The Difference Between Amateur and Professional Boxing

Amateur (Olympic) boxing is where many famous boxers got their start, including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Evander Holyfield. They utilized their amateur boxing prowess as a springboard for professional boxing careers, and they went on to become worldwide household names who influenced the sport. Despite the popularity of amateur and professional boxing, most people are unaware of the significant distinctions between the two sports, including boxers’ skill, style, equipment, prize money, and scoring, to mention a few.

Let’s take a look at the differences between the two in more detail.

Boxing Style & Skill

To succeed in amateur boxing, one must have quick hands and feet. Because the boxer will fire one, two, or a jab, then move in and out of range, the amateur boxing style features rapid blows. In professional boxing, a boxer seeks for the big punch and knocks out opponents more frequently. The fighters put extra weight on their feet and unleash strong punches at their opponent. An amateur must strike the closed glove with their punch, but a professional can strike the opponent on the back or around the kidneys. Unlike professional boxers, amateur boxers make relatively less money. In the sport of boxing, how much money you earn determines how much time you get to train, which, in turn, determines how much skill you develop. It would be fair to say that amateur and professional boxers are effectively competing in two separate sports.

Boxing Style and Skills

Equipment & Gear

Boxers in amateur boxing must wear headgear to protect their eyes, ears, and head from injury. While headgear may not completely protect an amateur from injury, it will help to avoid the most serious injuries. Professional boxers only use protective headgear while training to prevent receiving a hard hit that might alter the outcome of the actual fight. Head guards are not permitted in professional boxing bouts. Mouthguards and gloves on the other hand are worn by both boxers during fights.

Boxing Gear

Prize money

There is no prize money in professional boxing. The fighter gets compensated with a purse. A purse is the sum of money agreed upon prior to the bout to be paid to each competitor for completing the match. They don’t make money dependent on the outcome of the fight. The amount of money to be split between each boxer might vary, and other stipulations can be included. Amateur boxers are rewarded a set figure if they win.

Prize money for Boxing fight

No. of rounds in a match

Professional bouts will last far longer than amateur bouts. While both have three-minute rounds as a norm, pros might have as little as four rounds or as many as twelve. In amateur (Olympic) boxing, however, male fighters compete in three, three-minute rounds while female fighters compete in four two-minute rounds.

No of rounds in match


In amateur boxing, there are particular restrictions for the health and safety of competing fighters. These regulations are a safety guideline that controls the sport and are associate with the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA). The rules for professional boxing differ from country to country, there are however four major sanctioning bodies the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO). In the professional sport of boxing, sports promoters and fighters alike may have their own manner of deciding on specific regulations that fit their fight.

Rules for Boxing Fight


In both amateur and professional boxing, the principle of avoiding and landing punches is the same, but the scoring differs. Five judges assess amateur boxing fights using an automated counter to count legal punches. An amateur boxer could lose near all of the rounds but still win if they can manage to dominate a single round by landing more legal punches. The definition of a legal hit in amateur boxing is quite strict. The closed glove’s knuckle section must land on the head, front, or side of the body to get points, but always above the belt. Knockouts, aggressiveness, or forcing the opponent to stagger don’t get the boxer any extra points; the cleaner the punches are and the more of them that land on the opponent, the better.

Scoring for Boxing Fight

Three judges utilize a ten-point system to select the winner of each boxing round in professional boxing. The winner is the boxer who scores the most points at the end of the fight. The boxers in this style of boxing do not score points by simply landing hits. They are judged on a series of criteria, such as defense, effective aggressiveness, clean and hard hitting, and ring generalship, which are all dependent on the judge’s assessment.

Standing 8 count rule

This count is given to boxers in difficulties in amateur boxing, especially after sustaining hard punches, to assist in their recovery. After three eight-counts, or a round or four in total, the fight is generally call off. This rule does not apply to professional boxing.

Standing count rule

Fight Stoppage

When there is excessive bleeding, lacerations, or swelling on the eye in amateur boxing, the fight is generally stops. The fight is only stop in professional boxing when the wounds boxer is unable to continue. It is important to note that an amateur boxer may turn pro. One does not have to be an amateur boxer before becoming a professional. However, in order to become a professional boxer, one must adhere to a number of regulations. A professional license is obligatory, as is optimum physical fitness.

Fight Stoppage

Whether you’re an amateur starting out or a pro boxer, here’s where you can get all your gear.

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