HOW TO BECOME A BOXING REFEREE
While all the focus in boxing naturally should go to the fighters, they aren’t actually the only people in the ring. Yes, the two fighters giving it their all for the win are actually joined in the ring by the man or woman in stripes, the referee. Referees tended to not get a lot of attention unless they make some very egregious calls, but they are nevertheless they are a key part of every boxing match.
They are so important in fact that you might think about trying to become one, but the journey isn't exactly laid out for everyone to see and it's not obvious on where to even start unlike learning how to become a professional boxer which is a lot more straight forward. So we are going to help explain the process of becoming a boxing referee and some of the responsibilities that come with the profession.
What this article covers
- How to Become a Boxing Referee
- What Does a Boxing Referee Do
- How Does a Boxing Referee End Fights
- Is Being a Boxing Referee Hard
- How Much Are Boxing Referees Paid
HOW TO BECOME A BOXING REFEREE
Let's learn how to get your first boxing fight, as a ref. To become a boxing referee, there are several steps you can follow. The first is obtaining the necessary education and licensing. Boxing referees must have a strong understanding of the rules and regulations of boxing. This can be achieved by attending a referee training course or taking online courses. Some states or countries may require you to obtain a license or certification to work as a boxing referee. It's worth noting that pretty much all boxing referees have at least some experience training, in the sport with most of those having at least some amateur and maybe even professional fighting experience.
This kind of experience is invaluable for a referee as it allows them to have a deeper understanding of what is happening in the ring. This understanding can be the difference between a fight being stopped and it continuing.
Once you have obtained the necessary education, you need to gain experience. Start by officiating local boxing matches or amateur bouts. You can also volunteer at your local boxing gym to learn more about the sport and gain practical experience.
From there, it’ll be worth your time to build up your network within the industry. Building relationships with other boxing referees, boxing coaches, and promoters can help you learn more about the industry and get more opportunities to officiate matches. When you feel ready, you can start applying for positions as a boxing referee. Check with your local or state athletic commission for information on how to apply for openings.
Even if you fulfill your dreams of becoming a referee, you will need to keep up to date with any changes to the rules and regulations of the sport. Attend referee clinics and workshops to continue your education and improve your skills as a referee. If you used to compete try to keep up with your training so you keep your feel for the sport sharp.
WHAT DOES A BOXING REFEREE DO
Now that you know how to become a boxing referee, let's go over some of the responsibilities for this job.
A boxing referee is responsible for ensuring the safety and fairness of a boxing match. The referee's main role is to enforce the rules of the sport and ensure that both fighters are competing within those rules. When it comes to specific duties of a boxing ref, they include the following.
Conducting pre-fight inspections: The referee inspects the gloves and equipment of both fighters to ensure that they are safe and comply with the rules.
Starting and stopping the fight: The referee is responsible for starting and stopping the fight at the appropriate times. The referee also separates the fighters if they become clinched or tangled up. If a fighter is taking too much punishment or is unable to continue, the referee may stop the fight to protect the safety of the fighters.
Monitoring the fighters: During the fight, the referee monitors the fighters closely to ensure that they are not engaging in illegal or dangerous tactics, such as hitting below the belt, holding, or using their head to butt the opponent.
Counting knockdowns: If a fighter is knocked down, the referee starts counting to 10 to see if the fighter can continue. If the fighter cannot get up before the count of 10, the referee declares a knockout.
Overall, the role of the boxing referee is to ensure that the fighters compete fairly and safely within the rules of the sport.
HOW DOES A BOXING REFEREE END FIGHTS
One of the biggest responsibilities that a boxing referee has is the duty of deciding when a fighter has taken enough punishment to warrant stopping the fight and giving the victory to tier opponent. This is not an easy call and if done too early will anger both the fighter and the fans. If it's done too late then the referee usually receives criticism for letting a boxer take too much unnecessary punishment.
Some of the common ways that boxing refs can end fights include:
Knockout: If a fighter is knocked down and unable to get up before the count of 10, the referee declares a knockout, and the fight is over.
Technical knockout (TKO): If a fighter is taking too much punishment and is unable to defend themselves effectively, the referee may stop the fight to protect the fighter's safety. This is known as a technical knockout also known simply as a TKO.
Disqualification: If a fighter repeatedly violates the rules of the sport, the referee may disqualify them and end the fight.
In all cases, the referee's primary concern is the safety of the fighters. If the referee believes that a fighter is in danger of serious injury, they will err on the side of caution and end the fight to protect the fighter's health.
IS BEING A BOXING REFEREE HARD
If you’ve read the whole article so far, you probably get the idea that being a referee isn’t that easy and that's because it's not. Being a boxing referee can be a challenging job that requires a significant amount of skill and experience. Here are some reasons why being a boxing referee can be difficult:
High-pressure environment: Boxing matches can be intense, high-pressure environments, with a lot at stake for the fighters and their teams. Referees must be able to make quick, accurate decisions under these stressful circumstances.
Knowledge of rules: Referees must have a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations of boxing. They must be able to apply these rules consistently and make split-second decisions about whether a fighter has violated them. On top of that rules for sports can change pretty quickly, meaning that refs must always keep up to date with any changes and apply them, even if it's not what they’re used to.
Physical demands: Refereeing a boxing match can be physically demanding, with the referee required to move around the ring, dodge punches, and maintain focus and concentration for the duration of the fight. Not to mention there is a risk, albeit a low one, of being hit by a missed strike from one of the competitors.
Criticism and scrutiny: Referees are subject to intense scrutiny from both the media and the public. Any decision they make can be criticized and analyzed in detail, and referees must be able to handle this pressure and maintain their composure.
Overall, being a boxing referee can be a challenging and demanding job. It requires a great deal of knowledge, skill, and experience to be able to officiate matches fairly and effectively while ensuring the safety of the fighters.
HOW MUCH ARE BOXING REFEREES PAID
If you’re still interested in becoming a boxing referee and making this how you start a boxing career and how to get better at boxing you are probably wondering how much they get paid for the job and the answer is actually pretty well, at least at the highest level.
The pay rate for boxing referees can vary depending on several factors, such as the location of the fight, the level of the fight (amateur or professional), and the experience of the referee. In general, professional boxing referees earn more than amateur referees.
In the United States, professional boxing referees can earn between $800 to $3,500 per fight, depending on the level of the fight and the experience of the referee. Some high-profile fights, such as championship bouts or pay-per-view events, can pay significantly more. Amateur boxing referees typically earn less than professional referees and may be paid on an hourly basis.
It's important to note that referees are typically not employed full-time, and their pay is based on the number of fights they officiate. Referees may also have to cover their own travel expenses and other associated costs, which can affect their overall earnings.
If you’re still interested in becoming boxing's next greatest referee, you could make some serious cash, but you will likely be spending the vast majority of your career, at least at the start, being the ref for amateur shows where you might honestly be working for free or not much at all. Pretty similar to the career of the amateur boxing competitors that you will be refereeing for.
Enjoyed what you just read? Explore these related topics:
- How to Get into Boxing Shape
- Boxing Stance
- Orthodox Boxing Stances
- Southpaw Boxing Stance
- What Does Went the Distance Mean in Boxing
- Muay Thai Stance vs Boxing Stance
- Switch Stance Boxing
- MMA Stance vs Boxing Stance
- Shadow Boxing for Beginners
- Shadow Boxing Combos
- Shadow Boxing Techniques
- Kickboxing Routine
- Kickboxing Kicks
- Can You Kick in Boxing?
- Kickboxing vs Boxing