How Is Boxing Scored? The scoring system, the judge’s decisions, and the choice of the winner

How Is Boxing Scored?

Did Boxing Always Have a Scoring System?

Boxing today is very different from the sport that was created then. Boxing goes back to the civilizations of the ancient world.

Initially, fights were held in the open, where spectators formed a kind of “live arena,” and lasted until the fighter was seriously injured or until the last man standing was left.

Modern boxing bouts can be quite violent, but we rarely see athletes seriously injured in the ring. This has been made possible by improvements in equipment, such as padded gloves that protect against injury.

This means that fighters can stay in the ring longer and knockouts are less common than in the days when the sport was just emerging. Boxing leagues have created a scoring system that determines who wins each match.

Did Boxing Always Have a Scoring System?

How Do the Points Work?

Three judges are responsible for determining the scores in each professional boxing match. These scores are based on the “10-point system,” which means that a fighter who is declared the winner of a round receives ten points. The loser usually gets nine points. Sometimes, if a round is deemed even, both fighters may receive 10 points each. Judges score each round

All points from the 12 rounds are added up to determine the overall winner. If the judge determines that fighter A has won nine rounds, he will receive 90 points. If he loses three rounds, he gets 27 points. If you add everything together, then fighter A will get 117 points.

How Is a Winner Chosen?

It would be a unanimous decision by all three judges that Fighter A has a point advantage over Fighter B, and Boxer A would be crowned champion. However, if two judges decide in A’s favor it is a split decision win.

In rare cases, judges may disagree with the match, as was the case in 2018 with Fury and Wilder. The result was a Split Decision Draw.

Scores can and do vary from the standard 10-9 result. It might score 10-8 if Fighter A can knockdown Fighter B. It becomes 10-7 if it happens again. You can keep going with this if you get a lot of knockdowns during any round.

One exception to this rule is the three-knockdown rule. This means that if a fighter gets knocked down three or more times during a round, it’s an automatic knockout. However, this rule is not used by the major boxing organizations.

If a fighter continues to break rules the referee considers unfair, points may be deducted.

More about the judges’ decision and the results in the next paragraph…


If no one has won by knockout within the set number of rounds, then the judges will decide who the winner is based on their round-by-round scorecards. Each round is worth 10 points. That means that a fighter could score 120 in a 12-round fight and 100 in a 10-round bout, and so forth.

Each judge will have an overall winner or may have scored the fight dead even. These are some of the possible outcomes:

  • Unanimous Decision: All three judges are ahead of the same fighter on their scorecards.
  • Split decision Two judges have boxer A ahead of one judge, and one has boxer B ahead. This means that Boxer A wins, with two scorecards to 1.
  • Majority decision One judge has a fighter ahead of the other, and the third judge scores it as a draw. Although the winner fighter didn’t get a unanimous decision from the judges, he did win the majority of the cards.
  • Draw – If one judge has boxer A ahead of the other, and one judge has boxer B ahead of the third, the overall result will be a draw. This is also known as a split draw. If all three judges have it dead even, that’s a draw (a “unanimous draw”). There is…
  • Majority draw -If the two judges cannot determine the winner, but the third judge believes that one of the fighters has won, then a “Majority draw ” is declared.

What Exactly Are the Judges Looking For?

How do they decide who wins

It’s not difficult to determine who the winner of a round in boxing is. It’s easy to figure out who the winner of a boxing round is by just watching. And, obviously, if your favorite fighter gets knocked down, it usually means that things aren’t looking too great.

Sometimes it is difficult to see why some boxers win close rounds. These are the signs that judges look for throughout the competition. Effective Aggression

A fighter might be characterized by throwing a lot of punches, pushing their opponent into a corner, and being aggressive in their approach. If the punches don’t land and the opponent is able to counter them, they won’t win the round.

This is the keyword. Judges want to know if boxers are able to use precise and accurate approaches. This is demonstrated by landing effective punches and moving forward.


Although this is often overlooked, it’s just as important as playing offense in boxing. It is essential to master proper defense.

You can duck, dodge, bob, weave, parry, and block. A boxer who can avoid being hit with punches effectively can not only keep his endurance up during the match but also reduce their opponent’s aggression score.

Ring Generalship

Every boxing match has an opponent that seems to dominate the action, play style, tone, and manner of sparring. This is called the ring general and can earn them extra points with the judges. It’s basically the person who makes the opponent fight.

If you don’t know much about boxing, this can be difficult to spot. After a few boxing classes, you will be able to identify the ring in any match.

Hard and Clean Punches

Most people believe they can tell when a boxer hits the ground or nails their opponent correctly by watching a match in boxing. This is a little more complicated than you might imagine.

The referee must see that the hard punches land clean. A “clean” punch is one that hits an opponent directly without being blocked. Sometimes, a punch can make a loud sound and seem like it has made contact. In other cases, the punch may just have hit their glove or barely touched any kind of contact. A punch that does not land flush against an opponent is not considered a clean punch.

Effective aggression is similar to the number of punches thrown. It’s about how many punches land.

Are the Scores Ever Disputed?

You may have noticed something about all the scoring criteria: they are all subjective. It’s easier to see the results in sports like basketball because they are dependent on quantitative data about the ball hitting the net. Boxing is entirely dependent on the perceptions and opinions of the judges.

This can make it difficult for some of the ringside judges to determine who wins in a match. Sometimes, judges may disagree on the scores of a match. This can lead to mixed results.

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