Western Boxing

Western BoxingBrief History and Background of Western Boxing

A Style of Western Boxing has been around for a long time and¬†there’s evidence of it going back to over 3500-4000 years, with depictions/descriptions of it from Iraq, Crete and Egypt. It has also been a sport as far back as 700 BC and was an Olympic sport as early a 688BC. There was much development and promotion of the sport in Britain from the 16th century on, which was also known as prize fighting during it’s earlier development.

Fist fighting including bare-knuckle fighting has continued to be a sport/unarmed dual throughout the centuries. The name boxing appeared around the early 18th century and the sport had very little in the way of rules. By the mid 18th century the boxing champion Jack Broughton brought in some rules, which included a 30 second count for a downed opponent, no hitting a downed opponent and the introduction of padded gloves for training. By 1838 the London Prize Ring rules were introduced, where matches were now held in a square ring and biting, head-butting and hitting below the belt were disallowed. In 1867 the Marquess of Queensberry rules were introduced by John Chambers for amateur fights, which included timed rounds and intervals, a 10 second count, no wrestling and standardised gloves.

Western Boxing/prize fighting during the 19th/early 20th century was still considered a brutal sport and was outlawed in many countries. It took a long time and a lot of work to make it a regulated and recognised sport, which came about through stricter rules and regulations and of course promotions which earned many lots of money.

Western BoxingCompetitive Western Boxing is held in a square roped boxing ring, with a referee and a number of rounds (professional bouts are usually 10-12, 3 minute rounds). There is normally a 1 minute corner time between rounds were advice is given, water is taken in and any cuts/swelling is seen to. A win is either decided by a knockout (or sometimes 3 KO’s during the match), a referee stoppage, a towel thrown in by the corner to say their fighter has had enough, or by points awarded by judges if it goes full distance. Modern boxing doesn’t allow hitting below the belt, to the back of the head, the back, kicking or the use of any other part of the body except the gloved knuckles, also disallowed is head-butting, holding (a breath clinch is ok), tripping, pushing, biting, or spitting. There are weight classes and fighters are normally matched up with opponents in the same weight class.

Amateur boxing has been an Olympic sport since 1908 with 3-4 rounds. The rounds are scored by hit points and the fighters wear headguards and normally a vest as well. Amateur boxing is also part of Commonwealth sports. See Olympic Boxing here.

As Western Boxing is a very popular sport that is also highly organised and regulated there are a large number of organisations and associations. Listed here are just a few of them:

Amateur Boxing Association (ABA)
Golden Gloves Association of America
Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA)
Canadian Amateur Boxing Association
Amateur Boxing Association of England
International Boxing Federation (IBF)Western Boxing
World Boxing Association (WBA)
World Boxing Council (WBC)
World Boxing Organization (WBO)
World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF)
United States Boxing Association (USBA)
British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC)
European Boxing Union (EBU)


Western Boxing Training

Training for Western Boxing can include strength training, endurance/conditioning, speed, agility, stamina, flexibility and reflex training. This training can take the form of running/treadmill work, cycling, shadow boxing, various bag work, skipping, weight/bodyweight training and sparring.

Boxing training can consists of learning how to move and place your feet, how and where to hold your hands/arms, defensive moves/positioning (slipping, bobbing, blocking, covering up, clinching, footwork and evasion), punches (jabs, crosses, counter strikes, hooks, uppercuts, straight punches) and any combination/variation of these and a few others that aren’t specific or just happen to happen at the time.

Sparring plays a big part in preparation for competitive fights, while much can also be carried out individually with heavy bag work, speed ball work and focus pad work.


Western Boxing Equipment/Gear Used

General training wear will depend on the club you join, but will normally be any comfortable sports clothing. Competitive clothing for amateurs will consist of boxing shorts, vest, socks and boots, while professionals are not expected to wear the vest, but can have an optional ring jacket on entry to the match.

Boxing gloves (various weights)
Bag gloves
Hand/wrist wraps
Body protection – sparring
Gumshield
Speed balls/bags (various)
Heavy bags (various)
Maize Bag
Strike/focus pads/mitts
Skipping rope
Weights
Fitness/cardio machines/equipment
Medicine ball


Celebrity Western Boxing Practitioners or who have had training

Sylvester Stallone
Mickey Rourke
Robert Conrad
Jack Palance
Marion Morrison (John Wayne)
John Diehl
Liam Neeson
Tony Burton
Ray Winstone
Bob Hope
Tony Danza
Victor McLaglen
Will Smith


Movies featuring Western Boxing

Title
Year
The Prizefighter and the Lady
1933
City for Conquest
1940
Gentleman Jim
1942
Body and Soul
1947
The Harder They Fall
1956
Monkey On My Back
1957
Blood Money
1962
Requiem for a Heavyweight
1962
Rocky
1976
The Champ
1979
Rocky 2
1979
Raging Bull
1980
Rocky 3
1982
Dempsey
1983
Rocky IV
1985
Rocky V
1990
Diggstown
1992
The Great White Hype
1996
The Boxer
1997
The Kid
1997
Play It to the Bone
1999
The Hurricane
1999
Rocky Marciano
1999
Girlfight
2000
Ali
2001
Joe and Max
2002
Against the Ropes
2004
Fighting Tommy Riley
2004
Million Dollar Baby
2004
Cinderella Man
2005
Rocky Balboa
2006
Resurrecting the Champ
2007
Strength and Honor
2007
The Fighter
2010
The Boxer
2012

 

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