Becoming an amateur boxer requires physical ability and a commitment to the sport, because generally you are not paid for your matches. Athletes participate at the amateur level to work toward a professional boxing career or for the sheer enjoyment of the sport. Whatever your goal, training and hard work are the first steps.
The Journey Begins
To be successful in boxing, at the competitive or amateur level, you must be in top shape and exhibit endurance. Start out by joining a gym with ample boxing equipment, preferably one with a ring and a variety of boxing bags. Also, look for a gym with experienced trainers and coaches, whose guidance will prepare you for your first matches. Get experience in the ring, and solicit sparring partners. They will help you identify your weaknesses and strengthen your techniques.
The College Route
If you are interested in amateur boxing at the college level, identify a school that offers a boxing program. Inquire about the process for training and placement into the school's program. Join a team to increase your opportunities to participate in amateur matches. Some schools create their own competitions. The National Collegiate Boxing Association coordinates intercollegiate amateur matches and maintains rankings among college boxers. The organization also sponsors an annual championship tournament.
On Your Own
Pursue an amateur boxing career on your own by obtaining a boxing license from USA Boxing, which is the governing body for amateur boxing matches in the United States. Visit the USA Boxing website for an application, which requires proof of your birth date and a signed statement certifying your good health. Applicants must also sign a waiver, releasing USA Boxing from any liability in case of injury. A registration fee provides you with mandatory insurance coverage.
Into the Ring
Sanctioned fights are those coordinated and governed under the regulations of USA Boxing. Check with the local USA Boxing chapter for a list of upcoming matches, or ask your trainer or gym manager for information about fights. Other boxing gyms in your area may also advertise matches you can participate in.
Keep On Fighting
Even after you have a few fights under your belt, it is important to continue with your training. USA Boxing tracks amateur bouts and ranks boxers according to their record of wins and level of competition. Those in it for fun or fitness may not be concerned about rankings. If you aspire to become an Olympian or professional, work hard to increase your amateur ranking by identifying and challenging highly ranked opponents.