How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing?

How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing

One common question that new fight fans getting into boxing have is, how many rounds are there in boxing? There are so many types of matches that it can be difficult to grasp how many rounds there are in boxing.

Let’s dive in and give you the full answer of how many rounds are there in boxing and other important facts. Read below as we detail each type of boxing match and review the number of rounds in each.

So, How Many Rounds Are There in Boxing?

The question of how many rounds are there in boxing is a hard question to answer. There are different time limits, mainly due to the various types of boxing matches.

Each type of boxing match has different rounds, from pro, amateur, male, and female bouts. Rounds could be anywhere from 3 to 12 rounds and between 1 to 3 minutes, depending on those factors.

How Many Rounds Are There in Boxing Matches Between Amateurs?

Let’s start with amateur boxing and review how many rounds are in boxing matches under amateur rule sets. Amateur bouts featuring boxers with no fighting experience are set at three-round contests that are a minute each.

No matter if the new amateur fights are between men, women, or children, they all start out fighting in one-minute rounds.

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As the amateur boxers gain experience, they will gradually go up from one to two-minute rounds. More experienced men’s amateur fighters will fight three-minute rounds like the pros.

Women and children are usually capped off at fighting rounds that are two minutes each. However,  all amateur bouts are generally kept at three-round contests.

How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing For Professional Male Boxers?

How many rounds are there in boxing between pro male boxers is a frequently asked question. Like at the amateur level, the number of rounds a professional male boxer competes in depends on two factors: Skill level and if a fight is a title fight.

Generally, the number of rounds between pro male boxers in boxing matches depends on their skill and rank.

  • Low-Level Male Pros: 4 Rounds
  • Mid-Level Male Pros: 6 Rounds
  • Contenders: 8-10 Rounds
  • Champions: 12 Rounds

Pro male boxers will start at 4 rounds and then attempt to work up to 12-round title bouts. Only the elite boxers fight twelve rounds, while the majority of boxers fight 8-to 10 rounds.

Boxing Rounds

How Many Rounds Are There in Boxing For Professional Female Boxers? 

How many rounds there are in boxing for pro female boxers is a different format than male boxers. They will fight in bouts ranging from 4-10 round-limits, but no 12-round bouts. Most pro female boxers also only fight in rounds consisting of two minutes.

The format of pro female boxing matches looks similar to this:

  • Low-Level Female Pros: 4 Rounds
  • Mid-Level Female Pros: 6 Rounds
  • Contenders: 8 Rounds
  • Champions: 10 Rounds

Many top female pro boxers like Clarissa Shields are calling for abolishing two-minute rounds for women. Champions like here demand that they fight three-minute rounds like the men and compete in 12-round title bouts.

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Some federations and commissions are starting to allow some females to fight 3-minute rounds, but not all of them. It’s still an ongoing process.

How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing: The History

In the early days of boxing, the question of how many rounds there are in boxing depended on the fighters. Before round limits were introduced, boxers often fought for hours until one of the fighters quit or couldn’t continue.

The longest boxing bout in history took place in 1893 between Andy Bowen and Jack Burke. These two warriors fought for 110 rounds, which took an estimated 7 hours and nineteen minutes.

Boxing commissions realized there needed to be round limits to keep the boxers from dying. During the late 1910s and 1920s, title fights were put at fifteen rounds.

This would be the norm until Korean fighter Duk Koo Kim died in the last fifteen-round title fight 1982. Since then, all title fights in boxing are 12-round bouts.

Various other levels of non-title pro boxing bouts were also put at different round limits. The number of rounds that non-champion fighters compete at depends on the promoters and state commissions.

Boxing Coach

How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing vs. MMA

There’s a vast difference between how many rounds are there in boxing vs. MMA. Not only do these sports have different rule sets for rounds, but also their time limits.

A non-title pro-MMA bout consists of three rounds that are five minutes each. Title bouts and main events in MMA are five rounds each.

Pro-female MMA fighters also compete in the same format as men, with no differences between rules and time.

Fighters transitioning between each combat sport generally have difficulty adapting to the new pace.

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How Many Rounds Are There In Boxing vs. Muay Thai/Kickboxing?

How many rounds are there in boxing vs. Muay Thai/kickboxing is also vastly different. Muay Thai and kickboxing, like boxing, take place in rings, but the rounds are completely different.

In Muay Thai, all matches consist of five rounds that are three minutes a piece. This also includes title bouts.

The rounds of a pro-non-title kickboxing bout are generally three rounds at three minutes apiece. Title bouts in pro kickboxing are five rounds each.

Muay Thai also has a 2-minute rest between rounds, while there’s only a 1-minute rest in kickboxing, like in boxing.

Why Have the Rounds of Boxing Matches Been Altered?

What makes explaining how many rounds are there in boxing so long-winded is due to constant alterations in history. The main reason for round limits was due to boxer safety.

In the early days of boxing, there were fewer rules and safety precautions. This made death a normal thing in the sport of boxing.

Commissions implemented round limits to protect the fighters and give the sport more mainstream appeal. These precautions and round limits led to boxing becoming one of the most-watched sports in the world.

Boxing Corner

Will Rounds Formats Every Change In Boxing?

As of now, it is unlikely that we will ever see any major rule changes to the format of rounds in boxing. It has taken promoters and commissions years to agree on the current rules in place. 

Debates are constantly had about adding new weight classes, but big changes to round formats are rare. We will likely see pro-female boxing go by the same round format as men before round formats are changed.