Determines when to start or stop a count when a fighter is down
Determines when a foul is so egregious that a warning should be given or points taken away
Signal when the round is over
Determines when one fighter's health will be endangered by more blows and thus, stops the fight.
In the past, referees were involved in judging the fight. However, that role has been progressively replaced by a panel of judges, except for domestic fights in some countries.
Normally, a white or blue Oxford shirt is worn, as well as black slacks, black leather shoes and a black bow tie. Latex gloves are sometimes worn for sanitary reasons. For professional matches a patch is usually worn on the left breast bearing the insignia of the organization sanctioning the fight. The referee may also wear a patch on his left sleeve bearing the flag of his home country. This is especially common in matches between fighters from two different countries.
The main critique involves the subjective nature of boxing refereeing; there are guidelines for referees, but enforcement of the rules still involves judgement.