Holding an opponent.
Deliberately maintaining a clinch.
Hitting with the inside or butt of the hand, the wrist or the elbow.
Hitting or "flicking" with the open gloves.
Wrestling or roughing at the ropes.
Deliberately striking at that part of the body over the kidneys.
Use of a pivot blow or rabbit punch.
Hitting on the break.
Other fouls (holding and hitting, for instance, and deliberate hitting after the bell) are specified in the rule books of other states and implicit in the rules of all. In the case of major fouls the referee is empowered, at his discretion, to award the bout to the offender's opponent. For minor fouls he may warn the boxer and deduct points or he may take away the round, so advising the judges.
The general effect of fouls on scoring is to deduct points but, unless the referee specifically calls for the forfeit of a round because of them, the judge weighs them with only relative gravity. The printed code on fouls is strict but enforcement is loose. There are, in fact, boxers who if deprived of what amounts to their fouling privileges would scarcely know what to do. Rabbit and kidney punches are common, and so are less obvious tricks like thumbing and butting.
There are four principal scoring systems, none perfect.
In New York the winner of the most rounds wins the fight, except in case of a knockout. Only if there is a tie in rounds does the New York official rely on a point system. If a boxer is just "slightly" superior in a round he gets 1 point, if "clearly" superior 2 points, "overwhelmingly" superior 3 points. If a round is very one-sided and, in addition, a boxer scores one or more knockdowns, he gets 4 points. Thus, the winner of a round gets at least 1 point but the loser gets nothing. If, after adding rounds and points, the official finds the bout tied in both, he may award his decision to whichever boxer finished in better physical condition.
Many states use the "10-point must" system, in which an even round gives each fighter 10 points. A winner with a slight edge gets 10 points for the round, the loser 9. A wider margin gives the winner 10 points, his opponent 8, and so on. Another 10-point system scores an even round at 5-5 and a slight edge at 6-4. Under these systems the points are totted up at the end of the bout, victory going to the man with the most points.
California uses the 11-point Australian system, which makes it necessary that officials be able to add fractions. An even round is scored at 5� points for each fighter. The winner of a close round gets 6 points to his opponent's 5, 7 points to 4 when there is a broader advantage, and so on.
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