Understanding: Boxing

by Meryl Hanmer

With the recent boom in popularity for boxing, not only as a sport to take part in but as a spectator sport, there is sure to be a record number of students desperate to watch the Varsity boxing matches in the refectory on Monday 23rd April.

Our Swansea boxing club have been determined to achieve victory once again this year, engaging in a demanding training regime. Regularly they not only train with other local clubs and national boxing champions, but also they take advantage of Swansea’s hilly landscape for fitness training.
After first being inspired by the 2004 Olympic games, Swansea University’s boxing club president, Ryan Thornhill began his boxing career at the age of just ten years old. Twelve years on Ryan’s passion for the sport still flows strong, in his first year at university, he won a prestigious match representing Wales and since then has progressed to becoming head coach for the university team. Ryan had this to say about the up-coming Varsity competition, “I’m not anxious about anything for these matches, I have helped lead the club to consecutive victory for the past four years. I predict a clean sweep for Varsity, 5-0, although they may sneak the one.”

The Varsity scoring system:

  • The 10-point must system, so named because the judge ‘must’ award ten points to at least one fighter per round and is the most widely used scoring system for more than 60 years.
  • Judges score on a 10-point scale, the more dominant boxer being awarded 10 points, the other receiving 9 points.
  • If a boxer is knocked down he loses a point, if both are knocked down the knockdowns cancel each other out A standing eight count, or a protection count, also constitutes a point deduction.
  • If a boxer is entirely dominant throughout the round but doesn’t achieve a knockdown, the judge may still award a score of 10-8 Should the round be even, both boxers are awarded 10 points.
  • If the referee deems it necessary, he can take away one or two points for an intentional foul.

What are the judges looking for?
Effective aggression – when the aggressor lands his punches whilst avoiding those of his opponent.
Ring mastery – a boxer who controls the ring action which enforcing his will and demonstrating his fighting style.
Defence – when a boxer is slipping, parrying and blocking punches; good defence symbolises a good fighter.
Clean and hard punches – Despite there being numerous punches thrown, most are either blocked or don’t land flush. The judge looks for hard shots which land clean.


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