Despite worldwide popularity of amateur boxing, research focussed on the physiological demands of the sport is limited. The physiological profile of Senior and Junior England international amateur boxers is presented. A gradual (8 to 21-days) and rapid (0 to 7-days) phase of body weight reduction was evident with 2.2 ± 0.3 % of the 7.0 ± 0. 8 % weight loss occurring over the final 24-hours. An increase in body weight >4% was observed following a recovery period. High urine osmolality values (> 1000 mOsm·kg(-1)) were recorded during training and competition. High post-competition blood lactate values (>13.5 mmol·l(-1)) highlighted the need for a well-developed anaerobic capacity and the importance of not entering the ring in a glycogen depleted state. The aerobic challenge of competition was demonstrated by maximum heart rate values being recorded during 'Open' sparring. Mean body fat values of 9-10% were similar to those reported for other weight classified athletes. Normal resting values were reported for hematocrit (Senior 48 ± 2 % and Junior 45 ± 2 %), haemoglobin (Senior 14.7 ± 1.0 g·dl(-1) and Junior 14.5 ± 0.8 g·dl(-1)), bilirubin (Senior 15.3 ± 6.2 µmol·l-1(-1)) and ferritin (Senior 63.3 ± 45.7 ng·ml(-1)). No symptoms associated with asthma or exercise-induced asthma was evident. A well- developed aerobic capacity was reflected in the Senior VO2max value of 63.8 ± 4.8 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1). Senior lead hand straight punching force (head 1722 ± 700 N and body 1682 ± 636 N) was lower than the straight rear hand (head 2643 ± 1273 N and body 2646 ± 1083 N), lead hook (head 2412 ± 813 N and body 2414 ± 718 N) and rear hook (head 2588 ± 1040 N and body 2555 ± 926 N). It was concluded that amateur boxing performance is dependent on the interplay between anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. Current weight making methods may lead to impaired substrate availability, leading to reduced competitive performance and an increased risk to a boxers health. Key PointsSenior England international amateur boxers decrease 6.0-8.3 % (7.0 ± 0.8 %) body weight over a 21-day pre-contest period by employing passive and active weight making methods.Urine osmolality values >1000 mOsm·kg(-1) are recorded during training and competition.Senior and Junior England international amateur boxers experience high post contest blood lactate values (Seniors 13.5 ± 2 mmol·l(-1) and Juniors 14.1 ± 2 mmol·l(-1) under the current 4 rounds x 2-minute contest format.Senior England international amateur boxers have a high relative VO2max of 63.8 ± 4.8 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)Senior England international amateur boxers have a straight and hook punch force >2400 N, except for the straight lead hand to the head and body.
Keywords: Urine osmolality; VO2max; blood lactate; punching force.