How to Score a Professional Boxing Round – Part 1

Many factors influence the judges scoring during a bout. They may have preferred boxing styles and tactics that influence the awarding of points, some may favour technical skills whilst others have a preference for power. This is one of the reasons three judges are seated strategically at separate vantage points around the ring to view bout from different angles to score.

I have judged many professional boxing, Muay Thai and MMA bouts which use a similar scoring criteria. I will attempt to explain the scoring criteria and process used in scoring rounds over the following two articles. Also, having trained boxers at all levels, I have managed to apply the criteria into tactics that may influence the judging panel:

1. Clean Scoring Punches
2. Ring Generalship
3. Defence
4. Effective Aggression

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Five tips how to improve your boxing combos skills

A series of punches thrown nonstop in succession without break in between is commonly known as a combination

Being a boxing coach watching many rounds of sparring and bouts, I notice boxers place emphasis on scoring with single power punches to knockout an opponent. This is fine if an opponent offers little resistance and is easily hit. But if an opponent had decent ring skills, this would will fatigue a boxer over several rounds becoming vulnerable to counterattacks, resulting from being off balance, and out of position eventually losing the bout.

A boxing judge will score a round to the busier boxer with clean effective combination punches, as this is perceived as dominating the round.

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The Art of Counterpunch, Boxrite boxing training

A counterpunch is a punch that immediately follows an opponent’s punch exploiting openings created in their defence from the attack

An effective counterpuncher relies on defensive skills and reflex acquired from rounds of focus mitt and partner drills becoming instinctive, practising various defensive skills against a punch. These skills include blocking, parry, slip and ducking to name a few, along with recognising specific idiosyncratic signs an opponent would display when about to commit with a punch, the most common traits being the elbow lifting or shoulder flinch prior to punching.

It is also important to maintain appropriate range (distance) from an opponent to be to anticipate and react to a punch and successfully score with your own counterpunch:

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