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List of Boxing Fouls Rules

The improper behaviour in boxing can often seem complicated or confusing to beginners. Boxers can get warnings or disqualified depending on the seriousness of boxing fouls.

FOULS IN BOXING: Violating any boxing rules and regulations will get considered as a foul.

Boxing fouls can result in a warning, a points deduction, or a disqualification by the referee.

Some unsporting behaviour and fighting fouls are more serious than others. As a rule, the safety of both opponents determines the severity of the penalty.

Most professional fight referees tolerate a limited amount of pushing. A stiff push rarely results in an official warning even though it is illegal.

In general, fighters will get warned up to 3 times before the referee starts deducting points. He uses discretion before deciding the seriousness and verdicts of any boxing fouls.

Worst Boxing Fouls in a Professional Bout

  • Boxers cannot hit below the belt, hold, kick, trip, bite, head-butt, wrestle, spit on, or push an opponent.
  • You cannot hit you opponent with your shoulder, forearm, elbow, or your head.
  • You cannot hit with an open glove, the inside of the glove, the wrist, the backhand, or the side of the hand.
  • You must not turn your back to an opponent repeatedly. Refusing to make any attempt to fight is against the rules in boxing.
  • You cannot punch your opponent in the back, on their kidneys (kidney punch), or back of his head or neck (rabbit punch).
  • A boxer cannot throw a punch while holding on to the ropes to gain extra leverage.
  • You must not hold your opponent and strike him at the same time.
  • Boxers cannot duck so low that their head is below their opponent’s waist or belt line.
  • You must take a full step back when the referee breaks you from a clinch. It is then illegal to immediately hit your opponent (called hitting on the break).
  • You cannot bide some rest time by spitting out your mouthpiece on purpose.
  • Scoring a knockdown means you must go straight to the farthest neutral corner. The referee then makes the 10 second count.
  • You cannot leaving your neutral corner without a signal from the referee. Your cornermen cannot enter the ring during any live boxing action.
  • Boxers cannot hit an opponent when he is on the canvas having hit the floor or slipped.
  • A floored boxer has up to ten seconds to get back up on his feet before losing the bout by knockout.
  • A boxer who gets knocked down cannot get saved by the bell in any round. Exceptions apply in some localised jurisdiction rules.
  • Boxers must not make any punches after the bell strikes.
  • If you get hit with an accidental low blow you have up to five minutes to recover. A knockout gets awarded if he cannot continue after 5 minutes.
  • What if a boxing foul results in an injury and causes the fight to end immediately? In this case the official boxing rules disqualify the boxer who committed the foul.
  • What if a similar foul causes an injury and the bout continues? In this case the referee orders the judges to deduct 2 points from the boxer who caused the injury.
  • What if an unintentional boxing foul causes the bout to get stopped immediately?
    • The bout would get ruled a ‘no contest‘ if 4 rounds did not get completed in full. Three rounds if scheduled for four only.
    • The judge scorecards get tallied if 4 rounds got completed.
    • The fighter ahead on points gets awarded a technical decision.
    • It will be a ‘technical draw‘ if the scores are even.
  • Boxers get a count of 20 seconds if they get knocked out of the ring. They must get back in the ring and stand on their feet (he cannot get assistance for this).
  • A standing 8 count or the three knockdown rule also may be in effect in some local jurisdictions. In some cases only the referee can stop the bout.
  • Disrespecting a referee or failing to follow his instructions is a foul in boxing.
  • Displays of excessive showboating is not tolerated in professional boxing matches. Showboating means using too much talking or gesturing and not enough fighting.


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Boxing Fouls List for Professional Bouts