The GB Boxing squad competes in the forms of boxing sanctioned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) which is the international governing body for the sport.

Traditionally known as amateur boxing, AIBA stopped using the term ‘amateur’ in 2007 and in 2012 called on all National Federations – including those in England, Scotland and Wales – to drop the word after the AIBA Statutes were amended at an Extraordinary Congress in September of that year.

The decision to drop the term ‘amateur’ coincided with the development of new variants of the sport and since 2013, AIBA has operated three codes of boxing: AIBA Open Boxing (AOB), World Series Boxing (WSB) and AIBA Professional Boxing (APB).

The male and female members of the GB Boxing squad participate in AOB.  Some of the men also take part in WSB, which is not currently available to women.  To-date no-one from the GB Boxing squad has competed in APB.

AIBA Open Boxing (AOB):

Formerly known as amateur or Olympic boxing, this is the most common form of boxing within AIBA and is the one used at the Olympic Games and World and European Championships.  It is also the one practiced in the 1000+ boxing clubs in Great Britain that are affiliated to the national governing bodies (NGBs) in England (England Boxing), Scotland (Boxing Scotland) and Wales (Welsh Boxing).

AOB bouts take place over 3×3 minutes rounds for men and 4×2 minutes for women.  Competitors wear vests; women wear headguards, but since 2013 these have been removed for men for senior and elite competitions.

Three judges are used and bouts are scored using the ‘10 point must’ system.  The judges will score each round, and at the end of the bout the boxer who is deemed the winner by the majority of judges will win the bout.  Bouts can also be stopped by the referee in the event of injury or a serious imbalance between the boxers.

There are 10 weight classes for men and women in AOB.  The 10 male weight classes are also used in WSB and APB.  The weight classes are:

Male weight classes Female weight classes
Light-flyweight 49kg Light-flyweight 48kg
Flyweight 52kg Flyweight 51kg
Bantamweight 56kg Bantamweight 54kg
Lightweight 60kg Featherweight 57kg
Light-welterweight 64kg Lightweight 60kg
Welterweight 69kg Light-welterweight 64kg
Middleweight 75kg Welterweight 69kg
Light-heavyweight 81kg Middleweight 75kg
Heavyweight 91kg Light-heavyweight 81kg
Super-heavyweight 91kg+ Heavyweight 81kg+

National championships in England, Scotland and Wales and European and World Championships are held at all 10 weights for men and women.  At the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the men’s competition is held at all 10 weight classes; the women’s competition is held at three weight classes, flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.

World Series Boxing (WSB)

Established in 2010, the World Series of Boxing (WSB) is a global team boxing competition for men, developed by AIBA.  It is made-up of national franchises which compete in a league format and culminates in a series of play-offs and a grand final.  The national teams are mainly made-up of home nation boxers and a small number of international selections.

Boxers compete without vests and headguards over 5×3 minute rounds using the ’10 point must’ scoring system.  A WSB match between two international franchises consists of bouts in five weight categories and the team that wins the most bouts wins the match.

The UK-based franchise in WSB is the British Lionhearts, which is primarily made-up of boxers from the GB Boxing squad and competed in the 2013, 2015 and 2016 seasons of WSB.

AIBA Professional Boxing (APB)

Launched in September 2014, APB is a global, professional-style competition based on individual rankings and taking place over a number of phases.  Competitors box without vests and headguards using the ’10 point must’ scoring system.

Boxers initially compete over 6×3 minute rounds to establish world rankings in each of the ten weight categories.  Based on these world rankings, each boxer again fights at least three times over six rounds.  It culminates with the two highest ranking boxers at each weight class competing against each over eight rounds to determine the APB World Champion.