A classic boxing movie, starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci
Spike of Bensonhurst (1988 film)
Tokyo Fist (1995 film)
The Great White Hype (1996 film) Starring Samuel L Jackson and Jeff Goldblum
When We Were Kings (1997 film) The story of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman and The Rumble in the Jungle
24 7: Twenty Four Seven (1997 film) Starring Bob Hoskins
Don King: Only in America (TV movie) Starring Ving Rhames
The Hurricane (1999 film) Starring Denzel Washington as middleweight Rubin Carter
Billy Elliot, about a young dancer whose father and brother wanted to become a boxer, like Ken Buchanan
Girlfight (2000 film)
Ali (2001 film) Starring Will Smith
Champion (2002 film) South Korean film about Duk Koo Kim, a South Korean boxer who died after a bout against Ray Mancini
Undefeated (2003 TV movie) Starring John Leguizamo
Million Dollar Baby (2004 film) Multiple Oscar winner about a female boxer directed by Clint Eastwood
Virgin Gloves (2004) The first novel about a Gay prizefighter, by Alex Hutchinson
Against the Ropes (2004 film) Starring Meg Ryan as Jackie Kallen famous female boxing promoter
Black Cloud Directed by and starring Rick Schroder
The Calcium Kid (2004 film)
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004 film) Documentary directed by Ken Burns
Cinderella Man (2005 film) Based on the true story of Jim Braddock starring Russell Crowe.
The Contender 2005 Reality TV series
Hajime no Ippo A manga/anime about a young featherweight boxer
Activision Boxing, one of the first console games about boxing
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! A Nintendo game. Later adapted to SNES as Super Punch-Out!!
EA Sports Fight Night 2004, Fight Night: Round 2 and Fight Night: Round 3 (formerly Knockout Kings).


Anasi, Robert (2003). The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle. North Point Press. ISBN 0-865-47652-7
Fleischer, Nat, Sam Andre, Nigel Collins, Dan Rafael (2002). An Illustrated History of Boxing. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-806-52201-1
Fox, James A. (2001). Boxing. Stewart, Tabori and Chang. ISBN 1-584-79133-0
Halbert, Christy (2003). The Ultimate Boxer: Understanding the Sport and Skills of Boxing. Impact Seminars, Inc. ISBN 0-963-09685-0
Hatmaker, Mark (2004). Boxing Mastery : Advanced Technique, Tactics, and Strategies from the Sweet Science. Tracks Publishing. ISBN 1-884-65421-5
McIlvanney, Hugh (2001). The Hardest Game : McIlvanney on Boxing. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-658-02154-0
Myler, Patrick (1997). A Century of Boxing Greats: Inside the Ring with the Hundred Best Boxers. Robson Books (UK) / Parkwest Publications (US). ISBN 1-861-05258-8.
Silverman, Jeff (2004). he Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told : Thirty-Six Incredible Tales from the Ring. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-592-28479-5
U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc. (1994). Coaching Olympic Style Boxing. Cooper Pub Group. 1-884-12525-5

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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