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How to Become a Boxing Judge

Any sports fan will know the frustration you feel when the result does not go your team’s way. That buzz of anger throughout your body, and the constant feeling that the referee is wrong and that you could have refereed it better.

That feeling is no different for boxing fans. Every sports fan knows that feeling, that question of ‘How did the judge get that job?’, and the even bigger question of ‘Could I become a boxing judge?’ 

If you’ve found yourself asking this question, and you don’t know where to start, you’ve found yourself in the right place. This article is packed with all the information you need about how to become a boxing judge, including the step by step process and all the necessary licenses that you need to become qualified.

The exact requirements differ from State to State so you should contact the Athletic Commission for your State for specific details. But if you are asking yourself ‘How do I become a boxing judge?’, this is the perfect place for you to find out how to make these dreams a reality. 

What does a boxing judge do?

Before we go into the process of becoming a boxing judge, we must establish exactly what this role consists of. It is a common misconception that the person who gets into the ring with the two boxers and monitors the fight in real-time is the judge. But this is not true.

In fact, there are usually as many as three ring-side judges that score the fight and assign points to the boxers based on connected hits, knockdowns, defense, and many more things. It is actually these three judges that do the scoring and gather the information to announce a winner. 

Whereas the ‘judge’ that is in the ring, isn’t actually a judge at all. That person is actually a referee who is responsible for enforcing the boxing rules and monitoring any points where the fighters break the rules, rather than monitoring the fight to find a winner.

This is not a guide to becoming a boxing referee, it is a guide to becoming a boxing judge. So if you want a guide to how to get into the ring without becoming a boxer, you are in the wrong place.

But, if you want to learn all about the scoring system and get qualified so that you can get a front-row seat for some of the greatest fights, you are in the right place. 

How to Become a Boxing Judge  

Becoming a boxing judge is not the easiest of processes. As we’ve already mentioned, the requirements to become a boxing judge are different for every State which can make it hard, especially if you want to judge outside of your State.

It is also made harder as some States will not allow you to become a boxing judge if they do not have a vacancy for this position. You should check with your State’s athletic commission, however, let’s take a rough look at what you should expect. 

The first thing you need to do is contact your State’s athletic commission and ask them how you become a boxing judge. This is important as you have to be registered with the State’s athletic commission to become a professional boxing judge so contacting them will begin the process.

It will also provide you with all the information you need and the qualifications that you will need to obtain to become a professional boxing judge. Most States will have a State-specific certified training program for becoming a judge, you may also have to have financial checks, medical exams, and a criminal history check before you can proceed any further. 

If you have no experience with boxing, you will probably have to gain some amateur experience too before you become a judge. Physically taking part in boxing will give you a much better idea of what it consists of and allow you to be a better judge.

It is also sometimes a requirement for some States. The best way to gain amateur experience is to complete the USA Boxing Level 1 Certificate which is obtainable in most boxing gyms.

Once you have this experience, you will then have to gain judging experience before you can judge a match yourself. Before you can even judge an amateur boxing match you will need to shadow other judges and also watch a lot of matches to gain better knowledge. 

Once you have gained the experience, you will then have to find a mentor to help you because a big part of the process of getting into boxing judging is connections. You should network and meet other officials involved with boxing to find a job.

The process of finding a job as a boxing judge can be discouraging because it can be very time-consuming but you should just look at this time as a good thing.

While you are looking for a job you will continue to gain experience and hone your skills which will be helpful in the future. It will also help show potential employers how good your work ethic is, and how dedicated you are to becoming a boxing judge. 

Other Things to Consider

Finally, we must take a look at the other things you need to consider before beginning this process. The main thing being licenses, and the cost behind them. To become a boxing judge you will have to become a registered member of USA boxing, which will incur a cost.

Then you will have to obtain different licenses, there are certain licenses that you will have to get to judge amateur matches, which will be less pricey than those you need to become a professional boxing judge.

If you are looking to become a professional judge, you will need to become a licensed boxing judge through your State’s athletic commission which will cost different amounts depending on your State.

It is a costly process, but if you want to become a boxing judge, and boxing is your passion, it is definitely worth the investment. 


In short, to become a boxing judge you need to make contact with your State’s athletic commission.

Following this, you will be required to gain experience, shadow boxing judges, and pay for licenses before you can become a boxing judge. 

Rayford Baxter
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