More than anything else, professional boxing was inspired by sheer love for manly fights and the price. Thus, the term “prizefighting”.
The popularity of professional boxing begun in 18th century England where the working classes were the first avid fans and participants. It grew on until boxing caught the attention of top-hatted gentlemen and royalty. Today, professional boxing bouts are held around the globe where champions are drafted from various countries.
In professional boxing, unlike in amateur boxing, score is awarded based on the 10-point must system. This means that the three ringside judges should award the maximum number of points to the boxer who displayed better exchanges during a round while the loser for each round only gets 9 points. The scores are tallied on score cards which are totaled at the end of the fight. However, this may be skipped in case of a knockout (where one boxer receives a hard blow and is not able to stand up before the count of 10) or when there is a technical knockout (where the game is stopped by the referee due to various reasons).
Scores are awarded based on the cleanliness of the punches, the defensive tactics the boxer uses and the display of effective aggressiveness. As it is, the scoring system is subject to lack of objectivity which often gives rise to questionable results.
Each knockdown deducts one point from the boxer who fell and penalties are awarded if the rules are infringed. On very serious violations, the game can be stopped and the violator can be disqualified.
As was earlier mentioned, scores are tallied at the end of the fight. If all the scorecards agree, the winner gets a “unanimous decision”. It is a “split decision” when the winner only wins two scorecards. If the scores are tied, the decision is draw and it is still a draw if one judge picks a victor and the other two gave tied scores. However this time, it is called a “majority draw”.
Professional boxing fights can last for as long as 12 rounds of 3 minutes each and as short as 4 rounds for less experienced fighters. However, prior to 1982, professional boxing can last for as long as 15 pounds. The accidental death of the boxer Duk Koo Kim during a 15-round fight with Ray Mancini forced professional boxing organizations to trim down the rounds to only 12 rounds.
Weights in professional boxing can sometimes get confusing and for each weight, there could be further subdivisions that add more categories of fighters and champions alike. Below are the more common weight divisions in professional boxing:
Other weight divisions include Strawweight, Jr. Flyweight, Jr. Bantamweight, Jr. Featherweight, Jr. Lightweight, Jr. Welterweight, and Jr. Middleweight.
Champions and Belt Holders
Due to the variety of professional boxing organizations like IBF, WBA and WBC and WBO, it is hard to determine which among the top ranking fighter and belt-holders are the champions. Currently though, there is no one governing body that could really produce champions.
There are, however, title holders, titlists and belt-holders and each sanctioning body, as they are often called, have different parameters for determining who the title holders are and who the mandatory challengers are.