Boxing Terms

Accidental Butt: It is ruled an accidental butt when two fighter’s heads collide and the referee determines that neither fighter intentionally head-butted the other. Typically both fighters are warned to be careful, but no fighter is penalized.

Alphabet Groups: This is a negative term used to describe the numerous sanctioning bodies of boxing; the WBC, WBA, WBO, etc.

Amateur Boxing:  Competitive boxing matches where neither participant is paid and most fighters are beginning to learn their craft.  

Apron:The section of a boxing ring canvas, on the floor, that extends outside of the ring ropes. 

Backpedal:To retreat or move backwards, away from an opponent, while still facing him, all in an attempt to avoid an attack. 

Be First: When your coach tells you to "be first", he or she is wanting you to throw your punches before your opponent. In other terms, he/she wants you to be aggressive.

Bell: A type of gong used to signal the start and end of each round. 

Below the Belt: A punch that strays low, below the waistband of a boxer’s trunks.

Bleeder: A boxer who gets cut easily.

Blow-by-Blow: A detailed description used by broadcasters to describe the action as it unfolds in the ring.

Bob and Weave: Side to side and rolling movements that are used as defense to avoid punches.  Heavyweight Joe Frazier is a classic example of someone who used the “bob and weave” defense to perfection.

Body Work: An offensive method of attack that is targeted towards an opponent’s midsection with the intent of wearing him down or knocking the wind out of him/her. 

Bolo Punch: Typically used to distract an opponent, it is a punch that is thrown in a circular motion and is a hook combined with an uppercut. “Bolo” means machete in the Filipino language. Macario Flores was the first fighter to have reportedly use the punch, but it became more popular and is more commonly associated with Kid Gavilan and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Bout: A word used to describe a boxing match.

Brawler: This is a type of fighter who likes to exchange punches and relies on being aggressive and fighting on the inside.

Break: This is a command used by a boxing referee to stop the action and separate the fighters.

Canvas: Although these days the ring flooring can also be vinyl, boxing rings were traditionally made from canvas and were called that. This is now a general term used to reference the floor of the boxing ring. 

Card: This is the line-up of bouts or fights that are scheduled at any given boxing event.

Catch-Weight: A term used to describe a bout where neither fighter adheres to a traditional weight division, but instead have agreed to a predetermined weight at which they will compete. 

Caught Cold: This is a term used to describe a boxer who gets hurt in the opening rounds or stopped early in the fight because he or she was not mentally or physically prepared or warmed-up.

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