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What is the difference between professional and amateur boxing?

What is the difference between professional and amateur boxing?DAZN

Before a boxer headlines in Las Vegas or is given the chance to become a world champion, they must first undertake a long and brutal journey through boxing's amateur code before becoming a professional.

With there being both an amateur and professional discipline in boxing, the rules are different in a number of areas including equipment, fight length and pay. 

Find out what these differences are below. 

The counts rule


Fighters are given an 8 count to recover from a hard shot.


Fighters are allowed to the chance to recover from a dangerous shot with a 10 count.

Scoring system


These fights are scored on a 10-9 point system with 10 points being awarded to the winning fighter and nine to the losing fighter. 

Fighters' scores take into account a number of different factors including competitiveness, tactical superiority and punches landed with the goal being to accumulate the the most points come the end of the contest. 


Professional fighters are scored on the same system to to the amateur code, but with the ultimate end goal of wanting to knock out their opponent before the contest ends. 

Number of rounds


Amateur bouts are short in duration and are made up of three, three-minute rounds for men, while women fight over four two-minute rounds.


Male professional fights can be up to 12, three-minute rounds, while the women can compete in fights up to 10, two-minute rounds. 

The ring size

The size of the ring is fairly similar in both amateur and professional boxing which can be between 16-24 feet. 



Amateur boxers will wear headgear, use larger gloves and mouthguards when competing. 


Professional fighters will not use headgear, but will use mouthguards and smaller gloves. 

How to amateur and professional boxers get paid? 


Amateur boxers do not receive any payment for the fights they compete in. 


Professional fighters receive money for their bouts, whether it be from sponsors and/or a purse deal.