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.

Condensed version of a few of the laws governing boxing


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 non-refundable fee and any form or document their office may require.


Civil Penalties - The Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety 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 Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety 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 Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety may bring action in court to enforce compliance.


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.

North Carolina Boxing Laws

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

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