The Differences between Professional and Amateur Boxing


Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard are just but a few boxers who started in the Olympic before they joining professional boxing and becoming household names.

What most people don’t understand is that there is a difference between amateur and professional boxing. The two not only differ in the ability and experience of the boxer but also other things like the rules.

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Unlike in other sports, turning from an amateur to a professional boxer is not very complicated. It involves obtaining a pro license when you pass the physical test and you are good to go. 

On those lines, below are some of the major differences between amateur and professional boxing.

Differences between Amateurs and Professional Boxers

The only way to become better at something is spending time working on it. Here are the differences


  • The Styles


In amateur boxing, one needs to have fast hands and feet to do well. The style in amateur boxing involves quick strikes because you will be throwing one, two or jab, then move in and out of range.

For professional boxing, a boxer looks for the big shot and knocks out more often.  The boxers plant their feet more and throw powerful shots to their opponent. An amateur must land his punch directly on the closed glove but a pro can hit the opponent on his back or the area of the kidneys.


  • Difference in objectives


In professional boxing, the main objective is to earn more money by knocking out their opponent whereas in amateur boxing the boxer aims at scoring as many points as possible. 

An amateur boxer is expected to land clean quick strikes. They don’t earn any points for landing big shots or knocking out their opponents. This is why the boxers are asked to focus more on how they will land straighter shots.

For professional boxing, boxers have a 10 point scoring system for each round you win. The winning involves the player knocking out the opponent.


  • Headgears


Headgears are worn by players to protect their heads against cuts and slow down the effect of a knockout. Apart from headgears, boxers also wear more padded gloves and vest during games and practice.

Apart from wearing protective headgears, amateur boxers also wear gloves, vest and mouth guards during gameplay. The protective gears are to protect players from common boxing injuries. 

In professional boxing, the boxers only wear protective headgears during practice to avoid any heavy blow that may affect the players’ outcome in the final game.


  • Ring size and scoring


For amateur boxers, their ring size can be no smaller than 16 by 16 feet and no larger than 20 by 20 feet. For the player to score points he or she must contact the front or side of the opponent’s head or body with the white area of the glove. 

In pro boxing, the size of the ring can vary and the boxer has the freedom to hit their opponent above the belt and the hit must land on the front or side of the head or body.