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Boxing: Terms to Know

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AIBA

International Boxing Association, the international governing body of Olympic boxing.

Blow

A landed punch.

Blocking

Using the hands, shoulders or arms to prevent an opponent's punch from landing cleanly on the head or torso.

Bout

The boxing match that takes place between two competitors.

Box

Spoken by the referee when ordering the boxers to resume fighting.

Break

A referee's command for boxers to break from a clinch. On the command each boxer takes a step back before continuing boxing.

Clinch

When two boxers are holding, or leaning on each other, and not throwing punches.

Combination

Punches thrown in sequence, such as a left jab, followed by a straight right, followed by a left hook.

Covering

Holding the hands high in front of the face to keep the opponent from landing a clean punch.

Counter-punch

A counterattack, begun immediately after an opponent throws a punch. A "counter-puncher" typically waits for his opponent to throw punches, then blocks or slips past them and exploits the opening in his opponent's position.

Draw

The ceremony to randomly select boxers and set the bracket for each weight category.

Feint

Faking a punch to induce the opponent to open up into a vulnerable position.

Footwork

The way a boxer moves and plants his or her feet which enables them to be well-balanced for throwing punches and ready to switch easily between defensive and offensive boxing.

Fouls

A foul in Olympic boxing can be classified under one of three categories - a caution, a warning or a disqualification. A caution is an admonition by the referee and repeated cautions may lead to warnings. Only three warnings to the same boxer are allowed per bout before disqualification.

Gloves

Each boxer wears 10-ounce or 12-ounce gloves (depending on their weight class) on his or her hands. The outside of each glove is colored either red or blue, corresponding to the boxer's home corner.

Headgear

Protection for the head is mandatory in women's boxing, however men's boxing will compete without headgear in Rio for the first time since 1980.

Hook

A short power punch in which the boxer swings from the shoulder with his or her elbow bent, bringing his or her fist from the side toward the center.

Jab

A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand. It can be used as a set-up for power punches, as a way to gauge distance, to keep an opponent wary, or as a defensive move to slow an advancing opponent.

Judge

Judges are tasked with the responsibility of scoring the match. The scores from three judges will be used when determining the winner of a bout.

Jury

The jury monitors and oversees the electronic scoring system and confirms all decisions. The jury cannot overturn the decision of the judges unless a protest is filed.

Knockdown

When a boxer touches the floor of the ring as a result of a blow by his opponent. This touch may be with any part of a boxer's body excluding his feet.

Mouthpiece

A piece of plastic used to protect a fighter's teeth and prevent him from biting his tongue.

Neutral Corner

Either of two corners colored white that are not assigned to either boxer.

No contest

When a bout is stopped by the referee because of an incident outside the responsibility of the boxers or the control of the referee.

Pivot blow

An illegal blow in which a boxer pivots one's body while landing a punch.

Referee

The individual responsible for officiating matches in the ring. Referees do not score matches; judges are assigned with this task.

Ring

The 20-foot by 20-foot square area inside the ropes where competition occurs.

Round

A round in men's Olympic boxing lasts three minutes, with each bout consisting of three rounds. A round in women's Olympic boxing lasts two minutes, with each bout consisting of four rounds.

Second

A coach or trainer who is stationed in the corner of a ring during a bout. They are able to provide instructional or medical support to a boxer in between rounds. Also known as a cornerman.

Stop

Spoken by the referee when ordering the boxers to stop fighting.

Technical knockout (TKO)

If a boxer stops fighting due to injury or another cause, or if he fails to resume boxing immediately after the rest between rounds, his opponent will be declared the winner. In addition, a boxer's corner can throw a towel in the ring, thereby surrendering victory to the opponent. A referee can also declare a victory by TKO if he determines that the boxer's opponent is being outclassed or receiving excessive punishment.

Time

Spoken by the referee when ordering the time keeper and gong operator to stop the time.

Uppercut

A powerful, upward punch that comes up underneath an opponent's chin.

Walkover

If a boxer is present in the ring and their opponent fails to appear in the ring after being announced, and one minute after the bell has been sounded, the present boxer will be declared the winner by walkover. A boxer can also win by walkover if their opponent fails their medical examination or fails to make weight before the bout.

Warning

Given by the referee to the boxer who commits a serious foul. When the referee signals a warning, the ringside judges deduct a point from that boxer's total score. Three warnings in a bout means disqualification.

Weaving

A way of eluding punches by turning and twisting movements.

Weigh-in

Supervised by delegates from the AIBA, each competitor presents himself or herself once at the weigh-in each competition day. Boxers must not weight more than the allotted amount for their weight class, with the exception of the super heavyweight class, which is unlimited. The official weigh-in is done in kilograms. Pound conversions are used commonly but are unofficial.

Weight classes

There are 10 weight classes in men's Olympic boxing and three weight classes in women's Olympic boxing. Each weight classes places a cap on how much a competitor can weigh, with the exception of the super heavyweight class, which is unlimited.

WSB

World Series of Boxing, a team-based league that is owned and run by the International Boxing Association.

 

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