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Explaining the differences between Pro and Amateur Boxing

Sri Nishanth
17.70K   //    17 Jul 2016, 18:10 IST
Vijender reacts after winning his bout against Kerry Hope.

Last night, Indian boxing ace Vijender Singh made history by winning the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight after beating Australia’s Kerry Hope. The Olympic Bronze medallist recently made the switch from Amateur Boxing to turn Pro. In the wake of his victory, it is natural that people around the country would ponder about the difference between Pro boxing and amateur boxing.

On those lines, we will try to explain the differences between the two types of boxing.

Unlike many other sports, turning professional in boxing is not very complicated. The only obstacle towards obtaining a pro license is failing the physical test. Apart from that, an amateur boxer is allowed to turn pro without any other complications.

Also Read: Who said what: World reacts to Vijender Singh winning the WBO Asia Pacific Championship title

Aspiring boxers can directly opt to box as a pro and do not have to box as an amateur in order to turn pro. Meanwhile, amateur boxers might find it easier to turn pro as they are experienced in the sport and could manage to give a few novice professional boxers a run for their money.

Amateur boxing also allows a standing eight-count to let the boxer recover from a hard blow. Pro boxing does not have any such rule. Boxers can hit each other anywhere above the belt as long as it's not the back of the opponent. In the amateur game, it's illegal to strike an opponent below the belt, in the kidney area and on the back of the head.

Also Read: Vijender Singh says this win is about India and not about him

There is a massive difference in scoring as Amateur boxers are scored by the judges using an electronic counter. The counter records all the blows and the five judges score each blow. The boxer who gives most number of blows wins the round. Therefore, a boxer can win the encounter despite losing more rounds by dominating a single round.

The computers are however only used in the Olympics. Non-Olympic competitions use the same method of scoring without the use of computers.

In pro boxing, there are three judges. They award the winner of each round 10 points while the loser is awarded 9 or lower. The boxer with the most number of points over all the rounds is declared the winner.  Since Pro boxing consists of up to 12 rounds, it is slow paced compared to amateur boxing which only consists of 3 rounds.

In Pro boxing, the rings are not of standardised size, whereas in amateur boxing, the rings have a standardised size, ranging between 6 ft.sq and 20 ft.sq.

Finally, the biggest difference between the two is that the Professional boxers are paid by a sponsoring organisation. Amateurs can continue to box while working outside the sport. They can earn money through advertisements, sponsorships etc., but cannot demand the organisation for any money. 

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Sri Nishanth
Third year Sports Management student studying at Loughborough University. From Chennai, India and based in Loughborough, UK.
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