How Long is a Boxing Round

Boxing has been around for a very, very long time. Evidence indicates it existed in 1500 BC. The rules that govern it have changed and evolved over the years. One area that has seen the maximum number of changes is the boxing round. These changes included the duration, number of rounds, and round formats. Changes in the length of rounds and the number of rounds ultimately affect the duration of a boxing match. In the earliest boxing matches, there were no limits on the number of boxing rounds; the fight lasted till one opponent was unable to fight back.

How Long is A Boxing Round?

The duration of a boxing round seems to have stayed the same since the 1867 Code of Rules proposed by John Gram Chamber of Amateur Sports Club. Today the difference in duration of rounds is only gender-based, with separate durations for men and women. In a professional championship match for men, the length of a round is fixed at 3 minutes, with a one – minute rest period in between rounds. For women, the duration of the round is 2 minutes with a 1 – minute rest period in between rounds. In Amateur boxing, the length of the rounds stays the same, for both men and women.

How Long is A Fight Or Boxing Match

The duration of a boxing match/fight differs widely. On average, a boxing match lasts about 5.9 rounds. Boxing matches can be scheduled for anywhere from 4 – 12 rounds. Boxing matches between less experienced boxers usually have about 4-5 rounds. This shortened duration is to make viewing the sport more exciting. If the fighters tired out by the fifth round, watching them stagger through the remaining five rounds in a 10 round match would be a very dull affair for the viewers. Typically, a bout between less seasoned players, say a 4 round match will last about 15 minutes. Only professional fights sare set for 12 rounds.

Factors Affecting How Long A Boxing Match

Professional boxing matches go from 4-12 rounds. Each round is of a 3 – minute duration. Plus, there is a one – minute rest period between rounds. Typically, rounds are counted in multiples of 2. So a match can have 4, 6…12 rounds, causing the duration of match to change wildly.

A 12 round match, with each round being 3 minutes, plus the 11 minutes of break time, means it will last 47 minutes. Interestingly, this timing of 47 minutes, makes a match very TV viewer-friendly, as it fits in well with a one hour TV time slot (including commercial breaks). These days only 44% of matches last the whole scheduled time.

Amateur boxing bouts are much shorter. Typically, each match has three rounds of three minutes each for men with a one – minute break in between. For women, there are four rounds of two minutes, with in-between breaks of one minute. On average, an amateur fight will last 11 minutes.

Boxing Before 1982

Before 1982, boxing matches went up to 15 rounds. However, following the tragic death of Duk Koo Kim, four days after his infamous 14 round fight with Mancini (image 1), the World Boxing Council (WBC) stepped in and put all matches at a maximum of 12 rounds. The experience of the fighter determines the length of a boxing match. Twelve round matches are reserved for championship-level fighter only, and these are the fights that garner the most interest and public attention.

The decision to limit a professional title match to 12 rounds, was not accepted readily by all. While many thought it was the right decision for the boxers, others felt it hampered viewership. Some even felt that had the 12 round rule been imposed earlier, some of the greatest moments in boxing history might not have happened. Studies showed that after 12 rounds, the brain became more susceptible to damage, and the boxer was more likely to experience dehydration and exhaustion. Those against it pointed out that it was not common for heavyweight boxers to die as a result of the 15 round fights. They acknowledged that a match could be fatal to a boxer who was dehydrated but said that the dehydration was often a result of the fighter trying to make the weigh cut off mark in his category.

The International Boxing Federation held on to its position that the number of rounds in a match did not mean fatalities for the boxers, and the last 15 round match was held in 1987 between Mike Tyson and Tyrell Briggs.

Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are two of the most popular contact sports today. While these sports have some things in common, there are significant differences between them. Let us understand the difference better.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Mixed Martial Arts (image 2), also known as Ultimate Fighting or No Holds Barred, till the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 17) is rapidly gaining ground over boxing, and becoming the most-watched combat sport. MMA came into public consciousness in the late 20th century, mainly due to the inception of the UFC – the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

How Long are MMA And Boxing

While MMA and boxing share some things in common, there are some key differences. One significant difference is that MMA is a full-contact sport that allows the use of both striking and wrestling. Boxing is mainly about punches, and you can hit only above the belt.

Another significant difference between MMA and boxing is the number of rounds in a fight. In a boxing title match, there are, as mentioned, 12 x 3-minute rounds, with 1 minute rest periods. In an MMA fight or the UFC, fights are made up of 5 rounds, each of 5-minute duration. So in a 12 round boxing match, there are 36 minutes of action versus 25 minutes of action in an MMA match.

We hope our brief guide has been of help in understanding the duration of a boxing bout and factors that play a part in the length. Do let us know what you think in the comments section.

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