There are nine weight classes, and the class of a boxer is determined by body weight. The nine weight classes are the following:
The boxing match takes place in a square ring. The ring size for amateur matches is 16 – 20 square feet and for professional boxing is 16 to 24 square feet. Also the ring floor should have felt or foam rubber covered by canvas.
Before entering the ring the boxer should wrap his/her hands with cloth bandages, and then put on leather gloves. Note that in some US states, there are gloves without thumbs in order to reduce potential eye injury. Boxers wear trunks and boxing shoes. Finally a mouthpiece is worn in order to protect the teeth, and an athletic cup to protect the groin area from hits below the belt. The main difference between amateur and professional matches is that in amateur matches boxers wear protective head gear but not in professional fights.
Number of Rounds
Another major difference between amateur and professional boxing is the number of rounds and their duration. In professional matches the number of rounds is between 4 to 15 rounds, and last three minutes each with a one minute break between rounds. In amateur matches the number of rounds is three rounds and last three minutes each, or five rounds that last two minutes each.
Deciding the winner
Before the fight starts each boxer is assigned a corner that he/she and his/her coaches and managers use between rounds. When a boxer is knocked down, the referee begins the count and if the boxer gets back up before the referee reaches the count of ten, the fight continues. In case when one boxer is knocked down, the other boxer must go to the farthest neutral corner. (Note that the assigned corners are not neutral corners).
In some cases in professional boxing there is a mandatory eight count, which means that the fight cannot resume until the referee reaches a count of eight. On the other hand in amateur boxing, if a boxer is knocked down three times in one round, the other boxer wins on a TKO (technical knockout). Also if the referee reaches the ten-count after a knockdown, the other boxer wins.
Another way in deciding the winner is by points scored by the judges aka decision. In professional boxing a match can end in a draw meaning no declared winner, but that cannot happen in amateur boxing matches. The decision is based on a point system or a round system. The round system has the judges individually determining a winner after each round. At the end of the fight, the boxer who won the most rounds, as judged individually by the judges, wins the match.