top of page

The Thrilling World of Semi-Pro Boxing in the UK: Bridging the Gap between Amateurs and Professional

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

BXGP logo in white letters

Boxing has long been a celebrated combat sport, captivating audiences with its raw intensity, skill, and strategy. In the United Kingdom, the boxing scene has seen the rise of an exciting intermediate level of competition known as semi-pro boxing. Sitting between amateur and professional boxing, semi-pro boxing provides aspiring fighters with a unique platform to showcase their talent and progress towards their ultimate dream of turning professional. This article will delve into the intricacies of semi-pro boxing, highlighting its key differences from amateur and professional boxing, and shedding light on the PBA licence.

According to England Boxing, the national governing body for the sport of boxing in England, there are more than 980 affiliated boxing clubs with 23000+ members in England alone. Add to this many 10000's more, spread out over the UK and Europe, encompassing all ages, and you can imagine how wide the aspiring boxing community spans.

In the UK, amateur boxing serves as the foundation for aspiring boxers. In this circuit, novices get an opportunity to learn the sport's fundamentals and to gain experience within a controlled environment. Tournaments organised by national governing bodies such as England Boxing, Boxing Scotland, and the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association, and the focus in these competitions lies on honing skills and gaining ring experience. Boxers who showcase top of the bill results, can advance to elite level with a chance to become part of team GB and participate in the Olympic Games.

an amateur boxer gets tips from coach

At the amateur level, participation is allowed from the age of 11 until 40 years old. However, it really suits younger boxers as it is a time consuming hobby which demands a lot of discipline to show up at multiple training sessions per week, and tournaments throughout the year, without any monetary reward in return. For younger people, it is a great stepping stone into a (semi) professional career.

Professional boxing is the pinnacle of the sport, where athletes compete for titles and prize money. Professional boxers have undergone the transition from amateur boxing and typically sign contracts with managers and promoters. They compete in longer and more intense bouts, often scheduled for 10 or 12 rounds, and are governed by professional boxing bodies such as the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) in the UK. Participation is allowed from the age of 18 after obtaining a professional licence for which the BBBofC sets out certain requirements. The most important one is that the boxer has competed on the amateur level.

Positioned between the amateur and professional ranks, semi-pro boxing offers a platform for aspiring fighters who have outgrown the amateur level and are preparing to transition into the professional circuit. Often these boxers have other significant responsibilities in life, like jobs and families, but are not yet 100% ready to make the step to get their professional licence. Semi-pro competitions offer some financial rewards although they are not as substantial as in professional boxing. Evenso, this provides these boxers with positive circumstances to keep practising the sport and improve their skills and fan following. Support from fans and building popularity is almost as important as skills for a boxer, as ticket sales are paramount in the professional circuit.

PBA logo in grey and white letters

Although Semi-pro boxing shows are organised by private companies, they should be sanctioned and regulated by governing bodies like the Professional Boxing Association (PBA) or ISKA. The PBA is an organisation that oversees the regulation of semi-pro boxing in the UK and provides a licensing system for semi-pro fighters, promoters, managers, referees, judges and medical staff. Their strict guidelines and safety measures prioritise the welfare of the fighters and a sense of legitimacy and recognition, helping boxers build their reputation within the sport.

Semi-pro bouts are typically shorter, lasting three to six rounds, allowing fighters to gain valuable experience in a more professional setting. Age regulations allow boxers between 18 and 47 years old to compete, and levels are generally more advanced than White Collar competitions. Popular semi-pro promotions include Boxing Grand Prix and Quest Boxing.

Semi-pro boxing in the UK has carved its niche in the boxing landscape, serving as a crucial stepping stone for aspiring fighters aiming to transition into the professional ranks. As its popularity continues to rise, it presents an exciting avenue for boxing enthusiasts to witness emerging talent and potential future champions.

Follow the journey of our boxers, and be sure to go and check out one of the upcoming BXGP events!


16 views0 comments


bottom of page