Amateur Boxing Program


Our amateur boxing program is highly structured and quite demanding, requiring discipline, commitment, and attention to detail. This is in consideration that participants will be involved in athletic competition, which if held within the United States is conducted in cooperation with, and run under the auspices of USA Boxing Inc.   53b3cd9ab0227.jpgA non-profit organization overseen by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Boxing affords properly licensed athlete’s 8-40 years of age necessary medical insurance, and therefore the opportunity to participate in competitive based training or sanctioned events. [Note: unless first granted an amateur license, program participation cannot begin]

Such events include local, regional, state, and national competitions or tournaments with recognizable sponsors being Local Boxing Commission [LBC] members, the Police Activities League [PAL], and the Silver or Golden Gloves Associations to name a few.

And for athlete’s who persevere through it all, they may one day find themselves part of an Olympic Games, Pan American Games, or World Amateur Championships. Lofty ideals which require as do many of life’s worthwhile endeavors focus, passion, and dedication.

That said, one must first register with a USA Boxing approved organization such as Peninsula Boxing & Fitness, AKA Bellafatto’s Boxing Club, to from the ground up learn the sport’s fundamentals.

But whether an individual reaches amateur boxing’s highest level is not the most pressing of concerns. What is of prime importance is that we encourage youth to be the best they can possibly be, cultivating an attitude and desire we hope carries over into future pursuits.

Program Benefits

The quintessential character builder as well as confidence booster, our competitive program instills discipline, improves fitness, promotes weight loss, and ultimately serves as a venue for the positive release of energy and frustration.

In fact, amateur boxing by all accounts is a proven delinquency deterrent, the beneficial impact of which is both astounding and well documented. This contradicts the mind-set of many in that boxing is thought to promote rather than discourage violent behavior.

044NickBoxingWhether formerly anti-social or aggressive trained boxers abilities are tested and proven in the ring, so that outside the sports confines individuals are more restrained with the desire to publicly display anger or retaliate when confronted or insulted either diminished or non-existent.

Ushering in positive personality changes while teaching the ultimate in sportsmanship and mutual respect, the effect of a well organized program is almost immediate. Then come the rigors of training itself, a regimen which fosters among athlete’s a more healthy lifestyle as success in boxing is inconsistent with smoking, drinking, taking drugs, or eating poorly.

It’s that same regimen which propagates solid work-ethic, allowing for the realization that skills acquisition in the gym involve characteristics necessary for achievement outside the gym. And whether or not one encounters genuine success within the sport, the process of trial and error of its own accord imparts critical life lessons to include learning the value of patience, poise, and dedication.

That brings us to self-respect and strength of character, aspects which emerge to become fortified through boxing. Reducing one’s fear to increase the likelihood that an individual shun peer-pressure, this prompts better decision making, helping youth to avoid certain pitfalls such as gang involvement, drug and alcohol experimentation, and anti-social conduct.

Perhaps most relevant amateur boxing fills a void, as the sport’s many attributes helps to develop within young people the social and interpersonal skills lacking in current school curriculums. These are in fact traits by which today’s major employers seek out prospective employees’s as opposed to selection based on academic achievement alone.

All told there are simply no losers in the amateur program, as partakers become equipped with the tools to take life head on with necessary side-effects to include improved school performance, increased awareness, gained confidence, to finally produce more focused, motivated, and goal-oriented beings.

Training Regimen

Program participants upon gym arrival start with 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up activities which from day-to-day can vary. Examples of warm-ups include rope jumping, jogging, dumbbell/medicine ball exercises, calisthenics, speed bag work, line drills, shadowboxing, mirror exercises, and a host of other activities whether done solely or in combination.

Once warm-up is complete athlete’s proceed to doing 5 to 10 minutes of light flexibility training stretching all parts of the body. This promotes injury prevention, improves reaction time and fluidity of movement, to finally increase range of motion and therefore dexterity and power.

127NickBoxingThe next phase of training depending on the progression level of the athlete could either involve contact sparring, counter-punch drills, advanced shadowboxing, mirror or line drills, one-on-one punch mitt work with coaches, interval training, and or circuit training at various stations whether it be the heavy or light bag stations, floor or ring work. Both the contact sparring and counter-punch drills require head-gear, a foul-protector, mouthpiece, and padded sparring gloves.

As relates to the program itself it must be noted that curriculum activities whether attempted individually or with a fellow boxer are to be accomplished in a progressive manner. This means that starting with the sport’s fundamentals, athlete’s do not proceed to the more refined tasks until they’ve consistently demonstrated an ability to deploy the basic and or prerequisite skills.

Fundamentals include learning stance, directional footwork, and striking technique, initially to be done in concert with line drills. These drills allow for the combining of punches, head movement, and footwork to develop balance in motion. Once line drill exercises become proficient, team members then progress to shadowboxing, and or transfer learned skills to light and heavy bags maintaining proper technique at all times.

With an initial emphasis on proper form to subsequently add speed and power heavy bag workouts build strength and stamina, teaching boxers how to put weight and leverage into their striking motion. Light bags such as air filled speed bags or double-end bags cultivate rhythm and timing, ultimately sharpening one’s focus to thereby increase punching accuracy.

Once athletes become familiar with a beginning level routine they are then introduced to interval training, an aspect which see’s the periodic alternation between boxing drills and conditioning exercises. Maximizing one’s overall fitness level, interval training in addition enhances core stability, fosters breathing patterns, and promotes transition speed.

To further sharpen skills, increase energy capacity, and develop hand, eye, and foot coordination the use of punch mitt and punch shield floor workout routines are employed where boxers work individually with coaches in order to become well-rounded athletically.

Upon effectively demonstrating skills on the punch pads, participants then proceed to in tandem execute offensive and defensive maneuvers in predetermined sequences. Known as counter-punch drills, this exercise is supervised and requires necessary protective equipment.

Once proficient at counter-punch drills sparring is the next step, conditioning athlete’s physically and mentally for the rigors of competition. [Note: an athlete will not be entered into competition until he or she satisfactorily demonstrates an ability to be competitive during supervised training]

Sparring not only maximizes physical condition, but affords participants the opportunity to execute learned tactics under real circumstances. Furthermore, contact sparring develops poise under fire, totally reinforcing the training experience in that whatever deficiency one possesses in the ring, the opportunity to make needed corrections presents itself in practice. 

Training sessions then conclude to incorporate wind-sprints, as well as sports specific calisthenic and plyometric strength and conditioning exercises using natural body weight, and or varied equipment to develop explosiveness. This is followed by cool down and more thorough stretching, with the best time to increase flexibility being towards the end of a workout when the body is totally loose.


To become a licensed amateur boxer or even a professional for that matter, an individual must first undergo a physical examination, to be administered by a medical doctor [MD] or doctor of osteopathy [DO]. This is to ensure one is free from pre-existing conditions that would prohibit participation and or prove detrimental when exposed to the rigors of a boxing program.

Once cleared physically two passport size photos and a copy of a birth certificate or passport must be provided [to include fingerprints on the pro level], to finally submit the current $63 annual registration fee [$60 for pro’s] at which juncture an amateur license can be issued. Until this process is complete amateur program participation cannot begin.

An amateur license affords holders the option to participate in competitive based training or sanctioned competition by way of providing necessary medical, surgical, hospital, and dental coverage up to a total of $25,000. This includes a $1,000 deductible if possessing primary coverage, or a $2,500 deductible without such coverage.

Training Gear

Peninsula Boxing & Fitness will either provide you if qualified with personal training gear, or guide you in the purchase of new equipment through online distributors. We oppose buying merchandise from local sporting goods stores which generally carry inferior quality equipment that will expose individuals to a risk of injury. Required items include training gloves, mouthpiece, hand wraps, head-gear, foul-protector, and competition trunks, jersey, and shoes.

Boxing Safety

Boxing Safety

Amateur boxing is not only highly regulated, but it’s deemed the safest of all contact sports according to ROSPA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents] and the NSC [National Safety Council]. Considered to be safer and result in fewer injuries as compared to that of high school football, wrestling, soccer, hockey, rugby etc., amateur boxing rates as the 75th least dangerous sport out of 100 in the ROSPA table, while according to a 1996 NSC accident report it ranks 23rd on its list of injury-producing sports.

 ROSPA and the NSC would further determine amateur boxing to have much lower incidences of injuries in comparison to that of gymnastics, in-line skating, equestrian, motorcycle racing, scuba and or sky-diving, and mountaineering amongst other such activities.

As regards fatalities, amateur boxing’s fatality rate is according to Cantu-Boxing and Medicine, Human Kinetics, Illinois 1995, 1.3 fatalities per 100,000 participants. Compare this to fatality rates for college football [3], scuba diving [11], mountaineering [51], and skydiving [123].

When boxers do suffer injuries they tend to be hand and wrist injuries, bloody noses, oral or facial lacerations, and bruised ribs. Broken noses and ribs do occur but are not common, and rarely have permanent consequences.

Safety Studies

Repetitive concussive injury [Punch Drunk Syndrome] in boxing is suspected as a cause of brain dysfunction, of which condition is well documented amongst some professional boxers. Concerned about the issue, USA Boxing in 1986 requested that the USOC fund a study related to this problem for which the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes were enlisted.

Johns Hopkins studied over 500 active amateur boxers from six different cities all of similar ages, social backgrounds, educational levels, and lifestyle habits, comparing their neurological functions to those of non-boxers. To date, it is the most thoroughly organized medical study on amateur boxing of which conclusive findings were issued in 1994.

Those findings indicated that although some temporary memory loss immediately following bouts ensued, to shortly dissipate thereafter, no clinically significant evidence of permanent impairment of motor skills, loss of coordination or memory, or slurred speech would be detected among active amateur boxers. In fact, the neurological system according to the seven-year analysis would sustain no measurable damage whatsoever .

To further corroborate the above, Australian physician Mark Porter would independent of Johns Hopkins similarly conclude no difference in neurological function had existed between these two groups. This after conducting an exhaustive nine-year study.

Safety Precautions

Boxing due to injuries and deaths occurring in the professional ranks has an image problem. Add to this pro boxing’s negative depiction in the news and entertainment media and from a public perspective the sport seems somewhat of a mockery if not debacle.

Amateur boxing however would not exist if youth were being seriously injured so that to ensure its survival, rules were developed to protect its participants. Listed below, these rules differ markedly in comparison to that of professional boxing.

(1) Amateurs box 3 and 4 round bouts. Professionals box anywhere from 4 to 12 rounds. The longer a bout goes the more likely the occurrence of an injury whether due to the nature of competition itself, or whether due to other factors such as fatigue.

(2) Amateurs use 10 and 12 ounce shock-absorbing gloves. Pros use 6 and 8 ounce shock-transmitting gloves. The force of a blow is not only directly related to a glove’s size, but as well to its content or material make-up. That being the case, USA Boxing out of concerns for safety has stringent regulations in place requiring gloves adhere to certain standards or criteria before use is approved.

In the professional ranks a more prominent fighter, and or the promoter of that fighter, are usually in a position to dictate which gloves are to be worn by the principal, as well as their counterpart. That’s to say whether a less padded punchers type glove to inflict damage or a more padded glove for hand protection this circumstance is meant to work to the principal’s advantage, and or prove detrimental to his or her adversary with safety at times a secondary concern.

(3) Amateurs wear headgear for protection. Professionals wear no headgear. Designed to protect ears, forehead, and cheekbones, amateur contestants, except in the Elite men’s category as per recent rule change, are required to under all circumstances wear headgear.

Headgear is prohibited at the pro level so that prizefighters are more prone to suffer cuts, bruises, broken facial bones, and more. 

(4) Amateurs wear jerseys during bouts. Professionals go topless. Amateurs wear jerseys to prevent gloves from transferring sweat to an opponents eyes.

Pros have no such provision so that boxers may become temporarily blinded from the transfer of sweat which from time to time contains legal substances applied to cuts or lacerations in between rounds.

(5) Referees in amateur bouts worldwide make liberal use of the “standing-eight-count.” This rule within the professional ranks lacks uniformity. Specifically implemented for protection, the standing-eight-count gives the referee time to assess the ability of an amateur boxer to defend his or herself after a hit or knockdown, with up to 3 standing-eights to be administered without the bout being stopped [unless in the same round]. Referees also have the power to stop an amateur bout any time they feel a boxer is over-matched, this before an athlete gets injured.

Although there are standing-8-counts administered during pro bouts, this rule is not uniform, to in certain locals be non-existent. Add to this the fact that some referee’s are more prone to give professional boxers additional chances due to monied interests, and even though combatants may appear just as defenseless, bouts may linger so as to put athletes in jeopardy.

(6) Medical exams are required of both amateur as well as professional boxers, with amateurs more likely to receive suspensions than are pros for similar or identical injuries. Licensed physicians performing exams on amateur boxers both before and after each bout have the right to restrict these boxers, i.e. prevent them from sparring or competing for 30, 60, 90, or even 180 days following suspected concussions or other injuries.

On the other hand pro boxers are once again subject to rules and procedures which not only lack uniformity, but they are in certain locals devoid of stringency. That’s to say in many instances if not in general unless a defeated or fallen boxer displays obvious signs of trauma or is unable to under his or her own power exit a venue, restrictions are less likely to be imposed. This increases the likelihood of recurring injuries or worse.

(7) Amateurs are matched up according to three criteria to assure fairness and safety. Only one of these criteria is prerequisite amongst professional athletes. That criteria as concerns amateur athletes requires that contestants be of similar or identical weight, age, and or experience level so as to showcase as much as possible even handed bouts which promote the safety and well-being of each boxer.

Not quite the case in professional boxing, the dictates are often very different so that weight is the only common factor involved here if that. In fact, under-skilled prizefighters are matched with vastly more talented if not heavier more experienced opposition on a regular basis. This is to in essence build up the confidence and public stature of one promoter’s fighter not only at the expense of a less well represented opponent, but on occasion at the expense of fairness and safety itself.

(8) Any one of ten people can stop an amateur bout at any time. There aren’t quite as many individuals with similar authority at the pro level. Amateur bouts can be stopped by the referee, the ring doctor, either boxer, either boxers coach, the judges, and or the sanction holder [host] so that when one entity isn’t in a position to prevent unnecessary punishment, another is.

Although the authority to halt professional level proceedings doesn’t reside with as many individuals, once again the dictates, not to mention objectives of pro boxing are seemingly quite different. That’s to say a prizefight is more likely to continue beyond any competitive showing, this mainly due to the knockout factor, as well as unfortunately beyond certain safety concerns when inexperienced referee’s and or ringside physicians are on hand.