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What Exactly Are The Queensbury Rules Of Boxing?

Since the Mayweather vs.

Since the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight was announced, many have wondered if the rules to the engagement would be a mix of MMA or traditional boxing. Obviously, if the rules slanted towards mixed martial arts, then the undefeated Mayweather would be at a considerable disadvantage.

However, the two combatants answered the question when they stated that they would be fighting under the Marquess of Queensbury Rules. 

So what exactly is that?

The Marquess of Queensberry rules is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. Drafted in London in 1865 and published in 1867, they were named so as John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code, however,  they were written by a Welsh sportsman named John Graham Chambers. 


The main element of the code of rules on which modern boxing is based is it was the first to mandate boxing gloves in competition. The Queensberry rules are intended for use in both professional and amateur boxing matches, and today is used as a reference to sportsmanship and fair play.


So the famous glove change from 10-ounce to 8-ounce wouldn’t have even been possible without the Queensbury rules as they protect the hands so that competitors can keep fighting. 

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Established in 1867 by the Marquess of Queensberry:

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable. 


2. No wrestling or hugging allowed. 

3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds. 


4. If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man. 

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down. 

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6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds. 

7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the men agree to draw the stakes. 

8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new. 



9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction. 


10. A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes. 

11. No shoes or boots with springs allowed. 

12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.

When you are watching the fight tonight and the question of what the rules are for the bout, now you know.


Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. Having been involved with combat sports since 2005, Rhett began in the Fighter Relations Department of the UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. Eventually, he became the Site Coordinator for the now-defunct Strikeforce organization. He then founded Fight Services and handled the event and talent logistics for MMA World Series of Fighting, Titan FC, as well as boxing promoter K2 Promotions. Rhett was also a Stage Manager for Showtime Championship Boxing. Currently, Rhett is the lead combat sports and bodybuilding writer, producer, podcaster, and host for The Shadow League. He has also been published in Money Magazine, reported for TIME Magazine and been a freelance writer for UFC.com, MaximumFighting.com, UFC 360 Magazine, Fight Magazine, MMAPayout.com, and Heavy.com. Rhett has hosted lifestyle TV programming in the Washington, D.C. market on the District of Columbia Network (DCN) and the District Knowledge Network (DKN) and has been a Play-By-Play Announcer for Monumental Sports Network’s PPV streaming service.