Boxing Rules and Laws

The federal government mandates that in order for states to allow professional boxing matches, they must have a state Boxing Commission and/or Boxing Office or use a neighboring state's Boxing Commission and/or Boxing Office.

By law, the North Carolina Boxing Authority regulates professional boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts and toughman events that charge admission or offer cash or prizes to the contestants. USA Boxing supervises amateur boxing events in North Carolina and USA boxing rules and regulations are approved by the Boxing Authority.

Toughman contestants are not trained and have separate rules, such as wearing 16 oz. gloves, mouthpieces and protective head and groin gear. Each bout consists of three one-minute rounds with a one-minute rest period. The fights are strictly boxing, no biting, wrestling, head butting or kicking are permitted. Toughman fighters undergo pre-fight physicals, and a doctor and emergency medical technicians are present at ringside during the event.

Professional boxers and mixed martial artists are trained and licensed to fight. They are not required to wear protective head gear, and their gloves differ in weight for specific classes.

North Carolina Boxing Laws

North Carolina boxing laws, G.S. 143-650 through 143-658, can be found on the North Carolina General Assembly web site.

North Carolina boxing rules, Chapter 12 of the North Carolina Administrative Code, can be downloaded in Adobe PDF format here.

The following is a condensed version of a few of the laws governing boxing:

Licensing 143-654

To participate in a boxing match, announcers, contestants, judges, the manager, matchmaker, promoters, referees, timekeepers and seconds must have the required license. Other rules include:

  • Promoters must have the proper permits to hold a boxing match.
  • The Boxing Authority has the exclusive power to issue, deny, suspend or revoke any license or permit.
  • All licenses shall be valid only during the calendar year in which they are issued, except contestants licenses are valid one year from the date of issuance.
  • A license for a manager or promoter may be issued to a corporation or partnership.
  • A person may not participate under a fictitious or assumed name in any match unless the person first registered the name with the Boxing Office and/or Commission.
  • An applicant for a promoter's license must submit a surety bond, not less than ten thousand dollars, and payable to the North Carolina Boxing Authority.
  • A permit issued to a promoter is valid for a single event. An applicant for a permit shall file with the Boxing Authority the appropriate nonrefundable fee and any form or document their office may require.

Violations 143-658

Civil Penalties - The director of the State Bureau of Investigation may issue an order against a licensee or other person who willfully violates the law. He may impose a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars for a single violation or up to twenty-five thousand dollars for multiple violations in a single proceeding or a series of related proceedings.

Criminal Penalties - A willful violation of the Boxing law constitutes a Class 2 misdemeanor. The director of the State Bureau of Investigation may refer any available evidence concerning legal violations to the district attorney, who may institute appropriate criminal proceedings.

Injunction - If it appears that a person has violated or is about to violate any of the boxing law rules or provisions, the director of the State Bureau of Investigation may bring action in court to enforce compliance.

Unauthorized matches prohibited. G.S. 143-653

No person shall promote, conduct or engage in an unarmed combat match, whether the participants are professional or amateur, except as authorized by this Article. This section shall not preclude professional wrestling.