How to Become a Boxing Referee

In order to become a boxing referee, you will be required to be trained, just as you would with any other job. A referee will need to be fully prepared before entering the ring to make sure that both opponents are sticking to the rules and fighting fairly.

A referee’s job is just as important as the boxers, as, without the referee, the match would not be able to take place. There must be a referee present to make sure that everything is progressing as it should and that there is no foul play involved.

If you are looking at becoming a boxing referee, you will need the proper training. You will need to study the sport and be aware of all of the rules and regulations.

Good referees will help ensure that the sport remains as it should be, as they help maintain a level of control in the ring. It would be beneficial to witness the sport live in action and seeing for yourself what the role entails before you decide to go ahead with it.

This will help to give you some perspective and make sure that it is the right career option for you.

What is a Boxing Referee?

The referee in a boxing match is the individual that is in charge of enforcing the rules during a boxing match. This person does not fight; they make sure that the boxers are fighting fairly and according to the rules.

There are certain roles that the referee has that include, but are not limited to:

  • Giving instructions to both of the boxers before the fight even starts
  • Determining when to start or stop a count when a boxer goes down
  • Deciding when a foul is bad enough to warrant a warning or having points taken away
  • Signaling when a round has finished
  • Determining when the health of a boxer will be endangered if they receive any additional blows and knowing when to stop a fight
  • Getting involved in breaking up any fight that does get out of hand

Referees used to be involved in the scoring process of the fight, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now, matches are judged by a panel of judges instead. 

Training and Certification

There is no exact training method to become a boxing referee, so you can choose from various different types of certifications instead.

Different organizations, like the International Professional Ring Official, USA Boxing, Association of Boxing Commissions, and the World Boxing Association offer various seminars and classes that are designed for new and upcoming referees. 

These courses will cover all of the basic knowledge and information that you would need to know. This can include information such as the types of different fouls, the role of the referee, and how the referee should be positioned during a match.

If you’re able to complete the course, there will be an exam at the end of it. If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate that states that you have successfully completed the course from the chosen association.

Other forms of training can include gaining second-hand experience in the field. It is unlikely that you will complete a course and be ready for professional refereeing.

You can gain other relevant skills by visiting a local boxing gym and watching professional referees. This will help you to learn more about the role by watching other people.

Applying for Boxing Referee Positions

Most states will require that you have a good level of training before you can become a licensed boxing referee. Typically, you will need certification, as mentioned above.

You may need a certificate from a specific organization, so you will need to check with your state’s licensing department before you go ahead and join classes. There also might be a separate exam in order to gain a license so you can prove that you have the relevant knowledge in the subject area.

In some locations around the US, you might be able to become a referee without a license. This type of boxing is still legal; it just means that it isn’t supervised by the same governing body as licensed boxing. An example of this could be refereeing for local events that are designed to attract sponsorship.

The way that a referee is selected will vary from place to place, but the most common system is when the governing body assigns referees to fights from a pool of accredited officials.

To get accepted into this pool, you will have to prove that you have the correct knowledge and skills to referee a boxing match. To do this, you will likely need lots of experience that you can get from refereeing amateur boxing matches. The only downside to this is that it will not be paid work.

How Much Money Does a Boxing Referee Make?

Like with any other refereeing job, the amount you will be paid as a boxing referee will vary depending on the match you are refereeing and how often you do it.

Boxing referees usually get paid for each fight that they officiate, and usually, the more important the fight, the more they would get paid. The location can also have an influence on the amount of pay. 

It has been reported from multiple sources that referees in Nevada get paid more than those in any other state. The range of pay can be anywhere from $150 per fight up to an impressive $25,000 a fight.

As an average figure, referees in most sports typically make roughly £23,000 each year. However, this number is completely subjective. 

The salaries vary so much due to the fact that refereeing isn’t always a full-time career. Referees that do work full time can officiate more than one fight per event, which means that they can make a larger amount of money in just one day.

Not all referees will choose to work this way, and some might only officiate a handful of fights in one year. It all depends on how much you intend to work and how far that you go in your career. 

Rayford Baxter
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