A mandatory eight count is an 8 second count that a fallen boxer must take when he gets back on his feet following a knockdown. It allows the referee time to decide whether the boxer can continue the fight.
Note: The first time the mandatory eight-count was used in a heavyweight title fight was when Floyd Patterson defended his title against Ingemar Johansson in 1961. Patterson, who won by a sixth-round knockout, was floored twice in the first round and later said, "The eight-count helped me. Those extra few seconds gave my head a chance to clear."
Compare: standing eight-count